About three weeks ago, some friends and I decided that we would join together in a motivational group to help us get our lazy tooshies back in gear. There may or may not be a group text/Facebook group involved, along with some entertaining memes about squats and Yoda. Drop dat ass, you must.
Much like the New Year, I started off the group strong and determined. I’ve lost 35lbs before. I was a regular gym goer for a few years. I used to drink protein shakes and take flexing pictures every week to track my muscle progress. It shouldn’t be that hard to just jump right back into that routine, right?
There is a reason you don’t jump off the couch one day and run a marathon. You have to train.
Willpower is like a muscle. If you are used to not using it, it will be hard to find it when you need it. You can search Pinterest for motivational pictures of sweaty-but-gorgeous girls with 6-packs (and a full face of flawless make-up… like wtf is up that?) all day long, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll help you resist binge-eating macaroni and cheese at 11pm.
If you’re trying to jump back into it, or jump in for the first time, start small. Set reasonable goals for yourself, and reap the reward of pride and motivation you’ll have after achieving those goals. Ride the high of accomplishment onto bigger things, and continue adjusting your goals as your motivation and willpower grows. Once you actually see yourself achieve making changes, it’ll be so much easier to do harder things.
Before beginning this motivational group, I was leading a mostly sedentary lifestyle and was not worrying about my eating or exercising habits. I was eating mostly convenience foods, and very little fruits or veggies. I was also back to drinking a fair amount of diet soda.
My January Goals were:
1. Do not buy fast food anymore, including meal breaks at work. Start bringing my own healthy meals.
2. Exercise 5 times per week, including 30 minutes of cardio and a specific strength training program I planned for myself.
3. Replace almost all of my daily drinks with water, and drink at least 100 oz. of water per day.
Can you guess which goal I’ve the hardest time keeping?
With a constantly changing work schedule, and being almost completely absent from exercise for 5 months, why in the world did I think I would be able to convince myself to drag my sorry ass to the gym (and struggle in front of my coworkers, might I add) 5 times per week? Duh.
Therefore, I have decided to revise my second goal as we approach February. For some reason, despite the fact that I hated it and it was hard, I really enjoyed running at the park near my house this summer. It was entirely mindless, and an almost automatic process to wake up, put on my sneakers and head out the door. And starting my day off in that way made me want to make healthier choices along with it.
So as we come into February, it looks like I will be starting to run again. Please pray for me. My willpower needs some serious training.
Now it’s your turn. What are your small goals to start yourself off?