Are You Allowing Yourself Too Much "Grace"?

Even since the start of the pandemic we've faced a multitude of changes and new challenges, while some have been easy to adjust to others are creating long term problems. I'm sure you've heard the phrase "give yourself grace" a few times since the pandemic started. I'm definitely an advocate for being kind to yourself in times of stress and uncertainty. But have you checked in with yourself to ask if you're allowing too much grace?

Over the past few months many of us have changed the way we eat, sleep and move. If you compare your daily routine today to what it was 6 months ago I'm sure you'll find substantial differences. For example, I used to spend half my work day walking around my office assisting my architects with questions, now I spend several hours sitting at my home work station answering calls, instant messaging or responding to emails. I've noticed that the number of steps I get daily has dropped significantly by several THOUSAND and my lower back and glutes are stressed from sitting down so much. Some days I'll even take a 20 minute nap during my lunch, it feels great at the time but it ends up throwing off my sleep pattern and productivity level for the next day.

I'm fortunate that I've been able to adapt to the "new normal" by consciously being aware of what I feed my body and how active I am. I felt things changing so I accepted this reality and made the proper adjustments to keep myself healthy. For a while I was over eating, shooting down several Trulys daily by the pool and not pushing myself during my workouts---or skipping them all together. I used every excuse I could think of but the one that kept coming up was "i'm living through a pandemic, it's ok to slack off & give myself grace". Even though this is true, when your choices, actions and excuses start to effect you health it's time to re-evaluate your lifestyle and make a change.

My father is one of my greatest inspirations, not only is he a caring and loving man to his family but to everyone he meets. Every success he's had is because he worked hard and never gave up---his tenacity is something I admire and respect. He's also been my role model when it comes to fitness. Ever since I was a child I remember him running around our neighbored several times a week and working out in the garage. He's always been an active and healthy person so when my mother told me a few weeks ago that his cholesterol level was the highest it's ever been it made me very concerned. He's had cholesterol issues through out his adult life but he's managed them with exercise and a balanced diet.

My parents admitted that the quality of their diet had gone down since the start of the pandemic, they indulged in comfort foods a bit too much in addition to not being as active as they used to. We talked about the importance of being aware of what they are eating and how it makes them feel---I also reminded them that my dad's issues is fixable. With better choices they could get his cholesterol level down and improve their health.

In addition to my father's problem I've had several other clients and friends share similar stories of increased weight gain, spikes in their sugar levels or poor eating habits since the start of the pandemic. They've all shared similar feelings of doubt, frustration and "not caring as much" since they're not getting out of the house. But like I told my parents, you CAN FIX these problems. Check in with yourself, allow some grace and know when it's time to get yourself back in the game---your health is important now more than ever.

What helps me stay focused is having my partner to keep me accountable. Kevin decided he wanted to start tracking everything he ate so he downloaded the app "Lose It!"---like me he noticed a shift and wanted to do something about it. I joined him and for the past 8 weeks we've been tracking everything we eat and drink along with all of our workouts. What I love is that it makes you think twice about what you're eating and makes you question if you really need that extra scoop of ice cream or slice of pizza. Y'all no I love to eat and believe life is about balance, but I've found that during this time I need more assistance to make sure that I don't stay off balanced for too long. Partnering up with a friend, colleague or family member to keep you accountable is a great way to stay on track. There are a variety of apps you can use to track your diet and activities so try them out and see which works best for you.

If you're hesitant about going to the gym or a boutique studio there are a TON of online workouts to get your through this difficult time that are free. One of the reason's I started posting weekly workouts on my Instagram's IGTV is because I know so many of us are struggling to stay motivated, I want to do my part to keep everyone focused and remind you that you CAN do this.

Remember that despite everything that is going on you're still in control of the choices you make. Give yourself grace, make good choices and take the actions you need to keep yourself moving forward for years to come!