From time to time, I have people ask me what I do on a daily basis to maintain my 125-pound weight loss over these last 9 years. Many times, I tell them that what I do daily isn’t what they should probably do daily (because we’re all completely different).
As you can imagine, that’s NOT the answer people want to hear!
We’re curious creatures. We want to learn from people who have been successful. I get it.
What I do today to maintain my health is not the same thing I did 9 years ago when I started my weight loss journey. What I do this month isn’t the same as I did back in June 2015, October 2015, or April 2016 (when I wrote about my other “typical day of living healthfully for me” blog posts).
Life is always changing and routines have to be adjusted.
This is something that most people don’t consider. That’s why so many people fall off the weight loss wagon when something comes up to interrupt their routine.
With that being said, this year I decided to go back to school as a full-time student after taking several years off to focus on my business, Inspire Transformation. So, my current daily routine is structured with my goals in mind: studying for my 5 classes, getting in physical activity to counterbalance some of my sitting, eating healthfully to prevent weight gain, and working with the Inspire Transformation team members to keep the business thriving while splitting my time between classes and business.
If that makes sense to you and you still wanna know how I maintain my health while juggling school & business, read on!
Living Healthfully with Naomi (M/W/F vs. T/Th of March 2018):
M/W/F & T/Th 3:45am-4:30am: This is approximately the time I wake up each morning no matter if it’s a class day or not (yes, even weekends). I’ve found that if I want to fit in time for personal hygiene, fitness, eating breakfast, checking in on business stuff, and making sure last minute class assignments are taken care of, I have to wake up early.
On the days I choose to sleep in later than this, I deeply regret it because I have to make sacrifices somewhere and sometimes that’s personal hygiene or skimping on business responsibilities. And that creates additional anxiety that I just don’t need.
M/W/F & T/Th 5:00-6:00am: 99% of the time, this is the chunk of time I spend on my old ProForm treadmill in my basement. I don’t always spend an entire 60 minutes on the treadmill, but it’s at least 30 minutes of jogging while reading a text book or flipping through flash cards in preparation for an exam. I almost always just do a jog/walk right now just to maintain my physical activity. It usually amounts to about 3 miles. I plan to jog 35 miles on my treadmill for my 35th birthday, so hopefully getting in the 3 miles a day will help me not be as physically destroyed afterward.
I always use my Jaybird X3 wireless headphones when I workout and they’ve almost become an accessory for me because I wear them every day just to shut out noise when I’m studying, too. As the weather warms up, I anticipate I may hit the trails on M/W/F for a more enjoyable running experience. But for now, I have to make due with my basement workout area for morning workouts.
Also, I should note that I do not take a pre-workout supplement before I get on the treadmill in the morning. I personally have a long history with pre-workout supps and the damage they have done to my adrenals over the years isn’t worth the little burst of energy right before exercising. I have been taking a 200mg pure caffeine pill every morning for the last 4 years because I rarely have coffee and that seems to help without any side effects of pre-workout powders.
T/Th 6:00-7:00am: This chunk of time is spent on more personal hygiene, eating breakfast (or making a protein shake with MCT oil), and packing food to take to school with me. Usually the packing of food takes less than 2 minutes because of the meal prep I do on the weekends to ensure I have enough food to eat. I found that I could purchase disposable plastic food containers at a restaurant supply store that allowed me to portion control food without having to lug dirty tupperware containers with me all day long while on campus. I had to come to terms with the fact that this semester I am not saving the environment, but I am saving myself a whole lot of stress. So, I can track the contents of each food container and use a marker to write the calorie count on each lid so that I know what’s in it.
Usually, I take to school: 1 bottle of flavored mineral water, 1 container of mixed raw veggies w/ dip, 1 container of custom-made trail mix (nuts, crackers, granola, etc.), 1 pre-made salad, and 1 container of some sort of dinner food. I track all of my food for Academy members to see in the Behind-the-Scenes 114-Day No Excuse Weight Loss Experiment.
I spend a considerable amount of time on hair & makeup on school days because I try my best to not look 18 years old than most of the other students. Depending on how much time I have, I will either do a full face of makeup or the bare minimum (eyeliner, mascara, and a complexion b.b. cream to correct redness). One thing that keeps it fun with the makeup is the two makeup subscription box services I get each month in the mail. This way, I get to try out products I might not usually try and it gives me a little “reward” feeling when I’m so busy focusing most of my attention on studying or work that I start to feel burned out. It’s nice to have something small to look forward to. I am currently receiving cosmetic subscription boxes from Ipsy and Birch Box. I personally think Birch Box has higher quality makeup choices, but Ipsy has cute totes included with each shipment. So, each has their perks.
