I will go to bed, at the latest, by 9:30pm. I will wake up at 5am, get in the car, and drive to the gym. I will work out. I will do this four mornings out of the week.
It is a delusion of grandeur for many reasons. For one thing, my poor brain/body does not recognize “9:30pm” as a viable time of day. My poor brain/body recognizes 8am (best time ever to wake up, really), 5pm (quitting time) and 12am (when I begin to watch my nightly episodes of The Golden Girls) as viables times of day. “9:30pm” is for school nights, and I haven’t been subject to a school night for–cough–fourteen years. So. Setting that kind of time for me to actually close my eyes and commence with REM sleep was laughable.
What more? Waking up at “5am.” Other than, again, choosing not to recognizing that as a viable time, I’m convinced that “5am” was reserved for murderers and taxi drivers. (I’m aware that there are plenty of nice, crime-free people who wake up at this time and yikes, even earlier, but in my opinion, those nice, crime-free people are in the minority. The majority of those awake at that time and earlier? Murderers and taxi drivers.) It’s dark enough to commit a crime, and it’s the best time to pick up people who made the wrong drinking choices the night before. As I am neither a murderer (would love to solve one, though) nor a taxi driver, waking up at “5am” has never, ever been a voluntary option. So. Setting that kind of time for me to actually open my eyes and engage in normal, human activities like getting dressed and getting in the car was extremely laughable.
All of that said, the idea that I would then take my exhausted brain/body, tired and trapped within an unholy hour, into a gym to commence with exercise? Yeah, one of the more amusing delusions I’ve ever entertained.
But I did it.
You read that right. Today marks Day Two of my former delusion of grandeur. Personally, I think it’s now a reasonable goal.
For the past two mornings, I have jumped (ok, there was no jumping) out of bed, put on my socks and shoes (I slept in my workout clothes; this is intrinsic because having to wake up and actually put them on would mean getting right back into bed), and headed straight out. Woo hoo!
The first morning was interesting. I got on the elliptical, had the music blasting on the iPod, and subsequently, after 22 minutes, thought I was going to lose my non-breakfast. I quickly moved to the treadmill and spent the remainder of the hour there, holding on to the bars in case the nausea and dizziness returned. In hindsight, I think not eating before exercising caused the nausea; although I can’t imagine eating that early in morning, something had to be burned off, and having an early dinner the night before didn’t help. As a solution, I bought some Gatorade, aka, liquid carbs. This morning, I had no problem at all. No nausea, no dizziness, no problem.
I’ve heard several variations on how long it takes to form a habit. Everything from five days to 66 days. Whatever the answer is, I certainly hope this new reasonable goal becomes a habit. It’s going to continue to undoubtedly hurt. I’m going to continue to lay in bed, gaze at the ceiling, and commence with all kinds of bargaining (“it’s ok if you miss a day; who will know but you?”) and reasoning (“you need to sleep!”) to get out of it. But I made concessions for that with the goal itself, didn’t I? It’s reasonable. Four days out of the week instead of an unrealistic seven days; going to bed by “9:30pm”, at the latest, to ensure that I least get 7.5 hours of sleep, if not 8, if I can get into bed by “9:00pm.” It can be done. Just needs discipline, consistency, and some form of painful self-pinching to get myself going. And a dose of reality, as well, because I won’t always get it 100% done. But that’s ok.
In the end, I hope for more early mornings. (Pigs just took to flight, dear reader, with the utterance of that statement.)