Weight Loss Support - Help required from those who work full time!




Dippy Chip
04-12-2010, 02:36 PM
PS - Sorry this is so long!!!!!



Hi all, I need some help, because I'm so close to this problem that I can't see a clear way forward....

My eating has been fine for a while now, but I really struggle to get in sufficient exercise, and without it my weight loss really slows down.

However, I'm finding it hard to make time for the amount of exercise that I feel that I need, and I want some advice from others that have managed to juggle the same sorts of competing priorities.

If I tell you a bit about the things that I have working for and against me you'll maybe understand the problem a little better.

The pros: (some of these are biggies - before you all start shouting at me, I do honestly realise how lucky I am!!!)

1) I have a gym membership, and the gym (which is basic, but adequate for my needs) is mega-convenient for work (it's actually on the same hospital site where I work), but it doesn't open until 6.45am.

2) The hospital itself is LITERALLY a 5 minute brisk walk from a really beautiful sandy beach with a lovely promenade which is well-lit 24/7. There are some dodgy looking characters lurking around there if I get there too early before the usual doggy walkers arrive, but the doggy crowd tend to arrive around 6am.

3) I will soon take delivery of a real honest-to-goodness Spinner Pro bike (yes, a gym-quality Startrac one like they use on the Biggest Loser - I am soooooo excited!!!)...so I have access to one piece of top quality gym equipment at home. I also have some small dumbells and a skipping rope.

4) I have a very supportive husband, who encourages me to get fit and healthy, without once making me feel uncomfortable about my size.

5) I live in a little village that is surrounded by countryside, with signposted footpaths across miles and miles of farmland. I can be out of my house and on one of these footpaths within literally 2 minutes. And it's great cycling terrain too.

OK...so with all these fabulous positives, what could possibly be the problem?

THE CONS:

MY problem is my job....which seems to take up so much of my time!

I'm contracted (and paid) to work 37.5 hours per week, but I'm expected to work considerably more hours than that. I have a very highly paid job, and it comes with a certain amount of expectation that I'll work as long as it takes to get the job finished. Everyone else on my pay band is in the same boat...we live and breathe the hospital and are really conscientious and dedicated - but sometimes it seems to take over my whole life! My boss is the top man in the whole hospital, so I have no one to escalate the problem to, and although he tells me not to work such crazy hours (I work at least 20 hours more per week than he does) he also constantly gives me a hard time for not managing to meet his expectations. He's only been in post for 6 months and he's making quick character and value judgments, and because of this and because of the recession my job is much more insecure than it's ever been before. The boss has a reputation for firing people that he's unhappy with, and he's made it clear that I and my team need to deliver more to 'earn our keep' as he puts it... So I feel unable to really challenge the situation, and I can't afford to lose my job because I'm the only bread-winner. And - to be frank - jobs as well paid as mine are like hens' teeth, and in many ways I'm lucky to have it.

I've tried really hard to cut back on my unpaid hours lately, but it's a rare week when I don't work 50 hours at my desk, and another 10 or 15 at home...and more isn't uncommon. And my boss has started to make snidey comments about me being 'part time' because I leave at 5pm, when he doesn't leave until 6pm...but then he doesn't start until 8.30am and he never works in the evenings....

My usual schedule is as follows:
4am Get up, shower etc.
4.30 Drive to work
5am Park up and walk on the beach for 1 hour
6am Start work
5pm Finish work and go to the gym
6.30pm Drive home
7pm Arrive home and eat dinner
8pm - 10pm Catch up on more work
10pm - 11pm Spend a bit of time with my long-suffering hubby
11pm Bed

What makes this worse is that my husband doesn't work for health reasons, so he spends all day every day on his own...and when I a) hit the gym for 90 minutes before I get home and b) spend a couple of hours working after dinner I feel HORRIBLY guilty about neglecting him.

So what should I do? Do any of you have any bright ideas?

I could cut down on the gym hours (I try to go M-F for 90 minutes each day)...but I can't think of anything else that I can tweak. I already start my day really early so that it doesn't erode my evenings even more than it does already - I figure I can get in my walk and the first couple of work hours before my hubby has even gotten out of bed - but I'm getting really stressed trying to figure out a solution...and as usual, the only solution that comes to mind is sacrificing my gym hours, which I'm reluctant to do.

Can anyone give me some independent advice??????

