Juggling recovery and full-time work

I go back to work on Thursday. It’s very important that I maintain the healthy habits I have formed during my leave of absence. These are the things I must do every day:

  • Weigh myself each morning (~1 minute)
  • Exercise at moderate intensity (at least 30 minutes)
  • Limit my sodium to 2000mg

Those things require me to do these other things:

  • Take a shower (~20 minutes)
  • Cook meals at home
  • Track everything I eat (I use MyFitnessPal)
  • Track my exercise (I use RunKeeper)

Work keeps me away from home from approximately 7:30 to 5:30, including travel time. Since I will not be at the apartment with my fridge and pantry readily available, I will need to:

  • Pack my lunch (~15 minutes)

Eating can take me awhile due to my small stomach. I can eat a decent amount within half an hour, but I can also take hours to finish a meal. For lunch this is not a problem; I can eat at my desk while working. I will just need to remember that in the evenings I will have the following tasks:

  • Cook dinner (assume ~2 hours, just to be safe)
  • Eat dinner (allow 1.5 hours)

Also, I use the restroom in the morning, TMI. I have to factor that in because it takes time. Number two is very different after weight loss surgery. I am trying to figure out how long it took me this morning, and it looks like it took an hour! Ugh. That seems ridiculous. But…yesterday appears to be about the same. I have never paid attention to this before. (My work schedule had always been get up, potty, shower, dress, get on computer for a few minutes, leave for work. I would get up at 6 and leave between 7:30 and 7:45. That…actually does account for all the time, since showering and dressing only takes me 20 minutes. Wow.)

  • Morning potty break (1 hour, good grief)

And finally, I tend to do best on 7.5 hours of sleep.

So, a day’s schedule might look like this:

Walk in the Morning

  • 5:30a-6:30a: Get up and potty
  • 6:30a-7:00a: Dress in workout clothes and walk for 30 minutes
  • 7:00a-7:30a: Shower, dress, and leave for work
  • 8:00a-5:00p: Work (eat lunch at desk)
  • 5:30p-7:30p: Get home from work and cook dinner
  • 7:30p-9:00p: Eat dinner (can do other things like be on computer or watch TV while doing this)
  • 9:00p-10:00p: Woo free time! Although this might be spent cleaning the kitchen and packing the next day’s lunch?
  • 10:00p: Go to bed

…okay HOW. How do people live. I do not understand.

I’m trying to think how I might rearrange this.

Walk at Lunch

  • 6:00a-7:00a: Get up and potty
  • 7:00a-7:30a: Shower, dress, and leave for work
  • 8:00a-5:00p: Work (eat lunch at desk)
  • ~1:00p-1:30p: Walk on lunch break (and sweat at desk for rest of day)
  • 5:30p-7:30p: Get home from work and cook dinner
  • 7:30p-9:00p: Eat dinner
  • 9:00p-9:30p: Clean kitchen, pack lunch
  • 9:30p-10:30p: Theoretical free time?
  • 10:30p: Go to bed

The above is basically as minimal as my morning schedule can get, unless I skip my shower, which to be honest I have done before. What if I move the walking and the shower to the evening?

Walk in the Evening

  • 6:30a-7:30a: Get up, potty, get dressed, leave for work
  • 8:00a-5:00p: Work (eat lunch at desk)
  • 5:30p-6:00p: Walk for 30 minutes
  • 6:00p-6:30p: Shower and get dressed in nightclothes (I guess)
  • 6:30p-8:00p: Cook dinner
  • 8:00p-9:30p: Eat dinner
  • 9:30p-10:00p: Clean kitchen, pack lunch
  • 10:00p-11:00p: Theoretical free time?
  • 11:00p: Go to bed

So like no matter how I slice it, I get an hour of free time per day (plus, I guess, dinner-eating time, during which I can multitask).

Okay. So. Now let’s say I want to prioritize my writing. I know I am the most awake and productive in the morning. So what if I want to put a block of writing time in the morning? I’ll just use that free hour that is in the evening right now.

Since I don’t like the idea of walking at lunch and being sweaty at work, I’m not going to bother working the writing into that one.

Write and Walk in the Morning

  • 4:30a-5:30a: Get up and potty
  • 5:30a-6:00a: Dress in workout clothes and walk for 30 minutes
  • 6:00a-6:30a: Shower and dress
  • 6:30a-7:30a: Write for an hour, leave for work
  • 8:00a-5:00p: Work (eat lunch at desk)
  • 5:30p-7:30p: Get home from work and cook dinner
  • 7:30p-9:00p: Eat dinner (and pack lunch real quick? Also when do I clean the kitchen)
  • 9:00p: Go to bed

OR

  • 4:30a-5:30a: Get up and potty
  • 5:30a-6:30a: Dress in workout clothes, write for an hour
  • 6:30a-7:00a: Walk for 30 minutes
  • 7:00a-7:30a: Shower, dress, and leave for work
  • 8:00a-5:00p: Work (eat lunch at desk)
  • 5:30p-7:30p: Get home from work and cook dinner
  • 7:30p-9:00p: Eat dinner (and pack lunch real quick? Also when do I clean the kitchen)
  • 9:00p: Go to bed

Write in the Morning, Walk in the Evening

  • 5:30a-6:30a: Get up, potty, get dressed
  • 6:30a-7:30a: Write for an hour, leave for work
  • 8:00a-5:00p: Work (eat lunch at desk)
  • 5:30p-6:00p: Walk for 30 minutes
  • 6:00p-6:30p: Shower and get dressed in nightclothes (I guess)
  • 6:30p-8:00p: Cook dinner
  • 8:00p-9:30p: Eat dinner
  • 9:30p-10:00p: Clean kitchen, pack lunch
  • 10:00p: Go to bed

Even though it seems ridiculous to put on pajamas at 6:30pm, I think that last one makes the most sense for me.

Still.

I am not sure this is tenable, long term. I feel like I would burn out pretty fast. (I’m pretty sure this is why my dieting and exercising had fallen by the wayside to begin with.)

There are certain activities like the walking and showering (and writing, if I prioritize it, which I want to) that must be done every day. But maybe I could shift the cooking and lunch packing to the weekend somehow. Cook a bunch of dinners at once, pack all the week’s lunches at the same time.

The weekend is laundry time. Doing laundry involves a lot of waiting. I could be cooking during that time. The challenge would be cooking five unique meals in one day. And then what would we eat that night? Takeout I guess.

I am not super confident about my ability to cook so much all at once, given that yesterday I had planned to cook two HelloFresh meals but could only manage one of them.

I’m open to suggestions here.

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