Tuesday, September 8, 2015

A Kinda Really Sorta Perfect Day

I love traveling and vacation days as much as the next woman, hell, probably even more.  But there are days that you have to work.  And on days you have to work, I've proven that you can still sorta kinda have a really perfect have-to-work kinda day.  Here's how it went.  

I went to bed the night before early enough that I got a FULL 8 hours of sleep!  Usually if I get 7 hours, I'm thrilled!  

I drank a glass of water before leaving for work.  This starts what I call "The Water Cycle" which, very simply, is a means of getting enough water packed into as early in the day as possible.  Most of us never get enough water throughout the day, and it's a bad idea to drink a ton of water at the end of the day, at least for me, because that means getting up multiple times per night to use the restroom.  So my mantra pertaining to water consumption, while hiking and in general, is "drink early, drink often."  So I guzzle 12 ounces before I leave for work.  This means that before an hour of work is done, I will need to get up to use the restroom.  I bring my cup with me (the one I keep at work is 14 ounces), and refill it on the way to the restroom.  I drink at least a third on the way to the restroom.  On my way back to my desk, I drink another third or so.  In another, say, 40 minutes, I have to use the restroom again, and I bring my cup with me, and so on.  When I do this right, I can drink a gallon of water a day, most of which is before 6 pm, ensuring that I won't disrupt my precious sleep too much.  

I get ready for work, kiss my boyfriend, pet the dog, and I'm off.  I unplug my car and throw the charger in the hatch.  

I work through my German lesson on the way to work.  Each lesson is about 28 minutes, which is just about the average time of my commute.  I usually finish my lesson as I'm pulling into the garage.  Sometimes, on extraordinarily speedy days, I have to sit in my car for a minute to finish the lesson, but usually no more than a minute or two.  Today I was actually repeating a lesson I had done over the weekend, because I felt I needed the extra practice.  It paid off, I did really well this time around!  Excellent!  

I park my car, pull out the charger from the hatch and plug it in.  I grab my three bags: my purse, my gym bag and my food bag, including my breakfast shake, my lunch, a light dinner, a diet soda, four perfectly portioned healthy snacks, and three bags of candy for the suckers who come by my desk in need of chocolate.  

I go up the elevator alone, which is nice because it helps me gather my thoughts.  Sometimes I'm pressured to socialize before I'm ready and I'm still in German-lesson mode or worse, thinking about an audio book I've been listening to that causes me to be completely thrown off by small talk.  I mean, at least the German lessons are essentially small talk, I just have to remember to switch my brain to English.  

I catch the door just before it locks.  When its locked, one must use his or her badge to unlock the door, a small inconvenience in the grand scheme of things, but that somehow is disproportionately glorious when one catches the door before it locks.  

I decide, in the name of getting my 10,000 steps, not to put my food away on my way to my desk.  I greet my colleagues, the few that were around (most people in my row are on vacation or having babies).  I bring everything to my desk first, then sort through things and make a run to the kitchen to put my lunch and dinner away at that time.  

I boot up the computer, turn my two external monitors on, because who doesn't need three monitors.  I scan through my email, answer a few dire ones, and get to work on planning.  Tuesdays and Wednesdays are planning days in my department, meaning we have to do the majority of the tactical parts of our jobs on these two days.  On Mondays I do a lot of prep work, and usually get a head start on some basic planning, which means that because yesterday was a holiday, I'm instantly feeling behind.  

One of my coworkers had made and brought in chips and an amazing green chile dip we affectionately call "crack dip."  I decided to bypass a couple of my healthy snacks in favor of crack dip.  It was sooooo worth it.  Besides, I am not sure I would have eaten enough calories without it.  This, of all things, has been a surprising and disturbing revelation recently for me.  When I thought I was "being good" by eating healthy, low calorie and low carb foods, I actually wasn't eating enough at all.  So instead of losing weight, my body was in a starvation mode I suppose, and conserving all the fat it could.  Talk about the worst scenario!  Here I was depriving myself of delectable food in the name of losing weight, and my weight loss was stagnant or minimal at best.  So frustrating!  Anyways, I've learned my lesson, so now I'm working harder at balancing eating enough and not eating too much.  I can't say I've nailed it completely, but today I ended up just right, which is a good start.  

