Work/Booyah Balance

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Over here at Bubbles and Booyah, I strive to honestly share my experiences with you as I go through my daily routine: giving you a peek inside my daily workouts and training regimen, and sharing my recipes to the delicious plant-based foods I eat to fuel my active lifestyle. Like most of you, I also have a career on top of all of that cooking and booyah-ing. We all know how difficult it is to stay on track when you’re working 40+ hours a week, while also trying to stay active, eat healthy and continue to meet your fitness/wellness goals. I was delighted when the folks over at The Ladders, a comprehensive career platform that helps make job searching simpler, focused, and more efficient, wanted to know some of my best tips for staying active while still working full-time. Lucky for you guys, I’ve spent the last few years getting into the groove of my own work/booyah balance and have plenty of ideas and tips to share.

Here’s how I keep my own work/booyah balance in check:

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Schedule a work out in your calendar, and give it priority. Every weekday morning at 5 am, I roll out of bed and head to the gym to get my workout in before work. I’m aware the vast majority of you guys think I’m mildly nuts for getting up at the crack of dawn to work out, so find out what works best for you and your schedule. Try putting your gym clothes on as soon as you wake up or before leaving work at the end of the day; finding a great class or gym on the way to/from work; or schedule your workout as a meet-up with friends so you’re not tempted to bail. These are just a few of the tactics I’ve used to hold myself accountable, feel more motivated and overcome the temptation of the couch or snooze button. Don’t worry, your couch (and Netflix queue) will still be there when you get back – and just think of how awesome it will feel to be able to put your feet up and relax post-workout, knowing you kicked butt.

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Get organized the night before. Every evening when I get home from work, I follow the same routine: I prepare my lunch and breakfast for the next day (hence my love for overnight oats), pack my gym bag, lay out my workout clothes – all so I can just grab and go the next morning. Even so, I’m not immune to sometimes feeling that all this meal prep after working for eight hours is a tedious chore. In reality, it only takes a few minutes. Trust me; I’ve actually timed this nightly routine to prove to myself that I can get all of these “chores” done in twenty minutes or less. Heading into your day knowing you are organized, ready to crush your workout and eat a healthy, nutritious lunch adds a little bounce into your step right out of the gate every morning. We all know that sparkly feeling we get when we are treating our body well – that’s what makes the extra effort worth it.

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Use your lunch break to get moving. Because the weather has been so gorgeous (hello summer!), I’ve been bringing sneakers in my work bag so I can go for a walk at lunch. Yes, I may look like a nerd wearing socks and sneakers with my business casual work outfit, but it is so calming and centering to go for a walk in the sunshine and take an actual break, away from your desk, phone and computer, in the middle of your day. That extra Vitamin D and fresh air is good for you, and will help you head into your afternoon refreshed and recharged.

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Bypass the candy jar and stock your desk with healthy alternatives. I know that those pink Starbursts are giving you the side-eye from the candy jar, but there are better options when hunger strikes at 3 pm. I stack my healthy snack deck high by keeping non-perishable items like protein bars, Larabars, packets of oatmeal and trail mix in my “snack drawer” at work. It helps if you bring additional healthy snack foods (ones that don’t come in a wrapper) from home – like a piece of fruit, carrots and hummus or peanut butter and celery – which are full of nutrients, but can still satisfy your crunchy/salty/sweet/savory cravings in between meals. If you are surrounded by healthy choices, you will be much less likely to be tempted by the potato chips calling your name from the vending machine.

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Do your research. Find out what incentives your company offers for health and wellness. Do they offer a discount or money back for gym memberships or fitness classes? Talk to your HR person and educate yourself on what is offered so you can take full advantage (and maybe save some money, too). As Momma Booyah always says, “Knowledge is power.”

I truly believe the key to maintaining my own work/booyah balance is that I’ve incorporated each of these tips directly into my daily routine. I try my best to view “being active” as a lifestyle choice instead of an annoying thing I have to do to be able to button up my skinny jeans. Yes, it may feel like a pain in the rear to spend time after work getting organized or detaching yourself from your duvet before sunrise to go for a run, but the benefits far outweigh the perceived negatives. Study after study have shown the overwhelmingly positive result on our overall health and wellness by simply incorporating exercise into our daily routine, regardless of our age or fitness level. Not to mention our mental health, where exercise has been shown to alleviate stress and anxiety, boost happy-chemicals, as well as increase brainpower, productivity, creativity and relaxation. Add a well-balanced and healthy diet on top of that, one that provides the optimal nutrition and energy to support our active bodies and minds, and we’ve got just about everything we need to be able to Booyah from 9 am Monday to 5 pm Friday.

