The Importance of Routines

The Importance of Routines

If there is one thing I miss so much about my pre-lockdown life is probably the daily routine. Having a predictable day is boring, but quoting Ryan Reynolds in The Hitman’s Bodyguard: Boring is Good. I like Ryan Reynolds, but who doesn’t?

Anyway… where was I? Oh look how easy I got distracted. I mean I was ready to make a full wholesome post about the need to stick on a routine and then there was Ryan Reynolds… and then poof, focus gone. Can you imagine how easy I can be seduced with a bag of doritos when I have nothing to focus on?

chips on green and white ceramic bowl
Photo by Polina Tankilevitch on Pexels.com

Very. That’s the answer.

This is exactly why I like to emphasise the importance of having a daily routines.

COVID lockdown is like a holiday. No… not exactly like a holiday, because lockdown is stressful, and you are stuck at home, and to be honest… not at all fun. But what I am trying to say is, it is like holiday in a sense that you are dropping all the regularities, and go to a different free-will mode.

Funny that if I think about it, my parents never have this free-will mode. Or holiday mode. And thus now they don’t have lockdown mode. They maintain the same routine, only different activities.

When I am on a holiday, I would go to sleep later, and wake up even later. I would not get breakfast on my regular time, or lunch, or dinner even. I would not set myself a certain activities to fill in that ‘relax’ time, because I always think that holiday was meant to… do nothing. My parents are different.

excited barefoot ethnic mother and cute girl doing stretching exercises together
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

They will still go to bed at the same time they do when they are not on holiday or lockdown. They will still wake up at the same time. They will still go on a daily morning exercise, but instead of walking around the blocks, they do a walk around the house and enjoy the morning sun on our garden. They will then have breakfast at roughly the same time as usual, and then they will fill in the day with gardening, tinkering, work from home, being an ad-hoc teacher for grandchildren… whatever they want to fill in their non-working day. And at the usual time would have lunch, and dinner…

When I was a child, I got really annoyed when my parents would wake me up at ‘normal’ time because… well because! Now I think it just makes sense. MY DAD was the only one in my family in Indonesia who actually lost lots of weight, and waistline like nobody business during this lockdown. MY DAD was hospitalised 3 times for heart condition, and was on the heavy sides, now is probably the healthiest of us thanks to sticking to his normal routine — just change the activity from sitting at work to some kind of more physical activities.

Anyway… gosh where’s my script again? There it is…

Photo by Vaibhav Jadhav on Pexels.com

Now… When I was at work, I have my morning until late-ish afternoon sorted. I would be at work, focusing on something, running around making sure there would be enough pasta for everyone. I would walk up and down the stairs, sometimes carrying heavy trays full of fresh pasta.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen… if you go to a good local restaurant, we make things fresh every single day. You will pay for quality, and I can assure you we are trying our best and stick to the highest food standard, and not cutting corner… because we care of what we do. If you are thinking of ordering something online for your supper tonight, or this weekend… take a look on your local restaurant, if they are delivering. There is no better time to show your support safely, to our hospitality industry and local economy than this time.

Am I doing a free PSA? Yes I am.

But… gosh yes. I am not making fresh pasta today, and probably not going to be for a while because I am on furlough right now. So yes, I don’t have that routines anymore. I don’t have my morning to late-ish afternoon sorted anymore, because there’s no prep list to be done. What I did was waking up late and hungry, raiding the fridge… doing chores and get bored, raiding the fridge again. Playing computer games, raiding the fridge while waiting for the game to load. Trying to get creative with baking experiments, having too much fun testing the end products…

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You get the point. It is easy to just run to food when you are not focusing on something. When you don’t have a specific time to eat. This is why intermittent fasting work for a lot of people, because doesn’t matter what routines you have, your eating ‘window’ would be the same. Your food intake would be regulated.

I have to say though, I’ve been considering it for a while too. Especially after I have decided that calorie cycling did not work for me — for exactly the same reasons. When I did calorie cycling, I allowed myself to break the regular CICO routine, with the hope that I can balance that for the other days of the week. But with the break of the routine, I broke the focus and got distracted.

It did not end well.

So yes.. These past couple of days, I have been trying to go to sleep at my usual time (as if I was about to go to work the next day), and wake up at my normal hours. Was hard to start with, and definitely hard to fill in those waking hours with something positive, and productive — that is not food related.

Now… are you in a lockdown too? Does this lockdown distract you from your weight loss effort?

Love,

Mel

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