Are you constantly running around with no time for yourself? When this is the case, meal prep and exercise can easily slip through the cracks.
In this episode, I delve into the impact of how we use time and perceive how much time we have, has on our health. Discover a powerful technique to manage your time and prioritize your well-being: time-blocking. Get ready to face your brain’s resistance as I explore how to make time for what truly matters to you.
Then, I’ll explore the societal expectations placed on women and how it impacts the projects we take on, and therefore the amount of time that we have. These expectations often lead to judgment and shame if we fall short and don’t do what we or others expect. The pressure can even trickle down to our children, as parents push them toward success. When we can find balance and break free from this cycle, we’ll be able to have more control over our time. Through prioritizing and setting boundaries on our time, we can focus on our own health and well-being, setting a positive example for our loved ones.
Finally, I’ll revisit the topic of ‘nice lady syndrome’: when saying ‘yes’ to everything becomes a burden, overwhelming us with responsibilities, and the toll it takes on our mental and physical health.
Join me as I discuss the power of saying ‘no’ and how it will give you better health
Explore the impact of time management on health, challenge excuses, and prioritize well-being.
Discuss societal expectations, overcoming judgment, and finding balance amidst various roles.
Address the negative effects of ‘nice lady syndrome’ and the importance of setting boundaries.
Recognize the stress of overcommitment, make positive changes, and discover strategies for better well-being.
Do you feel like you have absolutely no time for yourself? Yeah. You’re not alone. So many of my clients come to me and they talk to me about how they are just running from one place to another. And they have absolutely no time to meal prep or to exercise that even self-care feels like just another item on your to-do list. If this is you, you’re going to want to listen to today’s episode.
Let’s get started.
You are listening to the done with dieting podcast. The podcast for women who are experiencing perimenopause and menopause symptoms and want to feel better – like they did before their body started changing.
I am your host, Elizabeth Sherman, Master Certified health, and life coach for women in menopause and peri menopause. I’ve helped thousands of women manage their symptoms, get off the diet roller coaster, and change their relationship with food, exercise, and stop fighting with their bodies. And I do it through a feminist lens – which means exploring how we are socialized as young women has a huge impact on our current relationship with food & exercise, our bodies, health, and ourselves.
What’s different about this podcast is that we’re exploring your health from all sides, not just food and exercise. We also address the mindset shifts that will make you happier and lead to better health.
My goal in this podcast is to illustrate that the reason diets don’t work long term is because your health doesn’t exist in a silo. Your health and your weight are a symptom of the OTHER parts of your life and how you show up. I want to help you to feel good and live the life you desire from a 360 degree approach: body, mind, and soul.
Welcome. Let’s get started.
Hey everyone, welcome to today’s podcast episode. We are talking about time management, kind of. We’re really not talking about time management because I’m not going to be giving you any strategies or things to do in terms of blocking your time or batching tasks and things like that. Although, those are amazing strategies for getting more done within a day, and maybe I’ll do a podcast on that.
But for right now, I want to talk to you if you are someone who just feels like you are running around, and you have absolutely no time to even stop and think.
And so today, on episode number 1 24 of the Done With Dieting podcast, what we’re talking about is how time and how we manage our time impacts our health. This might not be something that you really think about. However, it’s something that I address with my clients all the time.
You might think, but Elizabeth, how is that possible? You’re a Health Coach, you talk with your clients about eating and exercise. Yes. However, if there’s one thing that gets in the way of us doing our health habits, it’s time.
Time is not a renewable resource. We have a finite number of minutes in a day. We all have, and I don’t love that phrase. We all have the same 24 hours in a day. Because some of us have more responsibilities and we can’t all get the same things done within the context of 24 hours.
Although, it is true that we all have 24 hours in a day. And within those 24 hours, we need to sleep, we need to eat, we need to dress ourselves, we need to take personal hygiene care of ourselves. We need to go to the bathroom and shower and do all of those types of things.
But how we spend the rest of our time is really going to depend on the other responsibilities, the other things that you have in your life that are taking up time.
First of all, let’s talk about “I don’t have time,” because I think that that is something so many of us have in our heads. In fact, I know that myself, when I started clueing into, the thought that my brain offers me. I don’t have time. It was so interesting to be able to talk myself off of that ledge and tell myself, no, Elizabeth, you actually do have time.
