Thursday, September 11, 2014

Up & At 'Em!

The main question I get now that I've lost some weight—and now that it’s enough that people have really begun to notice—is, “how did you do it?”  Well, there’s the short answer:  “Eating better and exercising more.”  And then there’s the long answer.  Which I will spare you.  You’re welcome. 

But when people do want to talk about the real ins and outs, they mostly want to know what I’m doing physically.  What’s the secret?  What have I changed?  Plenty.  But if I had to pinpoint the big thing I did, the major change I made, in my exercise routine (which is laughable in itself since the one I had before was, well, not one) it is that I now get up and work out in the morning.  It’s the first thing I do everyday, even on weekends.  And when I tell people this, mostly I’m met with a look of pity or disgust and the words, “oh, yeah, I couldn't do that.” 

Well, yeah, you can.  But I know where you’re coming from, because it’s exactly where I've been.  Below is a list of tips that help me get up and get going in the morning.  Things that make is easier for me to make working out a first priority instead of an afterthought.  None of these are rocket science and I’m sure you've heard of them before.  And, in the end, you have to do what works for you.  If afternoons are better, keep at it.  But if you’re looking for ways to get your booty moving in the wee hours of the morning, take a peek at what works for me. 

  • Put your alarm across the room.
    • If you’re like  me, having your alarm within arm’s length isn't going to do much for you. Listen, that snooze button is the one that will get the workout if I can reach it. So I put my phone across my room, making it necessary for me to crawl out of bed to turn it off.  Once I’m up, it’s easier for me to push myself to getting ready and working out. 
      • Extra tip: Put your alarm with your workout clothes.  Once you’re that close to them, it’s harder to walk away.  Which leads us to…

  • Lay out your clothes, Elementary School style!
    • Do you remember when you were little and your mom or dad would lay your clothes out for the next day?  Go back to those days.  If you don’t have to think about what to put on, you’re more likely to get going quicker and not talk yourself out of working out and right back into your warm, comfy bed. 
      • Extra tip:  Be sure to take the weather into consideration.  If you’re headed out for a run at 5 am in October, it might be a little chilly.  Plan for longer sleeves so you don’t hit the pavement only to turn around because you were unprepared. 

  • Set out your water / food the night before
    • I have to eat a little something before I work out.  And the last thing I want to do is take the time to prep something in the morning.  I’m already tired and, if it’s one of those days, I’m already looking for excuses to skip this whole early morning workout junk all together.   Having my pre-workout food ready to grab and eat is a must for me. 
      • Extra tip:  Don’t gobble your food and guzzle your water like you’ll never be able to eat again.  You don’t want to end up feeling sick—especially if you’re about to get into a particularly strenuous workout.  I eat something really small, like a Belvita breakfast biscuit, while taking a minute to check out the Daily Motivation on  It keeps me from eating so quickly and gets me pumped for my workout.  Double win!  (Don’t know about the Berry?  You should!  Go check it out and put the app on your phone.  Warning:  it’s highly addictive!)

  • Have a plan.
    • Look, I’m not a fly by the seat of my pants kind of girl.  I need to know what I’m going to be doing in the morning or else I spend a lot of time trying to figure it out.  Which is a waste.  And why waste time standing around in workout pants, when I can do that in the comfort of my bed?  If I’ve already got the morning workout planned I’m much less likely to skip it, because it doesn’t leave the door open for as many excuses.
      • Extra tip:  If your workout calls for printed materials, go ahead and have them ready and set out for yourself.  Need to do a video?  Have it ready to go or at least know exactly where to find it on your phone / computer / DVD player.   

  • Go to bed at a decent hour.
    • Here’s the deal.  If I don’t go to bed early enough, I don’t get up early enough.  Mind blowing, right?  I’m going  to go out on a big, fat limb and guess you’re the same way.  Sometimes life does not let you go to bed early.  I get that.  I’ve got two guys at home that I want to spend crazy amounts of time with, too.  Not to mention the endless responsibilities that come with being a Wife, Mommy and Grown Up.  But here’s the deal.  Pick your battles, set your priorities.  TV can wait.  Social media can wait. Some of those dishes and deep cleaning the carpets?  Yeah, it can wait.  Getting healthy is important.  Sleep is important.  Rest your body.  Go to bed.    
      • Extra tip:  Give yourself a bedtime and stick to it.  “I will be in bed no later than ___.”  You know when you need to put your pretty, little head to pillow in order to function well the next day.  Make a promise to yourself to be in bed by that time and then do your best to stick to it.   

  • Have a partner in crime. 
    • I have to say this one is my favorite.  There is no better motivator than having someone else willing to drag tail out of bed at some unholy hour and sweat like a beast with you.   My sister and I both get up in the morning to work out and then text each other when we’re done.  When it’s 5 am at my house, it’s 5 am at her house and I know both of our alarms are going off at the same time.  We’re pulling on workout clothes and sneakers at the same time.  We’re running and doing squats, dreaded burpees and tricep extensions at the same time.  And that makes it feel like we’re doing them together.  And that helps me keep going.  She motivates me without having to be right there.  And that’s huge
      • Extra tip:  If you’re lucky enough to have someone that lives close enough to you to meet with you, that’s great.  If not, you can still recruit a buddy to send encouraging texts, emails or even call you.  Lift each other up!  Be in this together!
Need a challenge for the next eight weeks to get up for?  Rachel and I (and my sister) are doing Tone It Up’s Frisky Fall Challenge. Check it out here.  We’re only about four days in, so that leaves you about seven and a half fitness-filled weeks left to wake up to.  

Go get it, girl!   

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