The argument over the morning workout. Or night workout. Or fasted workout. Or fuelled workout. Or BCAAs. Or protein. It’s enough to make you want to throw in the towel and forget it already. Don’t. As one of my favourite trainers says “don’t throw in the towel, we use the towel to wipe the sweat”.
There is so much online about the “perfect time” to do your workout. Most of us are just freaking happy when we’ve done it regardless of when it actually happend. “Hey, I fucking did a workout, leave me alone about when I should have done it”. Right?? Like, after I get the kids up, fed, dressed, ready for school (daycare, preschool..) get to work for the next 8 hours, rush home, make dinner, spend time with the kids without losing my mind, get them bathed, pj’ed up, in bed AND asleep.. now you are telling me that my workout, that was squeezed in on my 30 minute lunch break, wasn’t at the “right time” and was therefore “not good enough”?
I think I can speak for most Moms (Dads, people in general) when I say screw that.
If you can find any amount time to build yourself up, give yourself the gift of exercise, the gift of TIME for yourself, sweat a little (or a lot) and make yourself feel good…then I’m sending you a high five. You are doing good things for yourself. You are doing good things for the people around you.
Self care for Moms (and ya, I’m speaking to Moms because I am one and I know the struggles, but this can apply to anyone) is hard AF. I don’t know why. Back in the day when I was a lawfully married woman, I marvelled at how my husband could cheerfully announce his plans. “going to the gym” “going golfing” “going to meet friends for drinks” etc. It fascinated me. I would never have just assumed that this was a possibility. What about the kids? What about food? What about bedtime? As though these were my sole responsibility in life. They weren’t. I was wrong and he was right. (holy shit I can’t believe I just wrote that lol). I was wrong because MY health was important. Taking a mental break from mommying was a necessity that I shrugged off. I didn’t feel as though I should need a break from my “job”. Ugh. Now I have to really think hard about why I felt that way. I’ve practiced the art of alone time and now have it down to a science. Literally, it’s in the family schedule every day lol. I love my kids..so much so that I want to be the best version of myself for them. Not just for them..but it sure is a huge motivator for me.
And this is why I workout in the morning. And yes, it’s always fasted (meaning I don’t eat before I workout) . It starts my day off with some alone time. I’m doing something that sets me up for the entire day and almost always makes me feel happy. Especially cardio in the morning. It’s done for the day and if the day ends up beating the shit out of me..well..I can sulk on the couch after bedtime comes and lick my wounds without having to worry about one more thing, if I choose. It gets me up and gets the blood flowing which helps me to think clearly all day long. It sets up a base for my nutrition for the day. The kids witness me taking my health and fitness seriously. They see that my health is as important to me as theirs is. They are witnessing me taking action on my health. That’s good for them. After all, my constant teaching about nutrition and exercise would only go so far if I wasn’t actively showing them HOW to apply those lessons. Lastly, IT’S JUST DONE. Now, I may choose to do another one after my sleeping beauties are down for the count, but the pressure is off knowing I’ve already met the days “expectations” for exercise.
Now, I realize not everyone is capable of waking up earlier than they already are for work. Not everyone wants to workout in the morning. Some people really enjoy their afternoon or evening workout. GREAT! Awesome! Perfect!
The best time to do a workout is when you can do it. Consistently. EASILY. And honestly, I think the time when you can do it with the least amount of planning for everyone else is usually when you’ll find the consistency.
It isn’t selfish to take the time, Momma. It isn’t. I promise. The world won’t implode around you. The kids won’t die from ipad or tv babysitting them for a half an hour. You might get interruptions, and that’s okay. But you deserve and need to be healthy and feel good.
There are many resources out there to help you find the workout that will suit your needs and the nutrition plan that will have you feeling amazing (I’m one of those resources, hi!!) so take some time and find what works for you and ask for help if you need it.