I know better

I have found that going to the gym has unfortunately been placed on the back burner these past few weeks.  Although going a minimum of three days is still better than none at all, I would rather go five or six times a week. This is what I’m used to, this is what keeps the stress levels down.

When I worked out with my mom in Fort Myers, my day started off at the gym, yep bright and early at 6 a.m. It’s hard to find excuses of not going when you go first thing in the morning. There was no, “I’m too tired,” at the end of the work day.

Although I work from home and make my own schedule, I’m still struggling with putting my work down for a couple of hours to go to the gym. That struggle comes when I look at my white board and see the amount of articles that are due.

I, of course know better. I know that if I do not make time for myself, I become stressed, which has a domino affect on my writing.

I’ve been waking up and going straight to my desk to start working, which I have found turns into a day without going to the gym. I get caught up in writing, editing, interviews and waiting for call backs that my day gets away from me.

I know better, days like this is when I need the gym the most.

The worst part about this is I am a member of a 24-hour gym, so I could really go at any time. With that said, when I put in a full day in my office, my brain becomes so drained that it makes the rest of my body tired as well. It’s sad, but I would rather walk downstairs and unwind in front of the TV, instead of lacing up my running shoes and hitting the gym.

On Wednesday, I started working around 8:30 a.m. The light in my office was not turned off until 7:45 that night. It was a productive day to say the least. I turned in five articles (three to one publication and one each to the other publications I work for), as well as many hours worth of editing for sections I am responsible for doing. My stress level was pretty high that day as I worked towards meeting my deadlines.

I was beyond tired …

Jason of course helped with that stress. He would pop in every once in a while, sometimes bringing yummy treats to brighten my mood. I would also walk downstairs and sit on the couch with him for 5 or 10 minutes to pull myself together again.

My stress level tends to grow, as the need to walk away from my desk and take a break rises. That day, going to the gym would have been helpful, but I couldn’t tear myself away for the fear I wouldn’t meet my deadlines.

So, Thursday I had Jason make sure I was really awake when he said goodbye before heading to work. Although it was hard to get out of bed, leave my warm covers behind, I did it and left the house before 8 that morning. It felt fantastic to start my day off on the right foot, a morning at the gym. I love starting my day off with a run, some weight training and other cardio training.

My spirits tend to stay high when I have that physical exercise in my day.

The best part about all of this was when I arrived back home there was a message waiting on our phone from Jason. He was checking up on me to make sure I did wake up and go to the gym.

It’s always helpful when you get the encouragement you need to get back into your rhythm again.

So, today I continued that trend and started on the right note again. I was out the door a little before 8 this morning. I was on my way to the gym.

I ran 1.5 miles and did more than 6 miles on the bike before ending my workout. On my way home I stopped at the grocery store to replenish my smoothie supplies, as well as grab ingredients for dinner. Today my smoothie was a mix of frozen strawberries, mangos and pineapples with a fresh banana and kiwi with orange juice. It was absolutely delicious, a wonderful treat after a great workout.

I am determined to keep myself on track, yep that means go to the gym first thing in the morning before I sit down at my desk.

When I finally made it to my desk this morning, my stress level remained low as I kept in stride and turned in article after article to my editors. I was also able to connect with some sources to finish three more articles that are due this coming week, articles I was worried I would not be able to finish. So, when Jason leaves for work tomorrow, I will put in those few hours to finish those articles and turn them in, so I can start next week on a clean slate. This of course will happen after another trip to the gym.

Hopefully then on Sunday I can take a day off, the first since the last Sunday of January.

Exercise is an incredible outlet, one that I am so thankful I found all those years ago.

Endless doubles

Jason took on a second job this week, which I’m thankful for because every little bit helps, but I sure do miss him already.

Now he is working multiple doubles in a row, yep leaving early in the morning and coming home hours after the sun goes down.

Before we moved to Tennessee he worked two jobs, gone from early morning to late at night, so I know just how hard it is going to be with him working so much. The doubles went on for quite a few months while we were saving for the move, so a lot of times I was already asleep before he walked in the door at the end of the night.

IMG_0689With that said, it never gets any easier.

It just reminds me how much I truly love spending time with Jason. When he’s gone I miss him like crazy, which only makes me more excited when he walks through the door smiling, thankful for his day to finally be over.

Although my workload can become extremely intense at times, I have the benefit of working from home. So if I need a 10 or 15 minute break I walk downstairs and breath before going back to work. Before this week, a lot of times Jason was at home. Yep I was a little spoiled.  It’s nice when Jason is home because every once in a while he’ll pop into my office as well!

Today he came home between his shifts, a short visit, but one that I truly loved. It’s always a great surprise when he does that. Today when he walked through the door I was asleep on the couch, what better way to wake up from a nap? It was great seeing him!

He’s been calling me more throughout the day when he has a moment, which is beyond thoughtful. I love hearing his voice, much better than a text.

So, after he left today it gave me the motivation to get up and go to the gym. I’m so glad I did. I kicked off my workout with the elliptical, a cardio workout that has always been challenging for me. Today I did five miles and boy did I feel every single mile once I finished. After doing my two and a half minutes of cool down, I did some stretching. This has become one of my favorite parts of my workout. I started using exercise cables to stretch my legs and it has made a huge difference. My hamstrings are always really tight, so I’m trying to find ways to loosen them up. Yesterday I ran a mile and a half, stopped and stretched and ran another mile. I felt great after I was done.

