Twice a week, before starting work, I go for a half-hour cycle ride in a desperate attempt to get bikini fit by next summer. Note – I’ve been doing this for years and the plan is always to be ‘bikini fit by next summer’ as I never seem to achieve the bikini body for the summer I am in. But next year it’s gonna be different – yeah, yeah, yeah, heard it all before… However next summer it really is going to be different because right now I have a whole new approach to this exercise business.
I thank (or blame – depending on how the weather is on that particular morning) my best mate for this new approach. She’s been trying to get me to hire a personal trainer for years – she has one and boy it shows, as she looks amazing. However as a single parent with a holiday addiction and a distain for exercise, a personal trainer is way down my list of spending priorities.
So, although she still can’t quite understand why I’d rather blow my spare cash on Chablis to fitness she does appreciate my love of the bike – but was all too quick to tell me why this exercise wasn’t proving as effective as her personal trainer. To put it simply she told me that I can all too easily find excuses for not doing it. It’s raining (postpone); I have a work deadline (postpone); I’ve got to go to a school coffee morning (postpone); I need to go and see my mum (postpone). Note it’s always postpone not reschedule. All this postponing meant that quite often my twice a week cycling was reduced to once a week, and sometimes even nonce a week. My BFF told me that I needed to think of it as an exercise class that I’ve already paid for in advance – a bit like those lovely and rather overpriced pilates classes that take place in that perfectly Feng Shui-d space under the bridge arches, or indeed like her personal trainer… Thus, by employing this thought process – everything has changed.
I wake up, it’s raining, but I’ve already paid for my class and there is no refund – so I’m cycling – cursing my BFF – but cycling nonetheless and hopefully achieving that bikini body at the same time… I’ve got too much work on, but I’ve paid for my class and actually – let’s face it, the cycling is done and dusted by 8.15am – which isn’t exactly the start of the working day is it. I need to visit my mum – but there’s no way I’m driving round the M25 until rush hour is over with anyway, so again cycling can still be done.
With this new mindset I am finding the whole exercise thing that much more achievable – and it’s also a fantastic way to wake myself up properly in the morning, because let’s face it, in the throes of winter it is soooooo difficult to get up in the morning – and when that 6.30 alarm goes off it really hurts… Even once I’m out of bed I still don’t really feel awake. But once I’ve peddled down the towpath for half an hour I really do feel ready to face the day. And that’s why I am learning to love my twice weekly wake-up call – especially on a beautiful sunny morning.