I’m a firm believer that getting enough sleep is key to the weight loss process. Sleep – getting enough or not – affects how your metabolism works, your hormones, etc. etc. And on a level that’s more outwardly obvious, it affects the choices you make throughout your day.

I need a lot of sleep, more than most people I know. If I don’t get a solid eight hours, I feel it, and it affects me negatively. Nine hours is best. And I usually do a decent job at getting what I need. Along with all the other lifestyle changes I’ve made since then, I feel much more well-rested on a regular basis than I did in college.

But of course we all have our nights when staying out sounds like a lot more fun than trudging home to get your eight hours, and that was me last night! I definitely didn’t get to bed until after 3, and I had to force myself to get up by 7:45. Ouch! So today…

  • I am very tired, obviously, which makes me unfocused on my work and grumpy about sitting at my desk.
  • I didn’t wake up in time to prepare food for breakfast and lunch, so I bought food during my workday, and didn’t make the healthiest choices.
  • I didn’t bring my gym clothes to go to spinning tonight, but I’m too tired anyway.
  • I’ll probably nap after work, but even so might have a thrown-off sleep schedule for a few days.
  • I spent too much and drank a lot last night, which makes me feel guilty about overdoing both behaviors.

But at the same time…

  • I rarely go out on weeknights, so it felt like a fun treat.
  • I ate delicious garlicky pizza, tasted some fabulous desserts, and sipped good wine. My tastebuds and tummy were happy.
  • I hung out with a fun combination of people that don’t get together as a group very often.
  • I got to see a friend I made traveling two years ago who I haven’t seen since.
  • In the grand scheme of life, a tired day, a slightly-strapped bank account, and an overabundance of calories are not really big prices to pay for activities that bring me enjoyment and happiness.

I don’t do that kind of cost-benefit analysis every time an opportunity presents itself – I’m not incredibly spontaneous by nature, but I’m not that neurotic about it! But since I’m considering the issue from a health perspective I think it’s good to lay it out to see what I lose and what I gain. Not getting enough sleep last night, and all the behaviors that preceded it – probably not the best choices. But most evenings, I do choose to work out, prepare my dinner, do housework, take a shower, read a little bit before going to bed well before midnight… that kind of thing. It’s all about the balance!

Tomorrow, or maybe even tonight after a snooze, I’ll be back on track with the healthy eating and exercising. Wahoo!

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