Thanks!!!!


duckyyellowfeet
04-12-2010, 02:46 PM
Maybe I'm just not up on my exercise knowledge....but two and a half hours every day seems like a lot to me. A whole lot.

If I were you (and I may catch heck for this), I would cut out the evening work-out. Skip the 90 minute session in the evening, since you already have an entire hour of cardio from the morning time, and just go home. If you want some weight training, you could easily get a set and do quick work-out at home. This still seems like a solid amount of exercise to me and you might need to adjust your calories to compensate for the decreased activity...but two and a half hours, in combination with the rest of your life, equals a quick burn out, imo

abreezies
04-12-2010, 02:48 PM
WOW! I don't have all of that pressure and I feel GREAT to get in at least 30 min a day of walk/jog. U are walking for an hr and hitting the gym- sounds good to me! So you eat dinner with your hubby and what if you spent an hr or so with him after dinner and saved the 10-11 for work? Also do you work weekends? Do you do a date night once a week? I LOVE date night and totally miss it when we skip a week! Sorry if this didn't help.....and good luck....u r one busy lady!!


motivated chickie
04-12-2010, 02:59 PM
Like the others, I admire your dedication. I'd be a quivering mess getting up at 4 am every day. And working at night, too. Wow.

One way I could see you getting more time is by increasing the intensity of some of your work outs. If you do interval training, you'll get fitter faster. On most exercise machines, they have an interval option I think. You do a quick burst of activity, slow down, quick burst, etc.

Mixing up your exercise will freshen you up. And keep your heart rate up. And maybe if you have one hard workout, the next day you can skip the gym and spend it with your hubby.

I think you should keep your walks on the beach. I'm guessing they do a lot for your serenity as well as your waistline.

calluna
04-12-2010, 03:08 PM
I do a lot of juggling of time, work, and family... my solution has been to outfit my home with equipment that can get me the workout I want, in the hours that I can fit in. I have a bench, weights, television/DVD player, workout bike, and so on. My self-rewards generally are things that help me in my effort, so they either expand my home gym or help me outside (e.g. day pack for hiking, jacket for biking).

I would do the beach walk sometimes, but it wouldn't be my priority. 2 days out of 3I would do a serious hour of weights, calisthenics, and cardio (instead of the beack walk). The third day is serious cardio (my choice), and the fourth is rest.

You might want to make sure that you give yourself 1-2 days off from exercise for week, which time you can then give to your hubby.

Hope that helps -

WarMaiden
04-12-2010, 03:13 PM
You don't need to exercise so much. Exercising more won't solve your weight-loss problems.

What you need to do is:

1. Sleep more. 5 hours per night is simply not enough. This can independently cause you to be unable to lose weight, and it will make your eating much more difficult to control. Not to mention that your work performance will suffer from ongoing sleep deprivation.

2. Relax and have some fun. Spend more time with your lonely husband. De-stress. These things are definitely more important than somehow fitting yet more exercise into your day.

3. Look for ways to add physical activity into the work day you already have, such as standing at your desk while you work, or getting up to do an errand every half-hour.

winning the war
04-12-2010, 03:15 PM
I'd have to agree with everyone else. I know you don't want to give up workout time, and I commend you for your commitment to everything in your life. If you don't want to completely cut out the evening workout, how about decreasing it by half? As far as work goes, any chance you could delegate some of the responsibilities or duties to someone else? I work a 48 + hour work week, so I get the time crunch. Maybe you could divide responsibilities into "sectors" or groups and have a group leader? I really have no idea what you do for a living, so I'm just throwing some ideas out there. Good luck to you, whatever you decide!

Dippy Chip
04-12-2010, 03:22 PM
Wow, thank you all so much!! You are so amazing!!!

There is so much to think about in your replies, and I'll carefully consider each and every one of them. Sometimes it takes someone outside the situation to see it more clearly than you can yourself!

I'll mull over the problem and some of your suggestions this evening, and see what changes I can make from tomorrow...

sarahyu
04-12-2010, 03:32 PM
Wow, that's some schedule. Good you have the dedication to do it. I'd last less then a week just because I like my 9 hours a night of ZZZ's every night. I have to agree with other posters-if you increase the intensity of your exercising you can decrease the amount of time needed to get the same benefits. Plus a body needs sleep.

