The past week has been yet another unusual one. My brother visited me and my eating was, once again, all bonkers. However, I did exercise more than I normally do (you know, all that longboarding actually accumulates into an exercise) and as a result, my weight has taken a dive. The biggest realisation of this week, though, is that I may have become a morning person (say whaaaaat???!).
To anyone who knows me in real life, it is no news that I love to sleep which combined with being a night owl, screams for a disaster. As a teenager, it was no problem for me to wake up at 3 pm (let’s be honest, I was still doing that during my bachelors). You can imagine what a challenge it was to have a summer job when you were expected to be in the office by 8 am (you can fit nearly a full night’s sleep in between those two times). Conversely, I loved staying up at night and I felt the most productive in the late hours (I could be writing an essay at 2 am with no problem).
Although being the living example of an evening person has been my reality for the majority of my life, I have now come to realise that I am neither a teenager nor doing my bachelor’s anymore. Since starting my master’s degree, I was treated as an adult who had to have their life together (which in academic world means waking up for an 8:45 lecture). But the past 2 years have been quite a struggle: I was knackered all the time and my sleeping was a mess (trying to wake up at 8 yet going to bed at 2 am).
Now, I have merely one course left of my master’s degree before starting working on my thesis. The real life is awaiting me out there. It is not that I did not know this (trust me, my parents have been worried about it for long enough) but only recently, I have really come to understand the issue at hand. Within a year, I want to have my certificate which also means that I will need to start looking for a job. And if I wish to keep that job, I really need to modify by sleeping and start waking up earlier.
And that I have done: I go to bed around 10 pm and wake up between 6 and 7. But how did I make it work?
5 keys into changing my sleeping pattern:
My main source of motivation to this change was not this bright future ahead of me but actually my health. I (and unfortunately everyone around me) have noticed that I am a monster if I do not get enough sleep. And when I am tired, I also turn into cookie monster and eat everything and anything around me which does not really help with the whole weight loss stuff. While my career prospects (paying of study loans) motivate me to wake up early, my health motivates me to make sure I get enough sleep.
2.Seeing the benefits
I was always missing ‘Hanna-time’ in my agenda because I woke up 30 minutes before the lectures and then had to keep on working for the rest of the day. In reality, it meant a whole afternoon wasted because I wanted time for myself (and cat videos!) yet I was supposed to be working and I did not really end up doing anything. Now, when I wake up early enough, I can get some me-time before the day has even started and you end up getting a lot more done in the afternoon!
You know when you have a busy schedule and you want to find a spot for exercising? Do you also know the feeling when you are planning on doing it in the evening and end up doing jack all because you are too tried? Me too.
That’s why I have started to try fitting in an exercise session right after waking up: not only can I be guilt-free for the rest of the day but it also gets me going. I do go out (not with Dutch weather) to exercise in the morning but instead I love to do pilates. I am still in the beginner level so my exercises are not super duper straining.
Yet another thing that used to bother me a whole lot: I hated eating in the morning. Although I have started to eat, I do not try out new things. Actually, I vary between a couple things that I always have (and have found to be delicious) so that even if I am half asleep, I know what to make and ensure that I get some nutrition in me belly.
5.Waking up in the weekends
Usually, we consider weekends as days off. But when it comes to changing your sleeping pattern, the mindset is as detrimental as eating a whole cake for dessert (nice but does not really help you). Therefore, try to wake up early also in the weekends. No, I am not saying that you need to get up at 6 am also on a Sunday but maybe aim for 9. That way you are not wasting your day and it will be easier again on Monday when the real life awaits!
All of the points above sound so simple, right? But when you are used to waking up 9 hours later, it takes a whole lot of effort. The change does not come over night but it is doable! Nowadays, I feel cranky if I do not wake up before 8 as I have fallen in love with my morning routine. But hey, getting there is a journey and I have noticed that it helps to treating yourself for dragging yourself out of bed in the morning. After getting up, doing pilates and making breakfast. I sit down and watch YouTube(cat) videos while munching on my breakfast sandwich…
As I mentioned above, I have lost a lot of weight this week. I am not quite sure what it is about but I am pretty sure that it is an accidental drop and that next week it will be difficult/stupid to try to get it lower. I will be happy if I stay at the same weight next week.
Lost weight 1.6 KG / 3.5 Lbs
Total lost weight 6.8 KG / 14.9 Lbs
Are you a morning or evening person? What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning?