The Tough Daily Decision I Never Regret

By , SparkPeople Blogger
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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MUSICNUT 1/9/2021
Thanks for the great article! :) Report
NASFKAB 11/11/2020
Great Report
NASFKAB 8/14/2020
Interesting to see working out at night keeps fasting blood sugar lower as I saw in a comment Report
This is a great article about overcoming that inner voice. The one that tells you that you can always get to it later. Thanks for the candor. I enjoyed this one. Report
STATSCAT 2/25/2020
Getting up at 05:30 every morning before work to do cardio isn't easy, and going from work to strength training 4 nights a week isn't easy either however I embrace it - there is a world of difference between DIFFICULT and DISLIKE. I am heading towards 45 and I have never been stronger or fitter and well there are 20 somethings that can't do the 10 hours a week I do in the gym Report
I hate working out, but once I get started, I'm glad I did Report
thanks for the share. our battles may be different but decisions are always part of the process. Report
For the last 21 months I've had to make tough decisions in getting healthy, sometimes offending some people. Report
This is a very good article, it is comforting to know that even the most active and fit people have trouble some days to get the workout over and done. Thank you. Report
All of my children are grown now and have children of their own, so I don't have to worry about this one. Report
Oh my gosh! So very true! I know I have to do it in the morning and I know it will make me feel better but I usually still have to talk myself into doing it! Report
Routine helps, but getting started with the exercise is always a difficult step. My mind argues with me, but my body is happy when I don't listen. It always feels so good when I'm finished. Report
A tough decision I make every day and never regret is taking the high road when people get on my nerves or say something silly Report
It's very reassuring to read that you have those internal battles - I thought it was just me!
I have that internal conversation too...lately it has been winning...but tomorrow...I will beat I come! Report
How true this article is. I love to be fit and I try to work at it every day, however, some days it is all I can do to drag myself out of bed to exercise in the AM. I grumble and moan but when I am finished, I feel great. Report
I finally made the mind-heart connection to be healthy. And in doing that, weight loss is a byproduct of being healthy because that means you need to track calories and exercise. That being said, I know that this will be my lifestyle. It's a choice I made after seeing too many people give up and quit taking care of themselves either because they didn't know how or didn't want to. But my biggest motivation is that I want to be around for a long time, especially after seeing my best friend pass away from diabetes June 2014. So I make a choice everyday to move. My kids are already grown and out of the house & hubby passed away 17 months ago so there is really no reason why I shouldn't exercise everyday. Sometimes it's in the morning. At other times in the early to mid-afternoon. Then at other times n the early evening hours. I go to the "Y" and use the treadmill, the recumbent bike, the sci-fit for the arms, and I do some upper chest weightlifting with the dumb bells. Report
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 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. Report
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. Report
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. Report
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. Report
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 is good to know that there are committed exercisers who still struggle with making it happen :) Report
Great blog! Report
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! Report
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! Report
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. Report
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. Report
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. Report
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!! Report
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. Report
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. Report 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. Report
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. Report
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! Report
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. Report
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. Report
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. Report
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.
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. Report
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. Report
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. Report
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. Report
I need to make the decision to get up and get it done! Report
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. Report
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 ... Report
Thank you for once again showing me that I am not alone. I have this same conversation every day. Report
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 Report
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 Report
I like to run on my lunch hour, especially on the stressful days. Helps clear my mind for the afternoon. Report
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. Report