Hi Hayley,

I have always had weight problems...always! I was a cubby kid, then a bookworm/spaz teenager. I am not athletic, although I have an athletic job (archaeologist). A year ago, I was in the field and lost 30 pounds. Then, I came back and am doing the boring stuff, analysis and writing, and have gained it all back! I hate it! The only time I have ever been able to lose weight and keep it off for a significant amount of time is when I was training for a marathon and went to the gym every day. The problem for me is getting my butt out of bed in the morning. Because, well, I know me. And if I don't do it in the morning, I will get home after work, cook dinner, get sucked into the TV, and it will be 11 pm and I will say, "I will go tomorrow." And then, somehow I get to the weekend and I have not gone at all. And I do set my alarm clock; I get my gym bag ready. But 5:30 comes around, my alarm goes off, and I set it forward for two hours and fall back asleep. I need tips, something to help push me out of bed in the morning, short of paying someone to pull me, kicking and screaming, out of bed. Thanks!


I know how you feel and I have been there before myself when I am training for an Ironman.  Every time my alarm would ring at 5am for swim practice I would, like you, set it 2 hours forward and go back to sleep. But I always ended up feeling guilty all day long because I missed my swim and would usually try and make it up later in the day, adding more unnecessary stress to my already stressful day.

So what I began to do, and you need to do the same, is when the alarm rang, instead of thinking about how tired I was I would focus on how great I was going to feel after my workout. It is not only early morning workouts that are hard to commit to but any workout where you are feeling tired and unmotivated will be easy to talk yourself out of. If you constantly remind yourself how great you will feel when your workout is complete it will motivate you to get out and be active.

Another tip is do not set high expectations for your workout as knowing you are going to have to slog away on the treadmill for an hour can discourage you from going. Tell yourself you only have to do 20 minutes (I know all of us can do anything for 20 minutes) and if after 20 minutes you are ready to pack it in then head home, knowing at least you tried. Most likely you will be so motivated and ready to work hard 20 minutes in that you will stay and keep pushing.

Have your gym stuff packed and ready to go, your pre-workout breakfast already prepared and your workout planned in your head. The worst thing you can do is show up to the gym tired, unmotivated and lacking a plan. Meeting a friend helps too. I can’t tell you how many workouts I would have backed out on if I was not meeting someone to work out with. 

And try rewarding yourself with a treat, something to look forward to for after the workouts where you worked extra hard.  Mine is always an Americano from my favourite coffee shop and a few minutes to sit and read.

Most importantly you need to commit and do it because no one else is going to do it for you.

Attached -- Liev Schreiber heading to the gym.