Also see about increasing your ADL (activities of daily living), park in the parking space as far as possible away from the door, walk swiftly to your office, drink extra water and go to the bathroom that's the farthest from your desk (well, that one might not be good for you since you are needing to get work done or lose the job). Pamela Peake suggested getting up and taking a 5 minute walk every hour you sit. I've found that it helps clear my mind. Stand while you are on the phone. Take the stairs instead of the elevator stuff like that.

time2lose
04-12-2010, 03:47 PM
Dippy Chip originally posted My eating has been fine for a while now, but I really struggle to get in sufficient exercise, and without it my weight loss really slows down.

I am curious about your expectations. How fast do you expect to lose? In other words, how many pounds a week do you want to lose? How much exercise is "sufficient"? Do you think that 2.5 hours of exercise a day is insufficient?

I am wondering if you have "Biggest Loser" type of expectations such as exercising 8 hours per day and losing 5 - 10 pounds a week. Is it possible that the real issue is unrealistic expectations?

Dippy Chip
04-12-2010, 04:04 PM
I am curious about your expectations. How fast do you expect to lose? In other words, how many pounds a week do you want to lose? How much exercise is "sufficient"? Do you think that 2.5 hours of exercise a day is insufficient?

I am wondering if you have "Biggest Loser" type of expectations such as exercising 8 hours per day and losing 5 - 10 pounds a week. Is it possible that the real issue is unrealistic expectations?


No, thanks for your concern, but I really don't expect to be losing 5-10lbs per week...I wish!

I find that if I keep my calories below 1400 and exercise for around 2-2.5hrs per day I lose around 1- 1.5lbs per week on average. Basically, I think I screwed up my metabolism from years and years of yo-yo weight gain and weight loss, so now I lose very slowly.

Honestly I'm not in any great rush to get to goal...I'm expecting it to take me 18 months to 2 years....but the reason I've been trying to get in this much cardio is because my job is so very very sedentary. I literally sit down from 6am until 5pm...apart from brief trips to the ladies...and I figured I needed this much cardio to get my metabolism revved up a bit.

Maybe I just need to relax a little as so many have advised...but my problem is that whenever life gets stressful, exercise is always the first thing I sacrifice, and I promised myself I wouldn't do that this time. Once I stopped exercising completely for 18 months, and I don't ever want to fall into that trap again!

Ideally I'd incorporate getting some exercise into my daily commute, but unfortunately I live 26 miles from work and the roads are very very busy and dangerous so cycling is out of the question. And unfortunately there is no public transport because I live so far out in the boondocks, so getting off the bus a couple of stops early isn't an option either.

Maybe shorter, more intensive workouts are the answer, as some of you have suggested.

I want to thank all of you again for taking the time to come up with your suggestions - I appreciate all of them, and will happily consider any others that you come up with! :hug::hug::hug:

WarMaiden
04-12-2010, 04:12 PM
the reason I've been trying to get in this much cardio is because my job is so very very sedentary. I literally sit down from 6am until 5pm...apart from brief trips to the ladies...and I figured I needed this much cardio to get my metabolism revved up a bit.

Is there some rule at your job that you must *sit* in front of the computer, rather than setting your desk up so that you can stand, or investing in a treadmill desk for yourself? (It sounds like money is not really much of an issue. Treadmill desks can be purchased, or built.) Did you know that even standing for one hour will burn about 50 extra calories? (While treadmill desks at 1 mph, if I'm remembering right, burn something like 100 extra cals per hour.) If you were standing rather than sitting for even 4 to 6 hours out of your very long workday, you'd use more extra calories than you are probably burning right now in your workouts.

You work at a hospital, so if you start standing up and someone looks at you funny about it, you can go ahead and cite the Mayo Clinic's work on NEAT at them ;)

Cardio will not actually "rev" your metabolism in terms of burning extra calories throughout the day. That's a myth; there are a few extra calories burned, but it's in the range of 20. Certainly not enough to make an appreciable difference to the big picture of calorie-burning. However, being more active in your daily life can make a huge difference.

I still assert, however, that you should put a big focus on getting enough/quality sleep. That's an area of your life that is severely lacking.

Dippy Chip
04-12-2010, 04:19 PM
Is there some rule at your job that you must *sit* in front of the computer, rather than setting your desk up so that you can stand, or investing in a treadmill desk for yourself? (It sounds like money is not really much of an issue. Treadmill desks can be purchased, or built.) Did you know that even standing for one hour will burn about 50 extra calories? (While treadmill desks at 1 mph, if I'm remembering right, burn something like 100 extra cals per hour.) If you were standing rather than sitting for even 4 to 6 hours out of your very long workday, you'd use more extra calories than you are probably burning right now in your workouts.

