I’ve been thinking more and more about my habits and how they’re effected by differing situations. Like how it’s so much easier for me to run when I know that I have a race I’m training for or someone to show up to run with. Location also seems to have an impact on my habits…..but not so much whether I’m at home or away. At first I thought that it was easier for me to give up my “good habits” when I wasn’t at home, but then I realized that location is only part of the equation. What’s the other part?
I think this may have something to do with me being an Obliger, but it may also be something more….I don’t think I’ve hit the nail quite on the head just yet.
The two ways my habits go astray are in regards to eating and exercise. Luckily sleeping isn’t too often effected by others (although lack of others causes me to have bad sleep) and keeping to a schedule seems to be semi-consistent (with how well I get things done) no matter where I am or who I am with.
Let’s start with eating.
At home I am the primary shopper, meal planner, and cook. For the most part I have cleared our house of things I don’t really want in it and have tried to cut back on our meated meals. The exception is fish that my husband catches and venison he hunts. Why? Because these are two of his hobbies and I’m not in the business of taking away people’s enjoyment. Also, the fish is caught in the wild and the deer is hunted in the wild. Neither of them are commercially raised and in the days of hunter gatherers….this is the way it would have gone down.
When I travel for work I get to eat completely how I want. I don’t even have to take into consideration kid/husband preferences etc. I eat mostly vegan at those times. This makes me feel good in my body just like it does at home when I eat mostly plant based foods. I’m not going to lie, I’m not doing this for an ethical or social reason and I did eat Halloween candy like no body’s business.
When I travel to family members’ houses it’s a different story. Neither my family nor my husband’s family eats well. There is a lot of meat, refined grains, dairy, and a large lack of fresh food. I always feel awful in my system after visiting them. It takes me days to feel “normal” again. This used to happen to me when I traveled for work until I started cutting out meat. Now, not an issue.
Then there is exercise.
When I am at home I sometimes make excuses not to exercise. I get busy with other work, don’t want to push the stroller, or feel like I’m invading everyone else’s space when I’m doing an indoor workout. Sometimes I give myself permission to skip workouts in order to spend more time with the family. These are lies I tell myself. I’ve done this when I have no other excuse other than….I just don’t want to at this moment. I think that’s the best excuse because I’m probably listening to my body more than I give myself credit for.
When I travel for work I’m usually working out. Therefore, other workouts seem tedious at times. However, when I teach mostly a lecture workshop, it seems more necessary than ever to move. I feel this when I sit in the car for too long or on the airplane forever. Yet, being alone sometimes makes it hard to go to a silent and creepy hotel fitness center to workout. When I know that I need to in order to benefit someone else (like prepping for a race) I seem to get it done. If I have told someone I’m going to workout and then don’t….I feel guilty. But there are plenty of times I’ve given myself permission to watch Property Brothers instead of moving.
Finally, when I travel to family members’ houses I find that my activity level drops off the longer I am there. When we get to my in-laws’ house on a Friday afternoon I can usually still coax myself out for a run (and lately to do my sun salutations) if I didn’t do it in the morning. But, when Saturday rolls around it’s all sitting around the house or going out shopping. Sunday….don’t even ask. And when it’s at my mom’s house I feel guilty going out to exercise because I see her so rarely during the year.
This has all been on my mind lately with the upcoming holiday season. I am already behind on my sun salutations goal and won’t finish before Thanksgiving or on Thanksgiving. I’m giving myself days off that I know will be unreasonable for me to complete (like this weekend when I’m teaching yoga 10 hours each day). But I need to think ahead for some strategies to keep me going on the right track.
How do you stay active and on track when you’re around others who don’t eat or exercise like you?
Thank you to Amanda for the TOLT space!