Since starting this weight loss program 16 days ago I have been trying to exercise in the morning before work. I’m not always successful.
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
June 8, 2011
I know what she means in the sense that if you get it done first thing in the morning, no matter what happens during the rest of the day – your exercise is done. I only manage morning exercise when I have PT sessions booked in. I used to think I should try to become a morning person, but the reality is, I’m not – and doubt I ever will be! For me, exercising after work suits me better – I just need to ensure I treat it like an appointment that can’t be missed.
Good on you though for JFDI!
June 8, 2011
Hi Kathy – I’m a bit like you, I’m best at doing something in the morning if it’s locked in (pilates for example). The first week (when I was super super keen) I got up each day to exercise but the two days I’ve missed have been more recent.
I’m not naturally a morning person either (though I was once better at early mornings) but do love the feeling as I’m driving home from pilates, or once upon a time when I would be driving home from the gym and I would feel exhilarated – as much from the fact that my exercise was ‘done and dusted’ as the endorphins!
June 8, 2011
Great post! I love the whole concept of JFDI and have put it into practise a lot the last few weeks. However, even as I sit here thinking about when I can organise to do a morning workout at the gym I’m already talking myself out of it. Sure, I can still meet the 6 day training and burning 500 cals per session but I can’t find a way to commit to going to gym at 6am. I have started getting up at 5.30 and doing the DVDs which feels great when I’ve finished. And almost like I cheated the day out of exercise by the time I get home from work. But I have a plethora of excuses for not doing the gym at 6 like: it’s extremelly cold in melbourne this week, what if i don’t like the breakfast that the gym provides, what if i am too early/too late for work, i don’t like public showers, i havent been to the gym in 9 months – they’ll think im an idiot etc etc.
Good luck with conquering the morning workouts!
June 8, 2011
I think doing ANYTHING in the morning is good, so the DVDs are great. I can completely understand not wanting to head to the gym at 6am (and I live in Brisbane!). I have an exercise bike at home so there’s really no excuse for me to put it off.
Also, I think if you are exercising at night anyway then that’s great. I’m not going to a gym at the moment, or I could be more flexible (and go to a class after work). At the moment, getting home and getting on the exercise bike has taken a lot of effort and I’ve just needed to JFDI. Down the track I’m keen to try Zumba etc and guess I will have to fit that in whenever I can. The variety would be nice.
I’m thinking of getting some DVDs this weekend so I must be joining you in jumping about the warm lounge room before work some mornings!
June 8, 2011
I agree. Great post. Man Im finding the mornings hard. I bailed on my first morning session this week (yesterday) and was kicking myself when I had to stay back at work late then do a late gym class to make up for it. Hopefully it will inspire me to JFDI next time I start with the morning excuses!
June 8, 2011
Mornings are hard anyway, let alone in winter! It sounds as if you can get yourself to a class after work though, so that’s great. I find myself apathetic after work and that’s when I really need to JFDI!