As we await winters imminent arrival, we all find it hard to get the motivation to go to the gym. You leave home in the morning and it’s dark, you leave work in the evening and it’s dark. Why would anyone want to do anything other than head straight home and snuggle up on the sofa, surrounded by lovely smelling candles & watch back-to-back episodes of Orange is the New Black on Netflix. Don’t judge me – I know I’m not alone in this!
Now that the days are shorter – and considerably colder – I struggle to wake up in the morning motivated to do any more than get myself dressed, let alone head to the gym after work, or even worse.. BEFORE *gulp*. I tried this when I joined my new gym just under a month ago and I suffered terribly for the rest of the week with black bags under my eyes and feeling as though I hadn’t slept in month. I think it’s safe to say I’ll be sticking to evening workouts – people that can workout for hours before a full day at work get my full admiration!
But don’t worry – as I find the motivation to get myself back in the game, I’ll be helping you guys out too!
A few months back I wrote a blog post about the mythical thing in life that is motivation (Strength Comes from Within). It doesn’t feel like 8 months ago though, it only feels like yesterday that I was giving myself a much needed pep talk to get myself in to gear. Alas, here I am doing it all again. Not because I ever lost sight of my goals or where I want to be, but because setbacks happened and I wasn’t able to fulfill them. Until now… It started by reading through my old blog posts and stumbling upon said post and was amazed and influenced by the person I was back then – and the journey I had made. I realised that if I’ve done it before, there is no reason I can’t do it again.
Trusted followers of my blog will be aware of the injuries I’ve had over the last 2 months. I haven’t done a proper weight-lifting based gym workout in about 7 weeks and my body is showing the effects of this. I lost all the definition in my stomach pretty quickly but this didn’t bother me too much as it was to be expected when I stopped exercising 4 times a week and living off meal-prep Tupperware based food. I wasn’t going crazy and eating everything in sight, but while I stuck to healthy breakfasts and lunches, I did go out for dinners a few times a week. Going to the gym keeps me focused in terms of being healthy; unfortunately once I stop exercising, my healthy mindset goes completely. Am I the only one that gets like this? I hope not!
Fast forward 8 weeks and I’m still not back in the gym, my jeans are very snug and my confidence has taken a severe battering. This was the wake-up call I needed and what has changed my mind set back to how it was. Healthy eating should be a way of life, and it has been for so long, I just used my injury as an excuse and that’s why I’m in the situation I am now. I try to keep myself active by taking daily walks at lunch time as it stops me getting lazy and lethargic; as my office doesn’t have any windows *cue human rights klaxon* it’s also my only natural source of vitamin D!
The holiday season creeping is up on us quicker than ever before, it brings with it the inevitable arrival of countless celebrations – be it work parties, birthdays *cough cough*, or catching up with friends and family to get merry because, well, just because. But don’t let that be a reason to put off starting to eat healthy exercising; use Christmas as your target time and have an idea of where you want to be by that time!
A friend asked me how I keep myself so motivated – always looking to push myself further than I did the day before and always trying to be better than I was previously. My answer revolved around the following points:
– Find a reason: without that you have no incentive to get started, or to keep pushing yourself. Whether it is to complete a 5km or a marathon, work towards something
– Set a time frame: be realistic here guys, it’s just so that you get a move on and don’t put it off
– Get a buddy: be each other’s motivation, whether it’s draggin each other to the gym, or just sending each other pictures of the dinners you’re eating. As self-less human beings, we have a way of believing in others more than we believe in ourselves. Get a friend and get them to believe in you just like you do them – you’ll find them pushing you just as much as you’re pushing them which could give you the motivation you’ve been missing.
– If you’re lazy, don’t be. Simples.
Getting started with any task is the hardest part – once you’re in ‘the zone‘ and you feel as though you can take on the world, everything seems easy; you can lift heavier, run faster and longer, and results are quickly seen. But when you’re not in that place, when you feel you have so far to go you don’t see the point in starting and you find it near impossible to stop eating everything in sight, it’s hard. But the fact of the matter is the time is going to pass no matter what you do – when 6 months passes and you haven’t made any progress, you’ll be annoyed that all that time has passed and you’re still where you are. So stop making excuses and go and do something about it.
I’m kidding of course; I know it’s NEVER that easy. The people you see on instagram with sculpted six-packs and perfectly peachy bums all started somewhere.
It is motivation that will get you started, but ultimately your attitude will dictate when you stop.
Those fitness models didn’t gain their bodies overnight, and unfortunately, it won’t happen for us either. But it will happen a lot faster if you make a start soon. And by soon I mean like right now.
– If you’re not a member at a gym then go for a walk at lunchtime, get outside and familiarise yourself with something called a park, where people run and walk dogs, get some fresh air and enjoy the outdoors.
– If you are a member (or are thinking of joining a gym) start with some classes – they’ll give you an idea of what you enjoy and what you don’t. Then you can stick with these or you can start your own thing.
– I was seeing a personal trainer for 6 months pre-injury (Time to up my Game) which are a great way to expand your fitness knowledge while getting VERY fit in the process.
– I was also doing the Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide (BBG Review) which helped to increase my fitness and my overall outlook on exercise. I would recommend it to anyone just starting out, or just looking for a new challenge.
Commonly most people make their mistakes with their diet. While I don’t believe calorie counting and weighing your food to 0.001 of a gram is a normal way to lead your life, it is important to keep an eye on the things you’re eating and the effect they can have on your body, energy levels and ultimately your progress. If you’re struggling with your diet then try to make healthy food swaps, cutting down on your meal portions, or eating little and often – all small and easy things you can do on a daily basis that will help to kick-start your healthy lifestyle.
Your aim shouldn’t be to weigh a certain amount, or to lose a set amount. I obsessed over the number on my scales for so many years it drove me insane. While losing weight may be a target of yours – it sure is one of mine – focus on how you feel in yourself, build your confidence and everything else will fall into place.
How will you know your body’s limits unless you push yourself to them?
Don’t become a couch potato this winter and most importantly don’t fall into the trap of ‘oh I’m going out for dinner tomorrow so I’ll start my diet on Monday’.
You can keep making excuses for yourself, but you’re the only one that’s suffering. Just remember all progress is progress – throw away your scales and take weekly pictures, you’ll see your body changing right in front of your eyes and I promise you once you start to see progress, you’ll get hooked! Don’t put it off any longer; Christmas is in less than 6 weeks and that’s enough time to make some pretty big changes to your body, your fitness and your overall health.
Believe in yourself; your body is so much more capable than you think. Give yourself some credit, set some goals and go for it!
*Pssssttt – follow my fitness journey on Instagram @kcfitness_