I’ve shared a few times over the past month or so about my struggles with losing the pesky poundage that decided to reappear over the past 6 months. You likely read about it here, and here, and even here.
Now, we’ve talked about weight loss before and even simplified it by saying it’s just calories in, calories out. Eat Less, Move More. As I struggled for a solid month, I heard a lot of recommendations about how to fix it. Those logical recommendations that mean nothing to someone struggling with motivation.
And then… it happened. I found my motivation.
Cue the bells, the whistles… sound the alarms… and play the lottery!
Hot damn, I’m back!
I had looked everywhere for it, and I know how this goes. There is a level of “fake-it-til-you-make-it” that I employ… you know the drill, where you’re working out on the elliptical trying to pretend you’re having a good time in hopes of actually start having a good time! But, I still wasn’t enjoying it…
I tried to force myself to “just do it,” but that didn’t work either… and then one day, it happened. Finally. After a month of trying to get back on track, I finally was.
In retrospect, I can see clearly what was holding me back and frankly, what took me so long… and I’m going to share my ideas with you here today.
Power through your Excuses
This one was CRITICAL for me, and most applicable to my lack of motivation to get to the gym.
Often times, I’m like a trial lawyer. I can argue my case better than just about anyone I know… and I can convince myself that my excuse is valid.
It’s too HOT / COLD / LATE /EARLY.
I’m too TIRED / BUSY / OVERWHELMED / ON A PRODUCTIVE ROLL THAT WOULD VANISH IF I WORKED OUT.
In order to move forward, I really had to have a “conversation” with myself about the situation. I really had to push myself out of my own way. And mostly, I had to just get there.
Walking back into the gym the first time was the hardest, but since then… it’s been fairly easy. Sometimes, I still have to trick myself to get there… but I don’t let myself convince myself that it’s a bad idea to go. It never is.
Pause to Reflect Upon Your Journey
For the past few months, I’ve been a little down on my progress. I wanted more than anything for that little ticker over there to the left of this post to read 80 like it used to. Because 80 is so much better than 65. What???
I took some time to go through pictures of where I was 65 lbs ago, and to reflect upon all the progress that I had so far. Rather than letting myself get caught up in the numbers any longer, I just wanted to enjoy where I was at.
It took looking through pictures to make me realize that I’m not the girl I used to be (physically) and that my goals are different… but important. I’m also pretty darn proud of that above picture, so it was a nice reminder!
Don’t Skip the Gym for More than Three Days (unless you’re legitimately injured!)
This is an important guideline: Once you go past that third day, it makes it even harder to work exercise back into your schedule. And, if you’re like me, your body forgets how delicious all those endorphins are that you pick up at the gym. Bottom line: Don’t go past three days. Get there. Make it happen.
Choose a Non-Competitor to Hold You Accountable
In this healthy living world, it is very easy to play the comparison game. Avoid it at all costs!!! Find someone that you can count on to hold you accountable, who wants to hear about your healthy day… and share! I recently started sharing my workout schedule with a guy at work that I know is trying to eat healthier and exercise regularly. I call him and “check in” on how my workouts are going, and he cheers me on. I do the same for him. He is a dad of 4 and has figured out how to spend 2 hours a day at the gym getting it done. I have zero kids, zero pets, and right now, I don’t even have plants! If he can do it, I can definitely do it!
While we both have very different lifestyles and fitness goals, we’re both having to squeeze gym time into our schedules and we’re both getting it done! He’s the perfect accountability partner for me right now. (Note to Self: Must mention this when I speak with him today!)
So, not everyone has this awesome co-worker, but if you’re reading this blog, you probably have some connection to social media. Consider checking into the gym via social media. I do every day… it’s my way of “checking the box” as I walk out of the gym. To me, there’s a strange sense of satisfaction with announcing to the world that I got my workout in. And, it can’t be any more annoying than the political ads or Candy Crush-related posts.
Quick NTTC Safety Tip: As a single lady, I always check in as I’m leaving… and not as I’m arriving. A tip I received from a friend as a way to stay safe.
Reward Yourself… Often
I set up a formal rewards program for my weight loss journey in the very beginning… and I highly recommend doing something similar. These days, far into my journey I still have rewards, but they’re just little things I want to do. I feel like I really earn them this way, and it seems like daily there is something I’m working toward!
“If I go to the gym tonight… I can do the laundry tomorrow night instead of tonight.”
“If I eat a healthy dinner and stay within my calorie count… I’ll have just enough calories left for a Skinny Cow ice cream cone.”
“If I finish my meal prep tonight, I can schedule a spray tan this week…”
Consider What You Want Most
When I went to see Jillian Michaels perform a few months back here in Denver, she shared that if you haven’t figured out “WHY” you want to do something you may never get there. That’s kind of stuck with me ever since.
I have my bigger long term goals of being at a healthy weight, building muscle tone, being physically stronger, and assuring I live a long, delicious life with my future husband. For me, some of those long term goals seem really far away (for example: I haven’t even met “him” yet), so I also have more short term goals like fitting comfortably back into my favorite pair of pants. They fit today, but I’d really like them to fit well again.
So, when I’m considering not going to the gym or maybe driving through at a local fast food joint, I go back to my goals. And simply ask myself if my momentary actions support my goal. Most times the answer is an astounding no.
Wash, Rinse, Repeat
True Story: Stuff is going to get in your way. You’re going to get distracted. Every. Single. Day. Every day, I get to wake up and start over and try, try again… I firmly know that those cute pants are going to fit well again, and that there will probably be an even cuter pair of pants that I find along the way.
I know that the gym is going to be smelly one day, and I’m going to want to leave. I might even leave if it smells as bad as it has in the past. BUT, that doesn’t mean that it’s the end of the story.
The key is to JUST KEEP GOING. With your efforts focused upon your goal, you will get closer every day. And, life is truly not a sprint, it’s a marathon… you have the time. You’ll get there.
How do you get your groove back when it’s escaped you?