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The Tough Daily Decision I Never Regret

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
3/6/2012 6:00 PM   :  67 comments   :  15,928 Views

Exercise is an important part of my life.  It makes me feel good, both physically and mentally.  When I know I’ve got a stressful day ahead, starting it with exercise makes me feel like I’ll get through it successfully.  But that doesn’t mean it’s easy. 
 
Because of my schedule, mornings are almost always when I need to work out.  If I don’t do it before my kids get up and the day gets going, I’m much less likely to do it- or, I stress about it all day, wondering if my husband will be home on time or the kids will take a nap so that I can exercise later on.  I stress out about enough silly things throughout the day that I don’t need to add squeezing in a workout to the list.  So most mornings (somewhere between 5:30 and 6:30 a.m.), you’ll find me exercising.  Even though it’s a habit and I’ve been doing it for a long time, the choice is never simple.  This is kind of how it usually goes:
 
Alarm goes off and I roll over in disbelief that it’s already 5:00 a.m. and time to get up.  I lay there for a few minutes thinking about the workout I’ve planned for the morning and whether or not I have the energy to do it.  Then the internal conversation with myself begins.
 
“Maybe my husband can give the kids dinner while I run on the treadmill.  But if I do that, then I miss a family dinner which I don’t like to do.  And if I spend that time exercising, I’ll have less time to do work or read with the kids later on.”
 
“Maybe I can run while the kids take a nap.  But there’s never a guarantee that all three of them will sleep at the same time (they usually don’t), so if I get all ready to run and can’t, I’m going to be annoyed.”
 
“Maybe I can just skip my workout today.  But if I do that, I’m going to be mad at myself later on.”
 
"Oh geez, just get up and do it already."
 
Nine times out of ten, I end up doing the workout anyway.  Even though sleep or quiet time sounds better in the moment, I’m ALWAYS glad after it’s over that I decided to exercise.  I try to remember how I feel after I decide to postpone my morning workout, and it’s never very good.  That’s what keeps me motivated to get out of bed and get moving.
 
As you can see, it’s never an easy decision.  The same thing goes for making healthy food choices, heading to the gym after a long day of work, or getting an extra hour of much needed sleep instead of staying up to watch your favorite TV show.  You know what you should do, and to help make that decision less complicated, think about how you’ll feel afterward.  If you know that you’ll feel fine about finishing that bag of M&M’s or skipping your workout, then go for it.  But if you know you’ll be disappointed, maybe it’s time to rethink that choice.
 
What do you think?  Are there tough decisions you make every day that you never regret?


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Comments

  • 67
    Yep, I have the same internal dialog with myself. I generally KNOW that if I don't get up early and get it out of the way, exercise will not happen for the day.
    My solution: I prepay my trainer at the beginning of each month...so if I miss one of my 3 scheduled workouts each week, I lose money. The cost is minimal ($10 per session) but still, how many of us will throw away $10 just to stay in bed for a half hour longer - and like you wrote, it feels SO amazing once the workout is over. You get an entire day of feeling accomplished, not to mention the added benefit of continued calorie burning turned up on high when you start your day with cardio/strength combo workouts.
    Great Blog and excellent reminder to anyone - especially during these cold winter months when staying in bed always sounds like the best choice. - 12/5/2013   4:02:33 PM
  • 66
    It is so true that even when exercise is a priority, we still have get rid of the down talk that can make us skip it. I really liked what you shared here. - 6/14/2013   6:22:35 AM
  • TIMETOSHINE43
    65
    I go through similar thoughts. Except I drive into work with my husband and have no choice since I am in the city two hours early. I sleep with my work-out clothes and know I can't go to work in work-out clothes so have to get to gym to shower and change. Only one time I got there and was really pushing myself not to work out, but I ended up doing legs only and what a great work-out that turned out to be. So, in the end, such as your blog says...think about how you will feel afterwards. - 3/18/2013   11:55:03 AM
  • 64
    I have plenty of excuses and use them! I care for my step father and I feel I need to be home. The bands are in the family room. Thank-you for shedding a new light on getting off my butt. - 3/7/2013   10:06:34 AM
  • 63
    Thanks for this blog! I know a lot of people say that once exercise becomes a habit they always look forward to it and that they have no hesitations....

    I don't think I'll ever get to that point, I definitely let these type of arguments from my non-exerciser-self win and then my good habits slip. I LOVE when I don't let this argument win and I love knowing that even when the habit is formed I am not the only one fighting myself to just get out and do it. I, too, always feel better afterwards and that is what you have to keep in mind!!!

