Judging by the lack of Motivational Monday posts over the past couple of months, you’d be right in thinking I wasn’t feeling particularly motivated. However, with the weather finally getting colder and days getting shorter, I’m back into sorting out my rolls. A lot of people seem to be more active in the summer but I HATE getting hot and sweaty and feel like summer is a bit of a jolly so any serious exercise tends to take a back seat. I love running when it’s cold out (less sweat) and dark (people can’t see me) so I have been ON FIRE the past two weeks (realising you only have a few months before your wedding day and you still have to get through Christmas tends to jolt you into action). It hasn’t been easy but I’ve learnt a few things to keep me on track when I’m on the verge of giving up.
(Quick disclaimer – what I do might not work for everybody. This has just been my experience!)
This is key. Ironically having a fridge packed full of food makes me super careful about what I shovel down my gullet. Every evening, I’ll assess the contents of the fridge and use My Fitness Pal to plan out the next day’s meals and snacks, and box up everything I need to take to work. Knowing exactly what my food ‘bank’ contains for the day is essential for keeping me on track. That means I can dip into my supplies as and when hunger strikes, safe in the knowledge I’m not going to overeat. If I fail to do this then the chances of me grabbing something carby and calorific on the go skyrockets, and screws up my mindset for the entire day.
Having a goal
Focusing purely on weight loss is only going to end in tears and disaster. Some weeks you’ll feel like your exercise regime has been enough to rival Usain Bolt’s and find you haven’t lost a single gram – I’ve been there and it’s quite frankly, soul destroying. However, I’ve found by shifting my goals from ‘I need to lose 20 pounds” to working on a fitness goal to be much kinder on the brain. I’m currently training for a sub-50 minute 10K by February, and tracking speed and distance progress is a lot more exciting than watching the scales. Don’t get me wrong, I still weigh myself but I’ve prioritised getting more exercise into my life over losing two pounds a week. It’s a much healthier way to live and by genuinely challenging myself, I make sure I don’t miss any runs on my schedule – which makes me feel great. The weight will come off but I try not to obsess over it.
You never regret a workout
This is what I tell myself at 5:45am when I’m snug as a bug in a rug and the last thing I want to do is get out of my pit. The level of regret I feel when I miss a workout is astronomical and I feel guilty about it all day. As much as I feel like I don’t want to get out there, it’s 100% true that you never EVER regret a workout. Just getting out of the damn bed and getting on with it ensures I’m at peace with myself and puts me in a healthy mindset for the rest of the day.
The early bird catches the worm
This ties in with my previous point. If, like me, your power animal is the sloth, waking up at an unspeakable hour to workout seems like a tall order. But it’s because I love nothing better than getting into my jammies at 6pm and cutting myself off from civilisation that my early morning workouts are vital. I’ve learned the hard way that as much as I promise myself I’ll go to the gym after work, it NEVER happens. A tiring day at the office and a stressful commute home put me in a foul mood and in no state to leave the flat until the next day. By getting my exercise in at 6am, I’m still half asleep when I leave and am much less likely to talk myself out of it. Plus, like I said, a healthy start to the day makes for a continued effort the rest of the day.
So, those are my little nuggets of advice. If anyone else is on a health and fitness journey please leave a comment – I’d love to know what you’re doing to keep yourself on track.