Now, when it comes to our health, oftentimes we have the thought, well, I know that I’m supposed to exercise right now, but I really don’t have time to do it. And that may be true. However, oftentimes what’s more true than not is that we don’t have time to do what we think we’re supposed to do.
So, we start this all or nothing kind of thinking. Well, I don’t have time to run an hour, so therefore I’m not going to do any of it. And when you can start to expand your mind into the idea that okay, I don’t have time to go all in. What can I do so that I can actually help myself to feel better about the results that I’m getting. I also see this a lot when I think about meal prep.
So, oftentimes I’ll see that I have to meal prep, and I don’t feel like doing it. And what I’ve learned over the course of time is that I know that I have this idea in my head that, oh, I don’t have time to do that right now. However, it’s really just a way of me saying, I don’t really want to do that right now.
And using time as an excuse gets me out of that because it’s a very believable excuse, isn’t it? Like, when I tell myself I don’t have time to do that right now, like I have to go fold the laundry, or I have to do this work, or I have to do this thing, and I don’t have time to do the meal prep because I really don’t want to.
What happens is quite often, I’m not going to have time to do it later. And so, I think that that’s actually really important.
So, I said at the beginning of the podcast that I wasn’t going to teach you technique, but right now I’m teaching you technique. I will calendar everything that I have to do. So, I actually put on my calendar that I need to exercise.
And if you’ve listened to this podcast for any length of time, you know that every single morning, I get up, I do some journaling, I do some other stuff. I have two cups of coffee, and then after I’m done with my two cups of coffee at about 7:30 in the morning.
What happens is I tell myself, okay, now you have to go exercise. And every single day without fail, my brain is like, oh, I don’t want to exercise. I don’t want to do it. And it’s okay, I expect it now.
Because when we put it on our calendar to do it. What we get to do then is understand that we’re not going to want to do it, but we’re going to do it anyway because we’re adults, and this is what adults do.
They do the things that they don’t want to do. Like paying taxes, like paying bills, like brushing our teeth, like doing all of those adulty things. Exercise and prepping your food. And taking care of yourself are just one of those things that you can opt out of, but it’s not going to end well.
Anyway, what I’ve realized is that when I have the thought in my head that I don’t have time, what happens is that not doing it right now is really going to hurt me in the future.
So, you’ve heard me talk about the future version of myself. And so, I know that if I don’t do what I’m supposed to do to prep dinner at two o’clock in the afternoon. If I’m running late, well, I’m not going to have time to do it later. Because then, things need to happen like if it needs to go in the crock pot, or if it needs to marinate, or whatever it is. Needs to be taken out of the freezer, for example.
I put it there on my calendar for a reason because that’s how much time, whatever it is, needs to do its own thing. And so, what I’ve come to understand is that even with doing things like cutting veg up on the weekends, or cooking a batch of beans, or something like that. I don’t want to do it on the weekends. Because on the weekends, I just generally want to relax and not be adulty.
But I also know that if I don’t take care of the future version of myself and prep my meals ahead of time, then I’m definitely not going to feel like doing it at six o’clock on Tuesday, when I’m tired and I’ve had a long day.
And so, when I think about the excuse, and I’m using the term excuse here. It’s really just your brain coming up with reasons of why we don’t want to do it. Call it excuse, whatever. I don’t love the term excuse because it seems to elicit a lot of judgment, especially in the health and fitness industry. I don’t love the term excuse, but that’s ultimately what it is, us saying, well, I don’t have time.
That’s actually the jumping off point for the episode today. Because what I want to talk about is really, why don’t we have time? And I find this so much more true for women than I do for men.
And today, I am going to be referencing a number of different podcast episodes. So, I’m going to be referencing “Nice Lady Syndrome,” which is episode number 115. Judgment. Avoiding Judgment, and that’s episode number 122. And the “People Pleasing” episode 1 23.
So, I just did those two last week and the week before. And so, this is kind of like a three part series and they all kind of go together. And those will all be in the show notes. So, if you need to reference those later, go ahead and just click into the show notes and you’ll be able to be directed to those.
But I think that as women, we are taught, or we’re told that we can have it all. That we can have the house, the marriage, the kids, the career. I think that the dangerous part to that is that we are then also expected to want to have it all. And when we don’t, we receive judgment.
