There came a point in my life about two months ago where my skinny clothes had been pushed to the very back of the closet (never a good sign), and I noticed that all I seemed to be wearing these days were loose, flowing dresses or sweatpants. I knew that my eating habits were terrible and I wasn’t all that diligent in my workouts, but when I pulled on my “fat” pants and found them difficult to button, I knew it was time for a change.
My biggest obstacle for exercise is the largest lie we tell ourselves every day: I was too busy. I worked a forty-hour work week, tutored a high-schooler three hours a week, and while still dealing with all of the little things that bog us down when trying to keep our lives in balance. Nevertheless, I decided to eliminate that excuse once and for all to become the best possible self I could be. I was done trying to compare myself with others. I am not going to weigh myself every hour of everyday and feel alternating spurts of depression/hope every time I go up or down a pound or two. This time, it’s what my body needs. So, with a pretty pristine gym membership card (it hadn’t been used in while) in hand, I woke up at 5 a.m. to meet either my best friend or worst enemy—the gym.
Now, two months later (and still floating on the fact that I saw some pretty muscles in my arm today as I lifted my morning coffee), I would like to commemorate this moment by listing five reasons why I love my morning workout.
5. It is the best time to collect thoughts, work out frustrations, just … be. On those drives in to the gym, hardly anyone is out on the road, and it gives me time to gather myself and prepare for the day ahead.
4. It encourages good eating habits for the rest of the day. Why would I sweat it out an hour in my kickboxing class and then cancel that with a hamburger?
3. I feel accomplished every time I walk in to the gym and the guy manning the desk greets me by name. It makes me feel good to know I’ve worked out enough to establish some kind of history there; it also shows, in a small way, how far I’ve come.
2. It is the best car ride home after an hour of cardio. I like to turn the music up, drum on the steering wheel, enjoy seeing the city awaken with its usual tumble into bustle, and enjoy the fact that my body has that awesome, energized thank you for what you did to me today! feeling.
1. And, of course, the number one reason I love my morning workouts is the most obvious one of all. I see results. I’m slimmer, I’m starting to see a more womanly shape, and as I bravely tried on a skirt for work today that used to be too small—and it zipped without hitching—it gave me the most positive feeling. This will not be an overnight process, but I’m beginning to think that I (gasp) might actually like exercising.
Stranger things have happened.