You work at a hospital, so if you start standing up and someone looks at you funny about it, you can go ahead and cite the Mayo Clinic's work on NEAT at them ;)

Cardio will not actually "rev" your metabolism in terms of burning extra calories throughout the day. That's a myth; there are a few extra calories burned, but it's in the range of 20. Certainly not enough to make an appreciable difference to the big picture of calorie-burning. However, being more active in your daily life can make a huge difference.

I still assert, however, that you should put a big focus on getting enough/quality sleep. That's an area of your life that is severely lacking.

Wow, that's helpful advice. No, I won't get into trouble if I do my work standing (I'm team leader so I get to make my own rules on that score and everyone will just have to tolerate my eccentricities ;)) so I could certainly stand at least part of the time. And the idea someone had about drinking more to force me to walk to the Ladies more frequently is also a good idea...sometimes I realise I've worked 10 solid hours and not even had a sip of water or a pee, so that's certainly something that would work to my advantage.

A treadmill desk sounds fab, but unfortunately I sit at one quarter of one large desk, so that's out of the question...but I certainly could stand (and drink) more than I do at the moment.

The sleep thing is also good advice, but I seem to function OK on 5 hours (always have, since infancy) and my sleep is good quality sleep. Most days I wake up feeling refreshed and raring to go. The early start makes my evenings so much more tolerable, and I admit I'd be loathe to give up the early starts unless I felt that they were really interfering with my effectiveness at work.

ddc
04-12-2010, 04:29 PM
Not sure if your office would allow, but you could take little breaks and do squats and pushups off of your desk at intervals throughout the day.
Use a swissball/exercise ball instead of a chair. Keep dumbbells at your desk and use them throughout the day. Building muscle is gonna help boost your metabolism.

Best wishes :)

beerab
04-12-2010, 04:40 PM
I have been in your shoes. I used to work salary and I HATED IT. I'd be in at 6 am and leave at 6 pm. My boss would stroll in at 9 am and then complain to me I wasn't working enough! I was like OMG I work 12 hour days and don't see my family at all! By the time I'd get home I was DEAD and would fall asleep by 10 pm.

Your boss strolls in at 8:30? I suggest doing the same- you really need more sleep than you are getting... It'd be nice to eat breakfast with hubby every morning...

I'd also WRITE DOWN and log all that you do- if he tries to fire you for not doing enough work you can show what you are doing. I did this when I had an issue with my current job.

Also- stop doing work at home.

The one thing that I learned in all this is no matter how much you do MORE work will be waiting for you AND if you don't get something done guess what? It'll be there tomorrow.

I mean I know you are concerned about your work and possibly losing your job but when you are home you should be home. I am sure you have a lot of stress and that definitely doesn't help with weight loss!

JayEll
04-12-2010, 04:55 PM
Do a half-hour walk on the beach instead of an hour.

Go to the gym for an hour instead of an hour-and-a-half.

90 minutes per day should be plenty. It was for me. :)

What will you do with the extra time? I recommend you SLEEP. You are getting only 5 hours sleep a night. That isn't enough. You are so stressed, you are probably running on adrenalin and cortisol. Not good. That much exercise could be adding additional stress on top of not getting enough sleep.

Hope it helps! Good luck!

Jay

silverbirch
04-12-2010, 05:19 PM
Hello DC! Sorry to hear the job situation is still so mad. All the stuff being said about productivity and management in the NHS during the election campaign won't be helping your boss's nerves. :hug: Or yours. :hug:

Here's my two penn'orth.

1. Less exercise. 1/2 hour on the beach. Intervals at the gymn. Or supersets if you lift. Gymn 3 x week.
2. More sleep. I hear what you say about always having functioned on little. Rest then. Or meditation.
3. (Thrown in free!) You are fighting back against the boss's remarks, aren't you? You know, I was here at 6, what a lovely sunrise over the maternity wing, that kind of thing? Don't let him get away with bullying remarks.

Good luck.

4. Keep your food squeaky clean.

saef
04-12-2010, 06:50 PM
Sleep, as others are saying.

And, once a week, instead of 60 minutes at the gym, cancel it & have some spontaneous, silly pleasure. Or not so silly. Something that interrupts your regularly scheduled program.