However, the most important part of the work/booyah balance is, well…balance! I encourage you to find your balance. Not a runner? Go for a walk around your neighborhood and check out everyone’s gardens after work. Hate the treadmill? Take your family for a weekend hike, or find a cool spot to kayak with your bae. Think kale is the most disgusting thing ever? No worries, there are a billion other green vegetables to choose from. Exercising and eating right is not a one-size-fits-all. The name of the game is sustainability – don’t set yourself up for failure by creating dramatic and unrealistic goals. Rome was not built in a day, and neither was my ability to get out of bed at 5 am. 😉 It takes time to create great things. Work to incorporate these healthy aspects into your daily routine in ways that are both sustainable and fun for you. Otherwise – let’s be honest! – it will be much more difficult to get any of them to stick around for long. So, don’t beat yourself up if you miss a workout or occasionally forgo your healthy lunch to get Chipotle with your coworkers. These changes take time, and by focusing on small, incremental changes (one at a time!), you will be much more likely to succeed. And definitely don’t forget to celebrate your successes. Boooo-YAH! 😀

How do you guys achieve your work/booyah balance? Tell me all about it in the comments.

With warmth,

L

P.S. Want some mo’? Here are few posts I’ve written that you may also enjoy:

Driving a Fleet of Struggle Buses

No Ragrets

About Those Resolutions…

34 thoughts on “Work/Booyah Balance

  1. I’m always trying to find my work/booyah balance. I, like L, am a morning workout person and like to get it done for the day as there are always excuses I can make at night for not working out. But yes I sometimes get into a lazy pattern, but give myself a stern talking to in order to reverse that behavior : ) I also food prep usually on Sundays and make sure I’m cooking healthy food and preparing healthy snacks so I’m not tempted to eat out with my co-workers. I try to do really good during the week and then give myself a little wiggle room on the weekends to reward myself for the work I put in during the week at my job and in my workouts! You have to live a little right!! My work/booyah balance is a constant work in progress..I have my ups and my downs, but I try to maintain the best that I can and keep a positive attitude and realize this is a lifestyle – not a quick fix. I get a lot of motivation from fellow workout peeps and really try hold myself accountable for my workouts/eating habits because I’m the only one that is going to change anything! Booyah On!! : )

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    • Yay! Thanks for sharing your tips, Jess! It’s definitely much easier to get up in the morning when you’re already a morning person (and you have a great group of workout buddies to help push you through those early morning workouts). I always find it is much more difficult to stick to eating healthy when I haven’t planned ahead for the week. It really helps to take a lot off your plate when you can get a solid amount of your meal prep for the week done on Sundays. That way you can just grab and go your already prepared food during the week – great tip! Thanks for coming by and sharing your experiences and tips! 😀

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  2. That’s a great tip about incentives your company offers for health and wellness!! I’m going to look into that since I recently started a new job and I’ve been attending a kickboxing studio for a year now. 🙂 Thanks for the great idea!

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    • Thanks, Meg! I know that I had no idea about my own company’s wellness incentives until after I was already working there for about a year. When someone told me, I was like “Say whaaaa!” Needless to say, I was super stoked when I found out that I could be rewarded for working out. Any little bit helps. And go you for kickboxing!!! I’ve always wanted to get more into kickboxing or boxing – it seems like a great stress reliever and SUPER intense workout! 🙂

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  3. Pingback: Work/Booyah Balance – ReBlog from Bubbles and Booyah | Shot From The Hip

  4. I love the advice and health tips to live a healthier lifestyle. I agree with planning to bring your own healthy snacks will help resist the urge to dip your hands into the candy jar. As a busy mom, I tend to forget to take care of myself. Thanks for the great article!

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    • Thanks for stopping by, K.C.! I’m so happy you liked it! As many of my readers know, I am not a mom, but even just as an auntie I have the utmost respect for all of the moms out there. My nephew is only 16 months old, and it has been a great learning experience, one where I have be able to gain an even better appreciation of everything moms do. I’m so glad to hear that my post served as a gentle reminder to not forget to take care of yourself – you moms deserve all the booyah in the universe sent your way! xo ❤ ❤ ❤

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  5. I have found sometimes the hardest part of my workout is just forcing myself to put on my workout clothes to get started! Once they are on, it makes it easier and the motivation is there. Great tip!

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    • I agree! On the weekends, if I have a long run in the books I will usually get up and immediately put my running clothes on while I make breakfast/drink coffee/wake up. It seems silly to take your running/workout gear off to shower and get ready for the day if you haven’t worked out yet (total guilt trip!). It’s all psychological, but somehow it works. Glad to hear I’m not the only one. Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your tip, Tracie! 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This is one of my favorite posts .. this really could be something I would see in a Health or Fitness magazine. It is a great piece. The snapshot we got of your daily routine was motivating and inspirational. Your suggestions/advice are right on point. You encouraged people to find their balance…maybe something works better for them. But there is something everyone can take away from this!! Love it. Thanks Ll!!

