Sweetest New Year

Or so said my lunch clementine.  (Eaten alongside the remaining half of the best sandwich ever.)

I get a lot of questions via e-mail about how I deal with working out after work–how I get there, how I make it work, et cetera.  Lots of people (and most bloggers I read about) work out first thing in the morning because they like to get it out of the way and/or they’re worried they’d talk themselves out of going if they didn’t do it first thing.   I already wake up at 6 to make it to work on time at 8, and the thought of getting up at, oh, 4:30 to work out makes me want to projectile vomit.  Absolutely not.  I love having an extra hour to snuggle in a warm bed with various two and four legged creatures.  Not going to happen.

So, how do I make the evening workouts happen?

Preparation!  Anticipate your excuses and nip them in the bud.

This is my gym bag.  I used to pack it every day and bring it with me to work, but I recently figured out that it’s much, much easier to pack it on Sunday and bring it home for refilling on Friday night.

Last night, I packed it with five pairs of workout bottoms (shorts, pants, capris), five tank tops, five sports bras, five pairs of socks, and my running shoes.  I also keep in there my heart rate monitor, SPIbelt, inhaler, weight lifting gloves, and hair ties and headbands.

I change in my office and head straight to the gym.  I don’t skip workouts out of laziness because they are scheduled into my day already.  I wake up every morning thinking “work and gym,” not “work, maybe gym?” because that would give me the option of weaseling out of it.  I don’t want that option.  I don’t go to the gym if there is a genuinely good reason (sickness or injury, way too much to do at home), but I very, very rarely just say “I’m lazy” and call it a day.  If nothing else, I will go to the gym, do 15 minutes of light exercise, and if I STILL feel like quitting, give myself the option of going home then.  (I never have.)

The only slight wrench I’ve ever had in these plans is a few times when I’ve forgotten my running shoes, since they travel to and from home with me every day.  The solution?  I put an old pair of running shoes in the trunk of my car.  Even if I don’t want to do a long run in them, they’ll be perfectly fine for a quick run or weight session.  So, there goes that excuse.
“I’m hungry” is also not a viable excuse.  I eat an afternoon snack every day around 4 o’clock that tides me over through my workout.   I keep a wide selection in my desk so that “but I don’t want to eat that” isn’t viable either.  Here is my stash of mostly-healthy snacks:

Popcorn, raisins, nuts, bars of varying nutritional stats, Gatorade, Crystal Light, hot tea…I’ve got it all.  I usually keep an extra piece of fruit on my desk, too (I have a clementine there now).  Bonus: a later snack plus late gym time equals a later dinner.  Tim and I usually eat around 7 p.m. on work nights, and I go to bed around 10, so there’s not much time or opportunity for late night snacking.

So, if you think you have to get up at the asscrack of dawn to be healthy while working full-time, you don’t.  Just make the commitment to a new routine and set yourself up for success!

In other news, I ran 3 miles in about 28:30 today.  I may or may not have accidentally been a huge bitch to some guy who was about to hop on the same treadmill I was waiting for (I saw the guy on it slowing down, stopped, and waited, then random guy came in all trying to bust my flow and whatnot.  I don’t think so!).  I’m feeling GREAT, aside from my blistery foot.  I’m excited to up my mileage next week.  Woo!

What are your strategies for excuse-proofing your life?

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9 Responses

  1. Yeah, I work it into my schedule as well- or I create challenges for myself haha. I would say I very rarely skip out of laziness too- I mean I’ll consider it but I usually won’t. My problem is in the winter I am constantly sick or fighting sickness so I’ll debate if its better to rest or do something haha

  2. I’m glad you didn’t let the guy jump in on the machine! That would have seriously pissed me off. I’m an after work exerciser as well- I hope to someday make the transition to early riser but I don’t see that happening. I follow the same principle as you in the sense that exercise isn’t an option; it’s scheduled into my day.

  3. What a cute little sticker on the clementine 🙂

  4. I don’t know how you work out in the evening. I have a 7 pm rule that says I put all books and studying aside then, and that includes exercise! hee.

    I like to run as soon as I get up from bed. It’s a refreshing start to a new day!

  5. New reader to your blog 🙂

    Love this post! I don’t give myself the option of weaseling out of a workout either. It’s just part of my day, plain and simple.

    Great time for your 3 miles!

  6. Your tips are awesome! I always pack my lunch and gym bag the night before so I can be relaxed in the morning. I am not a morning person, so early workouts aren’t my thing. Awesome time on the 3 miler!

  7. The “once-a-week” gymbag pack is a brilliant idea! When I actually find a regular, full-time job, I will be sure to add this to my list of Must-Do’s!
    I usually try to picture how good I will feel when I try to make excuses to avoid things I don’t want to do. Knowing the end result will make me happy is my greatest strategy for avoiding those excuses!

  8. I’m an early AM workout fiend myself… but your idea to pack one big bag for all week is so brilliant! What a great way to save time throughout the week too.

  9. I wake up every morning thinking “work and gym,” not “work, maybe gym?”

    This is my problem with working out after work, I always take the latter approach. No good. I think I need to give it a shot though, because driving to the gym at 5am hasn’t been that fun so far. Thing is, my energy is usually lowest in the late afternoon, so I find my workouts are always lacklustre!

    Getting up early to do it is easy for me, I never feel like falling back asleep. The only time I have to make an excuse is in the evenings when I’m too lazy to prepare everything for the morning!

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