The Devil on My Nightstand

I love when I can blog and share my triumphs and things that I’ve overcome, but I also think it’s important for me to share the difficulty I sometimes have when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, because I never want to glorify myself or my habits.

No matter how many articles or blog posts I read about fitting a workout in before work, this will never be easy for me.


Meet my enemy.


Meet my best friend.

Every morning, my enemy starts making the most ungodly noise ever. (Ask anyone who’s ever shared a hotel room with me.)

My best friend tempts me with this soft duvet and pillows.

In my not-at-all awakeness, I smack the snooze button and vow to wake up the next time. Each time. Until it’s too late to work out.

It’s not something that I’m proud of, or that I even really do consciously, but it’s the truth.

And it happened again this morning. And yesterday morning. And the morning before that. If I don’t have after-work plans, I don’t usually try to work out in the morning, but lately I’ve been having a lot of Junior League meetings after work (our Winter Ball is coming up) and other commitments.

Remember that strength challenge? I’ve had a hard time getting to the classes, and I had to email Jaz this morning and tell her I needed to drop out. She was super-understanding, but it still sucks to have to admit defeat. I’m not a person who can continue to function on a little sleep, though, so I just couldn’t. I had to sacrifice something, and I can’t sacrifice work or Junior League.

I’m still going to train for the half-marathon (although I’m not sure if I’m still going to aim for a PR…) and still try to make myself strength train twice per week, but it’s going to be much more casual. I’ll probably download a Runner’s World Smart Coach program and loosely follow it. I’ve done the distance quite a few times before, so I really just want to have a base.

I’m trying to eat a little healthier as of late since I’ve been working out less (more on this another time), since I like maintaining my weight. And, you know, fitting into my clothes.


But sushi’s hard to give up.

Tomorrow’s another day, so I’m going to sleep right now so I can try to run tomorrow morning.

Is your alarm clock a jerk, too? How the hell does one get over this?

37 comments on “The Devil on My Nightstand

  1. Tracey

    I hate my alarm too, but I can usually overcome the desire to lay in bed for an extra hour. Try using your phone as your alarm, and putting it on the other side of the room. I’ve never done it, as it sounds like it would be as torturous as trying to ween a baby off a bottle, but perhaps it will work for those days you want to get strength training in. Good luck.

  2. Lauren

    My alarm clocks a jerk too! This is one of my biggest challenges too…I’m not a morning person at all! Having to be to work by 730am and not getting home til 7 makes for a long day…and exhaustion! Let me know if you find a way to beat the clock….I need to as well!

  3. Ash Bear

    Bo and I both have to put our phone alarms outside arm’s reach. I put mine on top of our dresser which forces me to get of bed, face the cold air, and walk across the room to reach it.

  4. Steph @fitmomtraining

    My alarm is eeeeeeeevil! Things I’ve done in the past to get my arse out of bed include: sleeping in my workout clothes, having everything packed and read to go the night before, drinking lots of water before bed so I’d have to pee so badly in the morning. I really struggle with morning workouts but will have to get myself back into it if I’m going to lose my baby weight in a few weeks and start training for a half marathon again.

  5. Kristina

    I’m a teacher, and during the school year, I find it next to impossible to work out before school, partly because I like having an hour at work to think and plan before teaching. Also, I know that there are crazy-busy times during the year when I have to put training for anything big on the back burner. I think it’s important to be realistic about life and how much really is possible at different moments during the year.

    1. theodora

      @Kristina: so true. I can still casually train for the race but taking on a strength challenge too was a little dumb on my part. You know how sometimes when you’re really busy stuff falls into place because you have no other time to do it? This is not one of those times.

  6. Eliana Sarrou

    Theodora, set backs are normal and i understand how some times it is difficult to stick to a plan. It is especially hard waking up in the cold dark morning when you have a warm cozy bed to relax in! Just try to think of how good you feel AFTER the workout! Getting to the gym/run/etc is the hard part. Once you are there, it will be a piece of cake! You run a marathon in a crazy fast time and PR’d it by -i don’t even know how many- minutes remember??? A half should not be a prob!Keep it up!

  7. Rachel

    I completely understand on not being able to wake up. My friends got me a body pillow for my birthday and I have been known to say that it is both the best and worst gift that I have ever received, because I’m soooo comfortable in comfortable that I never want to get out.

    Also, that sushi looks delicious and I’m very jealous!

  8. Kimra

    I use the alarm on my phone and also have a Clocky for when things get really rough. I’m a deep sleeper and used to regularly sleep through alarms for hours; I’ve gotten a little better over the years, but I still need backup sometimes. My phone alarm is the one closest to the bed, and as awful as I’m sure it is to stare at a screen .2 seconds after waking up, it really helps me get on with the day — I force myself to focus my eyes on my e-mail or Twitter or something, and then I’m a little more engaged with the world and not quite as likely to roll over and go back to sleep.

  9. Maureen

    I’m a morning workout person, but I can totally relate to wanting to shut off the alarm and go back to sleep. I started working out in the morning when I went back for my masters, but now that I’m done, it’s very hard to find the motivation to wake up since I’m not rushing off to class anymore after work. It helps for me to have all my stuff put together the night before, but even then sometimes a workout doesn’t happen. Thanks for being honest about where you are right now Theodora. For people like me who have been inspired reading your blog and others like it, its helpful to be reminded that we all have the same struggles with maintaing a healthy lifestyle sometimes.