So, I’ve talked about this before that women are so judgey to one another. And we really need to stop this. So, an example of this is my client, Janie. I was talking to Janie just recently and she was talking about Pilates. And she went to Pilates because she was having some problems with her pelvic floor. And what ended up happening is that it really kind of messed her pelvic floor up even more. And that’s just a odd example.
So, don’t think that Pilates isn’t a good exercise choices, it’s fantastic if you like it. But that’s actually the point to this story is that she realized that she didn’t even like Pilates, but she thought she was supposed to like Pilates.
And when she really examined, the workout that she got and the people that she was going to Pilates with. And just the entire experience that she has having around this Pilates class, she was like, you know, I don’t even like it. But like all of the women in my community love Pilates. And so therefore, I feel like I should love Pilates too.
And haven’t you had that experience before where someone has said, oh, I get this green juice from such and such place. And you’re like, yeah, I’m not really into that. And they’re like, oh, how can you not? It makes me feel so good afterwards.
Ladies, can we just stop doing that? Can we really stop shaming other women for not liking the same things that we do? I mean, God bless you and everything, but we just need to stop that.
And so, when that happens to you, when you have that experience where you don’t like something that someone else is just raving about. It’s totally 100% okay. So, if you don’t want kids okay, and I’m raising my hand right now. Because when I was at the age where all of the women my same age were getting married and having kids. I felt like there was something inherently wrong with me because I didn’t have that pull to be a mother.
I remember feeling very alienated from all of the other women who were just like, oh my God, this is just my thing to do in life. And I think that when we talk about feminism, we really want to talk about how we as women can choose whatever path we want.
How feminism has actually been positioned before has been that we should have it all. But what if we don’t want it all? We shouldn’t feel bad for not going after things that we actually don’t want. Like not wanting to have children, or like not wanting to go work, or like not wanting to start a new career, or like not liking yoga, or Pilates, or strength training, or whatever it is. We are all unique and different women. And so, we can love doing whatever it is that we want to do.
We’re often shamed or acted as if there’s something wrong with us if we don’t do or like the same things that people think that we should. Right? And there’s a little clue there. Whenever you hear the word should, whenever you say she should, or she shouldn’t, or I should, or I shouldn’t. There’s shame going on in there.
We have expectations of that person that they’re not needing. So, I should like Pilates, should I? I don’t know.
So, we tried to do all the things and we end up stressed and over-committed. And not only are we as women stressed and over-committed. But our children are also stressed and over committed. I see it with my clients all the time.
And I think that there’s been a huge shift from when we were kids, when we were in grade school, and when we were in high school. We had extracurricular activities, but those extracurricular activities weren’t stressed like they are today.
And so, in an effort to give our children the best possible life that they can possibly have, right? What we’re doing as parents is we’re trying to give our children opportunities. And what it’s doing is it’s stressing us out, and it’s stressing them out.
So, your kid has to get into the best schools. There’s a lot of pressure there. There’s a lot of judgment for parents in the later high school years. Oh, my son is going to Yale. Where’s your daughter going? You can just feel the judgment in there if your child is going to a community college because they’re not ready to go to a four year university.
There’s a lot of judgment there. We want to avoid that judgment. And in doing that, what we’re doing is we are driving ourselves crazy. We enroll our kids into all of the sports and all of the extracurricular activities.
And that’s not so much because here’s the thing. When we do that, it’s not just the kid that’s doing the extracurricular activities. We then are also on the hook, or you because you have to drive them everywhere and get them from school to practice.
I was thinking about my childhood, and I think that times were just different. I was talking to some friends and they were talking about how they drive their kids an hour, 15 minutes to go to a baseball practice. And that never would’ve flown in my family. My mom would’ve been like, no, you’re not doing that.
She had great boundaries. She was like, no, I’m not committing to that. And I’m not saying that from a place of resentment or anything like that, it’s just that that’s how things were back then.
When we are committing our children to doing these sports and activities, you’re also committing yourself. Because you are the one who’s on the hook for getting your kid to school on time with his trombone, with his uniform, or to soccer practice with his uniform, and all of the necessary equipment. And it’s super expensive too. Right?
Now, if you weren’t to do these things, if you were to tell your kid, no, you’re not playing soccer this year because I don’t have time. There’s a tremendous amount of mom guilt that goes along with that. The mom guilt is just off the charts with what kind of mom am I if I put my own needs before the wants of my children. Because that’s what it actually is.
