Every once in awhile a break is a good thing. I’ve taken the past month off from writing to reset for the new year and make it through some of the tougher days of January without sharing the humdrum of it all here.
Work isn’t always delightful during the midyear time, so this year I decided to focus inward on what I can control and accept whatever I cannot control.
Working Out First Thing
I’ve been truly enjoying my time using the Peloton Digital App for the last two months. I am amazed at how much I have enjoyed the workouts, and look forward to getting on my spin bike 5 days a week (sometimes more!) to workout. I’ve completed over 55+ workouts in just about 60 days. Over 25 cycling workouts, 10 or so treadmill runs, and the rest a mix of stretching, and/or strength workouts. I’ve worked my way through a 6-week cycling basics program, and look forward to more of Peloton’s prepared collections and programs.
About two weeks ago, I started working out at 5am before getting everyone out the door to go to work early in the mornings. Peloton has afforded me this option, as I don’t have to drive to and from a gym, nor do I have to even put on a coat or extra layers in the winter! If I was still at Crossfit, this wouldn’t have been a desirable option.
I lay out my workout clothes each night on my dresser. In the morning I’ve started using the Apple iWatch and Bedtime settings to wake up each morning. I never used the Bedtime feature, figuring a regular weekday alarm was good enough. Little did I know, their morning sounds for the Bedtime alarms are so much more relaxing to awaken to. How I’ve been missing out!
When I wake, I let the dogs out, give them a treat, and then get myself dressed. I quietly make my way downstairs (Chris is awake already making lunches) and then get my water setup and hop on my bike.
So far, I’ve chosen spin rides in the mornings as my bike is whisper quiet, and I wear headphones. Plus, sitting down to get started is an easy way to slowly wake my body up!
I would like to mix-in treadmill runs (as my kids seem to wake at 5:30am anyway), but I’m not sure my mind is ready for that extra pounding first thing just yet. One step at a time, maybe I’ll work on strength next.
My friend Liz wakes up to go to the gym every day at 5am, so it’s been motivating to challenge her on the iWatch two times (and win both!). Most of my day is then behind me before I even have my morning protein shake. Liz inspired me to get it done every week day, as I hated going through the day way behind her in our challenge points when working out in the late afternoons.
In addition, by working out at 5am I’m “eating the frog.” I’ve done the hardest part (typically) of my day, and the rest is easy comparatively. Usually I find myself stressed in the late afternoon trying to make sure I spend time with my children, cook a healthy meal for the family, and finish up any other tasks while trying to make the time to workout before getting them ready for their earlier bedtime.
With this positive change in schedule, I found it hasn’t been as difficult as I used to find early mornings. Usually, Chris is awake at 5am anyway, and when the children wake up early they can be a bit noisy. On regular days, my last hour of sleep from 5am to 6am is usually disturbed anyway. Now, I am less stressed by morning noise, as I awake before everyone and get a few minutes of morning silence to myself.
Getting it Right in the Kitchen
December was pretty decent with nutrition, but January for a few weeks the wheels came off. I would have a bad stress eating day, which would turn into a few days, then a week, and then I’d give up.
I had a good pep talk email exchange with my nutritionist who asked, “If you have a flat tire, would you go and slash the rest?” Ummmm, no. So, then why do I throw in the towel if I went over my macros one day. This made total sense. Just because I went a little over, doesn’t mean I have to go A LOT over. Just because one day was no good, doesn’t mean that’s it, game over for the rest of the week.
We adjusted how I handle my macros with cut days vs. metabolism reset days to better fit our family functions as well. Now, instead of two weeks cutting back, and a higher week, I have 5 days of cut backs, with 2 reset days that give me a breather each week on the days we normally might eat out or grab a tasty treat as a family. It ends up being about the same amount of time over a 3-week span, but mentally is a relief.
In the past week since the change, I’ve had 100% compliance vs. about 50-70% compliance previously. I’ve also lost a few pounds this week and enjoyed what I ate a lot more knowing I was doing well for my body. I’ve moved away from using food or other things to deal with my stress, and working out in the mornings seems to alleviate those feelings and starts my day from a place of calm.
When it all comes together, I know even though sometimes it’s hard to get up in the cold dark night at 5am, I’ll be so grateful for it afterward. Usually, within 10 minutes of starting to work out I start to feel wonderful and glad I made that decision to get up.
There are a few benefits to working out at home in the mornings, most being that I don’t have to match my outfits. If I look crazy with mismatched socks, or workout in bright colors it doesn’t matter. Sure, it shouldn’t matter, but usually one likes to look semi-presentable out in the world. Now, I can just wear whatever works and move on. I am making an effort to do my hair each day as well, so it feels nice overall.
How’s your start to 2020 been? My start has been rocky, but with what I can control I have decided to make good choices and do for myself before I do for everyone else.
I’m glad to see spring appears to be coming early this year, too!