Posted by: Hallie | April 27, 2009

Planning and Awareness: What Works for Me

(The title of this post for some reason makes me think of that song…what hurts the most…is being so close…seriously, when did I start liking country music?)

Is the month of May a clusterf*** for anyone else (sorry to be vulgar, but that’s my new favorite expression). I have the following events lined up:

  1. Hosting a dinner party tomorrow (maybe…long story)
  2. Social Media seminar Wed in which I might have to talk in front of a group of PR people (ahh!)
  3. Jury Duty Thurs
  4. Outdoor festival/concert Sat
  5. My birthday next Wed
  6. My birthday party next Fri
  7. My birthday dinners (at least 3 because we all know your birthday is more than just a day) dunno yet when these will be
  8. Mother’s Day (not sure yet what I’m doing for mom)
  9. Trip to Palm Springs 3rd week in May
  10. Another dinner party and another dinner date

That’s off the top of my head and nothing work-related! I really love my down time, even though it’s all fun things coming up. And, notice all the food/alcohol-related events? Yeah. So basically, it’s a pretty bad time to embark on a fitness and diet program. But really, when is it ever a good time? This week, I am giving myself two modest goals to start out:

  • Awareness. I can be a big emotional and habit-eater, so I’m working on stopping and thinking about what I’m eating before I have it. For example, for dinner I had sautéed Swiss chard with leftover spaghetti sauce (w/ground turkey and veggies, a la Mitch). At first, I took out two slices of sourdough bread to have on the side—they’re small pieces!—but decided that since I was going to have dessert for sure, I only “needed” one slice. I’m also trying really hard to identify my feelings at work, e.g., “you are not hungry, you are stressed/bored/procrastinating, so get some water and deal with it.” And that is how I talk to myself.
  • Planning. I have to be smart about planning meals and workouts, or they just won’t happen (well the meals will happen, but they will be expensive and fattening). I use Google Calendar as my planner, which I love because it’s synched up to my calendar at work. When I feel overwhelmed by life, planning and scheduling makes me feel more in control, especially on the exercise front.

When you feel overwhelmed with your schedule, what works for you to make it manageable? How do you fit working out/healthy eating in with a boatload of plans that disrupt your normal game? I need more tips! And now I have that song stuck in my head again…

Nina is trying to tell me to work out with her more…she’s so subtle.


Seasonal Selections to come later in the week. I felt the need to rant tonight. So thanks 🙂



  1. wow these are a lot of things ahead of you! good luck on time management and stuff!
    I guess for me I just prioritize all of them, and list which ones I need to do first. Sometimes exercise may need to be compromised, but you try your best to fit it in any way you can. Also, it helps to actually make a detailed schedule, as in, 1pm-2pm: plan menu, 2-3pm: go grocery shopping, etc. Even if you don’t follow exactly, they really help organize your time and eliminates wasteful time of you going, “wait, what am I supposed to do now?”
    GOOD LUCK once again!

  2. When I have a crazy busy schedule coming up, instead of planning way ahead of time, I plan one day at a time. I tend to freak out when I look at the big picture and start to get panicky about everything I have to do. But if I start my day saying, “okay, today I’m going to do this, this and this,” it all of a sudden becomes a lot more manageable.

    I’m all for splurging on birthdays, but I know it can be scary if you plan on splurging multiple times! Maybe you can make one day a dinner splurge, one a cake/dessert splurge and one an alcohol splurge? Then you’re not going all-out for every celebration but still getting to treat yourself 🙂 Good luck!!

  3. Awareness is so key!!!

  4. Aw what a cute puppy!! I always have a healthy snack packed with me where ever I go 🙂

  5. You are definitely busier then me in May but I’m pretty busy too, it’s easy to get overwhelmed don’t forget to schedule some time to relax in there!

  6. awareness and planning are both so critical — you are already ahead of the game in talking all of this out. Good luck getting through all of your tasks! hang in there 😉

  7. Google Planner? I’ll have to check that out! I’m a planning freak! I don’t ever leave the house without my planner and a pen 🙂

  8. What a busy (but fun!) schedule! It sounds like you have a great game plan, though. Awareness and planning are key!

    When I’m really busy, I try to fit in extra exercise wherever I can. I like to take walks at lunch which also helps me destress at the same time. If there’s any way you can (and have time to) walk to do your errands, that’s great, too! I tend to treat gym classes or gym plans as doctor’s appts that I can’t cancel – unless something truly amazing comes up. I think, “there will always be another happy hour if I miss this one!” My friends are used to me saying, sorry I can’t hang out, I am going to the gym! Sometimes we even make plans to run or walk together – saves money and it’s good for you! We even have healthy potlucks afterward occasionally.

    I have a friend who meal plans and makes several days worth of meals at once, so she isn’t tempted to get something more expensive and fattening. I tend to like to cook when I get home – I like chopping and cooking before sitting down to a meal – but I think this could def. work for some people!

    Awareness is huge! I’m working on that, too! I just keep trying to remember – this is not my last chance to eat a cookie, or whatever it is I want to stuff my face with. I can have one whenever I want, etc.

  9. Your goals are awesome, and it sounds like you have a lot of fun ahead of you!

    I think it kind of comes down to priorities. I’ve made my workouts and healthy eating a huge priority over the past few years, and, most of the time, the other things have to fit around those concerns and not the other way around. Having said that, I’ve definitely had weeks of vacation where my priority was… gelato. Exercise and diet just come first 99% of the time.

    To me, the important thing is to figure out what you want your priorities to be and then just do your best! That’s all you can ask of yourself. Try to get in your planned workouts, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you miss a day. Try to get some activity in some other way.

    You are going to have a great month of May and happy upcoming birthday to you!!

  10. Great pick of your puppy! I agree that awareness is key, but, ultimately I think putting your foot down and prioritizing what you really NEED to do versus what you WANT to do makes a huge difference. Good luck – looks like you have a big schedule ahead of you.

  11. I am a super freak planner when I am stressed or busy! I also survive via google calendar… and lists. Lots of lists. I have 2 magnetic lists on the fridge. And a white board.
    List #1- Weekly menu
    List #2- Grocery list
    Whiteboard- Meal ideas for next week

    I have also found that I feel SO much better if I get up early and get my workout over with before I do anything. It’s just one less thing I have to worry about for the rest of the day!

  12. I love that song! Not a big fan of country music as well, but I really like that one. “and having so much to say… and watching you walk away. never knowing what could have been, and not seeing that loving you is what I was trying to do” hahaha
    As for starting on a fitness program, it’s never too late! Check out the gyms within your area if you’re willing to invest. Or start at home! Just involve yourself in physical activities.

  13. may is going to be ridic for me, too!! well, specifically, i’m not sure how i’ll survive the first two weeks of may. (plus, i’m also a may bday girl :-)) once i’m past the 15th, everything will be smooth sailing. i hope i make it!

    i try to stick to normal eating/workout routine as much as possible, but if some things start to slip, i try to give myself a break. flexibility is key to sanity!

  14. hahahahahha i love the word clusterf*** too!

  15. […] Serious Swiss Chard First off, thanks for all your support and tips in my last post. I am definitely going to take some of the tips to heart in this next month whenever I feel […]

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