Exercise can be one of the hardest things to stay motivated with, the results are often very slow to show and you end up frustrated and wanting to give up… but stick in there, its worth it in the end!
Getting motivated to go to the gym can be an endless battle! For me personally, I know that I enjoy the gym and I love the results and the way it makes me feel but the thought of staying in bed for another hour on a cold morning or going home after a stressful day can really hamper your motivation.
Here are a few of my favourite tips and friendly reminders to myself: (Note: I am not a fitness professional, this is all from personal experience, you are welcome to take this all with a grain of salt).
Step away from the scales
I used to obsess over how much I weighed, it would drive me nuts! I couldn’t work out why I had been working out for 2 months almost 2 hours a day (at home) and I wasn’t loosing any weight, it was infuriating and extremely discouraging! The days I weighed myself (at the end of each month), would be the worst days of my life … I’d usually spend it in bed in tears and feel so discouraged…. Does this sound familiar to anyone else!
So my best tip for you is to stay the hell away from the scales! It is not an accurate measure of how much weight you have lost, remember that muscle weighs more than fat. If you are working with weights or HIIT then you are likely to be putting on muscle, therefore you will weight more (or the same). Instead pay attention to the clothes you are wearing or take measurements (but don’t… I repeat don’t… measure yourself every single week, it will become an obsession and another form of disappointment and discouragement, I would suggest measuring yourself once a month and keep track of where you measure eg: measuring your thigh 20cm from your hip or just under your butt.
Muscle burns more than fat
Not surprising but the more muscle you have the quicker you will loose weight. So I encourage you to lift weights!!!! Don’t stress ladies you wont bulk up like a body builder, it takes a lot of hard work, very strict eating and lots of protein shakes (kidding!) to get to that point, its takes time and full on dedication!
Focus on building the muscles in your legs and back, these 2 muscle groups are the biggest in your body, build these babies and watch the fat sizzle away! (but don’t forget about your other muscle groups, you don’t want to look silly with sexy legs and flabby arms..)
Follow a program
Think about what your fitness goals are and jump onto google. Type in “12 week program for fat loss” or “12 week program for body transformation” or “12 week program for muscle gain” … The combinations are endless and it doesn’t have to be 12 weeks but this is usually a realistic timeframe to see real results and to get yourself into a good routine. I will be writing an article about the best plans online shortly subscribe to my newsletter to keep an eye out for it.
If you fall off, get back on!
This is where most people loose momentum or give up. They have a day (or a few days) of unhealthy eating, miss a few days at the gym or they are sick for a few days… essentially they have fallen off the “fitness horse”. It doesn’t matter what the reason is, the most important thing is to get up, dust yourself off and get back on that “fitness horse”. Don’t let a few days of “whoops” mess up your hard work. It’s not the end of the world.
Get a Personal Trainer
I would highly recommend getting a few Personal training sessions to get used to the gym, if it’s your first time or when you first start a program. PT’s are a great resource but they can be very expensive. I would suggest when you first start a program to train with a PT at least once a week, that way you can ask them to go through any questions marks you have for upcoming exercises. Then reduce training with them down to once a fortnight or once a month. PT’s are great tools and usually have a great knowledge base. Pick their brain while you have them… you are paying for it after all.
Write down your goals
One of the most important things you need to do is work out what your goal is? Otherwise you will just be wondering around aimlessly which can be discouraging in itself!
What do you want to achieve? Weight loss? Toning? Building muscle? Getting fitter? Running a marathon? Everyone goals are slightly different, don’t compare yourself to others!
Make sure you write down your goal(s), people who write down their goals and even tell friends and family about them are more likely to achieve than people who don’t. It gives you accountability and drive!
Make sure your goal is measure and achievable, don’t make it so difficult to achieve that you become discouraged, but don’t make it too easier either: Challenge yourself!
No Pain, no Gain
As the old saying goes “no pain, no gain”; lets be real exercising hurts, during the exercise and usually for a few days afterwards. But try to get your mind around the pain, think that this pain is a good thing; your body is changing, adapting and getting stronger. I write this while in substantial pain form an epic (yes I jst used the word epic, I AM one of those gym people) leg work out yesterday so I am trying to remind myself, this is a good pain. The pain will go away and lessen over time as your body grows stronger and stronger.
Someone once told me “Pain is weakness leaving the body” … every time I’m in a bit of self inducted/gym related pain I think about this saying, it makes me feel stronger!
Working our releases endorphins!
Have you ever wondered why the heck the skinny bitch in the office is always sooooooo happy, it makes you want to push her over! (sorry a little violent….) Its because working out released endorphins, endorphins make you happy! I would encourage you to go to the gym if you’ve had a crappy day at work, it will help blow off some steam, because keeping it all bottled up is not healthy and you will leave feeling good!