My New Exercise Follow-Through Trick

October 2, 2013 | By | Comments (5)

I’ve never enjoyed exercise. Actually, that’s about as accurate as saying I’ve never enjoyed cockroaches: I hate exercise. It doesn’t make me feel good and invigorated and refreshed the way it apparently does everyone else. For me, it’s always grueling work with hints of torture, so I’ve never been all that motivated to do it. Until now, now that I’m trying to drop a few pounds (I’ve lost 14 so far, with 6 or so more to go). See, MyFitnessPal tells me that my baseline goal for weight loss is 1,240 calories per day. People: That’s not enough for someone who enjoys her food and, ahem, her drinks. Exercise buys me extra calories—especially running, which usually earns back 500 or more calories—so now I’m reluctantly but pretty much daily engaging in fitness.

Another complication: The only time that works for me to exercise is 5:00 a.m. Not 5:15 nor even 5:08. If I’m not gearing up at 5:00 with my running attire, phone armband, reflective vest, and leash (well, that last bit of business is for the dog) and out the door a few minutes later, I will have missed my window. That was starting to lead to some bad habits—if I hit snooze a couple of times and found myself still in bed at 5:03, I’d throw in the towel.


Photo: Chris Bernard/Getty Images

But I now have a new trick that has had a 100% success rate every time I’ve used it (every weeknight for the past two weeks): I go to sleep in my workout clothes. Yes! I sleep in my sports bra, sweat-wicking shirt, and running shorts. (Some people have expressed horror at the thought—but, hey, I like the extra support… And I’m so damn tired by the time I go to bed that I could be wearing scuba gear and sleep just fine.) This works for me for two reasons: First, I have a head start and am more than halfway ready, so the 5:03 excuse doesn’t hold up anymore. But the more compelling thing is that I just can’t bear the idea of the shame I’d feel at sleeping an extra hour and then standing in the bathroom getting ready for my shower—and peeling off those unused workout clothes. So that’s it: A little bit of advance prep, and the power of guilt and shame! Hey, whatever it takes.

What’s your daily fitness motivation or follow-through trick? Share it with us. Comment here, email and tweet @Cooking_Light using #SocialDiet.


  1. Mia

    yes it really works, i do the same thing, sleeping in workout clothes is top trick 😀

    April 22, 2014 at 10:18 am
  2. Mohammed

    Hi there! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and tell you I really enjoy reading through your blog posts. Thank you!

    March 15, 2014 at 7:24 pm
  3. Nanz

    I like the idea and will be trying it starting tomorrow night 🙂

    October 9, 2013 at 1:10 am
  4. My New Exercise Follow-Through Trick | Womens Health Trend Watch

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    October 7, 2013 at 8:21 am
  5. sarah

    Great idea! I’m a side sleeper…so I pretty much sleep in a sports bra or similar anyway….definitely keeping things supported to help keep them from falling prey to gravity too early. 😉 lol

    October 2, 2013 at 3:53 pm

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