Hello! How are you? I am currently sitting through an all day rehearsal (day two in a row of all day rehearsals) for my musical which opens this weekend. I get a little bit of downtime during the show and thought it would be a great time for me to brainstorm a lot of the things that have been sitting in my head for a while. I wanted to first address a point that many people have said is something similar that they struggle with…..
The afternoon slump.
When I posed the question “what do you struggle with?” on my Vanessa Goes from Fat to Fit facebook page, I was not surprised how many people said it was a time period of day that they struggle. 3:00 happens to be my least favorite part of the day. At that point it feels like a long stretch of time until the end of the work day, and on the weekends it is the long stretch of time where lunch was a while ago and dinner probably won’t be for a while either…..
I personally struggle with my eating at that time period. Am I hungry? How hungry am I? How exhausted am I at that point? Mentally? Physically? If I worked out in the morning I am definitely feeling tired and if I have something scheduled for the evening (run, gym class, plans, rehearsal, etc.) in the evening then I know I need to pace myself to survive the rest of the day.
It is not quite a time of day that I have mastered but I have become more aware that it is a point in time where I struggle. I’ve been working hard to find tools to ensure success during that time period. Here are some things that have been helpful for me.
- At my old job I used to take a ten minute walk break at 3:00. It was non negotiable. If any of my colleagues wanted to join me, I welcomed it and we would walk around the building. It helped to break up the routine of the afternoon
- At my current job, we plank – yes plank, at 3:00. It is usually just a minute but it breaks up the afternoon in the most major way because planking is FREAKING HARD. It makes me feel accomplished though because it is a tough core workout.
- If I know I need a snack, I go for the protein. Before I used to go for a piece of fruit in the afternoon but I’ve added in protein. Jerky, hardboiled eggs, protein shake. It helps because I know that I have eaten a snack that will satiate me so it helps take the justification out of munching on junk that I’m not really hungry for, but just happen to be putting in my mouth because it is there.
- I try to change up the tasks that I do in the afternoon. If I have an errand to run and can do it after lunch instead of before lunch, I do. If something needs to be filed, I try to save it for the end of the day so I can get on my feet. It helps to change my setting if possible because I have held a job where I sit in a desk all day for the past four and a half years. A change of scenery helps if I can have one.
- I have been conscious both during the week and on weekends to eat lunch a little bit later than I used to. I used to be a chronic 11:30 lunch eater (yes, early bird special over here) but by pushing my lunch back to 12 or 12:30, it seems as though lunch wasn’t SO long ago by the time 3:00 rolls around and i don’t feel as grabby for snacks and junk food as I used to.
- A cup of hot tea in the afternoon helps to take the edge of snacking off.
- On weekends, I try to stay distracted. This is a task I have not quite yet managed, especially when Mr. FtoF is working weddings. But a good book or an activity with friends helps to field the afternoon urge to eat because I am not so focused on the clock.
These are just some steps in the right direction I have taken. I have not quite yet mastered the 3:00 slump but I am working to get there. Any tips from you guys?