Fitness

My Morning Routine (with a full time job)

My Morning Routine (with a full time job) - Josie Feather Blog

The beginning of last year I was freelancing, so life was a little different then. When I accepted a full time position in May I knew I needed to make some changes. Not only was I going back to the 9-5, but I was also going back to a commute into the city (an hour each way) so my free time would be a lot more limited. I knew I wanted to set aside my nights to recharge and spend time with my husband, so that meant I needed to start taking advantage of my mornings as the time to work on myself.

My mornings feel a little crazy at times, but it’s worked well for me. Since we live in the middle of nowhere my gym is about 20 minutes away, which takes up a lot of time, and I’m really hoping I can change that in the future. Either way though, I am so glad I’ve found something that works for me, and I really wish I had started a morning routine a few years ago!

5:00 // WAKE UP

My husband makes fun of me for it, but when my alarm goes up I sit right up. My brain is not on, and I’m essentially a zombie, but I know if I let myself stay laying I’ll be passed out asleep again in no time. So I sit up and give myself a minute to adjust.

Once I drag myself out of bed I brush my teeth and throw on my gym clothes. Packing all my bags and setting out my clothes the night before is the most important part of having a successful morning for me. If I have to think about finding clothes in the morning I might as well just go back to sleep.

I grab my lunch for work and I am out the door and on my way to the gym. I’ll usually eat a banana on my way, although I don’t find myself as hungry first thing in the morning as I was last year when I first started my routine, so I go with how I’m feeling that day.

5:40 // GYM TIME

The thing I love about my gym time, more than the endorphins and more than feeling vaguely like wonder woman afterwards, is that it’s the one time of day I can always count on to be “me time”. Even if the rest of the day is pure chaos, having that chunk of time in the morning to only worry about me and focus on what I’m doing is such a huge mental help.

After I throw everything into my locker, I do some stretching for a few minutes before I hit the floor. I’ve been working my way through the BBG program (which I talked a bit about here!) which has helped me lately, since I’m no longer wandering aimlessly around the gym. After I wrap up whatever’s on my BBG schedule I try to do a few minutes of yoga and more stretching!

6:40 // CLEAN YASELF UP

I try to shoot to wrap up my workout around 6:40 and jump right in the shower. I KNOW, everyone is freaked out by gym showers, I used to be too. I have been pleasantly surprised by how clean my gym keeps their showers, and really, there’s just no way I could make it home in time to shower and still stay on schedule, so it’s really my only option. So far I’ve lived to tell the tale.

I usually only do my hair once or twice a week and then just dry shampoo the other days so I don’t have to wash or style too much. I’m all about keeping it simple.

7 // ON THE ROAD

On my way to work I try to either listen to an audiobook or start the day with an inspirational podcast (I love Optimal Living Daily and Chasing Joy!). Starting my day with something inspirational always helps to put me in a good mood and focus my brain on big-picture goals.

8(ish) // QUICK “MIRACLE MORNING”

Once I get to work I usually chill in my car for a few minutes and go through a short and sweet version of the “miracle morning”. A few minutes of meditating, affirmations, and visualizations, followed by writing just a bit in my journal. It all sounds so cheesy, and I was hesitant to try it at first too, but I have been loving the new additions! I am still really really really bad at meditating but it’s all about practice, right? I would definitely recommend adding in some or all of these to your routine. They’ve been really helping me start my day with a positive and clear mindset!

That’s it! It might seem like a lot, but adding these to my mornings instead of rolling out of bed and heading right into work and any craziness that might ensue, has helped so much with my overall happiness. It’s a lot harder to have a bad day when you’re full of endorphins and spent a few minutes clearing your brain out!

I am obsessed with hearing other people’s morning routines, so tell me what you are currently doing for yourself in the AM!

BBG Check in & Review (so far)

BBG Review & Halfway Check-in

I made it! This week I hit the halfway point of Kayla Itsine’s BBG program. After years of hearing about it from friends and online I decided I should give it a try. I was in a little bit of a fitness rut and just needed something to kick me in my pants and get me refocused.

Woah, boy. Let me tell ya, I was not expecting it to be as tough as it is. It was less of a kick in the pants, and more of a full on Chuck Norris roundhouse kick in my rear end. Since I really had no idea what I was getting into when I got started I thought it’d be good to share my thoughts on it so far for anyone else who might be considering it!

Let’s start with the good.

The good is that is it so hard. I think I think it’s easy to not push yourself enough when you’re not following a plan, I know I definitely don’t, so it’s definitely been really good for me. It also has me doing things I would typically resist at all costs, like push ups and burpees. They’re part of the program, so I’ve just got to do them now no matter how much I really really really really don’t want to (did I mention I really don’t want to?).

There’s also plenty of cardio which is my jam. You can adapt the cardio days to be more walking then running if you want, which is good depending on how you’re feeling and your level of fitness, but I love still having time to run during the week!

Last but not least, I do feel like I’m seeing changes in my body that I appreciate. If you’ve read my blog before you know that the main reason I work out daily is not to loose weight, but seeing my body evolve has definitely been really exciting! You don’t have to have your appearance be your main goal in order to still appreciate the changes, but not making them the focus makes it WAY easier to stay on track even on days when you don’t feel those changes as much.

Okay, so let’s talk bad.

It’s not for beginners. I am actually doing an older version of the program, and I don’t have the app, so Kayla may very well have fixed these problems in updates, but the PDF version I have is not beginner friendly at all. There are no modifications if you aren’t able to do a move, and she jumps right into some things that are super tough from the get go. Like I said before, it’s good that it is so challenging, but thinking back to my fitness level (or lack thereof) a year ago I know I would have given up pretty quickly if I hadn’t done some other programs first.

