I have been working out consistently about 4 times a week (with the exception of a week off around Christmas and another week off around Spring Break) for over a year now. I go through seasons of life where I am pretty consistent in working out, and then I have definitely been through seasons of pure laziness. Before I had kids, I usually went to the gym after work, but there was a time period where I was working crazy long hours, so I started getting up early and working out before the sun came up. I liked getting my workout over with before the day had even begun, but that eventually came to an end. After having kids, I told myself I need all the sleep I can possibly get, so I started sleeping longer in the mornings to squeeze in every minute of ZZZZZ’s I could before they woke up.
Now that my kiddos are a little older, and our nights are pretty consistent (I actually get to sleep through them…most of the time), I decided it was time for me to make working out a priority again. It took some convincing though. I talked myself out of it over and over. I fed myself a lot of bullshit throughout the years as to why I didn’t have time to workout or why I couldn’t get up early. And finally, I decided enough is enough. I am almost 40, and if I don’t start doing something on a regular basis now, I will probably never start. So, I put on my big girl panties and set my alarm…for 5:00am.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not easy peeling myself out of that warm, snuggly bed when it’s pitch black dark outside, dragging my feet to the closet, and forcing my eyes to open and focus long enough to locate my leggings. But, I am happy to say I have been sticking to this new normal, and it’s been a good thing for me.
I am not one of those people who loves to workout. I don’t get a rush from it, I don’t feel noticeably more alert, I haven’t lost any weight or changed pant sizes in the past year. I make myself workout so I can eat nachos/drink beer without so much guilt. I do it because I know it’s important for my health, especially the older I get. I do it because I want to button my jeans without having to lay down and suck it all in. I just wanted you to know that this is coming from someone who is not a workout freak. In fact, I’m pretty much the opposite.
I often get asked, “HOW do you get up that early?” So, I thought I would share a few things that have worked to help me stay on track.
Prepping for everything you need is a HUGE help when your eyes are half open and your mind is in a fog. Lay out your clothes, shoes, socks, sports bra, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, water bottle, keys, and anything else you will need for the morning. I have my routine down to the minute to allow myself to sleep as long as possible, but still have enough time to get to my class on time. If you are going to shower at the gym, then get all of that stuff ready the night before also. You want to streamline your morning…the less you have to think the better!
Don’t hit snooze
I get up the first time my alarm goes off…do NOT hit the snooze button! Snooze can’t even be an option because if I waste a few extra minutes in bed, I will be late for my class. If you find that you are subconsciously hitting the snooze button, move your alarm clock across the room. This will force you to get up to turn it off. Once you’re up, you might as well get dressed and go workout!
This is huge. I have accountability because I get charged if I sign up for a class and don’t show up. I already pay a pretty penny to attend the class, so you bet your booty I’m not going to pay extra for a no-show. Find a friend who will hold you accountable. Accountability could even be as simple as an app on your phone. There are several out there that will help you track your progress and will even send you push notifications if you don’t log in for a day or two. You could even make a deal with yourself to help with accountability. In the past, I have held myself accountable by only allowing myself to watch trash TV while I was on the treadmill. If I wanted to catch up on The Bachelor, I HAD to get on the treadmill to watch it. No exceptions.
Set goals, not just physical goals, but maybe a goal for going to the gym 50 times… then treat yourself to a new pair of leggings, or a special drink at Starbucks, or a nice bottle of wine.
Don’t get hung up on forever
If you tell yourself you are going to have to start working out and you will now be doing this for the rest.of.your.life, that sounds rather daunting. But if you just focus on this day or this week, it’s much more manageable. Set your schedule for the week and determine when you can fit in your workout. It might be 20 minutes during your lunch break, or after the kids go to bed at night. For me, the best time is in the morning because I know that is the only time of day in this season of life that I can be consistent. And consistency is key.
So, WHY do I get up and workout? Although I have maintained the same weight and pant size, I have definitely noticed that I am stronger than when I first started. I could barely do a push-up on my knees during my first class and now I can do regular push-ups with ease. I notice definition in my arms the most, but I do feel less jiggly other places too. I like that I have an hour to myself. No kids pulling at me, no one asking for anything. And, I like seeing the other women in class and briefly chatting for a few minutes before and afterwards. Some days, they are the only other adults I see in a day, besides my husband! I don’t love waking up at 5:00AM. Ahem, make that 4:55am. Not at all. But, I do love that I get my workout finished and don’t have to worry about it for the rest of the day. I love that I can shower afterwards and then I’m ready to go…not having to get sweaty in the middle of the day. I also can’t workout in the evenings anymore. It didn’t previously bother me, but the older I get, I’ve noticed that I have trouble going to sleep after a later workout. My mind and body can’t chill…I think of all sorts of things and I develop sort of a busy leg syndrome. #gettingoldsucks
There you have it. How and why I get up at the ass crack of dawn to break a sweat! So, the truth is, waking up early is hard. Especially for those of us who are not morning people. But, once you establish a habit and realize the benefits, it will become easier!
What are your tricks to staying motivated? How do you avoid getting into a workout slump?
And, here’s an outtake for ya! THIS is the main reason I am motivated to get my booty out of bed. Otherwise, I become a human jungle gym!
Shop the look here:
I LOVE these $5 tanks! I have a few different colors and they are great. I think they run a tad large, so I sized down to a small. I also love the sports bras from the same brand. They are cute, moderately supportive, and also very inexpensive. I finally broke down and purchased some Lululemon leggings. For whatever reason I was not able to link them in the widget above, but I am wearing the align pant. They run large, so I sized down. More on my lulu review to come!
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