    Thanks for the honesty of this post...it is good to know that there are committed exercisers who still struggle with making it happen :) - 2/27/2013   11:32:34 AM
  • 62
    Great blog! - 1/12/2013   10:40:12 AM
  • SUNNYLIFE72
    61
    I'm also a Mom who struggles with spending time away from the kids. So yes, I get up early too. As they get older though, they are involved. They like to bike ride or walk with me at times. I always feel good after exercising - physically and it elevates my mood. I have to remember to exercise for me. It makes me a more fit, happier and healthier Mama, so it's worth it. When I make healthy choices like exercising and eating healthy, 'm actually a good role model for my kids (and so are you!). Keep up the good work! - 12/23/2012   6:25:14 AM
  • 60
    I used to be an early morning exerciser. Now I think about working out during lunch. The Y is right across from my office. I rarely make it there. I need to go back to morning workouts. Then they always get done! Thanks for the blog! - 10/24/2012   9:31:09 AM
  • 59
    I get up at 3:40 in order to get a workout in before I get ready and leave for work. It sounds ridiculous, but it works for me. - 10/8/2012   1:41:15 PM
  • 58
    Mornings for me, too, normally taking classes. In May I had a shoulder injury and am not able to lift weights until the doctor releases me. While it is easy for me to take classes at 5:30am it is much more difficult to exercise on my own at that hour. I am struggling both with the exasperation of my shoulder not getting better and not exercising as much, which of course result in my weight not budging. I am really at a stalemate until I get my head in the right place. I wish I could take my head off and go to the gym; I could exercise in peace because the rest of my body would do what I told it to without any sass. - 9/23/2012   10:30:39 AM
  • ARUSHING2
    57
    You have managed to state clearly and concisely how I feel about conditioning and being fit. Thank you for sharing your commitment, your article, feelings, thank you very much. - 9/21/2012   2:05:20 PM
  • MINNIEKS6101
    56
    I think you just wrote my thoughts down! I contemplate this every morning yet I get on the treadmill every morning at 5:15 and an hour later am so happy I did it! Here's to making good choices and continuing them!! - 9/11/2012   1:57:49 PM
  • 55
    Great blog! It's so true. I really need to think about how skipping my exercise sessions will make me feel before I make the decision to skip. Usually I will make excuses to ease my guilt but it still weighs in the back of my mind. - 8/23/2012   6:41:34 AM
  • N0M0R3
    54
    This is me. I am the same way. I have to do it when my 4 kids are sleeping or it doesn't get done. It just doesn't feel as good to work out when you can hear the kids bickering and have to get off the elliptical to stop a fight! That is why I always do my workout whether I want to or not. - 8/15/2012   5:00:12 PM
  • 53
    Definitely...my tough decisions stem from my internal conversations and the intense desire not to work out alone but embarrassment of working out with someone watching. It's a vicious cycle that I'm working to get out of...quickly. - 8/1/2012   11:05:58 AM
  • MANDELOVICH
    52
    I get up at 4am everyday to have time to exercise. It never gets easier to wake up at that hour, but I never miss my workout because it always feels great once I'm done. I love having that time for myself and in my current life, that is really the only time I have. - 7/9/2012   10:04:59 PM
  • 51
    Hahahaha.... I am currently reading this as I'm postponing my morning work-out, which I also will not have time for later in the day. Arrrggh, okay okay, I'm getting out of bed.