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    • Thanks, Michelle! Can you let Health or Fitness magazine know? 😛 😉 I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed it! It means a lot to me that you feel it is inspirational – I know it sounds corny but I’m really touched! ❤ ❤ ❤ Glad I have such a supportive friends and workout buddy like you, Michelle! xo

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  7. Hey! I love this article! I fully agree with your advice on scheduling (and making high priority) your workouts. I always go at 7PM, which means I sometimes have to literally tear myself away from the desk…. even if I cannot get my code to work or I if I am on a rare writing spur. The crazy thing is that miracles happen when you take a break and get the blood flowing. If you are really pushing yourself in your workout routine you are more worried about proper form or gulping in enough air to fuel your muscles then whatever was important at work. Creativity is spurred, ideas come, and the bugs go away.

    What I struggle with is not punishing or rewarding myself with food. I cannot figure out this math problem… I must be stupid… then I must make myself feel better by eating some chocolate. Or, hey, I worked so hard all week and now it is okay to eat way too much indian food on the weekend. Also, I am quite sure my body thinks that it needs to store food when it is in a stressed state… But, yea, bringing in healthy snacks, lunch, and (sometimes) dinner into work is key.

    XOXO, J. O.

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    • Thank you so much for stopping by, Jess! I like that you set a specific time to workout that you stick too – that is a great way to hold yourself to it! It’s definitely a nice way to unplug your brain and, as you say, get the blood flowing! I’m in total agreement there.

      I think finding a balance with food is something we all struggle with. Working out is something I feel that is easier to make a consistent habit out of – like taking a shower or brushing your teeth. It’s constant, it’s only for a set time, and you know that you’ll feel better afterwards. It’s easier to absorb something like that into your daily routine and stick with it eventually, no matter how difficult it is to start. I feel it’s much more difficult to disentangle (at least for me) the emotional aspect of eating with reward/punishment. I think it’s human nature to want to reward ourselves when we have done well – especially with chocolate or wine! – than it is to be like “No, I don’t reallyyyy need that.” You’re definitely not stupid, and you’re in good company, because I feel like we all (especially as women) struggle with this. We all just have to do what we can, and what’s possible for our own unique balance. 😀

      I really appreciate you stopping by and sharing your tips and experiences. xoxoxoxox ❤

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  8. I definitely use a lot of the same tips you mentioned, I always try to make breakfast (overnight oats are bomb dot com) lay out my workout clothes the night before. In the summer I usually just sleep in my running shorts so I’m already half-way dressed to get my workout in before work! I also try do do a little bit of meal prep on the weekends. I don’t make one specific meal, but I like to chop up veggies and make sure I have some sort of protein (usually deli turkey and shredded chicken) for the week. Once you make it a routine, everything works a lot smoother!

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    • I’m with you all the way! Life is way easier if you are prepared and ready to go. 🙂 And yeah – overnight oats are so clutch!! Woot! I like the tip of sleeping in your comfy running shorts – you just shaved off like 5 minutes of your morning routine 😉 Like you, I also try to prep my fresh fruit and veggies so I can just stick my head in my fridge and fish something out – that is a great tip!! Thank you for stopping by and sharing! 😀

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  9. L your blog is the bomb! I usually do meal planning for the week the hour before I go shopping. I try to cook one or two (or three if I am feeling extra booyah) big batches of food over the weekend. I admit I’ve always had an on again off again relationship with working out, but when I’m in my groove it’s usually done on my way home from work. Just like you my gym bag is packed the night before so no excuses, and I love blowing off workday stream. Lately group workouts with friends after work have been inspiring.

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    • Thanks for stopping by, I! 😀 I am also a big fan of the meal planning game, I used to be really good about planning before my weekly grocery shopping trip, but other times I don’t and then I am semi-forced to get creative with whatever I’ve bought in a #MakeItWork moment (a la Tim Gunn) and then my meal planning turns into Project Booyah. I’m so glad you’ve shared your tips – those are some good ones! And also – group workouts with friends are the best! 😀 😀 😀 What types of group workouts have you tried? Group classes, or do you guys come up with your own workouts? I’d love to hear!

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  10. How did you manage to get yourself up at 5am?! Crrrrazy. Did you start by gradually waking up early and getting used to it? I struggle to get out of bed at 7am, but with a job that means I’m often working past bedtime, I have little other option if I want to get a proper workout in.

