We all want to come in the new year healthier, happier, and radiant, and for most people that means taking better care of their bodies through exercise. For me exercise comes in spurts throughout the year. I get motivated for a month or two then lose interest, only to pick up again a few months later. When I'm in the zone I feel great! Working out really makes you feel better, and want to eat better. Motivation has got to be the biggest "jock blocker" in getting and staying fit. It will never happen without that inner push getting you up out of your seat and on to a treadmill. Believe me, I know first hand. Thankfully motivation comes in many forms. Check out my Friday Five must Haves to Motivate you to Get/Stay Fit in 2012:
- Are you worshipping that hot high school pic of you looking thin and gorgeous wishing your body was the same?
- How many times have you seen that Victoria's Secret Swim catalog and wished your body looked like those lucky ladies?
- Do you have a gorgeous friend with a rockin body that you secretly wish you even slightly resembled?
- Or on the other end of the spectrum, do you have that horrible pic /pics of you looking bloated or pregnant when you're clearly not because you have a martini in hand?
( A great free resource for motivating visuals: Pinterest . Their Fitness Category has great images and videos from all over the web)
2. The Right Exercise
For me the gym is a scary place because I'd rather a bunch of beefed up ladies and dudes not see me sweating my butt off, red faced, and out of breath on my first weight machine. I know that's mostly in my head but I prefer working out at home. You can laugh if you want but I love working out to the Flirty Girl Fitness Chair Fit video, those get fit in a month articles in Self Magazine, Wii Fit Plus, and any fun, upbeat dance type of workout videos. Oh, and good ol' fashioned Tae Bo with Billy Blanks.
Find what you enjoy and go with it. Not sure? Think about what you did as a kid. Whether you rode bikes, swam, danced, or ran, incorporating those in your life as an adult can be so refreshing. Riding bikes makes me feel like a kid again. I didn't even realize how many calories I'm burning. Dabble with different things and find what you like. You will want to do it, if you enjoy it and losing weight will be a plus.
( A great free resource for exercise videos and magazines: your local public library)
3. Being Realistic
I'm never going to look like Gisele in a bikini, ok? I have cellulite and stretch marks that I probably had before I even had my first child, so I can't even blame it on that. You know what? I've learned to be ok with that and find things I do like about my body, like my stomach. I used to never wear shorts because I had stretch marks on the back of my legs. But, why live life wearing jeans in 90 degree weather when YOU probably notice those stretch marks more than anyone else does!!! Getting real with my body and my expectations made it easier to meet realistic goals. If you don't love who you are you'll never be happy even if you are fit. It's no easy feat but there's no bigger anti-motivator than being unrealistic with yourself and your goals.
There's something about exercising that makes you want to eat better. At least for me this is true. I tend to chose healthier foods when I know I've been exercising because my body craves it more. It's strange but good!
What you eat can have an impact on your motivation in several ways other than the one I mentioned above. Studies have shown that if you eat a balanced breakfast you're more likely to consume less calories throughout the day than if you don't. Also, certain foods give you more physical energy than others making you less sluggish and likely to be more physical.
All the studies and facts and findings are overwhelming for anyone! One thing you thought was healthy, an expert tomorrow is saying will cause this and that. It goes back to number three above. Be realistic and honest to yourself. We know what we are and aren't eating. Making better, healthier choices go hand in hand with keeping fit. It's up to you and if you combine this with the steps above you will be motivated to make better choices everyday.
(There are so many great free resources on the web for healthy/better eating. Blogs, recipe sites, magazines etc. have great ideas. Here's just one: http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/best-fat-burning-foods )
5. A Support System
A good sports bra is a must but I'm talking about support from the people around you. I have friends that do like to invite me on walks or bike rides and that is great! Sharing a healthy mindset with those around you make it so much easier for you to do the same. Someone that encourages you instead of laughing at you makes all the difference. Dont' get me wrong, there will be those laughs and comments about you ordering salad instead of pasta when out with the girls, but just keep your visuals in mind and shake the haters off:) When your looking/feeling like a million dollars they'll be eating their words.
Tell your family they need to get on board with your goals because you'll need their encouragement. I'm sure they'd be more than happy to do so. Not the case? Who needs that? If anyone in your close circle, mom, boyfriend, friend keeping you down then 2012 will probably be a lot better if they took a hike. Maybe some distance would help give them the point because misery just LOVES company and that's not how you're doing your 2012, right?
Thanks for reading along, I hope you enjoyed my personal motivation tips. I'd love to hear anything you want to add, or any resources you know to share with others. I am no expert. Just another momma looking to get fit while loving myself along the way. Good Luck with your get/stay fit goals this year!