I am not a morning person.
I do not say this in the annoying, kitschy, self-deprecating cartoon-strip thought bubble way with a dramatic roll of my eyes and a wacky expression (Yeah, I’m looking at YOU, Cathy--“Ack!” indeed.), but with the quiet certainty of fact. In my 38 years on earth I can say without exaggeration that there has never been a single morning (Nope, not even Christmas morning or the first day of summer vacation) where my eyes popped open with the sun and I immediately bounded out of bed with a smile on my face and a can-do attitude ready to greet another bee-you-tee-full day!
My day invariably begins with the jolt of the alarm clock and the subsequent shushing of that clock via the flop-armed slap of the snooze button (though a lifetime of this habit has given me an extraordinarily firm grasp on all mathematical operations involving 9 minute increments) followed closely by a groan and/or a sigh and the eventual settling in of a grumpy resignation that laying in bed for just one (or nine) more minutes isn’t an option and I haul myself out of bed to begin just-another-damn-day.
But although I know this about myself, it doesn’t stop me from occasionally believing that I can work against a lifetime of droopy eyelids and train myself to greet the pre-dawn hours with not only vigor and glee, but a healthy dose of cardiovascular activity as well.
While I am an evening exerciser by nature, every so often I’ll read the accounts of those who wake up at the ass-crack of dawn and lace up their running shoes and meet the sun and all about the benefits in energy level, metabolism, weight loss (and sex appeal, and intellect, and income level, and magical powers…) and I’ll decide that I’ve been doing this all wrong. I vow to change my ways, to fight my nature and set the alarm for an hour far earlier than any self respecting night owl should ever see upon waking, and to get out there and reclaim mornings as MY time. I vow to start a new routine of early to bed and early to rise…and I sometimes (read: hardly ever) even make it past the first day!
I’m on week two of my current morning exercise experiment (which is amazing, since I rarely make it to DAY two) and I have to say that I’m finally realizing that all those promises about my body getting used to the change in it’s regular rhythm and beginning to appreciate the many benefits of A.M. activity is pretty much a load of crap. Ok, maybe it hasn’t been a TOTAL loss, but it hasn’t been exactly enriched my life much either. The time I’ve ‘saved’ for other activities in the evening is mitigated by the fact that I’m too tired to do any of them because if I’d like to sleep for more than three hours in a row I actually have to go to bed earlier. All the extra energy I was promised doesn’t seem to be materializing either. So tell me, morning people--Where’s my payoff? Huh? HUH?
One of the best things about this weight loss game is that there is an abundance of information out there from various experts and fellow fat-fighters about all the ways in which we can make ourselves more successful in our quest for better health. Unfortunately, one of the worst things about this weight loss game is that the aforementioned abundance of info can sometimes be a minefield of contradiction and complication. It seems like everyone’s got an opinion about, well, everything. When we should eat, what we should eat, what we shouldn’t eat, what exercise works, IF exercise works, what supplements to take, why we should avoid supplements, surgery that might help, why that same surgery is a tool of Satan, drink green tea, don’t eat fruit, pray to the skinny gods, stand on your head, swallow this pill, balance on this ball, wear this magnet, cleanse your colon, blah, blah, BLAH. It can be a bit mind-boggling at times. If I tried to incorporate all the diet advice I’m bombarded with on a daily basis you’d eventually find me curled up in a ball in the hall closet tangled up in rubber resistance bands babbling incoherently about high fructose corn syrup through acai berry stained lips and crying because I ate a handful of cheerios after 7PM.
Ask 100 successful losers for their very best weight loss advice, and you’re likely to get just as many different answers. How do you know which one is the right one? Hint: They ALL are. This weight loss stuff is intensely personal, it’s complicated and multi-faceted and what one person adopts as gospel just might be blasphemy to the person fighting the fat along side them. Since all that shtick they’ve been handing us for years about they key to permanent weight loss being permanent lifestyle change has turned out to be totally true, it makes sense that we might not all march to the same drummer. The longer I do this, the more I believe that the key to finding what works is to keep trying things until you find what works for YOU, that magical combination of elements that helps you find your own routine, helps you settle into the rhythm that feels right to you.
Me? I’m still working on finding my groove, and for now that means that my iPod is charged, my shoes are laced, and the dog is leashed up by 5:30 AM so that I can leave the house and put one foot in front of the other, up hills, down slopes, and over the land until my feet settle into a beat that makes me forget that how damn early it is. I stand on the front porch and look out into the dark and get ready for the day.
Rhythm? Check. Music? Check. Could I ask for anything more?
How about 9 more minutes of sleep…
(This was my take on the Theme Thursday topic of "Rhythm". You can read the other posts here)
Been a long time...
1 week ago