The Active Professional

The more I’ve prioritized a healthy lifestyle, the more people seem to assume that my entire life is spent working out, prepping meals and lounging around in my bikini. While I would LOVE if that were true, I do have bills to pay. Since my money tree isn’t quite in bloom yet and my sugar daddy doesn’t exist because I’m an independent woman, I maintain something called a day job. My day job, which often feels much longer than the standard “9-5” centers around real estate and running commercial buildings…aka: I work for the people who buy and own the buildings which house all your favorite restaurants, retail stores and offices where many of us work.

Bosses, alarm clocks, calendar reminders, meetings and so much more often translates into the oh so common “I don’t have time” excuse. Guess what?! Whether your “day job” is one like mine, being a full-time student, mixing and matching jobs to pay the bills, being a parent, or anything else in between, you do actually DO have time if you choose to make it.

The choices we all have to make is whether or not we want real changes and if we are ready to follow through and make them happen.
Jumping on board the fit life train for the first time or deciding to give it another try after you’ve fell off is hard…. no matter what, doing something you’re not used to can be extremely challenging and is often outside your comfort zone.

First 5 Days

The first step?
TAKE SOME PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY!!
The way you look and feel is no one’s doing but your own. Stop complaining and feeling sorry for yourself. You need to pay bills and work (probably too much), but that isn’t your boss’ or co-workers’ fault. You got knocked up and popped out a nice little family that takes up every spare moment of your life, but that’s no reason you can’t care about yourself too. You moved out and no longer live with your parents or someone who feeds you everyday, but you can get a damn cookbook lazy bones. You live each day in your own body and the responsibility is yours and yours alone to take care of it.

The good news?
HEALTH & HAPPINESS IS CONTAGIOUS!!
No matter where or how you spend your days, living in a way that allows you to increase your health & happiness will rub off on anyone and everyone around you. I speak from personal experience when I say it improves the workplace, household, social circles and beyond. Not only that, but it sets an incredibly positive example!! Want your kids to conquer the world and become the best person possible? SHOW THEM by being YOUR best possible self. Want your boss to see you’re totally on top of things and ready for a raise?? SHOW THEM by being YOUR best possible self. Want your ex(es) to know you’re so much better off without them? SHOW THEM (indirectly) by being YOUR best possible self. Want to feel awesome and strong enough to accomplish anything? SHOW YOURSELF YOUR BEST POSSIBLE SELF! If you don’t think people you know will support you, create a new fitness family to get you there 🙂

GOT THAT?!? Great. Let’s move on to your Active Professional toolbox.

Treadmill Meeting

THE TOOLBOX
All professionals know you need a toolbox to get shit done. Whether it’s a garage full of manly gadgets, that fancy computer program, your little black book of contacts, or whatever else you use to accomplish the task at hand…. these resources are critical! Everyone’s toolbox for becoming an active professional will be a little different, but here are some of my essentials:

All Day Hydration Mechanism
Most people know my All Day Hydration Mechanism is a Klean Kanteen Insulted 20 oz. bottle. I’m no salesman though…. carry around whatever damn water bottle you want. The only specification is that you actually have to drink water from it all day. Shit, maybe bling it out with your favorite stickers. Maybe name it! Start a collection of different water bottles if you have commitment problems! No excuses, stay hydrated.

Lock & Headphones
My purse has a dedicated zipper pocket for my lock and headphones. A Lock?? Well, that’s so I can utilize the gym locker rooms whenever I need to. The ability to lock up my purse and belongings at the drop of a dime has, shockingly, helped A LOT. It used to be a major excuse for me…. I don’t like carrying my stuff at the gym…. I don’t trust hiding my bag in my car and then I’ll have to carry my keys…. wahhhhh wahhhhh wahhhhhhh… locked that crazy bitch up. And Headphones?? Yup! My (undiagnosed) ADD means I have zero tolerance for boredom so headphones on hand is a must. Walk, jog, gym…. doin’ it!

No Tricks Gym Bag

orange lockMy gym bag is one of my great masterpieces. It’s nothing crazy or fancy… but that’s exactly why it’s so fantastic! I used to DRAMATICALLLY over think to process of showering and getting ready at the gym. It’s upsetting to think about how much time I lost thinking, re-thinking, and re-re-thinking this incredibly simple process. 

Toilettries

My gym bag is more like a firm sided square carry-on for an airplane… it fits obnoxiously well in pretty much all gym lockers… Amazing. Front pocket holds a plastic bag with my shower shoes, shampoo & conditioner. Aside from when I clean and refill these things, they stay in there and are NOT unpacked… the less you have to re-pack, the more you’ll feel inclined to do it day in and day out. My other toiletries are kept in a hanging container/bag like the one pictured here (much nicer looking than mine!). When I’m at home it has a spot where it hangs in my bathroom… when I’m heading out for the gym I just close it up and throw it in my bag to go. Pack a towel and a change of clothes. Done. The end. And my hair looks way better when I blow dry it at the gym…. not sure what that’s about, but totally true.

Plan A, B & C
Yup, you’re busy… We covered that. There will be many upon many days when shit just doesn’t work out. You’d rather throw around some punches instead of smiles and lollipops. That’s why we’re intelligent professionals who learn to adapt and be flexible! Go into each day with a plan… even if it’s a rough idea of a plan. However, immediately think of an alternative to store as a “just in case” back-up plan. Be open to shifting things around to feel out new priorities and routines. Yes, some things cannot be adjusted, but really stop to think about it. Assess what things are real priorities and what things are just strongly preferred at that given moment. My favorite priority struggle to work on is when the alarm goes off earlier than usual. The moment I get out of bed I think, NOPE – TOOOO TIRED…. but, when I stop and take a deep breath, stretch out as long as I can and tell myself “shut the hell up, Rachel, you got plenty of sleep,” I’m able to push through. Those always become the days I feel the best… the days that are the most rewarding… the days I feel powerful enough to take on anything. All from a simple adjustment, decision to be flexible and consequential breakthrough. If you don’t make it to the gym when you thought, just think about when you can go as soon as possible. If you didn’t eat your prepared salad for lunch, think about what you’ll change for your next meal. Just plan ahead but remember to be flexible!

GET BACK TO WORK!!
Rachel

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