Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Exercise and Egg on the Mountain

I've only been exercising for three weeks, but I feel better already.  The best thing about exercising in the early morning is that it is over with and you don't have to think about it for the rest of the day.  Done, check, off the to-do list.  No guilt. Nothing hanging over your head.  It is the only way I will ever be successful at getting fit, since the early morning schedule impacts my life minimally.  I love that at 8:30 a.m. I am sitting at my desk, ready to work, with an upper body workout and sprints behind me, or lower body workout and a slew of ab exercises completed, depending on the day.  The study I'm part of requires four days of weight resistance exercise a week, so it's Monday/Thursday, upper body, and Tuesday/Friday, lower body.  Wednesdays and weekends off!  This is psychological genius!  Knowing that I have two days of exercise, a day off, two more days, and a weekend off makes it all very manageable.  My personal goal, with this study, is to establish a life-long pattern for these four days of the week, and really, there's no reason why this can't become a regular part of my life.

You see, I HATE (not a strong enough word) exercise classes.  I am no good at keeping up the noon-time or after work schedule.  At noon, I want to sit with my friends and have a relaxed lunch.  I want to talk about nothing or everything and mentally regroup before returning to work.  I don't want to rush through a sweaty exercise session, shower, and deal with wet hair, only to return late to the office.  So that doesn't work for me.  And after work, well the last thing I want to do is exercise, especially in the winter when it's already dark leaving work.  I just want to stop, go home, see little Henry, and relax. 

When the study was announced, at first I thought, hell NO, I can't get up earlier than usual to go to a gym before work.  Then I thought about it, and realized that there's no better time of the day, that nothing will be disrupted, that the "I don't feel like it" can't kick in if I get out of bed and immediately put on my gym clothes and sneakers.  It's half done, then.  Dressed and ready to go, my work clothes are already packed.  That decision was made the night before.  No standing in front of the mirror, ten minutes late for work, switching blouses and sweaters because nothing looks good.  No, no time for that negativity.  Instead, I choose the outfit ahead of time, pack it up without a trial run, and wear it the next day sans the self-loathing analysis.  It's liberating, actually.

There's usually a half-hour gap between leaving the gym and opening up the office, and some mornings I choose to drive to McDonald's for an Egg McMuffin or a Yogurt Parfait (yogurt addiction!).  It's a little reward I give myself for a job well-done.  I know that exercising and McDonald's seem like they're 180-degrees apart, but I have to have protein within an hour of exercise, and getting myself out the door so early sometimes means there's no time for a proper breakfast.  Very soon we'll be provided whey supplements and I'll be packing every meal, but for now, Mickey D's has been making my occasional breakfast. I get my McMuffin, and take the longer drive to work, down Union Avenue and up East Avenue to North Broadway.  It's a lovely few minutes before my day begins in earnest.

When I do make breakfast, it's typically an egg sandwich with a veggie sausage patty on a Trader Joe's whole grain English muffin, with a slice of real American Cheese.  This fills me up, is satisfying, and gets me off to a good start.  My daughter Meghan used to make these when she worked as a ski instructor at West Mountain.  She called it "egg on the mountain." 

Eggs on the Mountain Breakfast Sandwich

One whole grain English Muffin, toasted
One egg, over medium, cooked with a spray of canola oil
One serving Veggie patty (I cook mine in the microwave) or a slice of Canadian bacon
One slice of cheese

Assemble and eat, or wrap up for later!

Photo image: http://spicylolo.files.wordpress.com/2009/01/egg-mcmuffin.jpg

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