5:00 am

I’m trying to get into this weekday cycle where I get up at 5:00 am and use our elliptical machine.

Let me explain.

Besides the obvious – I need to get into shape, and the maybe not so apparent – we spent a lot on the damn elliptical machine and I want to get my moneys worth. You may be asking yourself why the hell am I getting up at 5:00 in the morning when I am a stay at home mom.

Why indeed.Woman on elliptical machine

The first reason is easy. I have tried to use the elliptical in the presence of The Goon Squad. The last time I tried that I had to get off the thing three times in the first five minutes. Two of those times were to break up fights. The other time was because Ian needed an emergency glass of water. It just isn’t worth it.

The second reason is that by the time Gabe gets home at night I really just want to sit down. I am done. Wiped out. I just want to sit on the couch and drink a beer.

The third reason involves paranoia. Sure, I could probably work out at six thirty, but if the kids are sleeping and they wake up and they call me and I can’t hear them because I am downstairs on the stupid machine and I have to watch SportsCenter really loud to hear it over the noise of my panting and weeping the elliptical and then they freak out because they think they have been abandoned I would hate myself forever and ever.

*deep breath*

Actually, Claudia probably wouldn’t even care. She would just wake up, go in the kitchen and microwave herself a frozen bagel. Ian wakes up poorly. He need comforting. It is completely genetic. When I was a baby I woke up crying every time I slept. In fact, I still feel like crying every time I wake up, but since I am a grown up I feel like it would be inappropriate.

Plus Gabe would make fun of me.

Anyway, back to the 5:00 thing.

Gabe leaves the house for work at about 5:30 every morning, so in order for me to do a 20 minute session on the elliptical (shut up. 20 minutes is a lot when you are as out of shape as I am) while someone is upstairs with the kids I have to get up at 5:00.

Here is the weird part. As must as I detest waking up early, I feel great.

Seriously. I feel really good. Plus, since I am getting up at five instead of seven I have two extra hours in the morning. As an added bonus the kids usually sleep until at least 6:30 so I also get an hour of ALONE TIME.

No joke. Yesterday morning I found a great recipe for dinner and this morning I drank two cups of coffee and read everything in my feed reader.

It was awesome.

So yeah, I get up at 5:00am on weekdays now and I am surprisingly okay with that.

And I feel good about myself for the first time in a while.


That picture is totally not me. As you may have guessed if I looked like that I wouldn’t be dragging my ass out of bed in the morning to lose weight. I would just wear really tight fitting clothes all of the time. And prance. I’d totally prance. A lot.

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  1. Good for you!
    I’ve been doing this too…right at 5 am. Except I only have an exercise bike. I’d sell a kidney for an elliptical.
    Once you start following a routine like that, you’ll really wonder why you ever “slept in” until 7 am. 😉
    It’s great to do the dishes without interruptions, drink a cup of coffee (or three), and just generally be alone for that time. Enjoy every second of it – at some point the kids will realize you are up and they will want to get up early with you. Be very quiet! 😉

  2. Dude, me too! At least, that’s what I plan to do, but it hasn’t actually happened yet.

  3. That last line made me giggle – prance! Ha ha! Good for you – I should get up at 5 and run before Daren leaves for work but my bed is Le Cozy.

  4. Yes, I must agree… as much as 5 a.m. sucks… its amazing how much ENERGY you can get from those 20 minutes… I look forward to resuming my routine of doing this while on maternity leave BIG TIME!!
    Right now i am on the 5 a.m. b/c I can’t sleep so I have been getting to work at 6:45 a.m. plan…. which means at 8:10 it feels like I should be getting ready to go HOME.

  5. I am a morning person (please don’t hit me) and my husband works at the other end of the county, so 5 a.m. is par for the course for us. If I could force myself to exercise in addition to actually waking up and getting out of bed…well, I admire your motivation.

  6. I can’t decide what the funniest line in this post is. I snorted several times.

    I go to the gym because they have childcare. I’ve been going for about 6 months. And I can STILL only do 20 minutes when I use the elliptical. Which is why I don’t use it very often.

  7. I can’t use the elliptical when the kids are around because Rosie starts trying to climb on behind me. It’s very inconvenient, not to mention dangerous.

    But I’m way too lazy to get my ass up before 6:30 when I have to start getting ready for work. Kudos for you for your industriousness.

  8. You can call me, 'Sir' says:

    Wait, that’s not you?!?! You lied to me through pictures!!!!!

  9. Oh congrats! Good for you!

    I get winded walking up the stairs. I’m thinking the road back to non-maternity clothes is going to be LOOOOOOONG!

  10. What time do you go to sleep? It is just SO hard for me to wake up…I would have to go to bed at 9pm to get up that early. Do you nap during the day?

  11. good for you. as your ass gets smaller and smaller, mine will continue to get bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger.

  12. That’s what I’m wondering too? I have a heck of a time falling asleep, so I’m literally dragging when I get out of bed at 7 and I don’t have kids yet.

  13. I’m with MP: are you going to bed at 8:30pm now? I mean, I am going to bed around 8:30pm, but I still can’t drag my big butt out of bed before 7:45am.

