When you look good, you feel good. And when you feel good…well…ahhhhhhh.
The past year has been extremely hard for me mentally and physically. I’ve been ALL over the place and my body has taken the brunt of the stress.
I’ve never been one to make excuses in the past with working out, but this year it seemed like I had one reason after the next on why I couldn’t work out. It got so bad that I would eye-roll MYSELF when I would make another excuse! Everything going on was true; I’ve had a beyond tragic year so I was depressed which zapped my energy. Not to mention I hurt my back, got a hernia, no time, traveling, too busy…blah, blah, blah…..the list goes on and on. There were big feelings hiding behind these excuses. I was embarrassed, self-conscious and nervous about how soft and weak my body had become. But more than anything, I was feeling uncomfortable in my own body.
Looking back, that was MY moment. My lack of motivation had now effected my self-confidence. I realized my weakness; how easy it is for me to do ANYTHING else (scrub the bathroom floor with a toothbrush!) besides workout. Or saying “I can’t do _____” before I tried. It is pretty crazy that as humans, we can put ourselves in such a negative mental state, convincing ourselves we can’t do something, when we haven’t even tried yet.
Things that helped me!
- Knowing that I wasn’t alone. Meeting and talking with others going through the same struggle made me feel more comfortable about putting myself out there.
- Set a goal. Checks and balances. If you don’t have a goal it can feel pretty hard to believe that you have accomplished anything! Do you want to lose 10 lbs? Fit into your favorite jeans? Feel more confident in a bathing suit? Whatever your goal is, focus on it when you’re lacking motivation. Put pictures up on your bathroom mirror or refrigerator. I set one to my iPhone screen saver to help remind me to stay focused.
- Sign up for a challenge and tell everyone about it (the secret to my success so far!) I recently participated in a 6 week weight loss challenge at my gym. I signed up and told all of my friends and family about it. Why? Because I wanted to be held accountable for my excuses and really be forced to get back into the routine of working out on the regular. The gym required participants to go at least 3 times per week for 6 weeks to remain in the challenge. Bottom line, I needed this. Let’s be real, no one wants to get “kicked out” of the weight loss challenge! My goal was to lose weight but more importantly to complete it and get back in the habit of going. In the end I lost 4 lbs and a total of 6.5 inches.
- Take pictures and measurements. I know that 4 lbs is nothing to write home about but my body FEELS better and my clothes fit better. When it comes to weight-loss, “muscle weighs more than fat“. The number on the scale didn’t plummet by any means, but my energy was back my body felt leaner and tighter….oh and the images don’t lie! Here is how I recorded my before and after measurements.
- Grab a buddy. A true friend will always be there to help, right?! If not, friend someone from your gym or workout classes and push each other. You can hold each other accountable and it’s much more fun to work out with someone than alone. One of my friends and I share workout routines from across the country. We don’t get to workout together physically but we help support each other through text and videos. I love seeing her results and it allows us to have a friendly competition without having to operate on the same schedule.
- Get new gear. It legit feels SO GOOD to buy new workout shoes, clothes, or a hot new techie item! (Fitbit, iWatch, etc.) Treat yourself to a new item that will inspire you to get moving.
- YOU CAN. As an excuse maker I have said it all, which makes my excuse radar very keen. If running hurts your knees; ride a bike. If you don’t like burpees; try a barre class. If you can’t do a spin class; try yoga. There are so many workout options out there! Don’t shoot yourself in the foot until you try. You aren’t cheating anyone but yourself. Starting can be intimidating, I kept reminding myself that each time I would get better and it would become easier. Make YOURSELF proud.
Like anyone, I’ve had my struggles and I have been working my booty off because it’s important to me. I want my daughter to see that it takes effort to accomplish things, I want her to view me as strong and capable.
My dad has always said it’s much easier to lose 5 lbs than it is to lose 50 lbs. It’s not a nice thing to say, but sometimes the truth hurts. If you get too far down the rabbit hole it can seem impossible to get out. I never want you to feel hopeless or like anything is impossible. Here are some pictures that inspired me to try harder on myself.
If this helped even one person out there I will consider it a success. I would also love to hear your stories (comment below please!) so that we can help each other. You aren’t alone in this journey, all you have to do is reach out.