Shift Work, hunger, and getting my butt in gear.

I don’t know how often I will blog about this or in this way but, for a few reasons, I wanted to create a different kind of blog entry.

Some of the reasons why I am blogging about this are: I think blogging and being open about plans/goals can help a person to keep (or get) on task by making goals seem more “solid,” and to feel held accountable. At least I’ve found this to be true personally in the past.

During various goals, including show preps and “off seasons” when I was competing, I found this incredibly helpful to help keep me on task with my training and nutrition goals. I guess I am hoping this will have a similar effect while in a different field of work and while working an over-night continental style type shift.

As a bit of a side and to give an update, I switched from personal training and much of my coaching work to working in the mental health field this past September. I love it so much but this was a big change for me (and still feels that way much of the time). There also really are things I miss about my previous positions, but I can always dabble in PT work and coaching (which I still do from time-to-time) and there are a lot of major benefits to this switch: It is a field I feel very passionately about and have a great desire to grow with, I love the learning behind everything, the new interactions and connections, the trouble shooting, the thorough training and training opportunities, and many more things. And, as I have in previous roles, I have the opportunity to work with many really amazing, intelligent, and inspiring people.

I would, however, be lying if I said I found shift work or straight night shifts easy or always enjoyable. Some people do; I do not. When beginning in the role, I was a “relief” worker, which meant covering vacation, sick time, vacant shifts, etc. However erratic this schedule was, it was a great first step and a smooth transition to experiencing this change.

I have just recently moved into a full-time spot, which is an exciting opportunity to me and is a much more regular schedule (which is better for my life as a whole and, most definitely, sleep patterns). The shift I am on for the time being is a night shift. There are aspects of night shifts that I do like, the relative quiet, the quiet reflection and check in time with clients, and the time it allows me to get caught up on various things.

There are also other things I don’t really like very much: the changes/potential strain night shifts can place on relationships, the effects on energy levels and hunger cues that it can have, and the impact on mental health that sleeping in a “reverse” schedule can have.

It seems that my hunger cues are all over the place right now and there are times where I want to eat planet earth. And I may or may not have caved to some of those wants once….a couple….okay, maybe a few times. 🙂 To prevent me from continuing to be tempted to eat planet earth, to hopefully help stabilize my hunger cues a bit, and to receive all the other benefits of eating in a nutritionally sound way (which I think are super important, especially when working abnormal shifts), I have decided to go back to a structured eating, supplementation, and training regime.

I have a love-hate relationship with structure when it comes to eating and training. On one hand, I feel being in a set routine is something that helps me thrive and feel “on task,” on the other hand, with a tendency toward perfectionism, I can tend to focus too much on the details of plans and can be mentally tough on myself if I go off plan for whatever reason.

But, with knowing it will help me stay on track during night shifts, and with knowing how important eating well and being physically active are for overall mental, emotional and physical health- back to structure it is. At least for now. I might decide I can follow hunger cues (when/if they become more “normal” on nights) and a more loosely followed overall plan later on but, right now, I think it’s probably a good idea for me to be back into structure.

Sooo…..over the next couple of days I’ll probably add something with more detail and direction about what will be done, but this entry was meant as an opener to help get my butt in gear. 🙂

Thanks for reading and I hope you have an awesome day today.

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One thought on “Shift Work, hunger, and getting my butt in gear.

  1. […] As a follow up to a post from last week, and as a part of my getting my butt in gear plan, here is the rough general break down of what is being done right now when it comes to training. […]

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