As a society, we act like being overweight and obese is an “epidemic”… but in reality it is in our culture to over eat, under move and live an unhealthy lifestyle…
Here’s a day in the life example from someone I recently talked to on the phone. This is used with their full permission and they will be referred to as “Client A”.
Client A was scheduled to wake up at 7:00am. They hit the snooze button about 5 times before getting out of bed closer to 7:30am. They know they needed to be to work by 8:00am so they skipped the shower, put on clothes that were “clean enough” and headed out the door. It struck them as they didn’t have coffee so they stopped at fast food joint to grab a $1 cup of joe… and they ended up buying a full meal plus an extra couple things from the dollar menu once the smell hit their senses.
They ate while waiting in traffic and rushed into the office several minutes late hoping their boss wouldn’t notice their tardiness. As they plunged in their chair their stress and anxiety started to rise because they remembered everything they had left undone from the night before…
About 9:00am it was time for a break and they couldn’t wait because the grease from breakfast started to catch up with them… They skipped their walk to take care of business and then had to rush back to their chair to avoid any backlash. Knowing it was going to be a long time before lunch, they decided to reach into their “secret stash” of snacks in their desk to pass the time.
Waking up from the fog of the morning to go to lunch, client A realized they hadn’t really gotten any work done… not sure what they had done for the last several hours, they began to wonder what it would be like to be somewhere else. Thinking about a beach vacation to escape the monotony of work or an exciting adventure to Vegas was sure to ease the discomfort of a job they had been at for 15 years… never moving forward because they felt they were always falling behind. Maybe today was the day they would hit the lottery they thought… but after a few they realized it had been a couple weeks since they bought a ticket.
It was time for lunch and a few coworkers were going to skip the cafeteria and eat at the local brewery so client A decided to tag along. It wouldn’t hurt to have the burger and beer special, no one would really know, right? Client A thought it was nice to be invited even though they didn’t say a word the whole time. They didn’t know how to act or who they should be so it was easier to fit in with silence then risk the rejection of not being invited again because the group didn’t like him/her.
It was back to work for the afternoon and it was going to be a long day for sure. So much work was left undone and there was no sign of where to start. On top of the overwhelming feeling of how much there was to do, the burger and beer was really starting to settle. The fatigue started to overtake the mind and the mental energy needed to get started on work was being used to digest lunch…
As the afternoon passed by the realization of how little work was being accomplished took hold and it was time to take another break. Maybe they were getting sick… it is allergy season and there was a “bug” going around the office. It has to be what was happening because they shouldn’t be this tired. Client A decided it would be a good idea to head out early to beat traffic and get a start on getting some sleep so they could be healthy and refreshed for the next day… there was a lot to get done and the folders were really starting to pile up.
Sneaking out of the office took a bit longer than expected but it was achieved without anyone noticing. Maybe some medicine would help them relax and get some rest so a stop by the pharmacy seemed reasonable. Heading through the isles there was so many options to choose from and so many choices to make… but the best choice would be the chocolate bar sitting next to the counter, surely it would make a difference in their feelings.
Heading in the front door, they plunked everything on the floor and headed to the couch. Watching TV would be a good way to relax while the meds had time to start working. The best part was there are several shows they wanted to “catch up on” and now they had some time to do it. A couple hours later, it was late and the chocolate bar had worn off… it would be silly to go to bed without eating, but the meds really made client A exhausted so they ordered some delivery to make sure they could continue to catch up on the relaxing time they deserved.
Delivery came and the knock on the door was perfect as it was a natural break between shows. It would be best to eat in front of the TV because two things could get done at once. A couple hours later and the TV shows were over and the empty food boxes laid on the coffee table… it was too much to think about cleaning up and nodding off on the couch would surely be the best way to sleep better.
After tossing and turning for several hours, they decided to crawl into bed to make the most of the next couple hours of sleep. Later today was going to be long and there was so much to catch up on… As they crawled into bed, the overwhelming thoughts of work kept them up. They couldn’t sleep. They watched the clock as it ticked down minute by minute. They worried and wondered. They wished they could just fall asleep…
They remember seeing 4:53am on the clock and the next thing they remember is the startling sound of the alarm clock shaking the house… It was 7am again. Hitting the snooze was a no brainer. Hitting the snooze again and again was nothing more than a daily ritual by now… It was time to start the process all over again…
No change in sight.
No end in sight.
“Why does this always happen to me??… When will things finally change for me??… What is wrong with me??…”
Client A didn’t see anything wrong with their actions. It was always someone else’s fault. In their eyes, there was nothing wrong with what they were doing. There was no reason to change their actions because they were only reacting to the bad luck that had been brought upon them.
My question was:
“What’s one thing you have control of changing that can disrupt your “bad day”?”
“If I could only get up on time, I wouldn’t feel rushed. I could make my coffee. I could eat breakfast at home. I would start my day with less anxiety that would change the rest of my day.”
Our action plan:
Set yourself up for success before you start.
1. Prep your coffee maker the night before.
2. Have something ready to eat for breakfast.
3. Set your alarm for 7am and move your alarm to a place where you physically have to get out of bed to turn in off. Next to the coffee maker would be a good place- hit the “start button” on the coffee maker instead of the snooze button on your phone.
4. Set up a system that rewards you for the positive behavior not the result of the behavior.
This is a simple explanation of how we can take charge of our own life. We must realize there is a need for change so we can begin taking the best steps toward modifying our behavior. It’s not about changing everything and giving up but changing something important and continuing to move forward toward progressive growth.
Are you interested in making a change? Only a few spots remain!