Thursday, June 23, 2011

Why I get up at 4am

My alarm goes off at 3:50am Tuesday through Friday.  That just sounds painful.  I allow myself one snooze, which amazingly I don't always use, and get up out of my cozy bed to brush my teeth, throw on my gym clothes and walk out the door.  I'm usually on the elliptical by 4:30am.  It's only Tuesday through Friday because the gym doesn't open until 5am on Monday and I have to be at work at 5:30am.  Why on earth would I do that to myself?  I mean, it's bad enough getting up in time to be at work at that ungodly hour of the morning, why force my eyelids open even earlier?

Let me just say that I am not a fitness freak, although I would love to be.  There are days I argue with myself over the multitude of reasons I shouldn't go to the gym....  and that's why I'm making this list.  To remind myself of why I should in the event that I slack off.  Not to be all preachy or "hey, look at how good I am."  Because I've started and stopped just as many times as the next person.  And chances are I will again.  I know me.

There's the obvious - I need to lose weight.  For my health, for my self-esteem, to be a better example to my children.  Unfortunately, sometimes the obvious reasons aren't motivation enough.  Sad, but true.  But now that I've been going steady for the past 4 weeks, I am reminded of other reasons that I need to go. 

  • I go to bed earlier at night.  I'm only waking up half an hour earlier than normal, but I usually find myself going to bed a good hour earlier than I do when I get to sleep in that half hour.  So I'm actually getting more sleep, and considering that I still don't get enough, every little bit helps.
  • It's ME time.  I'm the type of person who needs time to be alone.  People drain me.  I get a little time alone at night after the girls go to bed, but I spend it focusing on cleaning or doing other things, usually for other people.  So this is pure ME time.  
  • My mind is clearer after I work out.  I went through a few weeks before I went to the gym of having horrible brain fog.  I'd space out at work, go on auto-pilot while driving and end up places I didn't mean to go, all kinds of "am I losing my mind?" kind of things.  Granted, I'm still a bit of a space brain, but it's vastly better this past month.
  • I am more likely to drink water and eat better.  I mean, I didn't just kill myself on the elliptical for nothing.  I drink an entire 32 oz bottle of water before I ever make it to work.  I still need to tame my sweet tooth more, but I am far more conscious of it.
  • Music.  A lot of the music I like isn't particularly child-friendly.  It's great workout music, though and music makes me happy.
  • I can turn my frustration into something productive.  I've discovered that if I am in a foul mood, I own that machine and I am in a much better mood when I'm done.  And at 4:30am, I can come up with a multitude of reasons to be in a foul mood.  I'm not a morning person.
  • Cold showers.  I love taking a cold shower when I'm hot.  Love it.  I thought I would hate having to shower at the gym, but I actually like their shower better than mine at home.  The water pressure is nice, someone else has to clean it, and there are no toys to fish out of the drain.
  • It really helps my PMS.  For example, last month - the week before my period, I was a sobbing, angry, miserable, exhausted person.  For a whole week.  This month - my period kind of snuck up on me (is "snuck" really a word or am I showing my Southern roots?).  I knew it was coming up, but I wasn't dying for it to get here already so I could feel like a human being again. 
  • I like to sweat.  When I work out.... I don't want to be sweaty any other time. 
  • My kids think I'm a rockstar.  They think going to the gym is something awesome, so I am super cool for going.  And if I don't go and they mention it, I feel guilty. 
I could probably come up with more, but that's enough.  I don't expect to ever look like this or be able to do this:

Although that *would* be cool...

But I want to feel good.  And I do feel good right now.  =)


  1. This is a very motivational post! I'm currently on the home-stretch of my diet.. trying to lose all of my baby weight. I've only got 6 pounds to go but the last few pounds seem like the hardest to budge! But recently I have been doing my hard exercise dvd a few times a week and it seems to be helping me get closer to my goal!
    I'm very impress with how you manage to have enough energy after getting up so early, to look after your girls!

    Ashley xx

  2. This is a great post coming at a very good time. I'm about to embark on an exercise starting journey. I've never really done anything too physical (at least in the last 10 years) and decided it's time to start before it's too late. You're my inspiration! Little A is the motivation. Thanks for sharing! :-)



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