Even though I’ve been doing strength training the past year there are still certain moves that I simply can’t get through and have had to either adapt (I’m still over here doing modified push-ups yo!) or on rare occasions completely swap out because I physically can not do them. On the same note, she repeats move types a lot within a work out, so if it’s something you’re struggling with it can be really easy to over-do it and hurt yourself (I tweaked my shoulder from all of the push ups one day!). I am definitely getting better at these things, which is great, but it can sometimes feel a little disappointing to know I need to modify.

If you’re a newbie to work out programs I would definitely recommend starting with a program that has modifications so you can work your way up and avoid injury. There are tons of great programs like that out there, so find one that works best for you! I love all of the Love Sweat Fitness programs (her Spring Slim down last year was my very first one I ever made it through!). That said, I would still recommend BBG once you’ve built up some strength and have learned how to adapt and modify workouts for yourself. It’s good, but it’s easy to get frustrated or hurt yourself if you don’t have some familiarity with fitness programs.

Final Thoughts

So would I recommend it? Yes! If you how to modify moves, and also know when how to tell when you’ve hit your limits, then it’s a great program that will definitely help you push you to a new level. I would not recommend it as a starting point in your fitness journey. Get a little experience under your belt before you jump into this one, because you’ll definitely need to know the basics and having at least a little strength is super helpful.

Has anyone else made it through the program? Let me know your thoughts! Also feel free to drop any questions you might have in the comments. I am by no means an expert, but I am happy to share my experience!

What I've gained from exercise that's way better than abs

Josie Davis

The conversation about fitness tends to revolve around one thing : “Looking good” whatever that means. MAYBE if there’s time, health will be thrown in there too. But in general, the exercise industry tends to direct all of it’s attention towards reminding you that you need to look better and that’s the number one reason you should be working out regularly.

Want to hear a dirty little secret of mine? How I look is the least important reason I work out on a daily basis, and I truly believe that’s why I’ve been able to build such a strong and healthy relationship with the gym. Seeing my body change has just been an extra benefit. It’s not a punishment to go to the gym because I don’t look good - it’s a pleasure to go to the gym because it makes me feel good.

If you’ve been struggling with building a healthy workout routine in your life, I highly recommend ditching the body shaming and find some new motivation. You need to change your mindset and focus your sights on all of the great things that will happen inside your mind and body, and stop worrying so much about what the scale says if you want a shot at having a loving relationship with the gym.

If you’re trying to find some better reasons to get in your daily sweat sesh, here are mine…

Physical Health

I know, this is probably an obvious one, but it’s hard to fully communicate how poor my quality of life was before I started exercising. In fact, I really had no idea how bad it was, or how much it could improve until it all changed.

You might also think that your health really isn’t that bad, you’re fine! so did I. After reading a lot about how exercise changes both your mind and body I really do believe that if you don’t have some regular physical activity in your schedule, then you’re not seeing your optimum health.

There’s a ton of little health benefits I’ve seen, but one major one has been my energy level. I used to be able to take a nap anytime, anywhere. I was exhausted all of the time. Doctors regularly tested me for Anemia, worried about how lethargic I was. Not only do I have more energy in general, but since I’ve switched my gym time to 5am and got them in before work, I rarely hit that 2pm slump that used to crush me.

Mental Health

I have been on anti-depressants, I’ve done countless hours of talk therapy, and more group therapy then I ever wanted, but I can confidently say that regular exercise has helped me manage depression better than any other thing has. To be clear, I am 100% not putting any of those other things down (in fact, I’m a huge believer in talk therapy for everyone), but building in a daily workout routine has made a dramatic impact for me personally, and it’s something I highly recommend to anyone struggling with depression and anxiety.

I actually was so surprised by how much it’s impacted me, that I read “Spark” by John J. Ratey and absolutely loved the deep dive into how exercise effects the brain. He really takes it to a true scientific study and lays how how and why it can be so affective. I am not going to pretend it’s a magic cure-all. Nothing is, and anyone telling you otherwise is lying, but it can have a huge impact, and can be so helpful with those struggles.

Confidence

This is major guys.

My husband once described me to someone as “the most insecure person in the world”, which was 100% true at the time. My confidence in myself has always seemed be in the negatives, and I struggled daily with the mental fight to feel confident. Then I started running. Okay, in the beginning it was more of a run 100 feet, walk 500 feet (you can read a little more about my journey here if you want) but I began to realize that I could do something I never thought possible.

That little bit of confidence I gained from running I took and decided to finally commit myself to also doing full workouts every day. I had tried to do exercise programs before, only to quit before day 3, but this time I was determined. I had already taught myself to run a 5k, and if I could do that, I figured I could probably do anything. So I did. I worked out every day for a month. Even when we were traveling and I had to do it on the floor next to our bed, I did it. And then I kept doing it.

Almost a year later I look back now and see how much that changed me. I’m not talking about physically (although that has happened too) I’m talking about mentally. Workouts have taught me every single day that even when something’s hard, I can do it. I can push thought and accomplish way more than I ever thought I could. Now when something is hard, or my brain tries to tell me I might fail, I remind myself I’ve done things so much harder. I’ve already accomplished this thing I would have never thought possible.

Alright, now get going!

Don’t let yourself get caught up in the idea that you need to workout just to look better. You look amazing, I already know it. You should workout because it will make your mind and body feel better, and work better together. It is such hard work, especially in the beginning, but make a rule to banish all negative talk during your workouts. Whether you workout for 5 minutes or an hour, it counts, and it’s awesome.