Whoever tells you that waking up early in the morning is all chirping birds, fresh coffee and pink soft sunrises is lying. It’s all a lie – there are no chirping birds singing in the woods, no smell of fresh-ground coffee waiting for you, and you’re certainly not awake enough to appreciate the sunrise (no matter how Instagrammable it is). So, it’s pretty obvious that I am 100% not a morning person – never was one of them. I never have been one and in fact, I’ve always hated mornings. I hated waking up, feeling groggy and I always would complain to my friends about how miserable I am leaving the house whilst it’s still dark outside. Asking me to give up my warm, comfy bed was basically asking me to give up a body part of mine. But it is for that very reason I wanted to write about morning routines this month.
As part of a strong desire to building a healthier lifestyle into a habit (which is your typical “work out, eat well” aspirations), I began working out after work twice or thrice a week. I had no downtime in the evenings for life errands, post-work drinks (very essential, ha!) or seeing friends… Plus, this routine was not the most practical one, no matter how many bananas or energy balls I eat before heading to the gym, my energy levels were just not on parr with that of in the mornings. It seemed like, I begrudgingly admitted, that morning gym was the only answer for a better workout and to manifest more time in a day.
“Slowly but surely, I realized the grumpy voice was not going anyway, and that the trick was not to aspire to get rid of that voice, but to accept it and push back.”
I will tell you now – it was hard. It was hard forcing myself to leave the comfort and warmth of my bed and walk out the door at the crack of dawn. It was hard waking my body up, when every muscle and bone protested against moving. It took a lot of mental energy and I spent most mornings being angry and grumpy, and I cannot tell you how many times I woke up and immediately thought “WHY DO I DO THIS TO MYSELF”. Slowly but surely, I realized the grumpy voice was not going anyway, and the trick was not to aspire to get rid of that voice, but to accept it and push back. So, I learnt to ignore the voice. I learnt to shift my perspective and envision what usually happens after I work out in the mornings – I feel energized, I’m in a good mood, I feel lighter from sweating my body out and most importantly, I have never once regretted a workout.
Whatever you take away from this – whether it will inspire you to shake up your morning routine, or challenge yourself to conquer something you hate (or, of my friends are reading this, that you can’t believe I’m talking about my Amazing Morning Gym Routine again), I want to close with a reminder to not be too harsh on yourself. Many a time, if I ended up doing a lighter-than-normal workout, or even skipping the gym because I was too exhausted ( PMS situation), I would beat myself up for failing to stick to my newly fresh morning routine. But the fact is, sometimes we just need to listen to our bodies. Give credit where credit is due – if you managed to do a 20 minute cardio session on an exceptionally grumpy morning, you should absolutely give yourself a pat on the back. A holistic lifestyle change is not an easy feat, and it also doesn’t happen overnight. So, don’t be too harsh on yourself, and for every baby step you take on the treadmill, be proud of it!