Because you are living this life for a purpose, other than being in harness all the time, and you deserve a span of time in which to shake off all the "must" and "should be" and "gotta get it done."

Or there is no life at all but an unending cycle of duty. And food becomes so very tempting, offering the only color & pleasure & sensual relief in the midst of the timetable & to-do lists. And thus acquires far more importance than it really should have in a balanced life.

iniya
04-13-2010, 12:03 AM
Please do sleep some more. That in itself would perhaps help you lose some weight. I would say instead of an hour of walk and 90 mins of gym, you could be in the gym 60 mins everyday. You could look up ways to make your 60 mins of working out more intense - maybe a trainer if possible.

Definitely do relax and sleep more. The schedule is a killer one.

Tomato
04-13-2010, 10:35 AM
I would not be able to function with just 5 hrs of sleep per day. As others already said, you don't need to exercise 1.5 hrs a day. Personally, I would cut out the 4:00 am walk on the beach. I am sure it's beautiful and very relaxing but unless you run, it's not much cardio. I think you would do yourself a favour sleeping an hour longer.
Personally, I think 60 minutes of exercise each day is more than enough. Ok, it will take a few weeks longer to lose the weight you plan to lose, but so what?
You need to get a good rest to work such crazy hours otherwise you will just burn out.

lobon
04-13-2010, 11:15 AM
i feel your pain. I am a resident and work an average of 80 hours per week, 6 days per week. Some weeks are more like a regular 8-5, 5 days a week type of job, but there are other times when I work upwards of 100 hours and work 21 days without a day off. My solutions:

1. be reasonable in my expectations- if I'm coming off a 30 hour shift, I don't push myself to workout that day. rest and spending time with my spouse is more important and I have the rest of my life to work on my fitness

2. less time working out, more intensity- you may have heard that low intensity workouts burn more fat, aka the fat burning zone myth. in reality, low intensity workouts burn more fat PROPORTIONATELY than high intensity, but high intensity workouts burn more total fat. thus, work your way up from walking to jogging and instead of a one hour stroll, you can rip off as many or more calories with a interval jog of 30min

3. multitask- get on that beautiful spin bike and, as im sure you've seen on biggest loser, get those arms in gear with your dumbbells at the same time. need something from the local grocery or gas station? run or ride a bike.

end of the story is that when you are busy, you need to incorporate fitness wherever you can. too much pressure on yourself will just end in a negative result, another yo-yo pattern, and loss of self-esteem. fitness should be fun!

midwife
04-13-2010, 01:12 PM
Or there is no life at all but an unending cycle of duty. And food becomes so very tempting, offering the only color & pleasure & sensual relief in the midst of the timetable & to-do lists. And thus acquires far more importance than it really should have in a balanced life.

I just had to pull this out cause this is one of the most true and brilliant things I've read in a long time. I've heard it also said that when parents lack money and time for their kids, chips and cookies and such are an easy way to try to add some temporary pleasure into the day....Saef's words really brought out that I tend to do or look for that in my own life. Food really can be a bright spot, but we need to fill our souls with other methods of satisfaction. It is so easy to get pulled into the busy-ness and minutiae of life that we forget to live.

Creativity, quietness, meditation, true conversation and time with those we love....these need to happen, and not just when we can squeeze them in. I love my job a lot, but do we live to work or work to live (ie provide a living for ourselves and those we love)? We are all replaceable at work....not so much at home and definitely not to ourselves.

tiffany0809
04-13-2010, 01:20 PM
As others have already said, you could drastically cut down on your exercise. Interval training is a more effective workout, so you could do 30-60 minutes of HIIT and probably get more out of it than the extended workouts you're currently doing.

Dippy Chip
04-13-2010, 02:35 PM
Again...apologies for the length of this!

Well...I am just so overwhelmed by all of your thoughtful and insightful responses, and I've thought long and hard how to incorporate some of your suggestions.

I hear loud and clear what you are all saying about the need to relax and unwind and enjoy life a little, and I know that exercise isn't the be-all-and-end-all and that I ought to unloose the reins a little.

Anyway, I thought clearly about what I wanted and needed, and I realised the following:

1) Because of traffic problems and my own personal body clock, I prefer to start my day early. Leaving home at the time I do means that my morning commute is only 30 minutes...if I delayed leaving home until, say, 7am my morning commute would increase to something closer to 90 minutes. I want to avoid that happening because it would increase an already lengthy day.

