My workout story + the importance of *FUN* in your health/fitness routine
Naomi from OneFitFoodie had a great post today about doing what you love to achieve your fitness goals. (She says she’s “preaching,” but I’d hardly call it that!). This is something I truly believe in, and will also be the first to admit that it is something I need to be reminded of regularly.
When I first started exercising in high school, I had every ounce of motivation I needed just in going to the gym. I had never exercised (consciously) before, so the results (even with just 30 min of easy cardio a few days per week) were noticeable pretty quickly. I found the new activities fun and challenging, and loved how great I felt for the first time in quite awhile.
But as anyone who has ever attempted to lose weight knows, a plateau eventually came and my body wanted to stay at its “set point.” From what I understand, your set point can change and be budged with some hard work, but after losing a certain amount of weight, your body starts to say, “Nope, I’m done.”
This is why motivation is HUGELY important, because when that plateau hits, the looser jeans or slimmer face aren’t enough because that’s where it (albeit temporarily) stops. You’ve got to find a way to keep moving, new ways to change up your routine, and new reasons to focus on why making your health a priority is so important to you. And one of the easiest, and longest-lasting ways to keep up that motivation is by making achieving your goals fun. You have to love what you’re eating and thoroughly enjoy (or at least somewhat enjoy!) your workouts. Plain and simple, you will not stick with anything if you can’t find a way to enjoy it.
My workout routine, while still challenging, is beginning to feel somewhat repetitive. There could be a few reasons for this: I do the same thing on every gym day (work, gym, dinner, shower, bed – repeat) and it gets boring at times; the sun still sets before I leave work, so heading home in the dark can be kind of a drag; or perhaps I’m just afraid to shake things up and see where I can push my mind and body to next.
While I’m sure all of these things contribute to my little fitness rut, I’m pretty sure the last one has a lot to do with it.
I’ve never been thin. Save a few childhood years when just about everybody is a beanpole, I spent most of my adolescence as a chubby, albeit sassy kid. The weight loss in high school was hugely motivating, and while it ultimately sparked my interest in food (okay, that interest was always there), fitness and healthy living, I still had a lot to learn. I thought that my newly-slim figure was permission to begin eating whatever I wanted again. Obviously, this didn’t work, and I began slowly gaining weight though my freshman year of college. While I didn’t gain the “freshman 15,” I did arrive back home that summer plumper than when I had left.
The “cycle” began again when I was home for the summer, where a boring summer office job and few friends in town meant I quelled my boredom by hitting the gym every day on my way home from work. I wasn’t aware of any weight loss this time around, but many of my friends commented that I looked thinner when I went back to college in the fall. Again, though, I eased up on both exercise and healthy eating habits, and slowly filled out again.
My biggest battle, therefore, is consistency. Taking care of yourself by eating proper portions of healthy food and exercising regularly is rewarding, but sometimes…well, you just want to throw your hands up in the air and shout, “ENOUGH ALREADY!” I love healthy food, but I sometimes feel I can become obsessive and hyper-focused on what I eat when I’m trying to maintain a healthy diet. And that’s just no way to live.
A hard lesson I’ve had to learn is that you need to treat yourself regularly, but you must build those treats into your overall health and fitness plan. A glass of wine means a little less pasta at dinner, or 3 days at the gym instead of 4 one week means squeezing in a little extra time at the end of each of those 3 workouts. That extra skip day, of course, would be for a manicure or massage :)
I’m still trying to figure out how I can have a big, juicy burger once in awhile though! Alas, a work in progress…
One of the reasons I love blogs like Carrot’s ‘n’ Cake, EatLiveRun, Peanut Butter Fingers and food.fitness.fashion. is because they all focus on living a life with balance and moderation. Julie from PBF has admitted regularly that she is a maniac about sweets and carb-y cereals, Tina and Ali (CNC and FFF, respectively) are both regular beer drinkers (women after my own heart) and Jenna from ELR quite possibly posts the most delicious recipes I have ever come across. These ladies know how to do it right, and I love them for that.
My workday is finally starting to wind down, and I plan to hit the gym with a new goal in mind: try a machine, exercise or routine I have never tried before. I haven’t decided what it will be yet, but I’m hoping a little butt-kicking is exactly what I need :)
Entry filed under: Beauty, Favorite blogs, Fitness, Food and diet, Motivation, Self confidence. Tags: college, diet, exercise, favorite blogs, fitness, goals, gym, healthy recipes, motivation, weight loss.