Don’t Shame, Motivate
When it comes to working out, no one knows better than you do how to motivate yourself. Maybe you spread your bikini on the bead and stare wistfully at it while killing yourself on the treadmill. Maybe you turn on the Victoria Secret Fashion Show while frantically doing sit-ups. Or maybe you have found a way to pump yourself up than tearing yourself down?
Rather than being motivating, shaming our current bodies while striving for a healthier one is counter-productive. If you want to build good life habits and not guilt yourself into losing that 15 pounds, only to gain it all back again, here are some positive ways to find fitness motivation.
10 Nudges To A Healthier You
1. The first and most obvious way to pump yourself up is to make a workout playlist. Whether you are doing Zumba and your workout is based on dance or you are weight-lifting, music can keep you going longer. Maybe it is something lighthearted that distracts you from the burning pain of getting stronger. Maybe it is angry rock music that makes you push harder. Either way, pick music that gets you going and go!
2. If the rigors of everyday life are not enough to motivate you, pretend you are training for the Hunger Games or preparing for the Zombie apocalypse. Tell yourself that there is something greater at stake and work for it. I know Will Smith doing pull-ups in “I Am Legend” does wonders for me!
3. If running from the undead does not cut it either, consider paying yourself to work out. Put $5 in a jar every time you reach your daily goal and use the money to buy a nicer yoga mat or new workout clothes. If fast food is your vice, every time you get a craving to eat out, put that money in the jar, too. You would be surprised at how it adds up. More than likely, seeing how much money you are wasting on that cheeseburger will cure your addiction.
4. Are you a shower philosopher? Make working out your new “me time.” Light candles, dim the lights, pump some iron, and contemplate world peace.
5. For the visual learners, put a calendar up and physically cross off the days. Watch the check marks accumulate as you lose fat or gain muscle.
6. Or make a collage to look at while you work out—use a picture of the grand-kids you want to keep up with, details for the marathon you are training for, or confirmation of the vacation you are going to reward yourself with using all that “fast food money” you have saved!
7. If you are working with a personal trainer or watching a workout video, be sure their style jives with yours. Does being screamed at make you shrivel or shine? There are all kinds of ways to motivate or be motivated—find a trainer who speaks your language.
8. Get a workout buddy! Maybe it is a friend who has similar goals or maybe it is someone more advanced than you are who can show you the ropes. Either way, make a standing date to work out and encourage each other to keep it. And yes, dogs count—they need exercise, too!
9. Before you start your workout, be sure you have eaten and have water handy. You do not want to quit early because you are feeling sick, so set yourself up for a successful workout.
10. Constantly remind yourself why you started. Whatever your reason, every day you make a choice to be better when you could have let Netflix start another episode—that is an accomplishment worth celebrating.
Wherever You Are – Be Proud
When it comes to making positive life changes, your mindset as you approach them is everything. Be gentle and encouraging with yourself. Work to fix mistakes instead of beating yourself up over them. Be proud of the steps you are making to improve your quality of life.
Be flexible at first—try a few things before settling on what’s most motivating for you. And remember to reward yourself every once in a while—being healthy does not need to be a chore.
Katelyn Roth holds a double-major in Creative Writing and Psychology. She resides in Pittsburg with her boyfriend and their husky mix, Inara. Read her most recent post on prepping for menopause here. Subscribe and receive updates of her posts and that of other Contributors.