Sunday, March 4, 2012

Insanity. Or, I am not a morning person.

You know that old saying about the definition of insanity? I don't know who really said it, but "doing the same thing repeatedly expecting a different result," - yeah, it does sound a wee bit nutty, yes?

I have been hitting my head against the wall since September, trying to turn myself into a motivated and energetic morning person. Since I decided to homeschool, I've had to rethink a lot of things. Most things have fallen into place and we've gotten into a great routine. The missing piece of that puzzle, however, is fitness. I have not worked out consistently since last summer and it is getting ridiculous.

What does this have to do with mornings (and my disdain for them)? I figured the only time I would be able to get in a workout would be early in the morning, before everyone else is up. I don't like getting up early, but I decided I would make it work somehow. What choice do I have? I can't get to the gym after breakfast - I'm no longer dropping kids off at school, and school time is, in fact, right when I used to get my workouts in. A worthy sacrifice, I love homeschooling. However, said workouts have to occur sometime. Mid-morning no longer works, then the kids need lunch, then there isn't much time between lunch and naptime, and after naptime, well it's late afternoon by then. The childcare at my gym isn't open all day, and the YMCA, where I used to workout, doesn't have childcare for kids over 6 (and I have a 7 year old). Evenings are full with dinner, some family time, bed for the kids, then I work for at least an hour. Squeeze in some time with the hubs, and that's a day folks. No skittering off to the gym for me.

The thing is, I have to workout. It isn't optional for me. It isn't just about physical fitness. Yeah, I want to be healthy and looking good would be nice too. But I simply feel so much better when I'm in shape. I'm calmer, more energetic, and simply a lot happier. I don't have big energy slumps in the afternoon, little aches and pains that trouble me disappear, my hormones are more balanced... the list goes on. So after six months of workouts that have been intermittent at best, I'm feeling the effects. And it isn't pretty.

The insanity part? I decided I had to workout in the mornings and I've been trying. Really, I have. But I am not wired to get up early. I wish I were! I wish I was one of those people who could jump out of bed at the first beep of the alarm, ready to lace up my running shoes and hit the treadmill. That just isn't me. I'm not a stay-up-all-night kind of gal, but if I could go to bed sometime between 11 and midnight and sleep until 8-ish, that would seem like a very civilized schedule to me. It isn't just about the number of hours I sleep either. I could sleep for 10 hours, but if those 10 hours end at 6:00 am, I will still have one heck of a time rolling out of bed. So here I am, with six months of trying to get up at 6:00 to go to the gym, and successfully doing so less than half the time - if that. Gee, why are all my jeans so tight?

I'm going to stop the insanity. I'm not going to workout in the mornings. It stresses me out because each night, I watch the clock tick past 10, and I know the later I stay up, the less likely it is I'll get up when my alarm goes off. I go to bed feeling anxious because I know I'm not going to get up, and I spend the next day feeling guilty because I didn't.

I'm giving up on going to the gym for a while. I've been working out at home for the most part anyway, so I may as well accept that home workouts are my thing for a while, embrace it, and plan a routine for myself that I stand some chance of sticking with. I'll carve out some time to workout after I put my daughter down for a nap. It isn't always easy to muster the motivation in the afternoon, and it will (gasp!) cut down on my Internet time. But something's gotta give. I need to embrace who I am, how I'm wired, and work with it, instead of trying to fight it - and losing. I'm not getting anywhere with that.

So here's to new routines and, hopefully, jeans that start to fit right again.

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