It’s not necessarily the needs of your children. Because your children don’t need to do extracurricular activities in sports. We tell ourselves that they need to, but they don’t. And what comes along with this is something called the invisible workload. Have you heard that term before?
The invisible workload is the amount of mental stress that women take on within households. So, I had to Google it. Google says that the definition of the mental workload or the invisible workload also is the mental load of invisible work that includes a variety of tasks that are often taken for granted or even overlooked entirely.
These tasks range from making medical appointments to managing family finances, to organizing social activities. And so, for many women, they have the entire structure of the family working in their heads. Who needs to go where, what needs to go with them, and what bills need to get paid. Like they’re all on top of homework and all of the things with their kids and their partners. And also then, their friend and social network.
What happens is that we do this so that we can avoid judgment of being a bad mom. We need to keep it all together, otherwise we will be judged from others. Like, oh, she is just such a hot mess. She doesn’t remember anything. Those kids, they always forget something. Right?
I think from teachers, from other parents, from friends. And so, we take on all of this mental workload so that we can avoid judgment. And I talked about this a lot in the “Nice Lady Syndrome” Podcast, podcast episode number 115.
We feel an immense responsibility to being the good mother, the good wife, the good employee, the good friend, the good daughter, right? We have to be good in all of these different roles. And if we’re not, we’re constantly feeling like we’re letting someone down.
I was recently talking to a client about how she has absolutely no time. Now, this is a woman who recently received a cancer diagnosis, got treated. And has gone through chemotherapy is completely in remission, and is fine, and is working again. And her health is really super important to her.
And when I asked her like, what is getting in your way? Her answer was, I just don’t have any time. She has three sons who are teenagers, maybe just a little bit younger than that. And as we were going through an exercise called “The Wheel of Life.” I don’t remember how it came up, but she said that for dinner, she was making three meals.
And I looked at her and I was like, why are you making three meals? And she said, because my kids are very picky. And they want completely different things. Well, if we want more time, that might be one way of solving the problem, right? If I don’t have to make three meals for children, then it’s possible that I could have more time. She was convinced that that was not going to solve her time problem.
But as women, we are constantly taking on more and more work so that it just feels like we’re naturally handling it. And we are handling it. But so many are at a breaking point where we can’t do what we’re supposed to be doing at the level that we are doing it at.
And it completely leads to overwhelm. So many of us are completely overwhelmed every single day, and we cannot add one more thing to the pile. We cannot even think about taking some time out for ourselves. We can’t think about waking up a half an hour early so that we can have some time in the morning to ourselves.
As a result, what generally happens is we do the revenge bedtime procrastination where everyone has been picking at us all day long. And so, at night, we just want to stay up and either watch Netflix, or drink wine, or eat chocolate, or whatever it is. And then, when we do that, we finally have some silence. And we stay up way too late, and then we don’t sleep well, and the cycle starts again.
Part of the problem is going back to “nice lady syndrome,” We, as women are conditioned to say, yes. Not only that but societally, culturally, we are taught that everyone has access to our time. That our time is not valuable. And I think that that’s actually really super important here.
Because when people ask things of us, we say, yes. And when we say, yes, we are doing for everyone else. And when we are doing for everyone else, we don’t have time for ourselves.
Our boss asks us to do a special project and we say, yes, because we think that it’s going to help our career. We think that by doing this special project that we are naturally going to be up for that next promotion. Yet, we don’t advocate for ourselves when it actually comes time to. Yet, Chad, the guy who sits next to us isn’t asking for any additional work, and he leaves every day at five o’clock. Even though, he doesn’t have any kids.
So, we as women are putting in extra time at work, we’re doing extra work at home. And we’re expected to be these Stepford wives that have beautiful bodies, that wear makeup every day and have our hair done, and that we don’t age. And if we do, we’re all of a sudden not taking care of ourselves.
We feel like we have to do all of these things in order to avoid judgment from other people. This is just another flavor of people pleasing. It’s just another flavor of trying to control how other people think of us so that they won’t say, oh, she’s not a very good employee. Or, you know, I really love Jen, she’s a friend, but she hasn’t been a good friend lately. We think that our friends are saying that about us.
