Thursday, May 21, 2015

How I'm Getting Back to the Gym

Hi there!

Happy Thursday! The (LONG!!) weekend is almost here!

Today I wanted to share how after a long and unfortunate falling out, I have gotten myself back into a regular workout routine. I am doing this not to brag (swear!), but in hopes that it might help someone else who has has fallen into a rut like me.

I used to share a lot on this blog about my love for staying active and getting in a great workout. I can't really put my finger on what exactly got me out of the habit of getting to the gym, but if I had to give one answer it would probably be working full time.

I remember back in law school hearing people tell me how hard it was to keep up a workout schedule once they started a full time job, but I just didn't get it. Sure, law school was a lot of work, but I had so much more freedom with my schedule.  Classes didn't go from 8am-6pm and there were always pockets of time I could use to get in a workout at the gym or pop into a barre class.

There was a good period of time after I first started working full time that Justin & I got on a schedule of going to the gym together in the morning before work. I loved it, but as I got more wrapped up in my job and schedules changed, so did my energy to get out of bed in the morning!

When we moved into our current house (May 2013), I started looking around the area for a combination tennis club/gym and found one that I absolutely loved (Midtown).  I signed up and dove into a ton of tennis, which was making me super happy, but was also hard on my wallet! Tennis is NOT a cheap sport.  A great workout, but NOT cheap! So, things on the tennis front quickly fizzled out.

Around last fall, I knew I really had to make a change. I did not feel like myself...sluggish, anxious, unhealthy and out-of-shape. Here is how I have started to turn things around:

1) Picking the Right Time for Me: When I was playing tennis, all of the classes and groups were in the evening. I realized quickly (as I should have remembered from the past!) that when working full time, I do not like saving my workouts for night.

At night, I want to be home making dinner and relaxing. I don't want to be jetting off to the gym for hours and missing even more time I could be spending at home with my husband (not trying to be cheesy, it's just true!).

My office building also has a gym that some of my co-workers use at lunch, but that was never really in the cards for me. It lacks variety and space, and I get way to red-in-the-face to head back to the office after a workout. So, it was going to have to be early morning workouts again.

2) Baby Steps: Beginning in about September or October of last year, I decided to take some baby steps towards getting back into the morning workouts. I literally would try to go workout in the morning before work once or twice a week. I needed to get myself used to waking up at 5am when I had been getting up at 7am, and that wasn't going to happen over night!

By the end of the year, I built up the goal to go into 2015 with at least 3 workouts a week. It's not a crazy amount, but starting small made this goal achievable.

I pinned this "rule list" on my 2015 Goals board and I have been trying to stick to it as much as possible:

I regularly skip Mondays because my office holds an early morning meeting (I know, isn't that just the perfect way to start the week!?!?). I have a rule that I will not wake up before 5am for anything unless it involves a beach vacation.

Now, I am up to about 4 days of early morning workouts a week and my body is finally waking up on it's own around 5am.

My goal is to get to the point where as long as I'm feeling good that morning (aka I'm not super sick with a cold or something), I get myself to the gym.

3) Focusing on Classes: I have been taking a lot more group exercise classes in the mornings. I'll do a strength/conditioning class, step class, body pump, and sometimes a pilates/yoga class. Doing something different each day of the week keeps me from getting bored and I'm starting to get to know the ladies in the classes. Their dedication to getting to class every morning inspires me and I almost feel like I'm missing out on a club or something if I don't show up!

4) Bribing Myself: I have made this morning workout experience a huge treat for myself. I make a cup of Hazelnut coffee in the Keurig and take it in the car with me.  I listen to a little Lisa + Ray on the country station and drink that whole dang cup on the way to the gym. I am still at Midtown, which is basically a resort, so that helps too.  It's pricey, but in my opinion there is no better investment if I'm using it enough. I take an extra change of comfy clothes (usually leggings and long sleeve) and some basic things I need to get ready. After the workout, I do a quick shower in their luxurious locker rooms.  I'm out the door about 30 minutes after my workout and when I get home, I just have to change into my work clothes, make a smoothie, and I'm good to go!

If anyone is already doing the morning workout thing or wants to get on board - I will totally be your texting buddy! We can encourage each other and virtually keep each other company at the crack of dawn.

Questions of the Day: What do you do to keep up your workout schedule? Have you ever fallen off the workout wagon and gotten back on?




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