While many of us are committed to making lifestyle changes that lead to better health, there is always going to be something in life that will come up and throw a spoke in our wheel. That’s ok. It’s ok for things like kids’, family, friends, and other commitments to take the front seat to fitness sometimes. It’s those things that make life worthwhile. And I think that because I’m not a health coach, personal trainer, or nutrition expert, I can say it’s also ok to enjoy a slice of lemon cheesecake from Cheesecake Factory. (Although I couldn’t even come close to finishing the whole piece – those few bites, man. SO worth it.)
Lately I’ve been in a little funk that has put an emotional wall up on my commitment with my gym. Life has been throwing me a lot of curve-balls lately, and has kept me running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off. But this week I made the commitment to get my booty back into the gym. So today, on my first day back, we did Body Pump and it just so happened today was the release dates for all the new Les Mills classes, and of course my butt was double kicked. But I feel amazing. I was thinking about this today, and how many times I have gone to the gym and quit. I decided that this time MUST be different. So I thought I would write down my thoughts on what I am going to be different, and hopefully it will provide a little inspiration and motivation for other people as well.
1. Acknowledge your resistance. What’s going on in your life that is causing a reluctancy to go back to the gym? Here’s some thoughts I have had when on hiatus from the gym. I’m not even losing anything I may as well eat what I want. I don’t have time for the gym, I’m so stressed out. I really can’t see results, what’s the point? Working out isn’t doing me any good if I’m not getting enough sleep, I can’t get up early enough for the gym this week. There are about one BILLION excuses for not going to the gym. Sometimes the desire is just gone, that’s ok. Dude. Going to the gym all the time is hard. It’s hard to eat well and it’s hard to dedicate a good portion of your life to something. That’s why this first step is super important. Acknowledge what your reasons are; and acknowledge that they are legit reasons. Once we acknowledge our reluctancy or fears, then we can take action to overcome them.
2. Have gym friends. This has been a big one for me. I have several people I am accountable to for showing up to class, and the crazy thing is: once you show up to a class so many times, suddenly you have accountability to a whole room full of people wondering where you have been. This is a great feeling. If you can manage to get past your fears and back into the gym ONE TIME you will see that people actually noticed you were gone. What a great thing to walk into a class and feel like Norm from Cheers! The more people you are accountable to the easier it is going to be to get your foot back in the door. Remember the first time you went to the gym? It’s not even half as scary as that, I know you can do it!
3. Buy new swag. This actually is HUGE. I have noticed a huge difference in not only the way I feel in nice fitting, cute gym clothes, but also in the way I work in nice fitting, cute gym clothes. I had been wearing a bunch of old leggings from when I was about 70lbs heavier and was constantly pulling them up and adjusting them. Same with my sports bras, they were all stretched out and faded and just – well… not attractive. I’m not saying that you should get all dolled up to go the gym or worry about “attractiveness” on the same level you would in say, a social situation, but I am saying when you look better you feel better. (This is what going to the gym is all about.) Don’t wait until you reach some “goal” to reward yourself with new bras or new tank tops. It will put a zip in your step almost immediately!
4. NEW KICKS!! (I feel like new shoes deserves its own bullet point.) I cannot stress enough the difference new shoes make. Like my leggings, I had been sporting my gym shoes that I got several years ago, many pounds heavier. These shoes were super when they were brand new. But after years of use (and especially because of the amount of weight I was putting into them) they had all but lost their springy support action. I was not getting an ideal workout because I was constantly stopping to roll my feet because they ached so bad from the pressure.
Some tips on buying new shoes:
*Always go to a sporting goods or factory store. The cheaper prices at other stores may lure you in, but it’s really important to talk to someone who knows a whole lotta about shoes. Often times the associates at big department stores or places like Target are not trained on the ins and outs of athletic footwear.
*Tell them your story. I had a really good conversation with the woman at the Nike Factory Store before buying my new kicks. I told her exactly what I would be doing in them, how often I would be doing it, and the problems I was experiencing with my current shoes.
*Find out their return policy. “So these feel real nice walking around your store, but what happens if I get to step class and my feet are on fire??” The Nike Factory store offers a 30 day return policy simply for hating the shoes they sold you. Make sure there is a safety net for you as the consumer if they sent you home in the wrong shoes.
*Don’t skimp. 30$ Champion athletic shoes at Payless? Sold. Don’t do it. Seriously, don’t they are cheaper for a reason, if you want shoes that are going to last you for a while make an investment. These shoes are going to carry you to your goals, and if your goals are big; you’re going to need comfortable shoes.
*Buy a matching tank top. I have no good reason for this other than: cuuuuuuuuuuuute!!
5. Just go back, one time. After that first time back you will remember why you were there in the first place. It suddenly becomes less about the weight you are “losing” and more about the clean, healthy way you feel for the rest of the day. It suddenly becomes about the way it makes you feel better after a fight with your boss. You will remember that sense of accomplishment when you added 10 more lbs to your clean and press. It only takes one time back to re-establish that sense of self-pride. If you are super caught up on being left on a plateau, talk to the staff at the gym. (I promise you’re not bugging them, these people LOVE to give advice.)
Get back on that treadmill! Get back in that Body Pump class and get back on that yoga mat! You can do this! If I can, YOU can! Let yourself have your little emotional argument with the gym! Get discouraged and acknowledge it, don’t pretend it isn’t happening, that’s going to make it worse. Approach this problem like any other problem, creactively. (Thought I was done with that word didn’t you. NOPE!) You got this! I’ll see you at spin tomorrow. 😉
Do you have any good tips for overcoming a gym break? Share them with us! We can all use more tips on getting right with the gym!