Sunday, August 15, 2010

How I spend my time: now and before

In  the journey to a healthier body and a healthy life, it has become very apparent to me that I need to change the way I spend my waking hours. Prior to my big decision, it's safe to say I spent the vast majority of my time in a sedentary position.

It's easy to do that when you value intellectual stimulation above all other kinds: movies, TV, books. I love fiction. I love the way it transports me to another time, another world, someone else's body. Typically, my favorite people to be transported into are strong, smart, athletic women. These women hold the power of intelligence and beauty simultaneously, and can overcome any challenge.

Now that I'm trying to examine myself and my motivations more closely, I'm realizing these fictional women are who I'd like to be: a strong, beautiful, smart woman who can do anything. Well, guess what: I'm strong, beautiful, and smart! I CAN do anything, and I'm going to prove that by losing the extra weight and becoming healthier.

Going back to the subject of how I spend my time, being a fiction junkie means I would spend a ton of my free time relaxing, reading or watching. Obviously, that is not conducive to weight loss. Since I'm a geek and a numbers person, I'm going to now quantify how my hours were spent in a week, and how I'm now trying to allocate them:

- Sleep: 52.5 hrs/week or 31.2% of the week.
- Work (including commute): 50 hrs/week or 29.8% of the week.
- TV/Computer/Couch (est. from 7pm to 10:30 on weekdays, and 12 hrs on weekends): 41.5 hrs/week or 24.7% of the week.
- Rest (as in remainder): 24 hrs/week or 14.3% of the week
Total hours in a week: 168

Of course I was doing all sorts of things during remaining 24, like grocery shopping, cleaning, going to the movies, dinner with friends, sometimes even dancing, but there was no activity that I did regularly that I can quantify.

- Sleep: 52.5 hrs/week or 31.2% of the week.
- Work (including commute & 20 min walk at lunch): 50 hrs/week or 29.8% of the week.
- Gym Exercise (1 hr/day): 7 hrs/week or 4.2% of the week
- TV/Computer/Couch (est. from 8:30pm to 10:30 on weekdays, and 6 hrs on weekends): 22 hrs/week or 13.1% of the week.
- Rest (as in remainder): 36.5 hrs/week or 21.7% of the week
Total hours in a week: 168

I'm so glad I'm doing this. I knew I spent way too much time on my couch, but 25% of my time? That's too much! Now, introducing exercise and reducing couch time, I seem to have more time in the "rest" bucket.

I think I should set a goal to exercise more in the weekends in order to avoid letting the hours from "rest" go into "couch".

So, aside from being a geek, a numbers person, and a fiction junkie, I'm also fond of brainstorming.
Ideas to convert mental stimulation time into active time:
- Get the channel lineup from the gym, and plan my cardio machine workouts during TV shows or movies I want to see.
- Download Audio books into my ipod and go walking while I listen.
- Do step exercises on my Wii balance board while watching TV.
- Ab crunches on the floor while watching TV.
- Watch movies/tv while cleaning the house.

As for social time, I also need to find ways of getting exercise in with socializing. I'm thinking of asking my friend to go swing dancing with me.

Any effort is better than no effort, right?

1 comment:

  1. Hey Fernanda! We are in the same boat (I've 135 pounds total to far lost 31 one of them)...I agree, any effort is better than no effort.

    some exercise chick told me that for cardio to have any effect I had to be doing it for 45 minutes...but I can only do 15 minutes right now (plus 20 in pilates), but the way I look at it, that's more than I was doing when I was a sofa spud. ;) Right? Babysteps!

    Good luck on your journey!