The key to consistency is finding something you like doing. I could stop there, but let’s keep going 🙂 Staying consistent and motivated for the long haul can be tough for so many of us. Let’s make it a little easier, shall we?
I’ll start by embarrassing myself with a nice little story.
Many moons ago, I was talking to a client during her session who had a goal of weight loss. She was explaining how she enjoyed lifting weights with me but didn’t feel comfortable enough yet to do it on her own. She went on to say that in the past she had enjoyed group exercise classes like Zumba and would start doing that again. Being the know-it-all I was (aka jackass), I pretty much cut her off and told her Zumba wasn’t exercise and it didn’t count as exercise and it was just “movement” seriously…I can feel my face turning red as I type this…
At that time the only thing that “counted” in my mind was lifting super heavy, doing hill sprints for cardio and absolutely killing yourself every time you set foot in the gym. There was no room for fun. HA!
My poor client…here she was, talking to her trainer who is supposed to be helping her with her weight loss goal and supporting her and I’m telling her that the exercise she likes doesn’t count?! That it’s not even exercise?! What the hell was I thinking?? I’m embarrassed to this day that I even thought to say that to her! Luckily she was smart enough to not believe me but my god!
Anyway….what I should have told her, and what I would absolutely tell her now is, anything she likes to do counts. If she wants to do home dvds, that counts. If she wants to walk for 20 minutes on the treadmill that counts. Spinning, Pilates, yoga, lifting, running, biking, Zumba…IT ALL COUNTS IF SHE LIKES IT! How could I expect her to stick to the program if she wasn’t comfortable doing it? The moral of the story is, if you find something kind of exercise enjoyable !ANY KIND AT ALL! do that and don’t listen to anyone who tells you it’s not good enough.
Another example: I remember buying a very expensive nutrition and exercise program online only to find myself dreading every workout and every meal. I was in the gym for almost two hours a day and I was exhausted and so sore it was unbelievable. I think I lasted three weeks. I didn’t like the program, the meal plan was gross (I didn’t want to eat bison for breakfast!) and the coach fell off the face of the Earth after week 4. There was no way I was going to follow through with 9 more weeks of that crap! So I stopped. I wasn’t going to stick to that program because it definitely wasn’t for me. It wasn’t fun, I hated doing 200 walking lunges and over 100 squats each workout and I really hated having my wine assigned to certain nights….please!
The best way to stay consistent is to make sure you like what you’re doing. If you find yourself dreading your workouts, try something else. There are hundreds of different things you can do. Try a few, see what you like and forget what you don’t 🙂
A few other tips:
Just get going. Just start. Let go of the excuses.
One of my clients was having a tough time getting to the gym consistently over the summer. So, she and her office mate would to do 10 pushups or 20 crunches any time they came back from the bathroom. Besides the extra activity, it was super exciting for her (and me) to see her pushups improve as the summer went on. She was drinking lots of water 😉
Put on your 5 favorite songs and do something active
do squats, lunges, pushups, planks, crunches, stretch, whatever you like until the 5 songs are over then you’re done!
Get to the gym and start with your favorite exercises
I like to start with my shoulders or glutes but maybe you start with abs or cardio. If you do the exercises that get you excited, most of the time you’ll probably end up staying and having a great workout. If you’re still not feeling it after a couple sets, just go home and call it a day. At least you tried!
Get an accountability partner.
Mine pushed me to get my butt into the gym yesterday when I was cozy on my couch with my cat. Likeminded people can be really helpful to get you going when you just don’t wanna!
Give yourself credit some credit!
Went for a 15 minute walk at lunch? Awesome! Took a new class at the gym? Amazing! Got to the gym twice in a week? Woohoo! Start cheering yourself on every single day. Become your own best source of motivation!
The bottom line is, you aren’t going to stick with something if you don’t like it. If you hate running, don’t run. If you love Zumba, get to class and shake your ass off. If you don’t like what you’re doing you’re going to come up with every excuse to not do it. Make it easy on yourself. Make it fun, make it exciting.
Now go work out 😉
I couldn’t agree with this post more! I am always encouraging ANY sort of movement because at the end of the day, doing SOMETHING is better than doing nothing, right?! I love that you shared how far you’ve come with regards to your mental shift about working out/eating/being “healthy”- so inspiring!