And I don’t even think that we think that our partners are thinking that we’re not good wives, but we’re probably thinking that other people are judging us. That we’re not good wives because we don’t outwardly show affection to our partner, or we don’t do some sort of ritual, or something in order to show other people what a devoted partner we are.
Like if we miss, if we don’t go to a specific party or an event that our partner is at, oh, I wonder how their marriage is. Right? Like we always want to put on this facade that we’ve got it all together. Our marriage is good, our children are good. And anything that is dropping through the cracks, all of a sudden, judgment.
What if we didn’t have to worry about what other people thought about us? What if we could believe that we were good employees, or good friends, or good partners, or good moms without having to prove that to anyone else. And not having to have everyone take a piece of our time.
One of the women who’s in the Feel Good Sisterhood, Amy. This is so awesome. She is practicing how to say, no. And I’m going to gift this to you too. That when we start saying no, our whole world opens up. There’s a tool that I use within the Feel Good Sisterhood and with my private coaching clients, it’s called the “Board of Directors.”
And what this board of directors does is it allows us to really kind of look at the additional workload that we take on. And it also allows us to notice where we’re being really lax in our boundaries. Because that’s actually what’s happening a lot of times is that we’re not being very diligent about our boundaries. Maybe we don’t have any boundaries, and so therefore people can kind of take advantage of us.
I may have talked about this tool before, but with the board of directors, the idea is that we have people who are giving us advice in our heads. Now, if you’ve never done the board of directors exercise before, you do have a board of directors, you just don’t know that you’ve appointed them or that they’ve appointed themselves.
Usually, it’s things like mothers or your fifth grade art teacher who told you that you were never going to be a good artist. Or your high school boyfriend who told you that you were a bad kisser, or all of those comments that people make to us over our lives that we’ve kept those thoughts in our heads. And whenever we go out and try to do something, whenever we go out and take a risk, that person’s voice is in our heads.
What I’m going to invite you to do is kick all of those people off of your board of directors and appoint new people. Now, one of the people that I have appointed to my board of directors is a mediocre white dude named, Chad. And we all know Chad, right?
We know Chad is just this vanilla guy. He’s not exceptional. He might be attractive, or he might not be, but he feels confident to share his opinions about everything. He’s got confidence.
Chad is just Chad. Yeah. And so, when we’re trying to decide, should I do this thing or not? One really good question to ask is, what would Chad say? Or if you’re married to a heterosexual man, what would your partner say?
So, like when you get invited to make two dozen cupcakes for the PTA. I know that most of you who are on listening to this podcast right now are probably aged out to that. But good example.
So, when someone asks something of you that it takes up time. Ask yourself, what would my partner say? What would Chad say? Chad would be like, no, I’m not doing that. And this is where we get to reclaim our time.
If you’re someone who feels like you don’t have time and you’re consistently in overwhelm, it’s probably because you have too many things that are on your plate. And some of those things that are on your plate really do not matter.
My advice to you is to look at your priorities. What is important to you? And if we’re talking about your children, one of the techniques that you can use is looking at your children at age 30, 40, 50, whatever. When they think, gosh, my mom was the best. What are the things that you are doing that make them feel loved and supported? Anything else is just busy work.
So, in closing in this episode, what I really want you to take away is that we are all in charge of our time. And as women, we are expected to do way more than most of the men who are on equal footing. Either through the mental workload or through actual time.
Acknowledging that you are doing more than you need to be doing, so many of my clients don’t want to acknowledge this truth. Because once we acknowledge it, then we have to do something about it. And that can be really scary saying, no. But if you want to change your life, this is the way through.
Now, if you want coaching on this, if you really do want to be healthier and you do not have time, I’m going to invite you to schedule a consultation call where we can talk about what are the perceived stressors in your life. And how can we get around those.
I’ll offer some solutions. And we can see if working together to clean some of those up and to help you find more time in your day is actually a good solution.
So, that’s all I have for you today. Have an amazing week, everyone. And I’ll talk to you next time. Bye-bye.
Hey, if you enjoy listening to this podcast, you have to come check out the Feel Good Sisterhood. It’s my small group coaching program where we take all this material, and we apply it. We figure out what works for us, and we don’t ever look at another diet ever again.
Join me over at elizabethsherman.com/groupcoaching. I’d love to have you join me in the Feel Good Sisterhood. See you there.