After my stretching today, I worked out my legs, yep even did the dreaded squats before finishing off my workout with another run.

Well that motivation continued after I left the gym. I stopped at the grocery store and filled the cart with a few things I know Jason loves. One of those items was blueberry muffins. I waited to make them, so they would come out of the oven around the time he came home. So they would be hot out of the oven. Unfortunately he called just a few minutes after I took them out saying he was going to be much later.  I also bought a frozen pizza for him, one of his favorite dinners. I figure it’s the least I can do after he works all day long.

That’s why this all works, we are a team, always doing for one another to make life a little easier for each other.

Berry goodness

After my workout at the gym this morning, I decided to make myself a smoothie.

So far the best one I have made.

I poured frozen mixed berries – strawberries, blueberries and blackberries – into the blender. I then cut up a banana and threw that in as well. If that wasn’t enough I poured orange juice into the mix and then scooped Chobani Greek blackberry yogurt into it before putting the lid on. A perfect drink to have after doing cardio – running and the elliptical. The best part is I’m feeling full and satisfied.

I love having Snap Fitness right up the street from where we live. I’m finding myself going as much as possible . . . even if I can only fit in some cardio for the day. I wake up thinking about gym and go to sleep thinking of what I’m going to workout the next day – yep the addiction is back.

Now that my workout is done and my drink is finished, it’s time to start writing again.

It’s going to be another great day!

Six days in a row

To say I jumped back into my gym routine is an understatement.

I’m proud of myself for going six days in a row! I have gone at all different times throughout the week and I have to say early morning and mid afternoon are my favorite.

I’ve done both cardio – running and the elliptical – and various free weights and machine exercises … I feel incredible. With that said, my body is sore, but hey that only reminds me of what I worked out.

Some of the exercises I used to do with mom at our gym in Fort Myers are slowly coming back. I hope more does. Mom always came up with some good sets that pushed us to our limits.

I guess I forgot how nice it was to do more than just cardio. I’ve noticed with lifting weights my cardio has increased.

My stamina is finally improving on the elliptical. Yesterday I reached a new level, surpassed my other workouts on the elliptical, which made me feel incredible. Yep, I’m always setting new goals for myself! 

Today I was at the gym all by myself. It was really nice, I had every piece of workout equipment to myself. I did my cardio and then used some new equipment, which I will have to use again when I workout my back next time.

Now I know when Jason is at work on the weekends I should head to the gym. I must be the only crazy one who works out on Saturday and Sunday.

The gym has definitely helped me this week. I’m really glad it’s a part of my life again. It’s an outlet I really needed, one I really enjoy.

Although I miss meeting mom at the gym in the wee hours of the morning, I’m glad I’m doing it on my own!

Second all time best

I love running, I really do!

Instead of working for a while and then hitting the gym, I went as soon as I woke up. I think that made a world of a difference. I may just have to go to my old routine – exercise early in the morning.

I am 11 seconds from my all time best run. I guess running five times a week is really improving my speed a lot faster than I anticipated. It’s encouraging to see personal progress, no matter how little it may be.

There is something rejuvenating about running. It releases so much.

I am ready to tackle the day and start crossing off articles on my to do list.

Going strong

Today marked the end of the third week since I started exercising on a regular basis again.

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I love this feeling, I love continuously pushing my body to the limit and then some. When you’re drenched in sweat you know you had a good workout.

I’m finally in a routine once again. I gave myself a set schedule. Tuesday through Saturday I hit the gym for my cardio workout (a run and time on the elliptical) and Sunday and Monday Jason and I hit the trails for some hiking.

I’m slowly seeing a change in myself – the weight is slowly shedding off – and I feel much better now that I’m exercising on a regular basis. I have always been a strong believer that you need to make time just for yourself – what better way to spend that time than exercising.

Today I ended on a great note. I shed some more time off my run, making it the best time I have ran in three weeks. I’m slowly getting back to the time I once ran, which makes me happy.

The best part is I’m starting to look forward to time spent on the elliptical. It’s getting a little easier and I’m staying on for a longer amount of time. Yep, I’m making improvements, a little at a time.

I’m on top of the world … I’m definitely glowing and always smiling and exercising is only adding to that overall happiness.

Phenomenal workout

I have to say after getting back into working out full force last week and going hiking two days in a row, my workout today was pretty incredible.

Last week I ran and did the elliptical five days in a row and then went hiking Sunday and Monday with Jason. Every muscle in my legs felt the burn during our hike, especially my calves. There were times that Jason was way ahead of my on the trails and there were other times we were right behind each other.

Instead of taking today off, I pushed through and ran my best mile since starting again after taking more than a month off. I even increased my distance on the elliptical, as well as my time. I know my body needs a rest, but I’m loving all of this activity.

It’s time to get fit again, it’s time to be active all the time.

I love running because it’s a personal challenge. You can go at your own pace and accomplish your own goals. No matter if it was my best time, I still feel incredible when I finish for the simple reason that I laced up my shoes and attempted another run.

I’m so glad running is a part of my life again. I’m liking the elliptical too, to finish off a cardio workout with that, wow, really makes you feel like you did something.

Well my breaks over, now back to some freelance writing and editing.