    I also do a lot of similar things to you – preparing breakfast and lunch and packing my bag as soon as I am home from work, laying out the workout clothes to get into right away. I knew someone who actually SLEPT in her gym clothes although that sounds super-uncomfortable to me….. and I’m lucky in that my office has a gym and pool in the building so I can get a quick workout in at lunch time. But those early mornings……

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    • So, I had a head start – I’m definitely a morning person. When I first started working out in the morning, I woke up a little later, and I gradually took the leap to 5 am because there are awesome classes offered at my gym at 5:45 am. My gym buddies that I see every morning are like my second family, and there is power in numbers – we are all a little sleepy at the start of class, and it might really suck doing burpees when you’ve been awake for less than one hour, but at the end of class we are all feeling awesome. It’s extremely helpful and uplifting to have a supportive group of gym buddies to cheer each other on – it motivates me to get my butt out of bed when I know they will also be there at class.

      It’s awesome that you have a gym and pool where your office is! I am so jealous. It’s difficult to get to the gym during lunch from where I work because the options are limited. Thanks for coming by and sharing your tips and ideas!! Keep up the booyah 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Americans are crazy (no offence) – I can’t think of a single gym anywhere in the UK that would offer a class at 5.45!!!! And no need to thank me – your blog is great!! And thanks for the detailed reply 🙂

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  11. Love this, L! This is an everyday struggle for me because I am all about the Booyah but never want to organize myself to make it all work. Laying everything out the night before would change so much for me. I really need to start! Keep the tips coming!

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    • Hey Leanne! Thanks for stopping by 😀 I’m so glad you found the tips helpful! Getting organized the night before was a game-changer for me. It takes any thought or prep work out of my mornings, and I can literally wake up, put my workout clothes on, brush my teeth, grab my stuff and head to the gym – which is the upper limit of any effort I can muster up before 6 am. I hope that night before organizing helps you out as much as it did for me! 🙂

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  12. The daily struggle to keep it all balanced is REAL! I just got a Fitbit and joined a “Work Week Challenge” with some friends and family. We can see and track each other’s progress all week. It is a great way to keep moving without feeling like you have to have a legitimate work out twice a day in order to keep up. I take laps around the office, walk to the grocery store instead of drive, and park my car further from the house now just to make sure I win the challenge!

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    • I love that! I am fairly competitive, and my sister, brother-in-law and I all have the Garmin Vivofit. When I see that I’m falling behind on the leaderboard it definitely motivates me to get my butt moving. When I get reallyyyy behind, it definitely motivates me to go for a run, even if I’m really not feeling it after work.

      Thanks so much for coming by and sharing your tips, sass! 😉 xo

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  13. Having breakfast and lunch taken care of the night before makes mornings SO much easier- even when I can’t wake up and exercise to save my life! Though, as I try and get more consistent about exercising in the evenings, I have found that sweating off the work-day helps me unwind and refocus to make the most of my evening at home!

    Also, I love the advice about sustainability in lifestyle changes- 100% agree!! No amount of good intentions can take the place of some good habits that you can actually stick to!

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    • It’s cool to see how everyone is unique in what makes them feel the best. There are days when I wake up, ready to rumble, and other days when it takes a stern internal talking-to to push the covers aside and get up. Then, there are evenings after work (much less frequent, let me tell you) where I really feel motivated to get out there and do something. It’s awesome that you’ve found out what works for you!! Thanks so much for coming by and sharing your tips and ideas, and I’m so happy to hear that you could relate. Keep up the booyah!!! 😀

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      • I’m always excited to hear about working to make careers and life/health goals work together- too often the pressure is to find and embrace one or the other! Hearing about other women who can love their jobs AND want to stay healthy and take time for themselves makes me feel like we’re making progress!

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  14. These are great tips. I wish I could go for a walk around my work, but I’m out in a terrible place without sidewalks. I do often do laps of our enormous parking lot, whch is super depressing, but I need some vitamin sunshine!
    I used to keep a mini water cooler on my desk becuase I drink a LOT of water while at work, but now I’ve done away with it – it gives me an excuse to get out of my chair and have a little walkabout every hour.

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    • That’s okay Jay, I’m basically stuck with doing laps around an office park during my lunchtime walk. It’s definitely better than nothing! I like that you use staying hydrated as a reason to get up and get moving – it totally helps get the blood flowing. Thanks for coming by and sharing your tips!! I really appreciate it! 😀

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  17. I love the title and how it rolls off the tongue like a phrase that’s been around forever, work/booyah balance 🙂 Lunchtime walks are part of my day too, a great reset for the rest of the day.

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  18. I loved this post so much! I always struggle to find my work/booyah balance! I think I have to just be adaptable at all times because with a house full of kids and lots of work to do anything can change at any given moment!

    I try to do a workout in the morning that doesn’t involve swinging any heavy weights near the baby and a few runs in the evening with my husky! Some days I might do something more intensive like kettlebells when the baby is asleep!

    I also stock up on tinned wild salmon and a raw plant based protein that I make a cookie dough out of for snacks!

    If I could give one tip it would be to just relax and take things as they come! Having a day off isn’t necessarily a bad thing 🙂

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