Ho Ho Hi! Welcome to blogmas day 4, the day you’ve all been waiting for, when the laziest person you know tries to pass along fitness motivation. Enter your email to the right to follow along, and be sure to subscribe to Vlogmas by my partner in crime here!
I have a vague memory tugging at my brain strings that tells me some time ago, I told you guys that I tend to work out more regularly during the winter, because there’s not a ton else to do. I don’t want to call that a bold faced lie, but I do want to say that if that were ever true, it most definitely isn’t any longer. I mean, hello, I told you in my last post that I put on sweatpants and fuzzy socks the second I get home everyday.
Facing the facts, winter is tough. Practically no daylight is an energy drain, and the cold absolutely takes a toll on your body. In addition to that, the holidays are synonymous with food, and most winter fashion is a little too forgiving of our indulgences. We are traveling south the week before Christmas and I was surprised to see my husband pull out some swim trucks when packing today. “What are those for? We’re not going to the pool, are we?” I asked, bracing for impact. “Of course we are, what else would we do?” SHIT. There are places that aren’t freezing this time of year? In addition to being transparently pale, (a badge of honor I’m usually proud of, or at least okay with, in Ohio) I’ve been stress eating all of my favorite things, like, dessert.
I’m kind of sick and tired of setting fitness goals for myself that I don’t reach… I want to be more fit by this birthday, this wedding, this vacation, all the while not even knowing what my definition of more fit is. Is it a number? A pant size? Something visible? Not having to catch my breath when I walk up the ramp (SOS, seriously) to my desk everyday? For once in my life though, I feel like I have all the resources I need at my fingertips, aside from Carrie Underwood’s trainer.
First things first, figure out what doesn’t work for you. I’m ashamed to say that I was a member at a gym up the street from me for about a year and a half, and I only worked out there twice, both within the first week of signing up. Why didn’t it work for me? Well, I don’t like lifting. I don’t like running in front of people. I’m honestly embarrassed at the gym wondering if I’m even doing anything right. And the place, in my opinion, was not clean and not well kept.
Identify what does work for you. I’m motivated by group fitness all the way. I grew up in dance, so it just makes sense to me. I like the pressure of being with other people and knowing I’ll be embarrassed if I give up. I like the attention of a trainer who can correct my form in real time. I like that it’s on a structured schedule, meaning I can’t wait, ‘just fifteen more minutes’ over and over again until it’s bed time. I’ve joined a yoga studio near my house and while I’m not too keen on yoga, I do really enjoy barre, and occasionally force myself to do spinning because it’s a great workout.
Start small. If you’ve been here a while, you may feel like I get a bit preachy when it comes to the whole, ‘Don’t set yourself up for failure,’ thing, but I just wholeheartedly believe in it. Every time I’ve gone from couch potato to exercising seven days a week, you know what happens? I get miserably sick and set myself back like a month. I promise you that the transition from doing not much of anything, to working out three times a week, is something your body will benefit noticeably and positively from.
Maybe the gym isn’t for you. Truly, it’s not for me. I do prefer group fitness gyms over regular gyms, but generally, neither are my cup of ice cold sweet tea. If you know that you possess the kind of motivation to work out at home, I applaud and encourage you to do so. There are tons of resources out there for working out at home, most of which require little to no equipment. My favorites are Beach Body (specifically 21 Day Fix minus the food part; that low calorie intake is not for me), Kayla Itsines BBG program, which is an easy-to-follow app on your phone, and The Fitness Marshall. If you check out any of those three things, please let it be The Fitness Marshall. He is hilarious, and it’s the kind of exercise that’s so fun, you don’t even realize you were working out until you finish up drenched in sweat.
Strive for balance in your diet. Honestly, for me, life seems way too short and sometimes way too (pardon me) shitty, to not indulge when you feel like it. I’ll be the first to admit that I need to find some balance when it comes to food, but if you told me that meant giving up pizza, I’d delete you out of my life. Last spring, my coworkers and I tried an eating plan that ultimately did not work out for us, but what it did do what was make us all a lot more aware of what we were putting into our bodies, and therefore, we made better choices. So here’s to trying to make better choices!
Consistency is key. Working out for three days in one week is not going to give me abs, or make me stronger, or vastly improve my energy levels. But working out three days a week for a month and then adding in that fourth day will definitely do that!
This whole post is basically a note to self, but I do hope that I’m not alone in what seems like a perpetual cycle of trying to be more active. What motivates you? Please share, I would love to know!
xoxo running for Christmas cookies