The other day I was asked by my girl Phat Nanny (heyyyy!) how I am able to stay motivated at the gym to do visit Mr. T for as long and frequently as I do- and I am excited today to be sharing my answer with all of you because I cannot tell you how VITAL these things have been to my journey thus far.
*Disclaimer: If you didn't already think I was walking the line between sanity and craziness, you just may today!* Just wanted to warn ya'll!
Alright so- my current "gym life" looks like this: I go 5x's a week, do a full hour of cardio 3x's a week, and 30 mins 2x's a week. I'm trying to stick to mostly cardio for the month of Feb so I only do one rotation of the weight lifting circuit a week (this will evenutually change). I truly enjoy going to the gym, my body actually craves it, which is something I NEVER thought would be the case. I by NO means think or am saying that I am super fit (ha!) or that I work out harder than anyone else, but I do know that I'm doing well for someone that weighed 352lbs a few months ago and that I thoroughly enjoy the gym- which isn't all that common for someone who weighs what I do and has just started out- at least I don't think so! lol
So today I'd like to share my "Gym Mantra's" with you! For me, my performance at the gym is a complete head game- I believe that this battle really is won or lost in your mind- which causes me to take some... not-so-conventional approaches :)
So here are the things that I do that I believe had me made successful at going to, enjoying, and working hard at the gym:
1) The first part of the battle starts with even getting to the gym! I leave work at 5:00pm, drive home, change clothes right away, jump in my car and head to the gym. I know that I went home, sat down to watch some tv or eat dinner, even with the best of intentions, I probably would self-sabotage myself into not going to the gym. No- I look at working out as an extention of my work day and as soon as I walk into my house I refuse to do anything else other than change my clothes and get out the door; I don't give myself an option or time to think of the million other things I could be doing that are much more appealing. I also schedule my workouts in my planner like I do any other appointment.
2) When I get on a machine I decide how long I'm going do it before I even get on; otherwise I leave it up for "debate" then I'll be ready to get off when I've only been on for 10-15 minutes! But when I get on the upright bike and have decided that I'm staying on for 30 min's then when I look down and see that I still have 18min's left then I don't sit there and barter with myself as to how long I'm going to stay on- I just keep peddling because I've already made the decision. I also find that when I allow myself to "barter" I end up hating the last half of my workout because I'm trying to decide what I'm going to do. Make up your mind and stick with it.
3) Make working out as enjoyable as possible! Earlier this week I started really despising being on the treadmill b/c when I would walk my gym pants kept riding up- and trying to pull them back down while walking 3.6 mph just doesn't work all that well! This happened 2 days in a row and it almost made me want to stop doing Mr. T altogether b/c I hated the thought of feeling uncomofortable for 30 minutes. So I went out shopping yesterday determined to find a comfortable pair of workout bottoms and I left Wal Mart victorious! LoL and needless to say my date yesterday with Mr. T went famously- no more pulling my pants out of my crotch! :) Another thing I do to make my workouts more enjoyable is to bring along a new magazine. I can't look at it when I'm doing the treadmill but I do look at it when I'm on the upright or hybrid bike and it truly makes the time go by so much faster- just be sure to check on your speed every once in awhile so that you don't slow down without noticing it!
4) Here's the crazy part- at least 1 time during my workout (when I feel like slowing down or cutting the workout short) I will literally picture Jillian Michaels standing in front of me and screaming in my face to work harder. hahahaha I know, I know- craziness, but you know what? IT WORKS- every. time.
(fyi-that's me on the upright bike!)
No joke- when I'm working out there are times that I'm tempted to slack off just like anyone else, but then I think of the contestants on TBL and remember NONE of them would be pushing themselves as hard as they do in the gym if Bob and Jillian weren't them making them. Well, I (we) don't have that luxury so I have to remind myself that I'm the only one that is going to push myself do to things that I didn't think I could. Jillian, I know we've never met, but thanks for showing up in my mind everyday at the gym and screaming obsceneites at me :)
5) While I'm on the treadmill and pushing my hardest (and sweatin' like a woman in labor), I will tell myself... I love this. I know I'm tip toeing even farther over the crazy ledge but I believe that if you tell yourself something enough that it can become a reality. For example, I know that if while doing a short jog I tell myself while running that I can't do this, it sucks, I'm tierd, etc. then I won't last very long. On the other hand I've pushed myself to jog longer than I thought I could because while doing it I was saying, "this isn't hard, you can do this, keep going!" So whehter it's a bunch of mumbo jumbo or not- it helps me so I'm gonna keep doing it! Like I said, I think it's worked because when I am on Mr. T I find myself thinking more than once, "Wow, I love this feeling;" and I know it wouldn't have happened if I didn't make myself believe it even when it wasn't true.
6) I pick 1 aspect about my life that will be so much better when I've lost weight; I think of all of the things I'll be abel to do and experience and I'll consciously think about that reason when a workout becomes tough. It helps me stay focused and makes the workout feel like it has a purpose and that it is in fact, worth it.
So there you have it, my 6 little (semi-nutty) gym mantras that keep me working hard and focused. Still love me even though I might be a little crazy? hahaha
What about you guys? Do you have any gym mantras of your own? Has Jillian (or Bob) ever secretly appeared next to your elliptical? :)
p.s. If you are new to my blog I recently added a new section titled "The Day I..." (over on the right side bar) which includes some of the posts that have been somewhat monumental for me on this journey~ Enjoy!