This blog post is geared towards working women - particularly those working is stressful corporate enironments. The reason I want to focus in on working women is because I am one, I can relate to many situations and 100% understand what it means to work full time as a woman in the corporate environment.
Many clients come to me saying
that time is the biggest constraint they have to living a fit and healthy lifestyle. So I've decided to document my daily lifestyle during my busiest time of the year, "quarter end close" to provide some tips on how to stay on top of your fit life despite the demands of work life.
To give you some background, quarter end is a time where I work everyday for the first 12 calendar days of the quarter to produce/publish quarterly financials statements. For these 12 days I work about 9 am to 9 or 10 pm each day. My company provides us with dinner every night (breakfast and lunch for any days that fall on the weekend) and snacks to make it through late nights, so you know what that means -- eating out everyday and a pantry full of processed fatty snacks. So how do I survive without gaining a pound or missing a scheduled day or workouts?
Take a look a day in the life:
Day 1 - The first day landed on Thursday this quarter. I had planned to ramp up my weight training workouts for the new month, so my first step was to ensure I made it to weights class. I took a break from work at 11:15 to go to our the gym in our office and attending the weights class put on by the certified trainer. 1 hour of heavy lifting gave me the energy boost I needed. I recovered with plenty of protein-- a 4 oz chicken breast over a bed of veggies topped with 3 chopped egg whites. Dinner time came and the crew had ordered Persian food. Rice, lots of pita bread, and many different types of meat. I chose to stick with lean meat. I ate the chicken kabobs - chicken, onions, red and green peppers. I was sure to drink plenty of water before dinner and felt fully satisfied afterwards despite not having any carbs! I passed on all snacks, only drinking spa water after 7 pm.
Day 2- I started the the day with a Greenberry shakeology shake. I simply mixed the packet with water and ice and blended in my magic bullet. It only took 5 minutes and was a perfect and filling meal substitute! I took advantage of the in-office gym at lunch and attended a killer bootcamp class with our awesome trainer from Fit Squad LA! For lunch, I ate leftover chicken and roasted veggies. For snacks I had a mix of skinny pop and various fruits.
Dinner that night was tricky-- pizza. No matter how you slice it, it's never a healthy option (unless you try the cauliflower pizza from my last post). Unfortunately no salads were ordered so I ate the toppings off two slices while my co workers laughed at me. But hey, I wanted to continue to avoid carbs in the evenings considering the extra grease I was having.
Day 3 - 90 degrees and clear skies on a perfect LA morning, I woke up ready to hit the beach! Unfortunately I was headed the other direction on the 405 to work craving a Portos cheese roll that I knew would be waiting in the office. I still had a cheat meal left for the week. However I kept the goal in mind, clean eating to maximize my energy. I had a bowl of fruit instead. Lunch time I ate chicken breast but couldn't resist a sweet cheat with a piece of the carrot cake from Stone fire grill. Fortunately, I was off by 5 pm and was able to go home and prepare dinner-- cauliflower crusted pizza with a glass of red wine. No workout for the day - I decided to use Saturday as my day off, rather than Sunday.
Day 4 - I started the day at the Village farmers market in Woodland Hills. I stumbled upon many great snacks to stock up for the week including a protein cupcake by Swole Cakes, veggie chips and avocado hummus.
In the office I passed up bagels and lox (my favorite breakfast) for a bowl of friuit and kept lunch light with a delicious Chinese chicken salad from California Chicken Cafe. After an 8 hour day I was exhausted, but I remembered the carrot cake I had the previous day and how much I hate when clients give me excuses. So I powered through and went to my gym downstairs to get in a 1 hour cardio workout on the treadmill, followed by a few chin ups.
Days 5-8 - The next few days were challenging to get through in terms of energy but I kept a similar pattern in terms of meals and workouts. I drank a Shakeology shake each day the week for breakfast and got in a workout each day:
Monday - Circuit training
Tuesday - Super Sweat and Stretch
Wednesday - T Bata
Thursday - Weight Lifting
Dinners include a mix of CPK salads, sushi and Thai food. Since excluding carbs was more difficult with the menu options this week, I had to practice strict portion control and ensure each meal was balanced with enough veggies, high protein, and moderate servings of carbs.
Day 9 - I was entering the final stretch, and realized we could finish early. Instead of going to the bootcamp class at lunch I worked to finish. After a few dedicated hours the team was finished by 6 pm. We celebrated (and had a cheat meal) with happy hour drinks and appetizers.
Day 10 - I made up for the previous night with a long morning run.
Day 11- Since we did not have to work my team at work joined others from our company to walk the AIDS Walk Los Angeles where we completed 6.2 miles (in the blazing 100 degree weather in west Hollywood that morning). I completed some stregnth training when I got home that evening rather than taking Sunday off since I used Friday as my day off.
Day 12- I made it to the final day!! As we had finished most of the work by Friday, I was relaxed and at ease on Monday and feeling great that I had not skipped a single day or working out during the quarter close. An egg white omelete with turkey and veggies was on the menu for breakfast. Circuit trianing was the afternoon class. I returned to my desk to see the email that Pazooki's were ordered as a thank you for all our hard work. I tried to resist, but couldn't help but indulge in a few bites as a celebration that the crazy hours were over.
As you can see, I wasn't perfect, I had a couple sweets and greasy meals and I adjusted my workout schedule, however, I went to the gym the same number of days as I do on my normal schedule and I stayed true to my clean eating for more than 80% of the time. If you've heard of the 80/20 rule, it's all about balance. It's not about crazy fad diets, or completely cutting out anything to stay fit. Creating healthy habits that you can maintain 80% of the time will allow for an overall healthy life. You can work full time (even in stressful, busy times) yet still maintain a balanced fit lifestyle. Stay tuned for more tips on how to balance work and fitness.