Routine for Health and Weight Loss

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As my 3 week break from work is winding down, I'm surprised at how quickly I've gotten out of my typical work-day routine.  Normally I'd rise at 5:15, go for a run, get ready for work, and have breakfast before heading out the door by 8:15.  In the past 3 weeks I've only been awake at 5:15 once, and that was because I was still up from the night before, hanging out with my brother-in-law.  Today is my first day of getting up at 5:15 and so far so good, I haven't fallen asleep on my laptop yet.  This struggle to get back into a routine is an issue that can prevent people from achieving their health related goals or achieving weight loss success.  Working with women at our health and fitness retreat, I find that this problem is common in women who work from home or have retired.  Without the mandatory structure a work-day provides, it's hard to develop a routine.

Most people are probably familiar with this game and have played it on the weekends, it's called "oh, I have all day to do that; I'll do it later."  Unfortunately in many cases, later never comes.  We may put off exercising, grocery shopping, or cooking until the day is gone we've run out of time to do it.  Structure is a good thing for most of us. 

This may be the reason that so many people are interested in things like weight loss boot camp or Biggest Loser camps, because of the routine that these programs provide.  While our staff at Green Mountain don't believe in extremes like over-training or under-eating, we do agree that a routine is important.  One of the greatest benefit of our residential weight loss program is that people get to immerse themselves in a pre-developed healthy routine of regular eating and activity.  After a couple weeks of practice, it's much easier to take that routine home and incorporate elements of it into your life.  For this reason, I'll admit that I'm excited to get back to work!

What routines do you have that help you achieve your health related goals?  Regular meal times?  A set bed-time?  A weekly date with a friend to hit the gym?  What works for you?

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