Hitting the Gym at 4 a.m. Has Made Me Happier, Healthier — and Even Improved My Marriage

Proof a little morning workout motivation can change your life.

morning workout motivation

After finding her inner morning workout motivation, Linh Nguyen made some impressive changes in her life. Photographs courtesy Linh Nguyen.

Changing your body takes hard work, persistence, and dedication. Here’s one local’s story. Want to share your Transformation Story? Email ccunningham@phillymag.com

Who: Linh Nguyen, 37, a physician assistant from Bensalem, PA

Why I wanted to make a change: “My husband tried to get me to join him in the gym for the longest time, but I resisted. My excuses for him have been that my career and family planning go first. Now that I am at the peak of my career and done with family planning, those excuses are no longer valid, and it is time for me to change.”

Height: 5’1″

Starting weight: 167 pounds

Current weight: 118 pounds

How I feel now: “I am more energetic, much stronger, and my stamina has increased. Overall, my attitude in life is better. I am much happier because I spend more time with my husband, a.k.a. trainer. We’ve had better communication now that gym time is ‘our time’ together.”

How I changed my diet: “The first three months of working out I did not change my diet. I still ate a greasy, fatty, and high-carb diet. I saw a weight loss still, even though my diet remained the same. It wasn’t until I hit the wall and I was no longer losing weight that I decided to make changes to my diet. I started losing weight and inches this time. I gave up 80 percent of simple carbs and picked up complex carbs instead. I added more protein to my breakfast, and I eat more fruits and vegetables. I have a healthy snack every two hours to keep my appetite under controlled. Meal prep has helped me tremendously in avoiding cafeteria foods at work, but I do cheat days with carbs and sweets on the weekend.”

How I changed my workout plan: “I do weight training three to four times a week with cardio twice a week. Rest day is Sunday, which is also family day where we’re devoted to our children.”

The hardest part:  “Getting up at 4 a.m. to go to the gym and work a 12-hour shift afterward. My husband would get the pre-workout, protein drinks, and lunch box ready for us so I had more time to get up in the morning. It was hardest for me to get up and go to the gym for the first three months. After that, it became a part of my daily routine.”

“It’s okay to have reasons and excuses…but once those excuses are no longer valid, it is time for you to step up and join us. It is never too late to get fit.”

What I’m most proud of: “I am most proud of my energy level. I am most proud of my commitment to staying fit and healthy. I didn’t think I could stick it out, but a transformation is not just about physical appearance. It is also training you mentally, emotionally, and spiritually to accept the things you cannot change — but a body transformation is definitely something we can change!”

What’s next: “We are still training for various races and challenges just to keep us engaged. We are training for the Beast Spartan Race in April 2019. AROO!!!”

What I want everyone to know: “It’s okay to have reasons and excuses as to why you cannot start a fitness regimen. But once those excuses are no longer valid, it is time for you to step up and join us. It is never too late to get fit.”

Let’s get social! Join Be Well Philly at: