Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Back on the Fitness Train

I've fallen off the fitness wagon so many times this year it's hard to tell if I was ever really on it! The good news: I'm back and hanging on for dear life. I don't know how it got to the point where I was eating whatever I wanted and had ZERO motivation to go to the gym, but those days are long gone.

Here's what I've been doing to make sure it stays this way:

Committing to run a 5K (two, actually) in the next few months. I've always done best when I have a deadline or goal in mind. I'm not looking to win first place or anything, but I want to go into these runs feeling confident that I can at least run the whole thing (ideally without fainting at the finish line). I'll be running the 14th Annual Miracle Miles 5K with some friends in September and obviously The Color Run in December. Having these on the calendar is helping me stay motivated.

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Splurging on workout gear. This may sound silly, but I've learned that I will use anything as an excuse to avoid working out. I've never been one to have a drawer full of exercise clothes; I've always had a few basics (capris, pants, a few workout shirts) and made those work. The problem: a few workouts a week and I was out of clean clothes before I had a chance to catch up on laundry. I've been stocking up on running shorts, tanks and socks to be sure I never have that excuse. I'm making sure to buy things I will feel comfortable running a few miles in so I have no excuse to leave the gym early.

Being more flexible. I used to think the only way I was going to go to the gym was if I went straight from work. I convinced myself that going home first, I would severely decrease my chances of working out because I wouldn't be motivated to leave the house once I got there. This worked fine until Blake came into the picture in January. Being the puppy that he is, I've tried to be overly cautious about leaving him in his crate too long. That, and I feel like a terrible mother if he is stuck in there longer than absolutely necessary.

I would go to the gym straight from work and give myself one hour to work out before I rushed home to Blake. One hour? That isn't nearly enough time to get in a decent workout no matter how hard I tried to convince myself otherwise. By the time I was done with arms/shoulders or back/chest, I hardly had enough time to get in 30 minutes of cardio before I was rushing home. All of this made me look at working out as such an inconvenience. Now, I go straight home after work to take Blake out, feed him and let him run around for a bit, then go to the gym. Once I'm there, I don't feel so rushed and therefore have a MUCH better attitude about the whole thing.

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Getting out of my own way. Exercise has always been one area in my life where I don't project my positive attitude. Talk to me about any other area in my life and I'm all "I can do anything," "the sky's the limit," "anything is possible if you really want it." In the gym, I've always been more like, "I am running 1 mile. 1 mile, that's it." I can't tell you how many times my workout buddy, Chad (Scott's best friend), has told me to get out of my own way. He was right. He's always told me to get on the treadmill and run until I can't anymore, rather than setting a specific distance for myself. Giving myself a limit before I even get on the treadmill is doung just that-- limiting me.

These days, I run until I can't anymore and while that still isn't very far, I know it will get better because I'm getting out of my own way. Some days I even run until I can't anymore, then get on the elliptical for a few minutes to switch it up. It's amazing how changing the way you think about something makes such a difference.

Staying busy. I've always been happier when life is busy. Spending more time at the gym each night is bringing more control into other areas of life. I don't do well with down time at home. I either sit around watching television or snack, usually both. I also end up feeling down or lonely and overthinking things which is never good. With my new routine, I've been taking Blake for a walk before or after the gym instead of sitting around doing nothing at home. When I am finally home around 9, since I don't have much time before bed and I have more energy, I eat something quick and healthy for dinner and get things done around the house. Busy is good. It doesn't leave time for sitting in front of the TV, snacking or being lazy.

Needless to say, I'm psyched to be back on track! I'm
determined to keep it this way.

What are your secrets for staying motivated?

19 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh I could have written this exact post! You think just like I do. A new outfit is motivating..even just a new sports bra! New music motivates me too. I won't let myself listen to new songs I download until I run to them. And unfortunately, stress has been a huge motivator for me right now. Sweat makes me feel better.

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    1. We do think alike! Music is a huge thing for me, too!

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  2. YAY! Good for you!! I made a goal to complete a 5k last year and it changed my life. And I am totally with you on the excuses. I am a total excuse maker :)

    But I did move those excuses to the trash and lost 40 pounds. So that's pretty awesome!

    I am here cheering you on. Good luck sista!

    Hugs!
    Kara
    ShawnKaraAndHeidi.blogspot.com

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    1. Wow! Congrats...that is so awesome! It's amazing what we can do when we set our minds to it! Thanks for the support :)

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  3. You can definitely do it! Sounds like your heart is in the right place, you just have to put it into place!

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