Being brutally honest about every bite I take is only one aspect of Operation Get in Showrunner Shape. I am also clawing out the time to exercise daily. This isn't a new habit -- I used to be assiduous about getting some cardio every day and there was a glorious five-year period where I was also strength training regularly.
And then I finished grad school and thus had to begin contending with things like office jobs, and commutes, and later, spouses who wanted to spend time with me. (I know -- unreasonable, right?) When every day's to-do list is a few items too long, it was easy to look at the 90 minutes a typical trip to the gym took and to mentally reallocate that time elsewhere.
Then I gave birth to someone who did not sleep more than three hours at a stretch for the first 27 months of her life, which meant that I spent 27 months not sleeping more than three hours at a stretch, and to be honest, by the time I finally had a kid who was sleeping through the night, the idea of giving up any precious, sanity-restoring sleep was simultaneously repellent and hilarious.
(The seven or so months after my daughter began sleeping like a human are what I think of as my recovery period. I honestly did not start feeling like I was fully myself until, oh, let's say June last year. You know, more than two and a half years after I had the kid. Chronic sleep deprivation will jack your brain.)
I tried exercising at night, reasoning that it could be my reward for making it through the day, but something always came up -- unexpected work complication, a freelance piece, some domestic detail that needed to be beaten into submission, a podcast, a child who needed to be soothed to sleep. Adding to the unpredictability above was one other, complicating constant: I have to work one to two hours a night at least five nights a week for the day job.
And thus it came to pass that I joined the legions of people who exercise in the morning.
I get up in the dark, pull on my swimsuit and my drag suit, grab the bag I've packed the night before, then head to my local pool to knock out 45 minutes' worth of swimming. I shower in a tiny concrete coffin that may -- may -- have last been cleaned during the Clinton administration. But by 7:30 in the morning, I am feeling great. I have energy for hours, I've already gnawed on whatever I have to face for the day, and I can go into the next 15 hours secure in the knowledge that I've already accomplished something. Some days, the lap swimming is the only thing that goes right.
The truth is, getting up at oh-my-god-thirty isn't the hard part. The hard part is shutting down my brain enough to get sleep the night before.
So you can imagine exactly how irritated I am right now, because my alarm is going to go off in less than seven hours and my stupid monkey brain is all WHEEEEEEE! Because my stupid monkey brain is not on daylight savings time.
Ugh. Arizona is wrong about many, many things but here, I must concede they have the right idea.