Do you hate to exercise, but know you need it? It’s so hard to find the time and to get motivated to exercise. As a former couch potato, I can totally relate!
I started my weight loss journey last May and lost 50 pounds in 2013. As someone who has always HATED to exercise (I can’t say that with enough vile in my voice) this following statement is hard to believe–even for me, the person who is doing it!
In the past 14 days I’ve done:
- 1400 Squats
- 1250 Crunches
- 14-30 second planks
- 7 hours of swimming (remarkable, considering I’ve been leaving the house to swim on in -18 degree Wisconsin weather!)
- 3 weight lifting sessions with a personal trainer (would have been 5 sessions if my time slot hadn’t fallen on Christmas day and New Year’s day.)
To a fitness fanatic, this may not be impressive, but I’m thrilled. Not just by the progress I’m seeing on the scale and in my clothes, but because my attitude towards exercise has totally changed.
If you’re looking to increase your fitness this year, but you’re struggling to get motivated, here’s what worked for me:
Set Small Goals:
With more than 100 pounds to lose, starting small was the only way for me to start. I was out of breath just climbing a flight of stairs at work.
I started off by challenging myself to do at least one 5K per month. Having a specific goal to hit and checking it off each month I accomplished it was super motivating.
I got a Fitbit to track my steps and became addicted to hitting my goals. I know I must have driven my husband crazy, climbing up and down the stars and pacing between our bedroom/bathroom in order to get enough steps before bed so I could hit my goal.
The 5K’s set off a ripple effect that led to me joining the Master’s Swim Team at my gym (even though I didn’t know how to swim.)
After swimming for a couple of months, increasing my strength and stamina, I started working out with a trainer. That’s when I started to see the most difference!
Get Over Yourself
The hardest part of this whole journey for me, was getting over my insecurities. I secretly wished I could do a couple of tequila shots in order to get the confidence up to put on a swimming suit each day before practice.
I dreaded dead lifts and loathed bench presses because they were over in the “boys” free weight section of the gym and I couldn’t hide from the mirrors.
But everyone I’ve met is there to better themselves and they seem to respect others who are there with a similar purpose. It’s not about where you are on your journey, it’s that you’re on the journey that counts.
I didn’t realize when I joined the swim team that it was a competitive thing and when I went the first day, I was totally intimidated. But I made up my mind that this was my goal and there was no better way to learn and push myself than working out with people who were way better than I was.
Gadgets, Gadgets, Gadgets!
You need good equipment! Good shoes and clothing that fits well, breathes, and you feel good, will make a world of difference!
(Here’s a link to the running shoes review I did this fall for Footsmart — I liked them so much, I bought a second pair as a back-up!)
Beyond the basics it’s fun to gadget up! There are lots of great fitness gadgets on the market! I’ve mentioned the Fitbit (I have the Fitbit Flex) and I recently got the Jawbone UP as a Christmas present. They’re both nice and I’ll be reviewing them soon.
I like to be able to see stats showing progress, especially if I’m not seeing it on the scale. Knowing that I’m hitting my activity goals is rewarding. There are also great heart rate monitors and apps to help track your workouts and chart your progress.
Gadgets make working out more fun too! Swimming with a waterproof mp3 player may make me look a little dorky, but makes the time go by faster. Working out to music is a great distraction from the “work” part of it all. (If music isn’t a motivator for you, download some suspenseful audio books and only allow yourself to listen to them while you’re working out!)
Be sure to check out the sports and outdoors as well as the health and beauty categories here on FatWallet for cash back deals on fitness equipment, fitness trackers, scales, and such. FatWallet also has a New Year New You Cash Back Sale with merchants offering extra cash back in these categories!
Peer Pressure & Accountability!
I’ve got several friends in the Fitbit community and coworkers who are using the UP. We enjoy a little friendly competition encourage more activity each day. I’m also part of several Facebook groups to receive and give props for hard work and a kick in the butt if I’m slacking.
I’ve also been using the app called Lift which allows you to set goals and track your daily activity towards them. It’s very motivating and keeps me going…trust me you will not want to break a 14 day streak you’ve built up doing 100 squats per day even if it’s bedtime! Squats at the sink while brushing my teeth has become a habit lately.
My friends at work here are holding me accountable too. There are so many tempting treats here at FatWallet and my close friends have permission to remind me to, “Put the fork down,” let me know when there are dangerous things in the kitchen (i.e. newbie donuts) and remind me, “That’s not a good snack for you.”
How do you motivate yourself to exercise?
I wish you the best for whatever your fitness goals are for the New Year!