Ah, motivation. Something I think every single human being struggles with from time to time, and most definitely with exercise. Through my experience as a highly competitive athlete (Yes, I’m only 16), I have learned LOTS of ways to trick yourself into getting the job done. When I was skiing, I was training all weekend, every weekend, and I had to fit all of my schoolwork, cross training and extracurriculars into four weekdays. Talk about stress. The absolute LAST thing I felt like doing after getting home with four exams the next day was go for a run. But because I had a goal, I found ways to make myself do it. And now, I want to share them! 🙂
So if this is you, read on. (Because it has certainly been me)
1. Think of how you will feel in 30 minutes. No, this isn’t the #1 tip you’ve read in every single magazine since the end of time, telling you about all the wonderful endorphins and satisfaction you get after finishing a workout. Although that’s totally, 100% accurate, I’m referring to you making a comparison. You’re sitting on a couch/bed/chair/monkey right now, yes? So, you could either throw on some shorts and running shoes, go for a quick X mile jog, and come back in 30/60/180 minutes feeling like a million bucks. OR, you could watch a couple YouTube videos and read 2 more blog posts. What I’m trying to get at, is the fact that that time will pass regardless of if you work out or not, and it’s up to you to make the most of that time.
2. Think about your WHY. I learned this from the Jillian Michaels show that I went to! You need a real, honest reason as to why you are working out/eating right/you get my idea with slashes. If it truly is because you are desperate to lose those last 5 pounds, then great! But it’s usually deeper than that. For me, I run because I no longer play on a sports team or participate in a competitive atmosphere. I need something like running to give me a goal and to feel good about myself. If i didn’t have something to be working on, improving upon, I think I could start a downward spiral very quickly.
3. Compare your life with and without exercise. This is similar to my first point, but more broad. Yes, you could continue relaxing on your butt right now, and feel more comfortable than if you were on a treadmill. But in the long run, staying active and feeling fit and good about yourself is far more comfortable. The pain of feeling uncomfortable in your own skin far outweighs the pain of exercise.
4. Make it work for you. It’s true what you’ve heard. Training for a marathon to get in shape if you despise running will never ever work. It just won’t. Do something that you genuinely enjoy, or at least genuinely enjoy how it makes you feel. (Because let’s get real, nobody actually likes elliptical-ing.) If you hate traditional exercise, go for a scenic bike ride. If you feel like a tool doing squats and lunges, take up yoga. I know this is all pretty standard information, but it’s just so true that I couldn’t not include it. Do what makes you happy, THAT is how you will be able to stick with it.
5. Be happy with yourself. If your only motivation to get fit is because you hate yourself now, I’m begging you: Please, PLEASE, just stop. Losing weight does not make you happy, nor will it make you love yourself. Believe me when I tell you I have been there. If you love your body now, you will want to nourish it and exercise it the way it needs. However it needs, because each and every individual is different. If you want to establish a good routine, do it because you want to do something wonderful for yourself and your body, not as a punishment or ANYTHING along those lines.
Those are what I’ve got for you today 🙂 I know a couple of them are pretty standard, but sometimes universal truths are the most important ones out there. Just remember that you (yes you) are beautiful, deserving, and worth it, and you are GOLDEN.
Peace out, my cheese-loving friends.