Excuses, Frustration, Macarons

Yesterday I ate six macarons. I bought them at the mall, where I went to get some walking in without getting sweaty in my work clothes. I saw the macaron store and knew that if I walked in, I’d buy something. I walked in, and knew that if I bought something, I’d eat it. I bought twelve, and knew that if I put them in my desk drawer they’d never make it home. I ate six, giving myself a stomachache and a case of the angries, before I chucked the other half. They weren’t even that good.

Then I sat there confused, trying to figure out what went wrong. I did my strength workout the day before and was proud of myself. I did yoga the night before and it was super challenging but still felt amazing. I’d only just finished a 35min mall walk and was feeling pretty good about finally getting a conditioning workout in on a non-strength day.

I’m super exhausted this week. Thanks to car issues, we’re staying at my mom’s house again, which means sharing a bed with my floppy-sleeping, cuddle monster kid. I love the cuddles, but I’m pretty positive it’s impacting my sleep big time.

Is that an excuse? Maybe. Probably. Is an excuse inherently a bad thing? I feel like the way we use it, it always means it’s something you say to lie, to cover up the fact that really you COULD have done that thing you were supposed to do but didn’t.

And holy frack. There it is. (See, writing brings answers sometimes.) I know why I ate those damned mediocre macarons.

I felt bad about myself. A comment left on my blog after I asked to be called out made me feel bad. I felt like I was being judged, like I might be lying to myself, like maybe I’m not doing very well after all. So what was the super offensive, hurtful comment? (It was neither of those things.)

Great post and I’m going to give you some #tribelove right now that my coach always calls me on. Making excuses. That whole paragraph about exercise is full of excuses about why it doesn’t get done but at the same time you have some good ideas in there about how to make them work. You like to work out in the morning but need time to wake up? Get up a few minutes earlier. Seriously, if I had a dime for the number of times my coach told me “work it out” when I gave an excuse as to why I couldn’t get a workout in, I’d have enough money to go to Denver.

As for yummy, healthy foods? Pinterest is your friend. Also, buy a spiralizer from Amazon for about 30 bucks and start making zucchini noodles instead of pasta. Life changing.

I know. Bari’s so mean, right? Except that she’s NOT. She’s doing exactly what I asked her to do. Here was my response yesterday morning:

This is something I really struggle with. During the work week, for instance: sometimes I can get my workout in at lunch, but if I have a project due I can’t skip out when work is needed. After work, I have to leave right away to pick up my daughter, make dinner, walk the dog, do the dishes, do the laundry… it’s all on me because my husband travels. My workouts take an hour or more, so to do them in the mornings and have time to shower and get to work means getting up at 5am. As it is, I’m barely sleeping enough. I know it sounds like excuses, and maybe it is…but I genuinely don’t know how to work it in.

Look at that. A whole paragraph of excuses, right? But…I mean, is it? I’ve talked before about how ridiculous my days are. Most days I don’t get a lunch break. It’s just me to get myself and the kid ready and off to our places every morning. The dog routinely wakes me up in the middle of the night for a walk because she’s getting old and her bladder sucks. I’ve been sleeping with the kid for a week and she throws arms/legs over me every hour or so and it wakes me up. I wake up feeling 100% exhausted already. When I leave work, I’ve already had to depend on my mom or dad to pick the kid up from school because I can’t get there in time. I get home, make dinner, eat dinner, walk the dog, handle bath time, do story time, chat about the day, and it’s all I can do to stay awake once she’s headed off to sleep. I feel stretched to my limits and I don’t know how to make it different. Yes, I could wake up earlier, but I’m ten seconds from falling asleep as it is.

And yes, I could take a different approach and say this “isn’t a priority” right now versus I don’t have time, but I feel defensive about it because the priorities I’m putting ahead of it are my kid, food, sleep, my dog, and my job. I do a lot better on the weekends, when my husband is home and I have backup and sleep time and no work to worry about. I get my workouts in without feeling crazed, and the kid gets one-on-one time with her dad, which they both need.

I just…I don’t know where the line is. What’s an “excuse” versus an explanation? In what cases am I making the right choice? Do I sacrifice sleep or time with my kid to exercise? Do I risk work falling behind at the new job that I love so that I can get to the gym? Is it true that those things would happen if I made time for the gym more often? Would I be even more exhausted? Would I be missing important kid time? Would work potentially suffer?

Right now the answers feel unclear. Would I be more tired? Maybe, or maybe I’d be less tired because working out would give me energy. Would I miss kid time? Well, yes. I mean there’s no way around that. If I work out during my time with her, then I’m not with her. I could work out after she goes to bed instead, but that makes it really tough for me to fall asleep. Would work suffer if I go to the gym at lunch? I think this is a super unpredictable answer. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. There are days when I could get my work done even with a gym break but if everyone else in my department is busting it to get work done, I want to be here helping instead of ducking out.

Dangit. I just don’t know. I’m feeling frustrated and a little angry. Of the utmost importance though, I want to thank Bari for her comment. It got me thinking about some big, important parts of this whole journey. If I can think them through, I’ll be able to come to conclusions I’m comfortable with and make decisions from an informed place.

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17 thoughts on “Excuses, Frustration, Macarons

  1. Is it realistic to expect heroic workouts when your life is like this? I think if you start focusing on rest and restorative workouts (walking, yoga) and nutritious food that supports you rather than calorie restriction, you might feel better.

    You can probably find playtime with your little girl of the #wycwyc variety too.

    You are in a hole right now. You need to climb out of it before you try to build a skyscraper.

    This is not enabling — I’m calling you out on being too hard on yourself and not accepting the reality of your situation.

