This year, I finally had to admit to myself that my waist wasn't getting any smaller. After 6 months of dedication, I feel more energized, more balanced and my trouble areas are definitely tightened up. And not to mention... for the first time in my life, I actually have a butt! I'm no biggest loser, but I can say that any level of fitness results, big or small, feels like a huge difference. If someone as adverse to exercise as me can make a commitment to fitness, so can you.
If you were reading this blog hoping for some kind of miracle solution, sorry to disappoint. My trick to finally committing to a diet & exercise plan was to find ways to have fun while doing it! I've always hated exercise, so there was just no other option. Here are the steps I took to help get moving:
- Join a club sports team. The first move I made was to join my company's indoor soccer team. Once a week, I sprinted from one side of the field to the other, over and over for 45 minutes. When I said I'd never been physically active, I wasn't kidding! I had never been involved in sports growing up, so I was a very crummy addition to our team. But I went every week nonetheless. Playing a sport is a great way to exercise without it really feeling like exercise, because you're distracted by the game. Not only did I get some cardio in, but I actually started to get a bit more coordinated with a soccer ball!
- Find a gym with lots of group classes. My biggest problem with keeping up a fitness routine is my lack of motivation. So, I knew I would never go to the gym by myself and use the machines. Instead, I attended classes with an instructor telling me what to do. If you're not ready to invest in a personal trainer, then group classes are a great option. In addition to having the guidance of a fitness coach, I also started to become friends with all of the other people in my regular classes. When I skipped a day, you can bet they were holding me accountable the next day, asking where I had been! This was actually a great motivator - we all helped one another stay on track!
- Keep trying new things. My secret to not getting burnt out was to continuously spice up my routine. For a while, I took cycling classes twice a week, then I switched to strength-training weight classes, then I tried Yoga, Pilates and Step. Now, I attend a mixture of all these classes to keep from losing interest. On the days I don't attend a group class, I hop on the treadmill with a runner app to help regulate some walk/run intervals, followed up with some sets in the weight room.
- Look for fitness inspiration. You can find inspiration anywhere! It could be a fitness Pinterest board, a blog, a celebrity photo on your mirror or even your best friend. I follow a couple of great influencers on Facebook, particularly Megan Ewoldsen. Whenever I'm browsing my newsfeed & see one of her motivational posts, I am reminded that I should get moving! And if all else fails, get up and look in the mirror. If your eyes still go to those trouble areas first, then you're not quite done yet. Let your own thirst for success be your motivation!
- Find the time that works best for you. When I get home from work in the evening, all I want to do is relax and take it easy. So, in order for me to be productive at the gym, it needs to be the start to my day. I go to workout classes that start as early as 5:30am. I know that sounds miserable - but hear me out! Once you actually get yourself up, exercise is a great, natural way to get energized for the day without caffeine. And after an hour, you're all done and don't have to worry about missing your workout later in the day.
When it comes to dieting, my rule of thumb is to eat foods that still look about the same way they did when they were harvested. In other words, reach for fresh veggies, almonds or chicken breast instead of any processed foods like candies, pasta or potato chips. If you can't find it out in nature, say "pass!"