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Juggling Your Fitness Goals & COVID Cyber Schooling

Kim: [00:00:00] Welcome to episode 70, one of the Fitness Simplified podcast. I’m your host, Kim Schlag. On today’s solo episode I’m going to talk a little bit of current events here. In another thing we never saw coming here in 2020, not only are we as parents parenting and working, we are also finding ourselves in the roles of school administrators in our own new home cyber-schools.
[00:00:30] How is this impacting your fitness goals? Today I’m going to coach you through three questions you can ask yourself to make sure that your goals and your current situation are in alignment. And if they are not steps you can take to get there. Let’s go. 
[00:00:48] As I’m recording this episode, it is September 10th, 2020.
[00:00:52] The pumpkin spice crowd is all whipped up into a frenzy because fall has arrived — or at least it is knocking on the door. I am, on the other hand, am holding on to summer hard. We still have a week and a half ’til the official first day of fall, people. Now the one decidedly fall staple I have indulged in, though, is delicata squash. Have you had one? It’s not one of the more well-known squash varieties. If you haven’t had one, put this on your fall “must-do” list. 
[00:01:24] If you don’t know what they are, they’re a very small squash, they’re way easier to cut than a spaghetti squash. I find that they’re harder to come by. Usually, I find them just at Trader Joe’s, but my local grocery had them this week. So here’s what you’re going to do: you’re going to track one down, you’re going to slice it in half  — across, not lengthwise — across. You’re going to scoop out the seeds and they’re going to slice it nice and thin. That is important.
[00:01:53] Thin, thin, thin, thin, thin. 
[00:01:54] You’re going to spray oil on a cookie sheet, lay those thin circles out, sprinkle them with a healthy dose of cinnamon and then bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. 
[00:02:06] You don’t want to cook them so much that they burn. That will be really sad. I’ve done that. They are quite thin, so you want to keep a good eye on them for about 20 minutes ’til they’re nice and golden brown in parts. 
[00:02:16] Oh, so delicious. You will thank me later. 
[00:02:21] Now, one quintessentially fall thing that many parents are not doing this year: putting their kiddos on the big yellow bus and waving, “Buh-bye.” How are you doing with cyber school?
[00:02:35] We’re off to a fine start here in the Schlag household. Better than last year ended, much more organized. I do worry some about the amount of screen time. We have concurrent virtual schooling here in our district. So, real-time in class each period — but in front of their computers at home — which means it’s like seven hours in front of a computer.
[00:03:00] I don’t love that for them, but mostly things are going well for us. I have older kids, though. They’re all teenagers. I have a freshman in high school, a senior in high school, and a college student. That is quite different than a mom with elementary school-aged little ones managing this time. The demand of working and mothering and now supervising cyber-school for a little one is a heavy burden. 
[00:03:25] In context of your fitness goals there is no one best option. There is no right or wrong answer. Evaluating your situation, asking a few important questions to see where you’re at, what your resources are, what is your bandwidth physically, mentally, emotionally, that is what I suggest doing. 
[00:03:46] So let’s start here: what is your main fitness goal? Or what was it before you became a full-time school administrator this month?
[00:03:54] Weight loss? Weight maintenance? Body recomposition? Muscle building? Do you have a performance goal? 
[00:04:03] The questions I’m going to suggest to you will work for all of these. For the sake of example, I’m going to use weight loss. It’s what a lot of people come to me for. 
[00:04:13] So question number one. Do I have the mental and emotional energy for this goal right now?
[00:04:21] Not did I have it a month ago or six months ago when I set this goal, or on January 1st, when I set this goal, do I have the mental and emotional energy for this goal right now? 
[00:04:32] I want you to list out — get a piece of paper out, write this down — what are the big rocks according to your fat loss program?
[00:04:41] Now, not everyone approaches fat loss the same way, so yours might be slightly different than the list I’m about to give you. But for most of my clients, not all of them, but for most of them, the big rocks of their plan would be: planning for their food, shopping for their food, doing some basic meal prepping, pre-logging, their food, eating according to their plan, getting in their training, getting in their daily activity, and practicing managing stress eating and emotional eating. 
[00:05:11] Okay, so make a list. You can pause this if you want to make your list. Then I want you to look at your list and ask yourself, “am I up for that right now?” There’s no right answer. And it’s going to be highly dependent on your individual circumstances.
[00:05:29] Now, speaking of fat loss, specifically, if you’re a mom of young kids and you work full-time while trying to supervise their schooling, maybe this isn’t the best time to focus on fat loss. Maybe your mental and emotional energy is needed elsewhere. And that’s okay. It’s not a failure. And it doesn’t mean your only other option is to gain weight.
[00:05:54] Maintaining your weight is also an option. 