    Great article! - 6/18/2012   6:49:35 AM
  • LIZZIE45133
    50
    Thank you so much for this! I really thought I was the only one who thought these things. You are right, it is about making choices that make us feel good afterwards. I never thought of it this way and this will help me make better ones. - 5/3/2012   7:43:10 AM
  • 49
    You really hit the nail on the head about those first early morning decisions define the tone for the rest of your day. Morning workouts are the only time I can fit in a great workout. - 4/20/2012   1:15:57 PM
  • 48
    Love the blog. I have found that if I make exercise an appointment, it is easier for me. I have an appointment time with Denise Austin or Leslie Sansone each morning for exercise class. They might not know if I am late or miss my appointment; but I know. The appointment time has also become a habit. - 3/10/2012   6:46:19 PM
  • 47
    I have a very similar conversation every morning at 5:00. And by 5:03 I'm out of bed. My problem is I need 7 hours of sleep at night and routinely only get 6. It's my fault because I just don't go to bed. I can only do this for so long then the lack of sleep catches up with me. Generally with a vengenance, I'm sleeping so soundly that I don't even hear the alarm or the rest of the family leaving the house until about 7:30. Thank god I don't have to be to work at set time.
    - 3/10/2012   9:06:50 AM
  • 46
    I'm fortunate that I'm now retired and "my time is my own". Yeah, right! I'm as busy as I was when I was working 60 hour weeks with a 45 minute commute each way. I usually walk mid-morning, when the sun is up and the morning chill has left, but sometimes I have other things to do and I discover that it's 4 pm and I haven't exercised yet. That's when the stress really builds up. I want to take my walk, but it's time to start dinner. In the winter it's too dark to walk after about 4:30 anyway and quite often too wet and cold. Usually I can convince myself that a WATP DVD is an acceptable substitute, but the conversation to get to that point is really chaotic. - 3/9/2012   12:58:26 PM
  • 45
    I have this conversation at the same time 5am every morning. Im not a 9 out of 10 person. I say out of a week 2 days I don't convince myself to get up. I say oh I'll do it as soon as I get in from work. Nope that never happends. I have to be more discipline and workout every weekday morning. Can't wait to be 100% consistent. - 3/9/2012   11:52:53 AM
  • 44
    for me I made 3 rules for myself that I try real hard not to break. One is that I don't miss my workouts and use no excuse except for being sick. So when my alarm goes off I get up and get my workout in. I usually don't have any head conversations with myself I just get up and do it. - 3/8/2012   5:18:11 PM
  • 43
    I always do my workout in the evening i discovered it kept my FBS lower in the morning. It also helps me to get a good nights sleep. I might miss a little TV but this is a much better choice especially when you can always see whatever some place else. Once I miss my exercise, I cannot rerun that time. Pat in Maine. - 3/8/2012   1:47:45 PM
  • 42
    I need to make the decision to get up and get it done! - 3/8/2012   12:48:23 PM
  • 41
    I have a similar internal dialogue with myself most mornings. Somewhere around 10 a.m. though, I am so glad that I did get up and do something. It seems that if I start the day with a great choice like exercise, the rest of the day follows suit. Excellent thoughts in the article. - 3/8/2012   8:35:13 AM
  • 2012ISNOW
    40
    Early mornings are the best for me too - Another good thing is the time saving because one doesn't have to take 2 showers if you exercise before the morning shower ... - 3/8/2012   8:27:23 AM
  • IWASLOLA
    39
    Thank you for once again showing me that I am not alone. I have this same conversation every day. - 3/7/2012   11:06:36 PM
  • 38
    Wow those internal monologues sound really familiar. I too was hoping that one day I'd be able to do it without the battle. I enjoyed the article - thanks for your thoughts - 3/7/2012   10:07:21 PM
  • 37
    Jen, This is a great and very real blog! Thanks! Exercise is non-negotiable for me. Even if I just take my morning walk, I just "do it!" I have 4 kids still at home, all with special needs and no extra help. For sure, I NEED and WANT my workout! I walk every morning no matter the weather doing circles around my property. I have the dogs out with me (Border Collies and Sheltie and they are my companions. I am a much better mom to my kids and person in general when I take care of me first. Thanks again, Cathy - 3/7/2012   8:12:54 PM
  • 36
    I like to run on my lunch hour, especially on the stressful days. Helps clear my mind for the afternoon. - 3/7/2012   7:25:50 PM
  • 35
    As long as my life is engineered so that the workouts are built into their own time slot, things go well for me.

    I like group exercise classes because they're at a set time and place and people will notice if I don't show up. It makes the internal dialog pretty minimal, because there's no question of not going. I just go, because that's what I do on that day at that time. My car drives there automatically.

    Of course it helps that I don't have kids or other unpredictable and competing necessities demanding my attention. - 3/7/2012   5:57:33 PM
  • 34
    I have been thinking about getting up early to do my workout. There are days I don't make it to the gym or the pool, and I feel sluggish. I try to convince myself to get on the treadmill, but that doesn't always happen either. - 3/7/2012   5:55:31 PM
  • BBROBOZIO
    33
    You've motivated me to do this. I wake up early and lie in bed reading or playing a dumb game on my phone. Such a waste of time. (not so much reading, but it's definitely not as important as exercise.) Right now I'm on my spinner, during my lunch break, and it adds a lot of stress and activity to the middle of my day when I could do something else. - 3/7/2012   3:53:11 PM
  • 32
    It's my daily struggle too. It helps to know I'm not alone. I feel great when I exercise and I hate the results of making one bad decision after the other. I'm getting back on track! - 3/7/2012   2:23:21 PM
  • 31
    I have yet to figure out what schedule works best for me.

    I am a stay at home mom and I kind of revolve around my kids' schedules, we also homeschool our oldest.

    Some nights are better than others in regards to the kids' sleeping habits. Even though I've had them on a sleeping schedule since practically day 1, lately, they've been a little off balance. Some nights, my 22 month old will fight sleep until 11:30 at night. When that happens, I am just way too tired to get up at 5 in the morning to exercise.