As far as what I wear every day? I’ve grown fond of sporting the Inspire Transformation logo, so I usually wear one of the many shirts I have from the Inspire Transformation shop. I also found jeans through Fashion Nova that actually look stylish and don’t make me look like I took a dump in my pants (flat booty problems). Yes, this is the place that has those butt lift panties I talked about on Instagram. And when I want to switch it up (or I want to look nice for a class presentation), I dive into my Le Tote clothing rental service. I’ve been using them off and on for over a year and it’s nice to have the option of NOT buying anymore clothes and just renting clothes and jewelry instead. And you don’t have to wash them before you send them back! Also, I found a light-weight jacket at a thrift store that’s similar to what all the cool kids on campus wear. It’s very lightweight but also keeps you warm while walking from class to class or sitting in a cold classroom. I was happy to find it and it’s been a lifesaver.
M/W/F 6:00am-1:30pm: Non-class days are less rigid in time schedule, but no less rigid on what needs to get done. I typically spend more time in the morning on my workout on M/W/F than on T/Th due to not needing to be on campus for class. So, I’ll jog on the treadmill a little longer of work on some upper-body resistance training with my dumbbells and barbells I’ve collected over the years from thrift stores. I also spend a chunk of time tracking my exercise, food, supplements, moods/thoughts in the Behind-the-Scenes 114-Day No Excuse Weight Loss Experiment spreadsheet for Inspire Transformation Academy members. Since starting the spreadsheet tracking in mid-January, I’ve discovered many new things about my habits and it’s been helpful in troubleshooting what’s working for supplementation and what isn’t. For instance, I started re-taking cordyceps daily for focus/energy/memory while in school and they reeeeeally worked well (even got rid of my constant eye twitch). So well that I wondered if taking more expensive “higher quality” ones would work better? Because I tracked everything, I was able to determine that the cordyceps that cost 10x the amount didn’t work any better at all (in fact, I felt worse taking them).
From about 8-10am, I’m generally focused on business responsibilities. Trying to get caught up with who is doing what, doing administrative stuff, scheduling social media posts, and writing posts (like this). This is a tiny fraction of time I used to spend daily on business. Thankfully with the help of Inspire Transformation team members, I am learning to feel more comfortable with letting go of a few tasks and delegating them.
From about 11-1:30pm, I start diving into class assignments. I usually will create a quick to-do list with ALL of the assignments from the classes and then prioritize based on what absolutely has to get done and what can be put off. I’ve learned that there is no way in hell everything will get done and I will have to half-ass it the whole time in order to maintain my sanity and health and business while in school. After I get that list made and have lunch and take care of my dogs, I get started on the assignments in order of priority. By 1:30pm, I will usually come to a stopping point and take my studying to the campus library. I do this because my husband comes home around 3pm and 95% of the time, I am unproductive when he’s around. So I pack up my dinner and snacks and backpack and drive to the library. But before I leave the house, I make a Honey Do list for my husband to ensure he takes care of our dogs, checks the mail, and helps with chores around the house that I would ordinarily do if I weren’t in school. He isn’t conditioned to do chores like most of us are, so these little reminder notes help me not stress about whether or not everything is going to fall apart while I’m off trying to get my learn on. This is something I also started doing as a result of doing the work in the Academy’s Head Start Master Plan.
T/Th 7:00am-4:30pm: This time is 100% dedicated to school. I take 5 classes (7 hours of class) and only one of the classes has a break before it so that I may have a real meal (this happens around 2pm). Otherwise, I have 10 minutes to get from class to class and typically carry some sort of small food source with me to take a few bites from between classes (usually a protein bar or meatballs). I’d like to take a moment to say that I was surprised by how much I enjoy ALL 5 of my classes even though I didn’t have much say this semester in what I wanted to take. This time, I approached each class from the framework of “How can I apply this to my life?” instead of waiting for the professor to do it for me. And I already have a list of new trainings I will be making for the Academy from my new knowledge from class! See, I didn’t return to school to just earn a degree, I went to learn. And yes, there *IS* a difference.
On my 70 minute break before my last class of the day, I will often walk over to the fitness facility and get changed into workout clothes and do some sort of physical activity for 20 minutes. Depending on how I’m feeling, I will either run on th treadmill, get on a spin bike, or use the stair master for the 20 minutes I have for working out. Then I have to quickly get re-dressed and walk to my car to eat my packed lunch (usually that pre-made salad) and switch out textbooks for my last class of the day. Thankfully, because I do the Head Start Master Plan from the Academy every month, I do a lot of meal prep that helps me make sure I have enough food to eat during my break and make sure I’m packing workout clothes for those quick mid-day workouts on Tues & Thurs.
Also, it’s worth noting that when I workout in the afternoon for that 20 minutes, it usually not about trying to lose weight. It’s more about trying to keep my energy and focus high for my last class of the day (that ends at 4:30pm). Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. I’m still experimenting with what type of activity will help best with maintaining energy. I’ve been focused on cardio, but may switch to resistance training to see if that helps for the afternoons.
