Over the weekend I had a nice long chat with my very best friend Erica who is on her own path to becoming a healthier and slimmer young woman. She is the one who inspired me to pursue a more physically active lifestyle. Get this: she started running about one to two miles back in July, and just the other day ran 10 miles in under two hours for the first time this past weekend! (She in the process of training for a half-marathon in May.) She looks amazing, and I’m so proud of her for how hard she’s worked!
Recently, Erica and I talked about the difference we have found in working out now versus when we first started. The initial few weeks, even months, are the hardest obstacle to overcome. Even though you know in your mind that the expectation to start seeing results immediately is unrealistic, you can’t help but feel discouraged—all that work and you think you still look the same when you look in the mirror, dreading all the sweating you need to do as you look forward to many more hours spent at the gym. Yeah...not very appealing.
But here Erica and I are, about 9 and 7 months into our fitness regimens, respectively, and we can finally see that it has all been worth it. Now it’s not so hard to stay motivated anymore, knowing that there really is an end to the means. Appearance, endurance, strength…results. In fact, I hate it when I don’t have the time to get to the gym (curse you, Organic Chemistry tests). Eventually, it just becomes a part of your lifestyle, and that’s one of the best goals you can have when you want to get physically fit.
“Well, that’s all great for you, Emily,” you might be saying to your computer screen, “but how do I find that initial motivation?” Lucky for you, I’ve found seven great tips that should help you get yourself to that gym!
- Think about how you feel after you work out, not how you feel while you’re doing it! We dread a lot of things when we look ahead to them, but in the end, they are almost never as bad as we think they’ll be.
- Convince yourself when you look at your stomach in the mirror that it’s shrunk (even if it hasn’t). Remember, seeing results gives you motivation to keep going, so it’s okay to pretend a little at first… And even if you can’t see it on the outside, picture all those calories and fats being burned on the inside. Seeing isn’t the same as believing.
- Make it fun for yourself. Go with friends, or do an activity you enjoy, like swimming or playing tennis. Run outside and get fresh air! That’s one of the things I’ve always admired about Erica. She can find something to enjoy about anything, whether it be running or Organic Chemistry (I still can’t figure that last one out).
- Read fitness articles and find new exercise moves. They make you want to try them out!
- Reward yourself. Don’t be afraid to splurge a little – after you've sweat for awhile. Sugar cookies at the Cage, anyone?
- Become an adrenaline junkie. Not necessarily the kind of junkie that sky dives or bungee jumps, but just find that adrenaline rush and go with it. Those are always the best runs for me. I go farther and feel so great.
- Think about a boy you like or have a crush on. A particular friend of mine found this helpful, and now they’re dating. That’s not the reason, of course, but I think it definitely boosts your self-esteem and confidence!
I hope you can discover something to take away from this. I’d be flattered if this article was your inspiration, but find someone or something that works for you and eventually you won’t even have to think about it anymore. Getting motivated to get your butt moving is even harder than the actual exercise, so once you get that part down, you’re golden.
Enjoy the happy spring weather!