A busy life and lack of sleep takes its toll

  • Fittest Loser columnist Kat Polomsky, right, smiles as she runs the Human Race 5K in Downers Grove.

      Fittest Loser columnist Kat Polomsky, right, smiles as she runs the Human Race 5K in Downers Grove. John Starks | Staff Photographer

 
By Kat Polomsky
kpolomsky@dailyherald.com

As each week passes, I find myself another week closer to the Fittest Loser finale, and I feel stressed and bummed about it.

Each passing day is like watching a lit fuse trailing closer to impact, and there is no stopping it.

These feelings are all nerves and I'm trying my best to stay strong, but years of bad habits are hiding in the shadows waiting for this explosion to happen, so I can fall back into those old habits.

I think part of the issue is that the past few weeks have been busier and I find myself not as focused on diet or exercise -- often they are falling to the bottom of my task list.

I know these feelings are temporary, but this recent experience reminds me of how easy it is to slip off course and to make excuses for not continuing with commitments.

To prevent this from happening, I need to focus on the healthy habits and to do my best planning ahead during busier weeks.

I've done some meal prepping during this challenge, but I think preparing quick, frozen options will be added to my to-do list, to help anticipate the busier times of year.

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Another bad habit I've been struggling with is staying up late to make room for "me" time.

I've noticed during busier times of life, I find myself coming home exhausted with the desire to just relax with some TV, books, or music, but what I expect to be short rewards often evolve into late night escapades that leave me staying up past midnight.

As I become more aware of my body, I've noticed that sleep deprivation has been one of the biggest poisons harming my body and I need to make sleep a higher priority.

Not only do I need to set aside enough time to sleep, but I need to get to bed earlier.

I love days when I wake up early, especially before sunrise, to prepare for the day, giving me a head start.

Days when I wake up with limited time to prepare leave me stressed and chasing my tail for the remainder of the day.

Besides focusing on healthy sleep habits, I plan on exploring activities that would typically intimidate me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Last Saturday, the Fittest Loser contestants and I ran the Human Race 5K in DuPage and it was such a wonderful experience, and I'm hungry for more!

This being my first outdoor 5K, it was exciting to feel the heat of competition and energy from all the other runners.

Luckily we beat the anticipated rain/snow and I was able to run the entire length, even shortening my time to 30:53.

I've discovered a love for running and a general passion to see what I'm capable of.

Each week when I see my trainer Josh, is a new week to see what I can do, and I often find myself accomplishing things I never thought was possible. For example, completing 10 pushups was a huge accomplishment for me!

If I focus on the things that make me feel good and continue nourishing the solid foundation that the Fittest Loser Challenge has set up for me, then I should have no problem continuing this challenge on my own.

• Kat Polomsky is a Daily Herald events specialist and also helps manage the Fittest Loser At Work Challenge.

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