On Tuesday night, September 3rd 2019, I set my Wednesday morning alarm for 6am. My plan was to get up and workout before 7 (the time I normally get the girls and myself ready for school/work). I told myself I’d just do 15 minutes. My goal was different than before. Normally, I work out to lose weight. (And I still very much want to lose weight.) But they say real change happens with inspiration or desperation and I. was. desperate. for a different kind of change.
Since surgery to remove my brain tumor in January 2016 I gained a ton of weight and as a fun bonus began my journey with anxiety and depression. I don’t think it necessarily comes in waves, but I would muster up different levels of strength to battle it in different seasons. So sometimes it’d seemingly lie dormant and other times it felt crippling. Maybe this is normal? I don’t talk about my depression though, it’s my dirty little secret. So I wouldn’t know what’s normal. But overall I had just accepted it as something happening to me that I had no control over.
So the plan formed in despair was just 15 minutes of endorphins to help combat the depression. The problem is, I hate waking up. Ask my mom who had to get me up for school everyday. Ask my husband who has countlessly let me keep sleeping when I don’t have to be up for something. Ask my girls who have been trained to crawl into bed with me until I’m ready to start the day.
And it’s not that I love sleep. I stay up crazy late and have been known to pull all nighters writing or reading. I just hate waking up. I even despise naps because of it. I always say, waking up is my least favorite thing in the world.. why would I do it twice in one day?
But Wednesday, check. I got up early. Thursday, check again.
Friday, September 7th, I got my new Fitbit. The main feature I was coveting was the silent alarm so I could be more confident in waking up early and not waking my whole family in the process. You see, I’m deaf in one ear (also a side effect of my brain surgery). So if I happen to be sleeping with my good ear down, my alarm could go off for minutes without me hearing. I needed a vibrating wrist alarm to wake up. The alarm worked great. And I kept setting it for early and getting up.
Then the craziest thing happened. I liked getting up at 6 so, on Wednesday September 11th, I tried setting my alarm for 5:45. The next morning, I woke up energized and on my own at 5:30am. BEFORE MY ALARM.
So after one week of waking up early and working out, not because I had to.. because I wanted to, I did the unthinkable… for me and Friday morning I set my alarm for 5am. Get this.. I was excited about it.
Then the weekend came, but I didn’t want to stop getting up early. So Saturday, I set my alarm for 6am. A kinda “sleep in” compromise.
Sunday, while staying in our hotel in Madison, Wisconsin… I kept the 6am alarm on (5am in the new time zone I was in) and got up for the gym.
Who am I? Seriously.
I’m not sure I’ve ever used a hotel gym before. I prayed a real prayer that no one else would be in there. And it was answered. Apparently 5am on a Sunday isn’t peak hours for gym usage.
Oh, forgot this–like a week ago.. I ran out of my cold brew coffee at the house. So I decided to give up coffee. You read that right. I’m doing all this COFFEE-LESS. If this wasn’t happening to me, I wouldn’t believe it.
I haven’t stepped on the scale. And I haven’t been paying much attention to diet, except a loosely devised plan to eat real food (and less carbs) during the week and allowing myself to eat whatever on the weekends.
Here’s what I’ve been excited to tell you about, I haven’t had one ounce of depression sneak in since this started. And that’s good enough to keep me moving forward.
I’d love to talk more about this and encourage anyone toying with the idea. I don’t just wake up early. I’ve started a morning ritual (of life SAVERS– an acronym of what to do each morning) inspired by a book my friend recommended, The Miracle Morning by Hal Rod. I started it Thursday and finished it 3 days later (yesterday). I think I saw somewhere that it’s the best rated book on Amazon. And I can see why. I’ve fully drank the koolaid.
I’ve never read a book like it before and all I read are self help books. And I read a lot. Throw it in your cart. Set your alarm for an hour early. Let me know what you think.