Exercise Motivation For Those Cold, Dark Mornings

Good morning!

I met a blog reader for dinner last night at one of my Chapel Hill favorites — Butternut Squash vegetarian/vegan restaurant.


Brenna is a freshman here at UNC and emailed me last week to see if I wanted to meet up. It’s always fun meeting readers. :) Isn’t her red hair pretty? I always secretly wanted to be a red head.


Brenna and I had fun chatting away — it made me nostalgic for undergrad days! I miss college — I went to Dickinson College in PA, which I loved. Grad school is fun and all… but not quite the same. ;)

Anyway, it was nice to have a break from biochem studying — and I ordered my usual, the black bean hemp nut burger. Plus sweet potato fries, obvi. Delish!



I saved half of everything for lunch today. Win. Thanks for the fun dinner date, Brenna!

I’m off to go finish studying for and take my biochem exam (my 9 a.m. class before biochem was just cancelled — perfect!), so I will simply leave you all with some happy exercise-related motivation today.

(All images courtesy of Pinterest)

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And my favorite:

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Hehe. That always makes me smile. I love looking at motivational signs like these, especially now that the mornings have gotten so dark and cold! I find it a million times harder to get out of bed when it’s still pitch black outside.

And now, let’s all complete the following, because it’s always to remind yourself: “I exercise because…” My answer? That’s simple — because it makes me happy.

Happy Wednesday, friends!


  1. 1

    It was brutal trying to get out the door this morning, but once I was on the road, just me, my music, and the stars in the sky, it felt so peaceful. That’s my me-time.

  2. 2

    I have also not-so-secretly wanted to be a red head. I’m having my hair colored this weekend and will be asking for more red highlights! :)

    I exercise because it’s a mood booster! Love the endorphins and that I finish a hard workout feeling exhausted in the best possible way.

    Those sweet potato fries look pretty awesome!

  3. 3

    That burger and fries looks delicious :)

  4. 4

    black bean burgers & sweet potato fries are always my go-to when eating out! love them. :) and pinterest has tons of these amazing motivational pictures; I always check it when I’m feeling sluggish, then I’m usually right out the door to work out.

  5. 5

    Yumm! Those fries look tasty! Great post :)

  6. 6

    I love those signs….the last is my favorite too! :) You will never believe it….I have started running! I always hated running…I chose sports to do (or positions) so I wouldnt have to run. ie. Goalie, shot put, ice skating, swimming…But a couple months ago, I started going on a walk before work. Then suddenly I kept getting the urge to run. Now I am running everyday before work. I am still limiting it to a mile and I am not pushing myself too hard about my pace. I think I always put unrealistic expectations on myself about running too far or too fast, too soon. So I am just taking it easy. And guess what, I am enjoying it! I actually look forward to the early morning run! Who would have thought?! Thanks for all the motivation on the blog…it helped me get into it! :-)

    • 7

      Lu, I am SO proud of you!! That’s awesome. It’s seriously all about just doing what works for you – I think people get hung up on feeling like they have to run like 5 miles every day or do some crazy fast pace or it’s not worth it – very all or nothing. But that’s SO not true. Doing what works for you is more important! I love that you are enjoying it, too – that’s the most important part. Just have fun :) xoxo

  7. 8

    Yum, sweet potato fries are a MUST!!

    I exercise because…it wakes me up, makes me feel good and ready to start each day

  8. 9

    i CAN NOT go outside in the dark. a) i’m scared i’ll get hit by a car b) i’m scared i’ll get “r”-ed c) i’m lazy

  9. 11

    I love that last one! Going to try and remember that on miles 11-13 of my upcoming half :)

  10. 13

    Good luck on your test!! I exercise because it makes me feel so great!

  11. 14

    I exercise because it makes me feel good when it’s over. But more importantly, I exercise because it keeps me sane :) I’ve been struggling big time to wake up in the mornings for exercise! The idea of scrapping ice off my windshield at 5:45am to go to the gym isn’t too exciting. I’ve been wanting to try Butternut Squash! I’m definitely going this soon :) Good luck on your exam!

  12. 16

    Mmmm, I went to Butternut Squash with Kelly (foodiefresh) about a year ago when we were in Chapel Hill! It was good! I liked that you can BYOB too :)

  13. 18

    What a creative name for a restaurant? lol

  14. 19

    I exercise because it gives me more energy, helps me sleep better, and makes me a less moody/cranky person. :)

  15. 20

    i run because i can…
    i love those slogans :)

  16. 22

    I exercise because I love to eat. :-) And it makes me feel good!!

  17. 24

    cold and dark is much nicer than hotter than hell with the sun blazing down.

  18. 26

    That burger and fries looks divine. Brenna looks like a pretty Irish lass.
    Let us know if you aced the test today. Also, are you going to share with us your venue or save as a surprise? Just curious. Oh yeah, curiosity killed the cat. Oh well.

    • 27

      Unfortunately I will have to keep it secret for security reasons until after the fact… but I’ll let you know when I find one and give a general idea of what it’s like! :)

  19. 29

    Best thing about Pinterest: jackpot for motivational quotes & cool pictures of words!

    I exercise because it keeps me sane, healthy, confident and challenged!

  20. 30

    I exercise because I love to feel fit and accomplished. It makes me feel young and healthy and my day is never right if I didn’t walk in the morning.

  21. 31

    I exercise because it relieves stress and makes me feel strong, healthy, and good about myself!

  22. 32

    I’ve been reading your blog for a few months now (love it!), but have never commented – just wanted to say hi and that I live right around the corner from Dickinson College! I drive by your alma mater every day :) It’s a beautiful campus!

  23. 34

    I exercise because it keeps me in shape and gets virtue points internally!

    • 35

      DHP is right, but not just for fitness it’s for a health issue and your body thanks you feeling better. I wish to havemore time to do more exercise. I really admire Anne P. because she is full of energy!!

  24. 36

    Seriously what would we do without Pinterest? SO much inspiration there! I exercise because it keeps me happy, healthy, and sane! :)

  25. 37

    I exercise because it always surprises me and gives me more energy than I thought it would!

  26. 38
    Adventurer says:

    There is nothing that does so much for body, mind, and all-around well-being as exercise, especially running!

  27. 39

    Good luck for your test! I’m sure you’ll do brilliantly!
    I love these motivational quotes, I need the extra kick at the moment when it’s so cold outside.
    I exercise because it makes me feel amazing, mind and body :-)

  28. 40

    I love pinterest’s exercise mantra images. I’ve got a handful saved, including my favorite, which says “I stop when I’m done, not when I’m tired.” Every time I want to wimp out of a workout before I finish everything I think of that and keep going.
    It makes me feel hardcore and whatnot.

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