    • I love you too, Jen! I’m still trying to figure out what works best for me, but knowing you’ve got my back is so helpful. Thanks for the #toughlove

  2. Oh, it is so hard isn’t it. I could have written this. I have no advice, only empathy!!! I do know that food is what I turn to for any default emotion. Those that aren’t afflicted with the same condition find it very hard to understand that I am sure….as would I, as it is so unrational.

  3. Oh girl. ME TOO. So when I say all this stuff I’m about to say, I want you to know that I’m speaking to myself too, 100%. #tribelove

    How about looking for the compromise? You daughter can go for a walk with you and the dog. My girl LOVES to do yoga with me. (Seriously, get the kid a leotard, a sparkly skirt, and maybe even her own purple mat = instant yogini. TRUTH.) That way you get in everything you’re aiming for, AND you set a good example for your daughter, and make healthy activity a part of her days as well.

    And if that won’t work for you, aim for #wycwyc and get whatever you can. Don’t beat yourself up if it’s not a full hour of whatever every single day. Make your food as healthy as it can be. You have to eat, and more weight loss happens in the kitchen than in the gym anyway. Again, have you daughter help you cook, or at least hang out in the kitchen while you cook – more family time! – and make your food work for you. A good diet will do more for your energy levels than a bit of exercise.

    There ARE ways to make it work. You just need to find what works for you. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your schedule, and even your kid’s. ;)

    • I think maybe where I’m going wrong is with WHAT I’m aiming to do. It’s my strength workouts that I’m finding either tough to do, or when I do them they’re replacing the walks and yoga a lot of the time. I want to be doing strength training three days a week (which takes an hour) and either walks or yoga every day. Is that aiming for too much?

  4. Time for more #tribelove #toughlove — you spent an awful lot of words on 6 crappy mall cookies. I’m sure by now you’ve pooped them out so move on. Don’t feel bad about YOURSELF over that food choice. Being tired makes people hungry — it’s one of those hormone things. In losing weight it’s really more about the food than the exercise so if you truly can’t fit in a workout, don’t sweat it. Focus on the food right now.

  5. I second the comment above about finding ways to include your daughter in your exercise. We go to the pool in the mornings before work/school and then in the evenings, we take a 30 minute neighborhood walk. It’s the only way I could make it work Monday thru Friday. The evening walk is a great time to catch up on the day too. I find we’re both a lot happier & well rested with the routine.

    Also seconding someone else’s comment, food does have a greater impact on weight than exercise. That said, the binge eating is probably being stoked by emotions and thoughts that might be tamed by those regular evening walks outside.

  6. You ready? Here we go.

    Strength training does not take an hour. THAT strength training takes an hour. So the question becomes is 3x a week strength training aiming for too much, or is 3x a week of THAT strength training aiming for too much?

    Can you lower your expectations until you’re sleep schedule is figured out? Can you split the strength training up into smaller sessions throughout the day? You already know that Evi rocks the yoga…can she rock hanging with you while you do some squats?

    • Why the hay bales haven’t I thought of splitting it up yet? Damn. Now I feel ridiculous. I guess it’s set up as warmup, exercise, cool down, so I was feeling like it had to all be done in a unit. Maybe it doesn’t? Huh. Something to think on, for sure.

  7. Your life is huge right now. It’s OK to be able to do everything! And if you have to choose between sleeping and workout? Getting enough sleep is much more important!

    Doing a workout and being sleep deprived is not the answer!

    Most of an hour at lunch walking or doing yoga is what you can do at the moment. It is enough.

  8. First, stop being so mean to yourself. You did not eat all 12 macaroons, that shows self control and good decision making. Second, radical self acceptance. You did that and you are still an amazing woman, a great friend, and a phenomenal mother. You are tired and tired people make less than ideal choices, accept that and forgive yourself. Third, as for working through lunch, stop it now. No ifs ands or buts. You take that time to exercise, eat, or just breathe. I don’t care what everyone else is doing. Everyone else isn’t there in the evening when you suffer the effects of your lunchtime decision. What you get accomplished work wise in that time is not one tenth as much as you taking care of yourself will add to your overall work performance. Fourth, why is depending on your Mom of Dad to pick up Evi a bad thing. Supposedly it takes a village to raise a child, I’m sure your village is happy to relieve your stress just as you would be to do the same for them. Rant over!

    • I love you. You’re super right about working through lunch. I promise to take at least a twenty minute break AWAY from my desk EVERY day no matter what happens.

  9. OMG Sweetie I am SOOOOO sorry! I had no intention of making you feel bad and you don’t have to thank me for that. I’m not even sure what to say. I think the commenters here have some really great ideas especially about breaking up the strength workout and getting your kiddo to exercise with you.. I applaud you for throwing away the rest of the cookies. Seriously. I have a really hard time with that too and it makes me nuts when the kids want things like Doritos in the house because they are my kryptonite.

    You are doing great and I think if you employ the WYCWYC concept you will continue to do well. And I need to stop typing and making people feel badly. Again, I’m really sorry.

    • You so did nothing wrong here. NOTHING! Now I feel bad for making YOU feel bad. You spoke with love, and I adore that. I’m happy to know you.

  10. Oh I so get this. I rarely can tell what is an excuse vs what is a valid explanation or concern. Am I tired? yes, but i am always tired… Am I hungry? yes, but I am always hungry… so what is the too much vs too little balance.

    Heck if I know.

    However it always helps me to focus on one thing. Pick one thing to do well this week. Maybe it is strength training, maybe it is food, maybe it is water. Pick one thing and anything else is a bonus. Who knows maybe it will help.

    Either way, we are on your side!

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