This morning was one of those mornings where I gave myself every excuse possible as to why I shouldn’t be going for a run.
“I’m too tired, it’s cold, I’ve just washed my hair and don’t want to get it all sweaty and gross, I haven’t been for a run in a while- I wont be any good, it will probably rain, I don’t have time” I could go on all day.
Somehow I managed to force my butt out of the door and went for a 30 minute jog and I’m glad I did. I always am. Problem is I knew that before I left but somehow that lazy devil on your shoulder will do anything to dissuade you.
I love that saying “you’ll regret eating that cookie, you won’t regret that workout”. I don’t think you should regret eating that cookie (I’m all for everything in moderation and life is short) but my point is you’ll never regret that workout.
So, how do I stay motivated?
1.Remind yourself why you started. Do you want to fit back into your tight skinny jeans? Do you want nourish your body, avoid illness and live a lovely long life? Are you training for something? Do you want to have enough energy to run and play with your children?
Whatever the reason remind yourself of it regularly- stick a picture where you’ll see it often that reminds you to get off your butt and go workout!
2. Take ‘before’ pictures and then take progress pictures once a month. Ideally you should wear the same clothes in both pictures with similar lighting, clothing and stance to make it easy to compare. This is my progress in a year- overall I have lost over 1 and a half stone since my starting my healthy lifestyle but this past year I have lost less fat but gained more muscle.
At first glance it doesn’t look that different but I can see much more muscle definition in my abdominal muscles and in my shoulders and biceps. Don’t beat yourself up if you only see a small improvement- progress takes time and slow progress sticks! Even if you see no improvement at least you’ve maintained your weight rather then gained weight.
I find progress pictures much more motivating than weighing yourself because scales don’t reveal the whole picture- you may have gained muscle mass which shows as more weight when really you’re leaner.
3. Surround yourself with positive people. There is nothing worse than the people who make you feel crap for eating healthy- the ones that pull a face or roll their eyes when you pull out your healthy green smoothie. Be around people that support your goals- they don’t need to agree with them or follow them themselves, as long as they don’t make you feel guilty for doing your thing.
4.Get some good music on your ipod. I cannot workout without music and I get bored of songs very quickly. Try and update your ipod as often as possible with music that’s gonna get you pumped up and ready to kick ass! One of my favs is Scrillex because his music is so fast paced and energetic.
5. Get a workout partner. I have a couple of girlfriends who I like to workout with. It makes it more fun and often more motivating if you compete against each other. You’ll also be less likely to cancel because you’ll feel guilty letting them down. Just be careful not to spend too much time chatting and not enough time working out (I am definitely guilty of this). Arrange to go for coffee afterwards and catch up there instead.
6. Create a ‘fitsporation’ wall. This doesn’t work for everyone as we all have different motivators but I like to put a poster up on my wall with pictures of the kind of girl I’d like to look like to inspire and motivate me to workout.
It doesn’t have to be images of other girls (I am aware this can be damaging to your view of your body) it can be motivational quotes e.g. “I can, I will” “No pain, no gain” etc.
7. Keep a record of your workouts. I like to lift weights and I use a diary to write the weight and how many reps/sets I managed that day. Each time I workout I can see what I achieved last week and try and beat it- if I do I feel great and motivated to beat that new goal.
8. Set fitness goals- I always wanted to be able to do a pull up (probably something to do with growing up with two older brothers and always wanting to do everything they could do). So I set a goal and worked until I achieved it- now I can do about 6 pull ups in a row, I am now aiming for 10.
Maybe you’d like to run 3 miles in under 30 minutes or be able to squat with 50kg on your back. Whatever it is set the goal, write it down and start!
9. Food-wise staying motivated and on track can be incredibly tough- especially when you’re around people who don’t eat healthily. What motivates me (most of the time) is by having a cheat meal once or twice a week with my boyfriend. We both try and eat really clean and healthy during the week and then plan an EPIC unhealthy meal for Sunday night. Don’t feel like all your hard work will be undone- your body will go into crisis mode and burn that crap off like crazy so don’t worry. So during the week when I have a wobbly moment I write down whatever I’m craving and eat it on Sunday. Delayed gratification- works most of the time.
10. And finally, have fun with it! If you’re not enjoying what you’re eating and the workouts your doing, change it up! Life is not about eating broccoli and chicken three times a day and killing yourself in the gym 7 times a week. Get creative with your food and mix up your workouts. Get out with your family and go for a walk in the fresh air- go dancing. Whatever you do- move your body, eat good food and ENJOY IT!
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