Why I *NEED* Morning Workouts


So…I keep a “compliment log” in my bullet journal (post coming on this one day, I promise!!!) On days when the internal dialogue is telling me I’m less than — or that other people feel that way, it gives me concrete evidence that’s wrong.

OK, fine, most of it involves my hair. It’s consistently been the one thing about myself I’ve always liked. I have thick, mostly straight blond hair, and I really love getting fun blowouts and braids…and ok, fine, the same cut and color most of the time, but whatever.

But all of that is a semi sarcastic aside. There’s one compliment/statement about me that I’ll remember as long as I live — especially what it was in reference to.

“She seems to have this secret energy source inside her,” Christine wrote.

I’ll let you in on a little secret.

It’s half caffeine.

The other half — all freaking endorphins, baby.

This is both good and bad.

Theodora, how can endorphins be bad? you may ask.

WHEN YOU DON’T GET THEM.

Like many people, I’m a victim of trying to cram too many hours into a day. To burn the candle at both ends.

I used to try to work out in the morning because it made my day easier. It was one less variable to worry about, and it freed up my evenings for anything from lying on my couch to dates to meeting up with friends to working late.

For *at least* the past year or so, I’ve said working out is my sanity. Calories burned are a sweet benefit, but it’s really about my mental health.

Only recently have I discovered, it’s really morning workouts that are for my mental health. 

Let’s be real. I hate those people who say “working out is my coffee!” just as much as the people who say “running is therapy!” That sweet, caffeinated nectar from the gods and those amazing endorphins are both wonderful, but completely different. Running is an amazing way to clear your head, and, also, to boost endorphins. Therapy is a great way to get to the root of your problems. While both can give you some clarity to see things, one distracts, one solves.

BUT while morning workouts aren’t my coffee or my therapy, they sure as hell have some power over me.

I love to snooze as much as I love a morning workout, though, and at least two mornings a week, I’ll hit the snooze button repeatedly until it’s too late to work out and wake up really angry with myself — for snoozing, for missing out on a workout and for depriving myself of those morning endorphins.

Even when I try to turn my mood around, it’s all for naught until I start moving. And yes, I have a dog, and I love him and our walks, but they ain’t for endorphins. 

Endorphins change everything for me. The days I don’t get a morning workout, I feel foggy, tired, unfocused and sometimes a little headache-y or congested (even after coffee.)

If I work out? BEST SELF.

I like classes and long runs, but in general I’m teaching myself to not have perfect be the enemy of good, and I went out for just a 20-minute run this morning (which I don’t usually consider a long enough workout for me), and you know what? I felt awesome afterwards. 

Are you a morning workout person? Are you addicted to endorphins?