In her week 2 message our fearless leader, Michelle, suggested working out in the mornings. I know there’s much debate about ‘the best time of the day’ to work out, but I agree with her logic: if you do it first thing you get it over and done with.
Well, actually she may not say that, those are my thoughts, I think her logic was more about not running out of time to do it later or being overtaken by other priorities. But frankly, the ‘getting it over and done with’ makes sense to me. There’s no better feeling, than getting off that exercise bike or driving home after pilates or boxing. And when it is early in the morning, it’s pleasant because the hard work’s behind you and the entire day is ahead of you.
There have only been 2 days that I haven’t made it out of bed to exercise before work (when I should have), but given my history of apathy and laziness, the alarm bells start ringing as soon as the procrastination starts. I have all sorts of excuses: I was tired and slept badly; it was cold; I’m feeling fragile and need to be gentle with myself… You will note I said ‘excuses’ not ‘reasons’. My mind isn’t quite that twisted yet.
Usually I convince myself that I will exercise after work instead; or go for a walk at lunch. On both occasions recently I told myself that I’d get on the exercise bike when I got home from work. I’m usually home by about 6.30pm. But frankly all I want to do then is loll in the bath (once upon a time with champagne or red wine), cook dinner and sit mindlessly in front of the television. But at 6.30 or 7am on a cold winter’s morning, while I am lying in my pink flannelette sheets, the idea of evening exercise sounds like a goer. That is, of course, until I am on the train home from work almost 12 hours later and reality sets in.
I’ve mentioned my ‘control’ issues before. I am a control freak who likes a planned and orderly existence and I try to be in control of all aspects of my life. Except when it comes to weight-related issues, when I surrender control to some other being. “Please let me have lost weight this week!” I say. “Please give me the motivation to get on the exercise bike,” I say. As if someone somewhere (maybe that genie from Monday’s post) will wave a magic wand and suddenly I will be some super-motivated, super-fit type, who struggles if she doesn’t get her daily run in (yes, apparently people like that exist; they aren’t some urban myth!).
On both occasions that I slept in, with plans to exercise alone that night, I really had to dig deep to follow through. And I had to act on Michelle’s mantra: Just fucking do it. JFDI. And both times I did. On the second occasion (last Friday) I’d all-but talked myself into not exercising. As I sat on the train heading home for the day I was mentally negotiating (with myself) to skip exercise and skip dinner and go to bed very early (figuring one balanced out the other).
But once home I told myself that I’d get on the bike for 10 minutes. I figured that way I’d feel like I’d done something. Perhaps I’d have a small dinner and still go to bed early… Of course once I was on the bike I did my full 20 minute routine. And I felt better for it. I just fucking did it.
So, I have an unblemished record. I’ve diligently exercised 6 days a week (albeit less vigorously than required). The idea of not being able to account for 6 days of exercise has been more than I could cope with…. The perfectionist in me could not bear to have to report I’d not lived up to expectations (those being mine as much as Michelle’s!).
I know I’m an overthinker. There are many times that this is not a good thingy, but particularly when it comes to doing things I really should do but don’t want to. So the big lesson for me here is that I need to not think and just act: to just fucking do it.
A while ago I mentioned a journal that was a gift from a friend. Although I attested to the fact that I wasn’t into wanky quotes, I am going to proffer yet another here. A variation on Michelle’s, which I need to continue to heed.
One of my rules is: Never try to do anything. Just do it. Ani DeFranco