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Routines

June 3, 2011

As humans, we are creatures of habit, and the older we get the more and more we rely on our regular routines to keep us going through our daily activities: drinking coffee out of your old college mug, eating the same cereal for breakfast each morning, using the same shampoo/soap month after month.

The interesting part is when you are in a serious relationship with that someone special and when you get to find out their routines. You are totally dumbfounded like how anybody could be doing the same tasks differently: “You wash your hair after your body?!” “You chew with your mouth open at dinner?!” “You tuck your PJs behind the pillow when you make the bed?!”  Once you get over the abnormalities of the way your partner does things, you quickly start to develop joint routines. That was Eric and I. For close to a year, we had developed and mastered our morning routine. Wake up every day at 6am, have coffee, hit the bathroom, change and head to the gym. I do my circuit training class or run and he is on the treadmill for an hour. When we get home, I pack our usual lunches, none of which would be possible if not for the amazing Trader Joes:

  • For him: turkey sandwich with Swiss cheese on whole wheat bread, baby carrots, low fat yogurt and apple.
  • For me: organic baby greens, 3oz grilled chicken breast, veggies, avocado or nuts and some light dressing on the side.

I generally eat the same thing for breakfast, lunch and mid-afternoon snack. The evening foods vary which explains the weight ranges I see on the scale the following morning.

After lunches are ready, it’s time for my usual breakfast: egg+egg white, whole wheat toast, Laughing Cow cheese, cherry tomatoes and green tea. It takes me exactly 32 minutes to shower, do my makeup and hair and get dressed. Off to work I go.

Exercise routine cartoon

However, as much as I enjoy our routine and it has kept us working out regularly, I do like to switch things up to keep things fresh, new and exciting. So this week since I’ve started my marathon training, I’ve pushed out majority of my workouts to the afternoon/evening time as I can no longer fit everything in an hour morning slot. This is totally screwing with my internal clock. I’ve discovered in college that while the rest of my peers were napping and drooling over their textbooks in our a.m. classes, I was strangely alert and had the best notes, but come midnight I turned into a sleepy pumpkin unable to pull my load at the exam cramping sessions. So working out in the morning was a perfect fit for me. I had nothing to disrupt me from making it to the gym and it gave me energy all through the day. By 9pm I was getting beat and slept like a baby for 8 hours straight. The two downsides to working out in the morning are: time constraints, as I often need to get to work for some meeting, and I get pretty hungry all through the day or I think I am hungry because I worked out, but either way after my usual snack of Greek yogurt with fruit, I start scavenging the hallways for any secret stashes of candy or cookies or hitting the vending machine.

This week things are different. I still wake up at 6am, and instead of my usual egg & toast breakfast, I’ve switched to Kashi Go Lean cereal with light Silk milk and blueberries, which is very tasty I must say and it seems to keep me satisfied until lunch. Breakfast is now about half an hour earlier around 8am. Lunch is still the same salad at noon, but here is the difference, I am less hungry in the afternoon. I can go for 3 hours without needing a snack. At around 3:30 I eat my Greek yogurt with fruit (Looks like Fage brand is becoming my favorite as it’s super creamy, but TJ Plain Fat Free Greek yogurt is quite good as well), and at 4 I head to the gym. The first time I did this, I felt so guilty for leaving work early, but that did not last long Winking smileI was able to work out for an hour and half which at this point is a priority but most importantly I was busy working out instead of scarfing down empty mid-afternoon calories. I get home at 6:15pm, shower and start on dinner. Everything is ready just in time for Eric coming home.

I still prefer running in the morning when I have the most energy and less food in the belly, but I will continue with my late afternoon workouts at least for the next couple of months or as long as my work schedule permits. The gym is pretty empty at that time too, which is another perk to going with the Happy Hour slot. Blogging seems to be another positive hobby that I am slowing adopting which occupies my hands post-dinner allowing for my brain to realize that it’s full and delay overstuffing myself with dessert, and hopefully entertain my readers for the time being.

Are you a workout routine junkie or do you switch it up once in awhile? Do you like working out in the morning or afternoon?

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Rachel permalink
    June 3, 2011 4:43 am

    I’m loving your blog! Man, you guys are so healthy 🙂 To answer your question–I have to work out before I do my hair/make-up or it just doesn’t happen. Of course, I also like to procrastinate while I’m at home. So, some days I’m in my pajamas until mid-afternoon. Don’t tell Anson 😛

  2. Erin permalink
    June 4, 2011 12:55 pm

    I got up at 5:30 this morning to walk 2.5 with a group at Heritage park in Walkersville. I like to exercise first thing & get it out of the way. I’ve also heard working out in the morning keeps the metabolism up to burn more calories throughout the day.

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