Weeee it’s Friday!! The weekend is finally here! Fridays actually mean nothing to me since I work Saturdays (as well as Sunday this week), but I’m excited for all you normal people who work regular Monday-Friday jobs. Have you got anything exciting planned for the weekend?
The way our computer is set up I have a great view of the Vancouver city skyline. There’s mountains off in the distance and a wide array of people on the streets below happily going about their day. Except it’s November. Which means there’s rain. And clouds. And no visible mountains. And people are no longer happily going about their day; they’re running to the bus stop with umbrellas flying and feet sloshing in puddles. This will be Vancouver for the next 6 or so months. (Side note: I started writing this post on Thursday. Now that it’s Friday it’s actually a gorgeous sunny day here. But I feel like the previous sentences paint a more accurate picture of winter in Vancouver so I’m keeping them. I’m sure this will only be 1 of 5 sunny days this season anyway.)
As the daylight hours get shorter and the weather gets shittier, it can become a lot more difficult to drag your ass out of bed in the morning to get your workout in. An evening commute home from work is never fun regardless of the weather, but when it’s cold and dark it becomes that much more miserable, and the couch seems far more appealing than a big chilly gym. Luckily it’s usually already light out by the time I wake up, but listening to the heavy rain on my window and the cat snoring beside the heater makes me feel less than pumped about walking to the gym.
Totally me in the morning right there. So how do I find the courage to get out of bed and get shit done? PREPARE FOR BATTLE! This means getting things ready the night before so there’s no excuse to sleep in the next morning or skip a workout on my way home from work on those rare occasions I work mornings. In the case of the latter, if I have a workout planned I always always ALWAYS bring my gym bag to work with me so I can go there as soon as I’m done. I know if I have a chance to go home and sit on the couch the likelihood of me making it to the gym drops by about 75%. “But I’m tiiiiiiiiirrrrreeedddd”. Suck it up, Princess. Working out can boost your energy levels so you may find you’re a bit more awake after! And even if you don’t, at least you got it done and will now spend less time laying in front of the television all night doing nothing to improve your health.
If you’re an early morning exceriser get all your clothes laid out and bag packed the night before, so when you wake up in the morning your running shoes are staring at you with longing eyes. You don’t want to deprive them of a morning out, do you?? Doing this can also give you a few extra minutes of sleep and will save you the trouble of digging for your gym clothes in the dark in an attempt to not wake the snoring man who’s all comfy and cozy in your bed. Which in turn saves you a lot of frustration, and could ultimately save your relationship. Best piece of advice I’ve ever given I think. Leave your gym clothes where they’re visible, have a long and happy relationship.
I’m not sure how Androids work, but I know with the iPhone you can set little messages to go along with each alarm.
These are great because you can put whatever type of comment motivates you in there. Some respond more to a kind, gentle push, whereas others are more responsive to an unfriendly kick in the ass. I fall in the category of the latter. If I wake up to my phone telling me I’m beautiful, I’ll think oh how nice, thanks. and then go right back to sleep. On the other hand, if I wake up to my phone telling me I’m a lazy asshole, I’ll be more inclined to get up and prove it wrong. Yes I realize that I’m talking about proving an alarm that I set wrong. Yes I may be crazy. But yes it works. And while you’re customizing your alarms, set this as your background:
Having your breakfast or pre-workout fuel ready to go is also a big helper. For the days I hit the gym after work I make sure to bring a banana and at least one other carb to have before my workout. I’d rather bring too much food with me than not enough because a) this saves me from having to go home and grabbing a quick bite, and thus risk being drawn to the lure of the couch and b) a hungry workout makes for a pissed off workout. In some cases a workout fueled by anger can be beneficial, but that is not so for those fueled by hanger (hanger: anger caused by being hungry. adjective: hangry. “Man, I am fucking hangry!”).
For those of you who are lucky enough to have one of those fancy coffee machines with a timer (which probably aren’t even all that fancy, but compared to my cheapass Wal-Mart coffee maker everything is fancy), set that puppy up the night before so after the horrendous sound of your alarm clock wakes you up, your annoyance quickly subsides as you get a whiff of that tasty, tasty brew (and take one more glance at Ryan Gosling’s abs). In the summertime I often make overnight oats so my breakfast is waiting for me in the fridge as soon as I wake up. Refrigerated oats are great, but when you wake up in the winter and it’s cold and dark, sometimes you want something just a little bit more comforting! Cooking a hot breakfast requires far too much effort on mornings like this, so what’s a girl to do?
MAKE OATS IN YOUR SLOW COOKER! That’s right; you can throw all the shit you need for a delicious bowl of oatmeal in a slow cooker before you go to bed, and when you wake up, not only do you have Ryan Gosling’s naked chest to look at and fresh coffee to smell, you also have a hot bowl of delicious oatmeal waiting for you! Sounds like a pretty fuckin’ wicked morning in my books. Slow cooker oatmeal works best with steel cut oats, which are the non-steamed&rolled relatives of rolled oats. They take longer to digest, thus providing your body with a slow and sustained source of energy. I’ve tried these with regular rolled oats and woke up to a disgusting blob of mush in my slow cooker. How disappointing.
Before I post the recipe for slow cooker oatmeal below, I’d like to ask if you lovely readers have any tips and tricks of your own to ensure you get your workouts in on these cold and dark winter days. Do you find this time of year is more of a struggle to keep up with your health and fitness goals? Let me know!
- 1 cup steel cut oats
- 3 cups water
- Place all ingredients in slow cooker, set to low, and cook overnight for at least 7-8 hours.
That’s it! Easy peasy, right? Now of course you can get creative here. For the oats pictured above, I also added 1 chopped apple, 1 tbsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, and 1/4 cup raisins to the oats. These can go in right when you begin cooking. I then of course added a tbsp of almond butter for serving. 🙂
Try out some different varieties and tell me your favourites!