  10. Katie @ cooklaughmove

    It doesn’t help that the only time my husband snuggles is when the alarm is going off!

    I’ve been going to TRX on Tuesday and Thurdays for 1 1/2 years and that requires a 4:55 wake-up call. Those days it is easy to get up, but ask me to get up at 5:25 to fit in an at home sweat session and I just can’t do it!

    I feel your pain, I literally reset my alarm without ever waking up or even making a decision to do it, it just happens!

  11. rosie

    After years and years of beating myself up for not being able to get up early to work out before work, I just finally accepted that it’s never (well, never say never…it is possible sometimes in the summer when it’s light and warm out!) going to happen. I am just not a morning person. And that is OK!

    I now make work outs happen either during lunch or after work. I am much happier, put much less stress and pressure on myself, and work out much stronger (I always felt “off” when running or doing anything else in the early morning anyway)

    Oh and thanks for keeping it real – far too many healthy living blogs glorify themselves! 🙂

  12. Katy Widrick

    I’m not much of a snoozer — I often wake up before my alarm, and once I’m up, I’m UP. But my husband hits it at least four times every morning before getting up. 🙂

  13. Katie

    I was having trouble with that for a while – but I put my blackberry (which is my alarm) on the other side of my studio apt and put it on with an obnoxiously loud Gaga song.. I hear “I’m on the edge of glory and I’m hanging on a moment of truth” – if these aren’t really the lyrics, please don’t ruin this for me! 🙂 – but for some reason the time it takes to get up and turn it off and hear those words, I am able to get up. I also got my annual blood work done and discovered I have low Vitamin D levels, so have been taking supplements and I think that helps!

  14. Lauren

    I struggle with this too! But I am a masochist, apparently, and I punish myself for snoozing — if I snooze so much it makes a workout impossible, I set the alarm ten minutes earlier the next day. Damn that comes early!

  15. Joelle

    I would so much love to be able to get up very early and work out in the morning, or just stretch you know. Starting my day in a healthy way and be able to just relax after work. But no, I’m a snooze addict and I have been rehearsing my 45-min morning routine for a long time now. It works. I don’t get late, but I’m always rushing. ha…Habits die hard.

  16. Shannon

    I’m with Rosie – I’m NOT a morning person. I HATE working out in the morning. Even when I do manage to get out of bed, my body doesn’t function as well as it does after work. I prefer to run out the stress of my day, if that makes sense.

    I really do need to get better about it especially before I have to start training for NYCM for real real. Getting runs in before the summer heat really kicks in will be crucial (as you know).

    I would say we should schedule a run date for a morning, but we’d probably both hit snooze too many times. 😀

  17. Anne P

    The one thing that always gets me out of bed for an early workout? Having someone to meet! I just wrote about this today, actually. You need to set a standing workout date with someone in the mornings – it makes all the difference because then you have no choice but to get up or else you’ll let them down!

  18. Nicole

    It’s just plain hard to get up early in winter. I switched to an iPhone app (iHome sleep) and have it set to gently wake me up…the alarm I picked is bells (sounds like church bells) and they start out really soft and get louder. It’s much better than the startle of the alarm clock!

  19. Kristy Doyle

    I don’t want to be the jerk of the comments here, but I’ve trained myself to get up at 5:30 AM every morning, and it’s not so bad anymore. I love sleep as much as the next person, but once you’re used to it, it’s really not that bad. It’s also amazing on the mornings that I don’t go to the gym to get up anyway and have that extra hour to just lounge around drinking coffee before I have to get ready for work.

  20. Danielle

    Oh gosh, this sounded exactly like me until a month or so ago. The key (for me) is that I have to get to bed early enough that it’s reasonable to work out before work. Going to bed at 12 or 1 a.m. and expecting to be up at 6 a.m. to work out? Just not going to happen! I automatically hit snooze and go back to sleep before I can even process what I just did. But, if I can consistently get to bed by 10 or 11, I can do it.. not that i WANT to do it, but it’s possible.

  21. Life's a Bowl

    My alarm clock was my enemy this morning too- it went off at 5AM for my planned workout before work. Nuh uh, I reset it for 6AM. When it went off again I hit the snooze button. Finally at 6:15AM I rolled out of bed, showered, and blessed the work gods that it was casual Friday 🙂

  22. Kaelin

    I’ve noticed I need more sleep in the winter when its dark longer. The rest of the year I don’t struggle too much with getting in a morning workout. I have just come to accept that.

    Do you have anyone you can meet at the gym for an AM date? That might get you up and going and shut up that darn alarm clock!

  23. ery

    I am so glad you wrote about this! I am so bad at waking up for early morning workouts and I feel guilty about it for the rest of the day. I am so happy to hear that other people struggle with this as well. The only thing that helps me get up in the morning to workout is to write it down on my planner and go to sleep early. If I don’t get enough sleep, it just isn’t going to happen. I also set 3 alarms 🙂


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