This calls for real honesty – a real moment to declare that this post is in no way written by someone who has an ounce of enjoyment from working out. I wish I could be like a Kardashian or even those real people I see everyday dedicated to their fitness. I just don’t seem to have the motivation, or at the very least the lasting motivation, to haul myself to the gym.
But, let’s be honest here…that’s what we’re doing, right? Being honest?
I know it’s an excuse and, for me, it stems from the frustration of not seeing many results after months of hard work by eating right, cutting back on alcohol (gasp!), and putting some serious time into the gym. It can be such a defeating feeling and it leads to my fixed mindset of: what difference does it make anyways?
Well, in order to help me, and others out there like me, escape that mindset that doesn’t do anyone any favors, I’ve given some serious thought to the subject. How can I maintain my motivation without feeling like I want to give up? Here’s what I came up with…
Start with new workout clothes.
Nothing says I’m ready to get at it like feeling the part.
Look, I’ll never be a Kate Hudson three days post baby #3 and ready to wear a mid-drift bearing yoga ensemble. I mean, she won the genetic lottery and good for her. With that being said, she does have a pretty great active and athleisure line called Fabletics that I’ve heard are pretty great. What’s more, I love that her brand is size inclusive – making finding the cutest workout clothes possible. So, find something that makes you feel cute and invest in quality so that you’re not busting out those workout pants months into your new routine.
Determine your preferences.
Your new workout routine needs to fit you, not the other way around. We all have preferences, so it’s important to take inventory of what those are. For me, there are a few points I try to consider when starting a new active lifestyle:
Time of Day.
I can easily make working out fit into my schedule, but with work it comes down to my willingness to wake up extra early or plan for a workout after a long day at work. Both come with some creature comforts that I have to part with like being willing to give up some extra sleep or double down for a sweat sesh after a long day of teaching. For me, it’s more realistic to make working out fit into my schedule in the evenings or the mornings on weekends. See what time of day works best for you and a time-frame that will make working out easily become a priority in your schedule.
Work out together or by yourself.
Some prefer working out with groups of friends or in group classes and others enjoy individual sessions or one-on-ones with a trainer. And then there’s the Snooki’s of the world (raises hand) that enjoys a workout at home or go for a run around the neighborhood. Whatever you prefer, make sure you find workouts or fitness programs that fit what you’re comfortable with. I love finding workouts that are group-oriented because I feel like I’m a part of a greater group effort. Plus, it’s a great way to meet people.
What are your goals?
I’ve found that I can stick with a workout routine when I have my goals and priorities in check. After years of yo-yoing with working out I’ve come to realize that I can really stick to it when it becomes more about a lifestyle choice rather than a specific goal like losing weight. The weight, of course, is something I do want to lose, but feeling good and having positive body perceptions are huge for me – especially since having a baby. Every few months I try to check in myself and see if there are new goals to set.
This year I wrote out my 20 in 2020, which are a set of smaller, more specific, goals and statistics say you’re about 33% more likely to achieve your goals when you write them down and share them with others. So, write them down and share them with others!
Consider fitness add-ons to help keep you on track.
These add-ons can be anything that will help supplement your new healthy lifestyle. Some include:
- smart watches that have fitness trackers or features like Apple watch or Fitbit.
- programs like Weight Watchers or Noom coaches to help you stay accountable when it comes to food choices or understanding what influences your food choices.
- If you can afford the investment, personal trainers can really help with keeping you accountable and be someone you can confide in when you feel like you’re struggling.
- Join a fitness group like Zumba or even Crossfit that has a dedicated following – you never know, you may even make a few friends!
Try different workouts.
Keep yourself and your body guessing with new and differing workouts. Go with a few different style workouts each week like yoga, spin, pilates, or barre. Not only are you getting a good workout in, but you’re working on strengthening different areas of your body as well. It’s easy to plateau after a while, but by keeping your body guessing with each workout keeps it working hard.
For me, it’s all about getting outside and going for walks/hikes with my family. It’s such an easy way to get moving without having the expense of a membership or class and we’ve been discovering such beautiful places along the way.
Give yourself grace in the process.
As a mom I can really be hard on myself when looking in the mirror. I see so many imperfections that were due to being pregnant. But, every so often I have to hit the pause button and snap out of that mindset. I’m so proud of my body – that it achieved something so powerful like creating and bringing life into this world. Sure, is my tummy still an area that I having the most insecrutities? Yep! But, I need to remind myself to be kind to that person in the mirror and to have grace in the process of loving myself the way I am.
So, like the Peloton Girl, it’s okay to be a little nervous to start something new but there’s real rewards in the hard work and commitment. This brought to you by a real girl.