2) I am a morning person, and I do my best work first thing in the morning. My first few hours at work are quality time, when I have the office all to myself and can really concentrate and get a lot of work done before the other 10 members of my team arrive and demand my attention. So I’d be loathe to change my pattern of working early, especially as it would mean that I’d need to work longer at the end of the day when my energy levels are at their lowest.

3) I am most definitely NOT an afternoon person, and my effectiveness and productivity at work declines steeply after 4pm, before re-picking back up at around 8pm. So I really struggle with any work hours that I have to do between 4pm and 6pm. So 4pm would be my ideal going-home time.

4) However, if I try to drive home between 4pm and 6pm traffic is a nightmare, so in some ways I'm better delaying my evening commute until 6pm, because then I'll get a quicker, smoother journey home.

5) What I hate most is working in the evenings, or doing anything in the evenings (such as going to the gym) that delays my getting home and spending a little quality time with my husband. If I could exercise in the mornings before work and have the evenings free, that would be a real bonus for me.

So....bearing all that in mind…

Today I got up at 5am instead of 4am, and because I’d showered and got all my gear ready for work the night before, I was able to leave the house at 5.15, which still meant an easy 30 minute commute.

I arrived at the beach at 5.45 (only 45 minutes later than usual despite getting up a whole hour later), and instead of just doing my morning brisk wall (which is at best moderate cardio) I took advantage of the fact that along the mile-long length of the promenade, there are 15 flights of steps leading down from the prom to the beach (each with 64 steps). These are spaced at roughly 100 meter intervals, and between each set of steps there is a slope also leading down from the prom to the beach (a bit like a giant snakes and ladders board!)

What I did was walk briskly down the prom climbing UP every flight of steps and DOWN every slope and UP the next flight of steps then DOWN the next slope etc. Then when I got to the end, I reversed the process and went UP every slope and DOWN every flight of steps, which meant that altogether I climbed 15 x 64 steps (960 steps!) and 15 steepish slopes, which meant that it was a much more intensive workout than usual. I was certainly breathing hard and red-faced at the end of it, and felt that it was an hour well-spent (whereas at the end of my usual morning walk I never really feel that I’ve had a really good workout).

I’ve decided to do this every day, and work up to the point where I’m TROTTING up the steps and slopes rather than just walking them, and then I’ll be confident that I’m getting in a good challenging workout.

Then, next week my Spinner Pro should arrive, and I’ll be able to do a quick 30 minute intensive workout say 3 or 4 times a week…and that should be sufficient.

As for the rest of my day…well, I was at my desk by 7am, which still gave me a solid 90 minutes of uninterrupted quiet in which to get some quality work done, and I left at 5.45 and was home by 6.15…and I have promised myself that at least 2 nights per week (starting with tonight) I’m not going to do a stroke of work after dinner, but will just spend some quality time with my hubby. :D

So…thanks once again for all your suggestions…and I can promise you that I’ve really taken all of them on board.

You’re all great….thank you! :hug:

astrophe
04-13-2010, 03:59 PM
Your boss strolls in at 8:30? I suggest doing the same.

I'd also WRITE DOWN and log all that you do- if he tries to fire you for not doing enough work you can show what you are doing. I did this when I had an issue with my current job.

Also- stop doing work at home.

The one thing that I learned in all this is no matter how much you do MORE work will be waiting for you AND if you don't get something done guess what? It'll be there tomorrow.

I was just going to write this too so instead I will quote it out.

A.

WarMaiden
04-13-2010, 04:45 PM
So…thanks once again for all your suggestions…and I can promise you that I’ve really taken all of them on board.

You’re all great….thank you!

Thumbs up! I hope it helps in creating the positive changes you're looking for. Keep us updated on your progress. I do think it's important to know "who" you are and to incorporate that in your plan, as you seem to be doing.

natamars
04-13-2010, 07:07 PM
I agree with everyone on the sleep.

What are you doing on weekends - sorry if I missed it? Can you get to the gym on weekends or find another way to get aerobic exercise both days on the weekend and cut out two nights during the week for more time with DH? If the gym is close to work then maybe find something else closer to home - some type of dance studio, swim or spin class, etc. where you could pay by the class?

I usually make it to the gym 3 nights a week and both days on the weekend. My job is also very sedentary so I sympathize with you - the gym is the only real exercise I get. I live near the beach so now that it's getting nicer I'm trying to do that as well.

Good luck!