The holidays are hard on my waistline. As much as I swear I won’t eat my weight in sugary carb loaded goodness, I do. Every year.
Last year, as the calendar flipped to 2014, I pledged to lose weight and generally be more healthy. With my only child in his second year of life, and no future children coming, the excuses were running thin. I set a few goals, joined a gym and jumped in. With those 365 days behind me, I can now reflect on my efforts and say that for once I stuck with it. Was I perfect? Hardly. Am I where I want to be? Not yet. But I’ve gotten off pause and made a routine, which is the toughest battle in the whole war if you ask me.
So in honor of January and all those momma’s pledging that 2015 will be THE year, here are a few things that made the journey a little easier for me.
(Disclaimer: I’m by no means a professional, just a momma who understands the struggle. )
1. Find a partner
Hands down THIS is the number one reason I workout on a regular basis. There are days when the only thing that gets me out of bed to work out is knowing someone is waiting (and texting me mercilessly. Guilt folks. It works!) It’s important to find someone who enjoys the same kinds of work out as you or is willing to trade off activities for the sake of being together. It’s equally as important to find someone on your same schedule. I’m a morning person so my partner and I usually meet somewhere between 5 AM and 9 AM. I realize not everyone is a morning person, so finding someone who is willing to get up extra early on those days I just can’t fit it in any other time is a blessing.
2. Find your niche
There are SO many options these days. Zumba, running, spin, yoga, swimming – the list goes on and on. Pick something and try it – what’s the worst that can happen? Keep in mind that no matter what you choose, you will hate it your first time. Trust me. It’s normal. My very first spin class was worse than childbirth. It took all my power to just sit there and pedal for 50 minutes, let alone lift, jump or hover. My partner convinced me to try it three times before officially declaring I’d never again set my behind on a bike seat. Now it’s one of my favorite activities.
On the flip side, don’t be afraid to walk away from something either. I wanted desperately to love yoga, and I just don’t. I’ve decided it’s okay, there are plenty of other activities that I do enjoy.
I realize I talk a lot about group fitness classes – but that’s MY niche. There are plenty of activities that don’t cost you anything. Run or walking outside is completely free and super convenient. There are also tons of videos on YouTube you can follow in the privacy of your own home.
3. Set a Goal
I found having something to work towards keeps me motivated . I try to avoid a “weight” goal if at all possible. I feel like I’m in the best shape of my life, yet I’ve seen lower numbers on the scale. I could easily spend my time chasing the weight I was in college, but what’s the point? I would rather focus on being happy and healthy in my current 30-something post baby body. I set two big goals this past year – to run the Oklahoma City Memorial half marathon and to run 520 miles total during the calendar year. While I did manage to (barely) finish the half marathon, I ended the year just short of my 520 mile overall goal. A little bummed I didn’t push myself to hit the big goal, but I still ran a LOT of miles this year and I’m okay with that.
Goals don’t have to be big – it can be as simple as working out two or three times in a week or trying a new activity. The important thing is to find something that motivates YOU.
4. Reward Yourself
I love rewards. I don’t know about you, but I feel less guilty about buying (or eating) something when I know I’ve earned it. Much like goals, rewards should be tailored to your taste and budget. It can be as big or small as you want. I’ve found success using the things I want but don’t necessarily need as a reward. Food also works but can be a slippery slope – you don’t want to eat your progress. Just be aware when rewarding yourself and don’t go overboard.
5. Don’t beat yourself up
You will have bad days. You will miss work outs. You will over eat. Tomorrow is a new day. Don’t let today’s failure affect tomorrow’s success.
What helps you get or stay motivated to work out? Share it with other mommas by adding it to the list below! Happy New Year!