  14. I would fall off the thing at 5 a.m…..

    I’m just not coordinated that early in the morning.

  15. Rock and Roll! I’m so happy for you. There’s something to be said for excersicing while you are still sort of sleeping, it’s less painful somehow like you might be dreaming it. I can’t wait to get back to it. I’m still too busy feeling sorry for myself over my broken toe to excersice of eat well. I think the best thing for a broken toe is to drink a lot and eat your weight in cheese and chocolate.

  16. Wow. That’s actually kind of an inspiration. I could get up at 5 and do something before the girl gets up. Maybe.

  17. I too would have to rise at 5:00 to get the workout in before children. I hate mornings.

    See? 5lbs. creeping back up on me!

  18. Whatever it takes is my motto. I’ve been getting up really early to do laps in the pool. It’s hard, but it’s for my health.

  19. Wow – I’m impressed. 5am every day? Really? That IS inspirational. What time do you go to sleep?

  20. Talk about motivation. I am impressed and totally not ready to do it myself.

  21. I think I’ll try the waking up early thing, but I’ll skip the elliptical thing. I mean I don’t want to be a copy-cat for gosh sakes! Hold on, I gotta take a bite of this donut…

  22. You’re my hero.

  23. i’m sorry…you lost me at the whole 5:00 thing. in the morning? wow. just wow!

  24. First, GO YOU! And second? I totally agree with you – I might not be so excited to get up before the ass crack of dawn, but I LOVE the way it makes me feel. Just don’t get out of the habit…it’s really hard to convince yourself that it’s fun to get up that early the second (or third or fourth…) time around.

  25. I’ve never been a morning person but when I do get up early in the morning, it feels great!

    First time here…I love your banner, it’s too funny.

  26. So do you go to bed at 10:00? I can’t seem to get in bed until 11:30, and it pisses me off. I would love to do the 5:00 AM thing, but I can’t do it on no sleep.

  27. i’ve been sneaking out to the gym some mornings from 5 to 6 a.m. and i strangely feel a thrill like i am running away for vaction. really i’m just going to walk on a treadmill and read free people magazine but it feels good!

  28. ugh. mornings. would be so much better if they happened in the afternoon.

    and if i looked like her? who would need clothes?

  29. I have fantasies about getting up early to do things. I could get up EARLY and get things DONE before I head off to work. And then, I’m snuggled into the bed, and I’m tired,and I only need 20 minutes to shower, and 10 minutes for my make up….and I can sleep another 20 minutes if I put my hair in a ponytail………and
    you see how this doesn’t work for me?

  30. We have an elliptical which one day I will use again. One day a long time from now. And never at 5:00 am. This has been decreed.

  31. Good for you! I get up early myself – but 5am? That’s a bit much even for me. But that extra time by yourself to relax sure sounds great!

  32. I love the elliptical. I don’t own my own, however. I have to use the ones at the gym….at a more reasonable hour, though….like 5 p.m. :) You’ve got way more motivation than I do. Can you send some of that my way?

  33. Isn’t it so backwards—that working out (which makes you tired) actually really gives you ENERGY?

    I wish channel surfing had the same effect.

  34. I’d totally prance if I looked like that. TOTALLY!!

  35. Go you! I’d commit to the elliptical at 5am, but I’d need an elliptical machine first.

    Oh, who am I kidding? I’d never willingly get up that early.

  36. Good for you!

    And also, I so cry sometimes when I get up too. But mostly because I want to sleep more. I’m glad I’m not the only one.

  37. You motivated me. I figured if you could get up early & be OK with it, I could at least try (I think you may be the only person that likes to sleep in more than I do). So, I got up at 5 this morning. I walked a mile, showered and was ready to go before I woke the kids up. I’m tired now.

  38. hey hey. found your blog amidst the discussion of the today show stuff. like how you write. and enjoyed this piece. you go woman early riser. the hour of quiet must be the best….i’m not a mom but i try to carve out mental stillness wherever i can. i appreciate how candid you are (shut up!)…that reminded me of talking w/ my sis…i’m sharing this blog w/ her….i don’t do machines, i run outside.but that’s just me :)
    good for you to have something to feel good about. we all need that. hope to meet you in san fran :) tre

  39. OK, I’m getting up at 7:05, not 5:00 (I switched duties with Al so that I now handle bath/bedtime and he handles the morning routine), but I can totally relate to the joy of Time To Myself in the morning. I originally did the trade with Al and pushed my departure for the gym back to 7:30 from the 8-8:15 it had become so that I could be at my desk by 9 instead of 10, but I’ve found that I still get to my desk at 10. I spend more time on the elliptical trainer and lifting weights, and more time noodling in Whole Foods, in the kitchen, and out in the container garden on the deck. Workout + noodling totally rocks. Makes me a calmer, happier person (hopefully with a firmer butt to boot).

  40. I did a morning boot camp for a while and I felt the same way. Every morning at 5:30 when I dragged myself out of bed I was really sad. And every morning at 7 a.m. I felt awesome.

  41. how did you figure out which elliptical to buy? we keep going back and forth…but i dont think i could elliptical that early in the morning..yay you!

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