How to Stay on Track when the Routine has Changed

On Monday I will be starting a completely new chapter in my career and heading back to the office, 5 days a week. I have not worked in an actual office since 2015. My office has been either in my bedroom or just outside of it for 4 years. This big change will be just that. Big! I have to wear real clothes. Shower at a normal hour. Grocery shop after work. Doctors appointments on weekends. Take the day off when my child has a fever!!! And fitting in time at the gym! My anxiety levels are rising as I type…

But before I dive into the fears of the unknown that I will face next week, I need to first reflect on the chapter I am closing. I had been with this company for over 3 years. My very first week I found out my father was diagnosed with cancer. By the second week, we found out it was Stage 3 and my 2 year old daughter spends several days in Intensive Care for a severe asthma attack. Great start. Fast forward 10 months, my husband and I have separated and I am putting my house on the market. I lost my father, my husband, and 95 pounds. I gained perspective, strength in all senses of the word, and love for myself again.

I have been able to attribute a lot of my success in weight loss and my fitness goals to the fact that I work from home full time. I can fit the gym in between meetings, no need to worry about being showered and dressed before my 9am phone call. I eat all of my meals at home where I have full control over the ingredients. It has made the process of losing nearly 100 pounds that much easier. Not that it was easy…it was – IS – hard work, but I had a lot of advantages on my side.

Now I will be changing everything about my daily routine. I will have more exposure to temptations and fewer options for getting in quality time at the gym. Life can’t always, and let’s face it – almost never does – allow for convenience but this cannot stop or undo all of the progress I have made thus far. There will be a few tweaks here and there but here is how I plan to stay on track with this huge change approaching:

  1. Understanding there is no other option – I have to go into the next week with the mindset that my health is a priority. Just as keeping my children healthy and safe is an automatic top priority, so am I. I still need to practice clean eating and I still need to workout 5-6 days a week.
  2. Planning ahead – I have mapped out a few different options for getting my Crossfit programming in during the day so that I can navigate around changes in schedules at the office, at my daughter’s school, and in other events in life. Meals will be tricky at first during orientation, but eventually I will have a new routine of prepping for the week, having plenty of Paleo friendly snacks on hand to curb cravings, and preparing for those lunches out. Making sure I am prepared will keep me from just grabbing an unhealthy or non-Paleo item for the sake of avoiding starvation.
  3. Finding out what other resources can help – When I was going through the interviewing and negotiation process I asked what sort of flexibility I might have for the workday. This is a standard question for the mere fact that I am a single mom, but making sure I would have adequate time for the gym was also on my mind when asking. I also learned that the facility has a fitness center onsite as many other companies are starting to as well. This will come in handy on days when the schedule is tight and a lunch time session is necessary. Asking about the perks will ensure better planning for staying on track.
  4. Avoiding outside temptations – I have been able to stay away from leftover Halloween candy from my coworker’s children, bagel day, many birthdays, and other reasons to have treats in an office during my journey. I am mentally prepared to avoid these temptations by sticking my mentality that I just “don’t eat these things”. I won’t say that I can’t have something, it is just that I don’t eat them. I also will remind myself that most office temptations do not warrant the special occasion cheat day award. Store bought cake, stale bagels, and old candy are not exceptional items that I would want to waste the cheat day and are not worth the stomach pains later.
  5. Staying Positive – No matter what the change is, embracing it is best. I have fears about how being in an office full time again will affect my progress and current routine, however I am also extremely excited for this change! I get to wear the cute clothes I have been buying lately since everything in my closet has needed to be sized down. I miss socializing with coworkers in person more than once a year. I am focusing on all of the good that is coming from this change and seeing the adjustments as just a minor navigational shift that I can completely take on.

Sticking with these tools is a great start to having success during this change. There may be other challenges that I cannot foresee at this time but I am confident I will be able to tackle them as I have a good foundation here for success. Whether it is a change in jobs, a new addition to your family, or another life event that provides new challenges, taking care of yourself is always at the top of the list. When that slips, so will everything else. There may need to be tweaks, you may need to rely on others (gasp!), or you may need to prep a little more the night before. But stopping altogether feels like an impossible solution, which tells me I am ready for this change!

If you have any worries about staying on track during any changes occurring in your life or you have ideas to share on staying on track in the office setting, please leave a comment!

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