[00:05:58] When you’re working on maintaining your weight, you’ll have more calories to play with, it is less work to eat at maintenance than in a deficit, and that might be what you need right now. 
[00:06:08] Now, for other people that’s just not the case. Maybe working on things like stress-eating is exactly what you need right now. Maybe you’re at a point where you just know you will feel better getting your nutrition under control. 
[00:06:22] In which case let’s move on to question number two: can I make the time necessary to succeed at this goal right now? 
[00:06:31] Now, making time is an important phrase. It’s not “finding” time we’re being proactive here. We’re thinking of priorities. You’ve decided tha
t “yes, this is a priority right now,” so let’s get practical about it. 

[00:06:43] Think about that list you made just a few minutes ago. Think about those big rocks for fat loss success. Look back at that list. Can you make time for those things? 
[00:06:53] Just wanting it to happen doesn’t mean it will, right? Can you make time for them? 
[00:06:58] Yes? Great. You’re ready to move on to the next question. 
[00:07:02] No? Or you have some hesitation there, you’re just not quite sure, like, “Ooh, I want to make time for this. This is important to me, but how am I going to make time for all of this?” 
[00:07:11] Ask yourself this: can you make time for some of those things? 
[00:07:15] Remember — “all” and “nothing” are not your only choices. 
[00:07:23] So, can you look at that list and adjust in some way? Can you adjust your plan in some way to make time for some of it? 
[00:07:30] So, example: can you train three times a week if your plan was for four times? Can you commit to shorter workouts, say 15 minutes, even, instead of your usual 45 to 60-minute workouts? Can you get some help with your meal prepping service? Can you hire a meal prepping service? Can you take your kids on walks with you? There are lots of options. 
[00:07:52] Look at your list, think, “can I make time for these? If I can make time for some of them, which ones am I going to make time for?” 
[00:08:02] Question three: what are your resources? 
[00:08:04] And I started to touch on this here at the end there, talking about things like meal prepping services. 
[00:08:09] Who are the people who can help you? Do you have a community to hash things out with, or to physically help? If not, how can you create or join such a community? What is your partner’s role? What tasks can your partner do? Have you asked, specifically, for the support you need? We cannot wait around for mindreading to kick in here. 
[00:08:33] Is there another mom you can work with to make things function? Can she watch your kids in the yard after school while you work out and then you switch? Think outside the box here. 
[00:08:44] I am so tired of this phrase that I’m about to say, we are in unprecedented times here. Have you seen that meme that says, “I just need some precedented times?” Don’t we, though? We just need some precedented times. But for now, that’s not what we have. We’re working with the unknown.
[00:09:02] The bottom line is that you have options. You can lose fat now if you want. People are doing it. I have clients doing it. Even moms of young kids who are in school and they’re working and they’re cyber-schooling, they are losing fat. You can do it. Check-in with yourself to see if that goal is in alignment with your mental, emotional, and physical energy right now.
[00:09:29] Is that something you will make time for? Does your usual plan need to shift? If so, how? And what resources will you use to reach that goal? 
[00:09:41] I always say, “there’s never a good time to lose weight.” Everyone thinks there will be, but it just doesn’t happen. 
[00:09:47] And I usually say that in normal conditions of life, “this time might not be the best of times for that goal for you.”
[00:09:54] Remember this school year is just beginning. There is plenty of time to work the kinks out and make this your new — hopefully temporary — normal, and then reevaluate your fitness goals. 
[00:10:07] Just like anything, we will get used to this rhythm of life. 
[00:10:12] You might find that what you can do right now is manage one habit and you can use that as an anchor habit to build on in the future. It could be something like a daily step goal or getting in vegetables at every meal. Even that one thing could help you towards your goal, both physically and mentally, to show yourself that you are still prioritizing your health. It’s important.
[00:10:34] You are important. 
[00:10:36] That thing people always say about how you need to take care of yourself so that you are in a position to help care for others, while 100% true, you absolutely will be able to care for and do for all those important people in your life better when you’re well cared for. It still misses the mark for me, because you are not worthy of care only in so much as you can be of service to others, you are worthy of care. Period.
[00:11:03] Because you were intrinsically valuable. You are worth it. Not in relation to what you can do for others — just because you’re you, a human being who is deserving of care and health. 
[00:11:18] Remember that. 
[00:11:19] Thanks so much for spending time here with me today.
[00:11:26] Thanks so much for being here and listening in to the Fitness Simplified podcast today. I hope you found it educational, motivational, inspirational, all the kinds of -ational. 
[00:11:38] If you enjoyed it, if you found value in it, it would mean so much to me if you would go ahead and leave a rating and review on whatever platform you are listening to this on. It really does help to get this podcast to other people. 
[00:11:52] Thanks so much.