I’ve always been a morning person. Even if I have the opportunity to lie in, I tend to struggle to. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t often spring out of bed, singing along with the birds. I still have to drag myself up most mornings, especially if I’ve been up to the girls in the night (haha, ‘IF I’ve been up’!! There hasn’t been a night in a long time that I haven’t got up to one or both!!). But I find I’m better first thing, and tiredness creeps in as the day goes on.
I’ve also always been pretty active. I enjoy exercising. I love the natural endorphins exercise releases and always feel better when I’ve sweated it out. I go to bootcamp a couple of times a week, when the girls are in childcare, at the end of my working day before picking them up. But it’s always a struggle to make myself go because it’s the end of the day. And two days exercise just isn’t enough for me really. If I plan that I’ll head out for a run or do a home exercise session once the girls are in bed, it just doesn’t happen. By the time they’re sorted, I just don’t have the energy or motivation to get going.
Last December, I started to suffer with anxiety, which I think was definitely brought on by sleep deprivation. I still get a lot of anxious moments, but I wanted to nip it in the bud before it really took hold. So, I started to increase the amount of exercise I was doing. I set my alarm for 5.30am every morning and went for a quick 25 minute run (well, slow if we’re talking pace!), so that I could be out, back and showered before Sean left for work and the girls were up. It didn’t last though. Routines are so easy to break aren’t they.
But a couple of months ago, I decided to get going again with my 5.30am starts. Not least because the only exercise I was fitting in was those two bootcamp sessions, and it just wasn’t enough. There are times when I don’t get up. Like when sleep is really really bad, and I might even still be up with one of the girls. Or when I’ve only just laid my head back in the pillow when the alarm goes. Or if I’m feeling a bit ill. But when I can, the alarm goes off at 5.30am. I either head out for a run, or do a home HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) session. I do my best to do this 5 mornings a week, but aim to manage at least 3, as I also have those two bootcamp late afternoon sessions.
I do think your day is better off when you get up early. I remember days before kids, lying in bed half the day on a weekend, and feeling disgusting and lazy for it. I don’t think I really enjoyed it, and did it more because I was hungover and there wasn’t much else to do with the day! I’m much happier, and in a better state of mind, if my day starts early, and I squeeze more out of the hours we’re given.
Of course, all this exercise means I’m a size 10 right? Not so! While I have the exercise sorted, my eating could do with an overhaul. Not least because I have an underactive thryoid, and a horrific metabolism, that means if I even think of indulging then pounds are quickly piled on. I’m trying to make a few changes to my diet, snacking on fruit instead of naughties, and I’m on a mission now of 7lb a month weight loss until I feel I’m where I want to be. I’m a curvy girl, and I’ll never be skinny. I’m cool with that, more than cool with that. But there’s definitely a bit of chub that I’ll be healthier for losing.
But regardless of that chub, I just feel so much better in myself, mentally and physically, when my day starts with a bit of a sweat. I urge anyone to give it a go for a couple of weeks and see the difference in your mood and your energy levels. It’s so worth dragging yourself out of bed while the rest of the house sleeps!