April 18, 2016

3 Ways Not To Totally Suck At Working Out


I don't know about you guys, but I absolutely suck at working out. It's not fun, it hurts, and oh yeah, I'm hella lazy. My inner monologue is really good at making excuses for why I don't need to get off my butt and burn some calories. 

Let me back up. I had an incredible January, health-wise. I found out I'd lost 8 pounds when I went to my end of the month weigh in. When I went to my weigh in for February, I'd only lost 5 pounds but I was still excited. I was still motivated. Then... the snowball effect happened. You know when one bad thing turns into another bad thing and then something else bad happens and wait, here comes something else that sucks... yeah, I call that "the snowball effect"... and I got hit hard.

March was basically a shit storm (excuse my language). You know how when some people get stressed, they turn to alcohol as a way to cope? Well, when I get stressed, I eat. And eat. And eat. And sleep. But mostly eat. So when I missed my end of the month weigh in with my doctor, his nurse emailed me asking if everything was okay. How was I supposed to tell her that I was currently made up of like 87.3% junk food? That I'd spent the last month inhaling fro-yo, chinese food, cupcakes and pizza like it was my job? Basically, I was Captain of the USS Hot Mess and I didn't feel like abandoning ship.

Until I couldn't fit into my 'fat' jeans. Damn it. So yesterday, I manned up (womanned-up?) and went to the doctor again. Yes, I'd gained all the weight back and added a little more for good measure. Boo hiss boo. We sat there for a fairly long time and, while I detailed the cause of my subsequent spiral into sugar town, we came up with a plan.

As with any plan, you've actually got to stick with it to make it work. I can't say with 100% certainty that I'll succeed but I'm damn sure going to try. I really hate being overweight. My boyfriend says that "I'm not fat, I just have 'roundth'." He thinks he's being funny, and sometimes it is, but I'd still prefer not to have enough weight on me to be called that.

Look at me getting sidetracked. Anyway - the plan. I feel like if I 'put it to paper' on here, I'll be more likely to remember it. Also, if anyone else wants to follow along, please let me know. That's one of the plan points, actually, but I'll get to that in a minute. What I'm trying to say is, if you're reading this and thinking to yourself, "Hey, this might be something I could do!", then let me know. We can start a little community of LOALM readers and motivate each other to keep going. That would be awesome! Well, without further ago, these are the goals the doc & I came up with. Here we go.





 


For example, if you're a morning person, get up a little earlier than you have been and knock out a quick workout before starting to get ready for your day. Working out for at least 20-30 minutes should keep your energy levels steady throughout the day. You shouldn't get that mid-day fatigue that so many of us are familiar with. If you're a night person, however, odds are you'll be up late anyway so why not work out after work? You'll have that same energy boost but you'll feel energized enough to feel like being productive instead of plopping it down on the couch and watching TV until bedtime. Steadily working out also helps you sleep better. Working out tires your body naturally so you'll have a more restful sleep.







It's time to get a planner. One that you'll actually use. You're going to use this baby to write down your workouts. Not only that, but you'll record what you eat and how much. I've found that writing things down helps cement them in my brain. You open the journal and see your awesome progress -- thereby motivating you to continue making smart choices about your food intake & workout regimen. I tried MyFitnessPal for a while but I wouldn't remember to use it. Writing things down allows me to detail everything and then I can look for calorie content if I so choose.

Using a planner in this way allows you to look back on your progress & improvements. It also allows you to set goals for yourself. Remember to be realistic. You're not going to lose 20 lbs. in a month unless you're starving yourself. (Don't starve yourself. You will eventually rebound and eat everything in sight. It's not pretty. It's not healthy. Just don't do it.) Realistic goals would be something like 'working out 5 days a week for at least 30 minutes', 'lose 1-2 lbs. per week', 'eat fresh veggies with every meal', etc.







You can always talk yourself out of doing something if you're the only one involved so working out with a friend helps to maintain accountability. If one person tries to get out of working out, hold them accountable. It has to work both ways. Hold each other responsible for sticking with the plan.

I'm not saying you have to trudge through some awful workout together. That will get you nowhere. If you're both miserable, you're most likely going to quit. Try to incorporate something you like to do into your workouts. For example, I love to dance so I tried Zumba for a while and it was really fun. Another option is Barre. It's basically workout ballet.

Another thing that works for me is listening to music while I work out. Find the rhythm in the songs and incorporate your workout around the beat. You can also check out YouTube for inspiration. There are several awesome videos where cardio routines are made to popular songs.

Check out a few of my favorites:
Bruno Mars - Uptown Funk(full body)
Ester Dean - Drop It Low (full body)
Ed Sheeran - Don't (full body)
Nicki Minaj - Trini Dem Girls (full body)
Bruno Mars - Uptown Funk (abs only)
Beyonce - Formation (full body)
Ed Sheeran - Thinking Out Loud (stretches only)

If I'm having fun, it really doesn't feel like I'm working out. Does that make sense? It all boils down to this - I just want to feel good. I want to have energy. I want to feel good on the inside as well as the outside. Exercising eases stress as it releases dopamine into your system which helps your mental state, resulting in a more positive outlook. That's something we could all use!