To Work or to Workout...
This is not really a question. Of course, ideally do both. Maybe a work schedule isn't a challenge for you but there are other things that compete for your time. The most important actions will be the ones you do consistently, so missing a workout occasionally won't hurt - just don't fall prey to using work as an excuse not to workout. You can make great improvements to your health and fitness with as little as 10-20 minutes, 2 - 3 times a week and you CAN find that time, if it is important enough to you.
Work for me presents a variety of challenges in that I travel doing trade shows, where I'm on my feet ALL DAY LONG on hard concrete, constantly engaging the public, talking, talking, talking. I don't get a lunch break or for that matter any break while I am working as I cannot leave my booth unattended and I work alone 98% of the time. Getting regular bathroom breaks is also not easy which means that liquid intake becomes an issue as well. My shows are 10 - 14 days long and during this time, I need to plan everything: food, water and gym locations and I must manage my time wisely.
Being on one's feet on a hard surface for 11 hours or more for repeated days in a row is enough to shake anyone's workout resolve. I have to plan the right kind of food so I keep myself energetic and strong, mentally focused and alert while avoiding foods that may disagree with my digestive system. I am also a vegetarian and prefer to eat organic and while some may see that as an additional challenge, one must prepare meals anyway so what difference does it make what the meals consist of...are you kidding me?! What goes in your lunchbox makes all the difference in the world! Making time to prepare healthy, organic meals while staying in a hotel with little time to do much of anything other than work and sleep definitely takes commitment to the goal but the health paybacks make it ever so worth it.
There are days that no matter how great the level of commitment to the goal, the white noise (other stuff that your mind tries to fool you into believing should be more important than sticking to the work of achieving goals, so easy when it comes to diet issues. Have you ever met anyone that LIKES to diet?) can be the most difficult challenge to overcome. Today was a perfect example: As the end of another long day of a trade show approached, I was starting to feel the effects of 24 1/2 hours of work over the last 2 days on only 5 hours of sleep and apparently not enough calories in my lunchbox for the day. My stomach was growling and while I still had a protein bar and 20 oz. of green smoothie, I was feeling like I deserved something 'better' (meaning something with more fat or more sugar) and realized my mind was doing battle with my body, trying to talk it into chocolate. Or cheese pizza. But not the gym! I was surrounded by lots of great food and it would have been so easy to just go for it! It took a LOT of work to turn that internal battle around but I did.
By the time I left work, I was so excited to get to the gym. I was working on my C4 pre-workout drink and changing into my gym clothes while I warmed up the car, then high-tailed it to the gym. Practically skipping across the parking lot to the front door, I was asked by a departing member if I was going to workout. "Yes I am!" I eagerly replied. "The gym is closing" was his response. No! What a HUGE let down. Okay, switch to Plan B which means getting up extra early tomorrow and going before work. It means a bit more planning but by now I am getting good at that!
The point is that even with commitment and good planning, things happen that make it impossible to get to the gym. When those things are legitimate - and not the 'background noise' that is just our evil twin trying to get us to be bad - move on to the next plan. Remember: The key is consistency. And patience!
Knowing that I will feel better when I make the time for the gym is enough to get me there but I also LOVE weight training and the passion is truly what makes it happen. I have never regretted going to the gym but I have regretted missing sessions. While all the planning for work is a workout in itself and it would be so much easier to not have to go through all this, that's not very championship-manlike now, is it?