Happy January everyone! I hope you all made it through the Holidays and are finding time to wind down and get on with 2016. I’m finally feeling the December stress release and am pretty damn excited to get this new year started! I, like many people today, found myself at the gym. It’s not unusual for me to be there, I actually kinda love it. But as I was driving up and down the parking lot looking for a parking spot, I remember thinking “ugh, the gym in January!” I’m pretty sure I even said this out loud to Mikah and had to explain it to him. Moving on… I check us in, get him to his pitching clinic and head into the locker room to change. While in there, I had a short conversation with a friend much like I do every year at this time…the gym in January! Parking lot is full, locker room is full, the machines are full. I just want to get in, get my sweat on and get home. I can’t wait until mid-February when all the ‘resolutioners’ have stopped coming.
It wasn’t until I was about 1o minutes into my run that I realized I don’t really feel this way. I remember glancing over and seeing a woman struggling with a few kettlebells in the free weight area and thinking “I used to be her.” Flashbacks to my first gym membership and how scared I was to go because of people judging just the way I was. I had already lost over 40 pounds when I started at a gym almost 10 years ago, but I was still terrified of looking like a fool. And here I was, wishing that these people who were new to the gym would leave so I could get on with my workout. I was instantly ashamed of myself.
I know that woman has no idea what I was thinking, no one at my gym does. But I know there are plenty of people out there making a fresh start this week and they need all the help they can get. I may not be new to the gym, but I’m making my visits there a priority again too. So here are 5 ways I keep myself going.
Tell Your Friends and Family.
It’s much harder to quit if you have to be accountable to someone for going. By telling friends and family, you have created a support group. If you don’t think they will be supportive, or will let you off the hook if you skip, find an online support group. Facebook, Instagram and Sparkpeople are all great places to find support groups. Or even better, comment below and let’s keep each other focused!
Set Realistic Goals
It’s so easy to jump in head first and plan to lose 20 pounds by Valentine’s Day. Or to go to the gym for an hour every day from now until Summer. That’s just setting yourself up for failure. By setting an attainable goal or small goals each week, you gain momentum and see your progress. Instead of setting a goal of pounds to lose, try setting a distance goal. Like, this week I’m going to run/walk 10 miles. If you hit this goal, maybe increase it a little bit next week.
Try Different Machines and Classes
Variety is the spice of life, right? Might be the key to your fitness success too! If you really don’t like running, but enjoy cycling, try the spinning class or a step aerobics class. Maybe kickboxing is what you need to get some work frustrations out. Then again, maybe all you need is a treadmill and some music to let the day’s stress sweat away. I’ve found that when I switch up my workouts, I don’t get bored.
Try Different Times of the Day
If your struggling with getting up in the morning to workout before work, that may not be your peak exercise time. An post-work session might work better for you. You’ll be able to release stress from work and will have gotten your sleep. If you’ve got a full afternoon of picking up kids, grocery shopping and cooking dinner, the morning hours might be just what you need to get your day started. Don’t give up without trying all your options.
And, When All Else Fails…….BRIBE YOURSELF!!
I’m serious. Small rewards are the key for me. I live on a pretty strict budget and try not to spend money frivolously. However, if I’m struggling to get my workouts in, or feel I’ve been a little too lax with the wine and guacamole, I bribe myself to get back in gear. My current list of rewards is a bar of 18th Street Soap Company soap, the Pink Himalayan Salt scent (uh-mazing, my favorite) 5 daisy bulbs (for winter forcing), a necklace, some new eyeliner and a trip to the fabric store. I write down my workout goals and can only treat myself once I have hit that goal. I’m working on 3 sets of 1 minute planks right now. Kill me.
One last thing, I read once that it takes 4 weeks for you to notice the changes, but I think that’s crap. If you move your butt and stop eating crap, you should see some changes in 2 weeks. But, I’m not a doctor or trainer….just a girl with experience who used to weigh a lot more than she does now.
So let’s keep each other on track! Comment below to let me know how you keep yourself motivated. Oh, and give me the deets on your bribes, I’m making quite the list 😉