Musings

Letting January Go

Oh January. I think there’s a reason why you’re considered the most depressing month of the year. I’m glad you are gone and I’m thinking positive thoughts for February.

If you’ve noticed my absence, it’s because January 2014 was a particularly tough month for me. The weather has been cold, blah and grey, complete with lots of snow days. I have self-diagnosed Seasonal Affective Disorder (Thanks Google!) and find my mood dips big time if I go too many days without seeing sunshine. In addition to the blahs, my doctor switched up my anti-depressant, which I believe was the right choice. However the taper from one drug to the other was less than pleasant. Picture me in bed more than a few times with terrible headaches. There’s currently no hope on the horizon on the job-front. And the icing on top? Our new health insurance listed zero chiropractors in this area as approved providers.* WHAT?

I tell you all of the above not to complain or have you feel sorry for me, but to share that we all have tough times.

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I love that quote and try to keep it in mind when I feel like my little world is spinning out of control. Tough times don’t mean you are a weak person. Tough times don’t mean you aren’t doing enough or trying hard enough… Tough times happen to everyone.

Luckily, February seems to be looking up. There’s a lot of possibility still hanging out in the remaining 25 days of this month and I’m going to do my best to soak all of that possibility up and do something positive with it.

Some cool stuff currently going on in my life:

  • I’m currently reading through the Bible with Lindsay. I’m a bit behind, but catching up.
  • Started a nutrition/food course today through EdX that is really interesting and will give me some continuing education I can use with my personal training clients down the road
  • Valentine’s Day is coming up. The husband and I aren’t doing anything super special, but it’s still a nice change of pace from our current daily routine.
  • I turn 27 on the 28th! Holy crap. I remember when 27 seemed so OLD to me.
  • I’m going to be applying for more jobs
  • *(Oh, and about that chiropractor business… my best friend found out that her chiropractor was going through the process of becoming in-network with my health insurance. So, I’ll be getting adjusted very soon to alleviate my back and neck pain.)

I’m also aiming to start exercising more consistently (the last two weeks have been pretty good) and eating a little more nutritiously this month.

Here’s to February and may it suck a lot less than January, which can go to Hell.

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Struggling with motivation

Happy New Year! The Holidays went by pretty fast this year, with all the busyness of moving home and all just a week before Christmas. It’s hard to believe the first weekend of 2014 is about to begin and I’ll be turning 27 this year. 27 used to seem so old to me. These days 27 doesn’t feel so old… I still feel like a teenager most days.

Sometimes I act like a teenager ,too.

Since moving home, I’ve really been struggling to find and keep motivation. I never thought I was the kind of person who cared for working out with others—it’s okay sometimes, but I prefer going solo in the gym. However, I’ve noticed my motivation to go out into the cold garage gym on my own is pretty low… I guess even though I don’t necessarily want to be working out with someone else, it’s nice to have some company around. Someone to commiserate with, perhaps?

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I could have used someone to commiserate with today because GPP’s Daily Workout kicked my ass so hard that I threw in the towel.

After moving back home, I took a few weeks off from seriously working out (I did exercise a time or two, but it was wishy-washy at best). That time off, along with all the sweets and junk has caught up to me and I feel like I’m hitting a wall with all my workouts this week.

Truthfully, I think I’m just aggravated that I’m not coming back guns a blazing after doing so well in the Skin In The Game challenge I completed before Thanksgiving. I’ve been on a bit of a downward slope since that challenge ended.

At first I justified my worsening eating habits by “needing” to eat through our fridge and pantry before moving out of our apartment. And now that we are home I’ve used the holidays, as well as our families as an excuse. Neither mine nor Jeremy’s families are healthy eaters. His parents (whom we live with) eat out a lot and even when they do cook it is often things I wouldn’t normally eat.

Luckily, our living space has its own kitchen, so all of the excuses involving our families are really lame. And need to stop. My poor eating has been a result of my own choices—not saying “no thanks” when we have something planned for dinner, but Jeremy’s parents want to go out, not choosing healthier options most of the time when we do choose to go out, and mindlessly eating way too much sugar.

It’s funny. GPP Challenges seem to come along right when I need them. I really needed the accountability that the Skin In The Game Challenge gave me. And it helped a ton! Next week GPP is hosting it’s annual Hellth Week. (Yes, that is the correct spelling.) A week of tough as shit workouts to not only kick your ass, but help you recommit to your health.

In conjunction with Hellth Week, GPP is also hosting a Sugar Challenge. No added sugar (natural or artificial) at all next week. Time to detox.

Hopefully somewhere in the midst of Hellth Week and kicking the sugar I’ll rediscover my motivation.

Stay tuned.

I am not a morning person

Most mornings I snap a quick selfie as I am getting ready to head of to the gym and post it on Instagram. My hope is to inspire others to start their day with exercise.

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This morning I received a comment on one of my photos commending me for being a morning person. The commenter also said they didn’t know how I did it and they could never drag themselves out of the bed to workout in the mornings.

I had a quick laugh to myself as I read this comment because here’s the thing:

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Now, I preface all of the following by saying that if you have no interest in working out in the morning and you prefer to workout at a different time of day, that’s fine—as long as you get your workout in. However, if you struggle with fitting in a workout or you procrastinate it all day and often end up skipping it, I highly suggest morning workouts.

I am not a morning person. Not even close. Most days I literally have to roll myself out of bed and that’s even after laying in the bed for 5-10 minutes after my alarm has gone off, trying to pep talk myself into actually getting up. Feel free to ask my husband… it drives him crazy. HE is a morning person and wakes up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to tackle the day, often before his alarm even goes off. We couldn’t be more opposite.

I used to only workout in the evening, but I noticed an emerging pattern: I was often tired or lazy at the end of the school/work day and didn’t feel like dragging myself to the gym. I missed far more workouts than I should have because of this and had a terribly tough time mustering up the motivation to get moving in the evening.

So, after college, I decided to try working out the morning. It was quite the transition for this night owl. I had to get my butt into bed earlier, which sucked. I had to stop hitting snooze, which sucked, too. And I had to make a choice: was an extra hour of sleep more important than my goals? (Note: I rarely get less than 8 hours of sleep a night.)

Eventually I decided I wanted to reach my fitness goal—at the time it was finishing my first marathon—more than I wanted the extra sleep. But, as I transitioned to fitting my workout in before work, I realized I was becoming more consistent and I didn’t have to worry about my day getting in the way of my workout because it was already done! I also noticed I had more energy and didn’t feel like I needed to chug two or three cups of coffee just to make it through the day. Not surprisingly, I was also starting to make better health and food choices during the day. I mean, when you’ve already woke up and kicked ass in the gym, why wouldn’t you try to fuel your body better?

But here’s the kicker: It is still a choice everyday for me to decide whether I will sleep through my alarm or roll myself out of bed, eat breakfast, and hit the gym before the rest of my day takes off. Two years later and it is still a choice, not a natural habit for me. Knowing myself it will probably never be natural for me, but that’s okay. There are still days when I choose to sleep in and I almost always regret it later, but I rarely regret getting my workout in first thing!