M/W/F 1:30-6:00pm: This is library study time for me most days. On a rare occasion (if the weather is bad or if I feel under the weather myself) I will stay home and attempt to do some sort of studying from home. But usually, I’m living it up at the library. This is a DRASTIC change for me because I grew comfortable with the idea of being “dead to the world” after 2pm every day. Generally speaking, I used to find it impossible to mentally and emotionally be on my A-game after 2pm. Now, I HAVE TO push through that discomfort and continue trying to study. I notice that I’m usually less fatigued in the evenings on M/W/F than I am after a full day of classes on T/Th probably due to the fact that sitting in 7 hours worth of classes is draining.
But even on Fridays when I youth mentor as part of a class requirement from 3:30-5pm, I always don’t look forward to it due to fatigue. But I do it because I have to get in 20 hours of mentoring before the end of the semester and because know I always feel better afterward. I started taking cordyceps in the afternoon around 12:30pm (all week long) to help with my focus and energy in the afternoon and I think it’s one of the things that really helped me not be “dead to the world” anymore in the afternoons.
T/Th 4:30-6:00pm: Most days, I hit up the library after my last class of the day… even if I’m mentally zapped (which is most of the time). I generally talk myself into it by being gentle and making a deal with myself that I will do ONLY the easy work for that hour and a half. A lot of the time that means reading a book for my literature class while I listen along with the audiobook version. It takes less concentration to do and is still very effective to my learning. Otherwise, I will spend that time in the library re-writing lecture notes from slides or doing some social media stuff for business. Anything that’s not going to require a considerable amount of brain power after a long day of being in classes that require you to think critically and participate in group discussions.
I also use this time to finish up recording how my day went in the Behind-the-Scenes 114-Day No Excuse Weight Loss Experiment spreadsheet for Inspire Transformation Academy members. By this time of the day, I usually have more interesting insights on why I want to eat when I’m not hungry and why I keep skipping workouts (if I am). Because this is the time of the day when I really start to make excuses for myself, so it’s easy to capture those excuses on the spreadsheet so that I can review them later and make better plans of action for myself for the future.
M/W/F & T/Th 6-8:00pm: This time of day I’m at home with my husband. I try my best to spend a little bit of quality time with him before we both have to get to sleep. I usually catch up with whatever he’s struggling with on that day. Most of the time, it’s easy/passive conversation and about 1/4th of the time it feels like I have to talk him down from a ledge. Not literally, but I have to put my own shit aside and genuinely listen to him and try to help him with his struggles of the day. It’s almost like a therapy session. I have to try to remain as unbiased and objective as possible in helping my husband through his thought process and processing his emotions while I am mentally and emotionally exhausted myself. But I know if I don’t take the time to patiently “be with him” and show I care, I will regret it later as it ends up escalating into several hours arguing over nothing other than him not being heard.
I’ve learned that choosing to do the hard thing (helping him when I’m already exhausted) is far more beneficial for both of us. This is the price you pay for having a husband who actually shows his emotions and you not being able to be with him earlier in the day to help him process them when you have more energy to do so. It adds to the exhaustion sometimes, but I imagine it would be 100x more difficult with children, so I shouldn’t complain. But I seriously wonder sometimes what kind of drugs some people are on who DO have to juggle it all and have kids. For me, I cannot just check-out with alcohol at the end of the day because I have so much to remember and do in classes, so that coping mechanism is 80% of the time not an option for me.
M/W/F & T/Th 8-9:00pm: I’m almost always in bed at this time unless I have a last-minute assignment that I am still working on or a pressing business issue. Usually, I am able to fall asleep pretty quickly. Some nights, I will take melatonin, Natural Calm, and/or GABA powder to aid in sleep… but they are usually unnecessary as I tucker myself out on my own. You can’t get a full night’s rest unless you go to sleep early. I’m one of those people that needs 8+ hours of sleep each night to perform at my best. I tend to fall asleep while reading a book. Going to sleep early also prevents night-time snacking. So, there’s a bonus.
So, as you can see… my idea of living healthfully may be different from yours… and it’s certainly different from other health experts. I do what works for me right now, and that is always changing (as I stated in the beginning of this post).
One thing that remains constant from month to month: I work in some sort of physical activity, being mindful of what I choose to eat, and learning to appreciate all of the small things that make life awesome.
What does living healthfully look like right now? Leave a comment and let me know!
>> Having difficulty with living a life that is healthy yet flexible? Consider joining Inspire Transformation Academy! Flexibility is a huge problem for many people looking to lose weight and keep it off! Some of us are great with routine but then when the unexpected happens, we allow the stress to take over and we give up on everything healthy. Or maybe you have trouble with setting a routine for yourself because you thrive on variety? It’s all covered in the 68+ tools and trainings inside the Academy portal! Click here to find out more!
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