health + fitness / regaining momentum
yo! today i want to chat with you about losing momentum and how to gain it back.
before we get started though, i’d like to say hello to my new followers (hi friends!) and let you know that i’ve been participating in the leanmoms.com 12 week fitness challenge. for more on that, click here. the goal has been to share as much as possible with you along the way – my meal plans, the workouts, my progress and a little motivation.
when i last checked in, i was starting week 3 and had already lost 2.5 inches from my waist and 2 inches from my hips. (woot woot!) yes, losing inches felt good, but more than anything i noticed a huge difference in the quality of my life – more energy, more smiling, better sleep habits, etc… i was hooked and 100% committed. 2 weeks later i was headed to illinois for a few days, back home for a week and then on a plane to austin. i tried so hard to stick to a decent diet and make good decisions, but i rarely found opportunities to work out. by the time i got home and the dust settled, i was tired and unmotivated. where was the girl from a few weeks ago who was following a strict diet and kicking ass?! so i gave myself a day or two to regroup, took the iv of wine out of my arm and jumped back into my routine.
listen, i know it’s not always that easy. so with that in mind, i thought i’d share a few tips on how to stay motivated when you’d rather sit on the couch and eat bonbons (a la peg bundy)…
do it for YOU
motivation rarely comes from someone pressuring or bullying you into doing something. the want to make a lifestyle change has to come from within yourself! personally, i decided to make a change because the woman i looked like on the outside, didn’t reflect how i felt on the inside. i was tired of making excuses and feeling insecure, so i did something about it. you’ll find your reason, too…i promise.
find an activity that you love
for me, it’s weight lifting and running. but maybe you’d prefer a group fit class or pilates. (pilates is SO good.) and even then, your activity doesn’t have to be in a gym-like setting. hiking is a fantastic way to get in shape, too! or maybe you prefer sports! join a volleyball or softball league. whatever it is, find something that makes you happy. chances are, you’ll stick with it.
so you’ve decided to go to the gym tomorrow – great! take it slow. focus on one or two body parts – maybe shoulders and back or legs – and start with low weights. practicing good form is so important, as this will help reduce the risk of injury and you probably won’t be so sore the next day. (which is often why most people don’t go back!) also, you don’t have to practice your chosen activity 7 days a week. for example, if you’re just starting out, try 3 days and see how you feel.
some of you might be more motivated to get into a routine if there’s a goal at the end. maybe sign up for a 5k! that way you’ll have something to work towards. the other obvious option is to set a weight goal… that works, too! however, weight fluctuates when you’re building muscle – think about setting a goal to lose inches, not pounds.
switch it up
tired of your home workout videos? sign up for a class, like zumba or yoga! or…if you’ve been lifting weights at the gym and you’re not seeing results – research different workouts, do more reps or try a higher weight. whatever you do – don’t let yourself get bored!
get yourself an accountabilibuddy
okay, i made that up. actually, mark did – that’s what he calls himself. he’s the person i go to when i need a swift kick in the ass. he’s super supportive and awesome. you’re gonna need someone like that too.
schedule your workouts
i take my gym bag to work every day and head to the gym right after work. i put in a good hour, hour and a half and then i’m done! if you can, schedule your activities at the beginning of the week. if you see it on your calendar, you’ll be more motivated to follow through.
give yourself a break
i recommend two rest days a week. besides giving your muscles a chance to rebuild and recover – life happens! sometimes i can’t make it to the gym because i want to go to happy hour or one of the kids has an activity. it’s okay. if you give yourself a break every now and again, you won’t wear yourself out. which is another reason why some people can’t stay motivated.
follow a plan or get a trainer
maybe going it alone isn’t for you. it took me months to want to make a change, but the actual kickstarter was the offer to join the leanmoms.com challenge. i said yes because nothing else was working for me. with this program, i was being supplied with everything i needed to make a lifestyle change – a meal plan, shopping lists, workouts, video instruction if i needed it, etc… it was like i had a personal trainer in my pocket. and i was being held accountable by the women over at leanmoms.com. it was a no-brainer. what i’m saying is – maybe you should look into personal training or joining a group like weight watchers. sometimes you need someone to tell you what to do – and that’s okay! once that person points you in the right direction, you’ll find your momentum and it’ll get easier.
i hope some of this helps! i am by no means an expert, but i used to be a personal trainer (like, years ago!) and i’d like to think i kept my clients motivated. it all goes back to this – if you want it badly enough, you’ll make it happen. until then – quit your whining! now, if you’ll excuse me – i have a date with gym.