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What to do when there just isn't time?

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Old 12-07-2009, 04:51 PM   #1
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Default What to do when there just isn't time?

Ever since Thanksgiving, I've been totally off-plan. I should qualify that by saying I haven't gone completely crazy, but I'm not writing down my points, measuring anything, packing lunches, etc.

I've just been so completely busy. I'm a full-time student, this is my senior year, and I'm just drowning in work. I know being busy is everyone's excuse, but I haven't been getting enough sleep, let alone having enough time to cook or shop for healthy foods. I'm not trying to excuse it, but I'll just beat myself up if I don't reason with myself. School had to come first these past two weeks; senior year is not the time to start failing classes. Nor will two weeks kill everything I've worked for. Rationale isn't my issue.

I know I can restart plan on Wednesday, when my major projects are done. And I'm completely committed to restarting, which isn't my issue. I know I'm making the right choice to start losing this weight....

My issue is avoiding this in the future. So I guess i'm asking for advice. What do you do when things are stressful and time is limited? Finals come three times a year for me; I cannot afford to lose momentum that often. I'm trying to build my skills up to be able to cope with weeks like this, but I'm out of ideas.

Help? I suppose I should also explain that I have a full-kitchen and buy my own food, so I have that control and don't have to be at the mercy of parents and/or a dorm situation. I know I can do it, I just don't know how to manage this lack of time and healthy eating yet.
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Old 12-07-2009, 05:01 PM   #2
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Well since you know when the stressful times in school are the key thing is to plan for them.
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Old 12-07-2009, 05:02 PM   #3
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Stop. Breathe. Don't beat yourself up over any of this. Make the best choices you can, under the circumstances. It's about progress, not perfection. This is for the long haul and life happens.

Next time--plan ahead as well as you can and remember...Stop. Breathe. Make the best choices you can and don't beat yourself up--it doesn't burn any calories.
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Old 12-07-2009, 05:11 PM   #4
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I agree with the others... it helps to know ahead that you be in a stressful situation. In a few days when you have some time off for your school break it will be easier for you to think with a clear mind. When you can set aside some time to process and plan you'll be better at creative problem solving.

When I'm busy it's about reorganizing my time. I try to plan ahead for the next day and what I might eat and when I might exercise. In the morning I pack breakfast, snacks, and take them lunch along with me.

I do understand how you feel a bit out of balance. It is hard to find that center of gravity, expecially when you are lacking sleep.

Last edited by Kae : 12-07-2009 at 05:12 PM.
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Old 12-07-2009, 05:12 PM   #5
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When you know that time is coming soon I'd have plenty of food ready to go- even if that means putting 10 casseroles together, cooking and freezing them into individual portions and then re-heating them later do so. Another good thing is to make soups and freeze them into portions that are easy to heat up. I usually buy romaine and chop it up, but when I'm so busy I'll buy the bags of the ready to eat salad and then just top it off with whatever I want- makes a quick and easy lunch
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Old 12-07-2009, 05:15 PM   #6
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When I get busy, I notice that my exercise slides. But I try to make the effort to eat healthy, because I know that even if I don't exercise, if I stay within my limit, I won't gain weight. I may not progress as much as I'd like without exercising, but I won't hinder my progress. However, I think you might find that carving some time for exercise will give you an energy boost.

When I am in a rush, I try to "eyeball" calories. I know about how many calories/points I need to eat at every meal, and if you've been counting then you'll have an idea of what you can have.

AVOID sugary carb things, I know that during times of stress they can be very tempting and easily accessible, but it's possible they will just make you feel more tired, and more hungry.
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Old 12-07-2009, 05:17 PM   #7
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My work is kind of seasonal, so when the busy time hits I've had to come up with some strategies to deal. When we have to get something quick I make the best choice I can like the fresco menu at Taco Bell, the Jared menu at Subway, the fajita pita at Jack in the Box. If you can get the Calorie King book it is great to keep in the car so you can look up stuff on the run, or if you have internet on your cell phone it's even handier.
The crock pot saves so much time. I look for recipe's online that are lower calorie and you just dump ingredients in and turn it on. You could make big batches of stuff to eat for a few days.
As far as exercise goes, I just commit to 30 minutes on the treadmill five days a week. That's my bare minimum. When I have more time I add in other things. It keeps me feeling well enough to have the energy to deal with the crazy schedule better.
You can do it, make it a priority, it's so worth it!
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Old 12-07-2009, 05:19 PM   #8
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I have a few things I know I can cook quickly, and I always have the ingredients on hand, or when I really am slammed, I can usually find time to slop some yogurt in a bowl and toss some fruit and a few walnuts or almonds over it. I can go for hours on that particular speedy meal. You say you have a full kitchen...does that include a freezer? I also do a fair amount of cooking in advance, mainly by doubling (or tripling) recipes, and then freezing the leftovers in single (or double, if my husband is likely to be around) portions so all I have to remember to do is pull them out of the freezer the night before and leave them in the fridge to defrost, then heat them up when needed.
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Old 12-07-2009, 05:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
RomanceDiva originally posted Well since you know when the stressful times in school are the key thing is to plan for them.
Exactly, plan... Have a number of healthy meals frozen and ready to go, just heat and eat. You could have frozen vegetables and the steamer bags that can be used in the microwave. Right before the busiest time will start, buy some fruit and other items that will keep, like apples, carrots, and sweet potatoes. Have a list of take-out food that will fit into your plan. That is all that I can think of at the moment.

Good luck on those final projects. You are right, senior year is not the time to start failing classes. This is a stressful time, so take care of yourself! I am sure that you will do great!

PS - Boy, a lot of people posted while I was writing this short post!
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Old 12-07-2009, 05:44 PM   #10
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You are looking at the situation and trying to change it so that's a good thing. You just have to find that extra 5 minutes here and there to make that planning and stick with it. If you have extra time then plan a little further out. Just keep a schedule. I know you can do it!
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Old 12-07-2009, 07:21 PM   #11
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Being a newly graduated college student, I understand how stressful exam week is. For me it happened every 4-6 weeks because all my classes would have exams at the same time... final week was killer.

I think food planning isn't too difficult since you know when your exams are way in advance. I think one easy way is to make a shopping list so you can get in and out of the grocery store fast. When I know what I want to eat during the week, I can do a shopping trip in under 15 minutes especially if I know exactly what I want. (you have to be familiar with the grocery store though)

Some simple fast meals -> salads, wraps, sandwiches, lean cuisine?, healthy choice, mexican foods (fajitas, quesidillas, tacos)

some make ahead freeze meals --> casseroles, pastas

some ready-to-go snacks --> fruits, nuts, popcorn, vegetable sticks

breakfast ideas --> eggs, cereals, toast

Also, during crunch time I know there are healthier choices I can buy like Subway instead of McDs.. so it really is up to you what kind of choices you make during crunch time. Skinny cafe latte from starbucks instead of a gingerbread latte with whip.. etc

I've read some people like to review on the treadmill so maybe if you have flashcards you can power walk while reading notes or go on a stationary bike and read notes.

I was at a big campus so even walking to and from class/exams was a great exercise for the day

Even if you don't make time for exercise, you can still eat on plan which can still lead to weight loss and/or weight maintenance.
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