Today I started a fresh workout regime. I’ll be doing INSANITY workouts and following a very healthy diet plan where I eat lots of good, healthy food, often (five-ish meals per day). I’ve done INSANITY before in two or three false starts, but this time I’m determined to go through the full two-month regimen without quitting. I can do it! I know I can.
I’ve come to realize that working out is one of the most important–if not the most important–routines I have integrated into my life. I feel so much more energetic, happy, and strong when I consistently exert myself. I was talking to my boyfriend’s cousin about this at Thanksgiving. She said that the way she has come to view working out is that, “every day I don’t work out, it’s like taking a depression pill. And the effect is cumulative.” I love that definition and find it is really true. However, to make it more positive than negative, I’ve started calling it “taking my happy pill.” This morning, after I worked out, I gleefully told my boyfriend that I had taken my happy pill and was ready to face the day.
However, something else I have come to realize is that prep work beforehand is half the battle. So yesterday and last week, there were a number of things I did to set myself up for success:
1. Threw out ALL junk food. This was imperative. I know I’m too lazy to go out just to specifically buy a candy bar or some other indulgence, so if it’s not there I’m far less likely to eat what I shouldn’t. My boyfriend recently asked me, “Hey, I’m going to go to Joe’s Ice Cream, should I pick us up a pint?” Joe’s is the best homemade ice cream purveyor in our neighborhood and their ice cream is phenomenally good, so of course this is a horrible question for him to ask me (he’s a guy, he and his metabolism just don’t get the concept of eating right to get fit). I told him that was far too dangerous. Instead, I stocked up on fruit, hot chocolate (which I’ll drink with nonfat milk), coffee, low-fat cheese and greek yogurt. I recently had a tea party with a bunch of my girlfriends, and as often happens I was left with plates and plates of leftover goodies like scones, sweet bread, chocolate chip cookies and peanut butter cups. Yes, it may seem wasteful, but into the trash it went. I have tried to give as much of it away as possible, and yes, I’ve been eating some of it myself. But I just can’t risk early diet sabotage by keeping it in the house.
2. Laundered all of my workout clothes so they were fresh and ready to go come Day 1. Dirty workout clothes can easily become an excuse not to work out.
3. Replaced the battery on my heart-rate monitor – one of the key foundations of my workout routine. I love my heart rate monitor because it helps me understand when I am really pushing myself and when I need to up the ante. My heart rate monitor died awhile ago, and it really hurt my workout schedule. It definitely held me back and became an excuse. “Well, I need to replace my heart rate monitor battery before I can really work out in earnest.” Finally, I made myself go and buy replacement batteries for the watch and chest strap, and voila, it is working again.
4. Got out the other items I’ll be using on a daily/weekly basis and made sure they’re ready to go. Does my Withings scale have plenty of battery? Am I wearing my FitBit to track sleep and calories burned? Do I have easy access to my Myotape to make body measurements to track progress every week?
5. Make sure I have plenty of time in my schedule for 9-10 hours of sleep. I sleep a TON when I first start working out. My body is slowly rebuilding itself from the inside out, and sleep is a huge part of it. I find myself sleeping a lot at first, between 8-10 hours per night. I don’t mind this. Eventually, I end up having way more energy from working out than I do from being sedentary. It’s worth the initial time loss.
I can’t even express how excited I am to have re-started my fitness routine.