I plug away at my planning, answering urgent emails as I go.  I didn't get quite everything done, but I got more done than on a typical Monday, and it wouldn't be good if I was expected to complete all of Monday's and Tuesday's tasks in one day anyways.  Throughout the day, The Water Cycle is effective in not only getting me close to my goal of 96 ounces of water, but it also helps me boost my step count.  Because I had the chips and crack dip, I wasn't really hungry when it was time for lunch, so I ate a little late but made sure I ate so I wouldn't be thinking about snacking.  When I realized I was getting frustrated with my work, I cracked open my Diet Pepsi, because for whatever reason, that little bit of a caffeine hit seems to perk up my mood when I'm crabby.  There are lots of days I bypass the soda altogether, because it gets in the way of my water consumption, but I felt it was important today to keep me happy.  

I ended the day with fewer emails than I started with, which is a good thing.  I learned of a few more problems, but dealt with them as best I could for the time.  Still more planning to do tomorrow, so it will still be a crunch, but I felt good about what I accomplished.  

I wrapped up a little later than usual (less than 30 minutes late), grabbed my things and headed to the gym.  I was planning on primarily doing weights, but the ab machine was broken which was terribly disappointing because I freaking love that thing.  So I did four sets on three different machines for arms, and did some legs.  

I felt guilty getting all dressed in workout clothes without really breaking much of a sweat, and my nagging FitBit app indicated that I had yet to hit my goals for steps, miles, calories burned or active minutes.  I hadn't drank all my water for the day, either.  So I filled up my water bottle and got on a treadmill.  Normally my cardio machine of choice at the gym is the bike, but I was thinking that the treadmill would do double duty by giving me my steps, in addition to cardio.  

I only walked, as I was ill-prepared to run.  I didn't even have socks on, and I was wearing my dancing keds, because I had been planning on doing weights only.  Note to self: wear good (running) shoes to the gym always.  The girl next to me started running, after about five minutes of me trying to keep pace with her power walking (ugggh).  I am one of the rare creatures that enjoys a good run, although it's pretty much always outside, and most enjoyable when its not 100 degrees out.  But I've been trying to be good to my knees, and in addition to having bad footwear for running, I also was wearing a fairly loose sports bra.  What I mean is, I need to wear four super restrictive sports bras in order to feel appropriate to run among colleagues (the gym is, after all, in my office building).  So I didn't run.  I jammed to the tunes on my phone via headphones, and passively watched the headlines on the TVs above me.  But it turned out, the shoes were kinda awful for walking, too.  Ten minutes in I was regretting getting on, but you know, you have this sort of gym pressure, everyone knows how long I've been on the machine, and they'll all think I'm stupid if I get off after any less than 30 minutes.  So I put in my time, begrudgingly.  The FitBit app still didn't indicate I had hit any of my goals, but I was over it.  

I listened to my audio book as I headed south in my car.  It is so thoroughly entertaining, and there were some good insights today that I will want to go back to and reference later.  I debated getting a hard copy. and made a mental note to check for one at the library.  That reminded me that I did have another book to pick up at the library, so I decided to head there before going home.  It would give me more steps, anyways.  

Finally, after being home and doing a few small chores, I hit my 10,000 steps, and most of my goals were met, including the water consumption goal which I exceeded by logging a full gallon of water.  

I took a glorious hot shower and put on clean comfies for the night.  

I spent about 40 minutes reading my current book.  

Then, I was so thrilled with how my day has gone, I decided to write this blog.  

So even though I spent 10 hours at work, and even though there were issues and things that could get me down, my shoes weren't suited for the impromptu 30 minute walk on the treadmill, my arms are sore from lifting weights, and my house isn't entirely clean, I'd say it's all about perspective.  I had a kinda sorta really perfect day.  There's only one more goal on my FitBit I have yet to hit - I'm at 4.5 of 5 miles.  So with that, I will sign off so I can do laps around my house until I hit that stupid goal and tire myself out to get another 8 hours of sleep.  

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