    So, I just try to fit it in whenever I can throughout the day. - 3/7/2012   1:56:54 PM
  • SUEZQU
    30
    I have a strong motivational tool for exercise in the mornings. My alarm goes off at 4:00 am. I leave the house by 4:30 and have a 1.1 mile walk to catch the commuter bus at 5:00 am. To be at work on time I have to catch this bus! I haven't missed it yet. Rain or shine . (I am blessed to have availability to the gym in our office building so I can shower before I start the work day.) I should add that I do not have time in the evenings and for all my good intentions I would never get up early enough to go for a walk in the mornings until now. It's been two months and I have dropped 6 pounds. - 3/7/2012   1:03:47 PM
  • 29
    So true I always feel great afterwards no matter how lazy I felt before my workout. : ) - 3/7/2012   12:52:45 PM
  • MARIONWARSAW
    28
    I have the same conversation with myself only in the evening. I have to be at work at 6 am and have an hour commute so I am not able to workout in the morning. I go to the gym five evenings a week and stop right after work. but there are many times I try to talk myself out of stopping because I have so many things to do at home or the kids need something. I ALWAYS feel good about myself after working out. thanks for the blog it is nice to know I am not the only one who feels this way. :) - 3/7/2012   10:18:04 AM
  • 27
    And I thought that internal voice would someday shut up,, i guess not .Thanks for the blog. - 3/7/2012   9:58:22 AM
  • SCIFIMOM
    26
    As I'm sure you can tell by all the other folk motivated to respond, you really hit a nerve with this blog! This is exactly the internal conversation I've been holding with myself. And let me tell you, it doesn't get easier when your kids have grown to a more self responible age, especially if you elderly mother-in-law has joined the family. I have to really work to convince myself that my progress in health is just as important as everyone else's demands on my time.

    Thanks for doing such a good job of putting my thoughts into your words! -- Claudia - 3/7/2012   9:42:55 AM
  • MRSDEAN31
    25
    I thought I was the only one who had teh internal conversations LOL Thank you for this! - 3/7/2012   9:28:11 AM
  • 24
    Although I exercise at the other end of the day (I am SO not a morning person, but I have oodles of energy at night), I have never said I wish I hadn't worked out today. I am always so very glad I did. - 3/7/2012   9:24:45 AM
  • 23
    wow.......this is exactly what I needed to read this morning! I, too, set my alarm for 5:30 this morning, but I chose to sleep in rather than to just get up and go to the gym. so....now, I am sitting here thinking about it, regretting it, and worrying about getting a workout in later on today.

    It's great to know that there are other people out there who argue with themselves every morning just like me! I feel a little better about the fact that it's such a struggle for me to get up early now that I know that I'm not alone!

    I'll be getting up early tomorrow! You should too! - 3/7/2012   9:16:39 AM
  • 22
    This post couldn't have come at a better time. I have come to the realization lately that the absolute best time for me to work out is early in the morning. . . and I do battle with myself every morning. It does help that it's light earlier and earlier, but I have to keep this blog post in mind every time I'm rationalizing that I'll get that work out in later - because later never comes and then I'm furious with myself. Thanks so much for this! - 3/7/2012   8:10:14 AM
  • 21
    Ahahaha - have you been listening in on my conversation every morning at 4:30??? I'm right there with you, and I have to say that in 6 years of religiously exercising before everyone's up - I have NEVER regretted saying "yes" to exercise. Thanks for the post! - 3/7/2012   7:57:54 AM
  • 20
    Wow! I could have wrote this article b/c it's exactly how I feel and what I do every morning!! I am a stay at home mom who is up at 5:00am M-F to workout also. And I agree with you, it is still a struggle (almost) every morning!!! Like you, as I hit the snooze a couple of times, I think about how I will feel afterwards, if I don't get up now and the answer is always "miserable"! And the negative affect it will have on my entire day is very real. Those thoughts motivate me to get out of bed no matter how tired I am. Friends probably think I "must be a morning person" and that couldn't be further from the truth. I just have my priorities clearly in my mind. Thanks for sharing!! - 3/7/2012   6:52:16 AM
  • 19
    I love it when I read something and am nodding my head, Yes, yes! as I read! And boy, was I doing it when I read this! I NEVER regret the decision to exercise, even though I have that battle within on pretty much a daily basis. I do seem to be cutting it closer and closer timewise every morning, though..

    thanks for another great blog!! - 3/7/2012   6:04:41 AM
  • 18
    I feel like you have been in my head!! This is EXACTLY the conversation I have with myself almost every morning!! And everyday when I end up being able to read my book and have a cup of tea while the kids are napping, I'm SO glad that I got up and took care of me first thing. And actually, my 4 year old son sometimes gets up and comes into the exercise room while I finish my workout. I don't know exactly what he's thinking but I hope that he see's a mommy taking care of herself and putting her health first. Wanting it to rub off someday... Thanks for sharing! - 3/7/2012   12:27:36 AM

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