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Where do you find the motivation to workout?

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Old 07-10-2009, 12:22 AM   #1
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Default Where do you find the motivation to workout?

Hi everyone, I'm looking for a little insight into your psyche on what you tell yourself to get yourself motivated to work out on a regular basis. Exercising is something I used to do on a very regular basis but since gaining all this weight I don't find it fun anymore. My heel hurts, my knees hurt, my back hurts, my belly jiggles, my boobs flop. The list goes on and it's not comfortable physically to exercise. I used to love it when I could feel my strength and feel myself getting stronger but it will take a while to get back to that level of fitness again. In the meantime, I need something to do or say to myself to keep me going even when I feel so crumby working out. I do like that soreness I get in my muscles because it makes me feel like I actually HAVE muscles again. It's nice to feel something other than fat. Each day I have the opportunity to get exercise but often talk myself out of it and make excuses for it. My food has been good lately but I know that this is about balance and it needs to be done. I keep telling myself I'll exercise when I get thinner but that's like telling myself I'm going to wait to live my life until I lose X pounds. It's a habit that needs to be formed now, not later.

So, any advice? What do you do? What do you say to yourself when you don't want to do it anymore? What do you do when you are so uncomfortable with your body that it's not fun to move it around?

Thanks in advance for your ideas!

Last edited by teensie3 : 07-10-2009 at 12:23 AM.
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Old 07-10-2009, 12:43 AM   #2
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For me I decided to look at it as my part time job. Just something I have to do on a daily basis. Not only does it help with my weight loss, but it also helps with my depression and over all mood. Once I get hooked on what being "fit" feels like that alone is reason enough to keep me going.

I also sign up for things (like my Triathlon races) because nothing is more motivating then spending money on something and being scared you won't be fit enough by the time the event rolls around. Hehe.

I used to hate hate hate exercise. I don't always love it now, but most days I don't mind it, and some days I guess I do enjoy it now.

The important thing I think is to get past the first few months when everything feels impossible or uncomfortable. It DOES get better.

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Old 07-10-2009, 02:17 AM   #3
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Exercise gets me motivated to exercise. Getting started is the hard part but once I'm doing it- it's not bad.

I try for positive reinforcement with myself. Instead of focusing on my feet hurting (plantar fasciitis- ouch!), I focus on the blood pumping through my body. I think about how much stronger I feel. I put some good, high energy music on my I-Pod and then enjoy the adrenline rush I get while moving fast to songs like 'Fighter' by Christina Aguilara. Very Rocky-esque!
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Old 07-10-2009, 02:47 AM   #4
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When I haven't exercised in a while, it really helps me to ease back into it. Instead of hitting the gym and feeling intimidated by all the thin, in-shape people on the other treadmills, I watch FitTV (or the equivalent) until I see something that looks really fun, and then I do it - there's this cool belly-dancing show I'm obsessed with. That way, I'm being more active, but it doesn't feeling like a chore I have to do. Once I've started feeling my body wake up, so to speak, I just start craving exercise. I guess what I'm saying is, I wouldn't start out with some huge fitness plan - those are near impossible to keep. Instead, find little things you like doing, and after a while, your body starts noticing how much better it feels when it's active and it will help motivate you.

Also - listen to the Rocky theme. That always helps.
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Old 07-10-2009, 03:11 AM   #5
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I totally understand. I have always hated exercise, but I decided at the beginning of the year to make it a priority - half an hour a day. I started with the habit: all I required of myself was that everyday I did something that could be classified as exercise. I only pushed myself if I felt like it. As my fitness improved, I felt like pushing myself more. After a few months I was inspired by Jillian Michaels to work at a high intensity, 80-90% of my max heart rate, and I bought a heart rate monitor to measure it.

Six months later I feel fit and capable of doing just about anything. I'm not particularly fast or athletic, but I can exercise at a high intensity for over half an hour at a time. In the past three days I have done 5 hours of exercise, an hour of which was my first ever spin class. And I didn't hate any of it

Oh, and you should look into weight lifting. I started going to a gym similar to curves, and it's great. I particularly like it because I'm good at it Squatting 200lb isn't that hard considering I lift more than that everytime I pick something up off the ground.
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Old 07-10-2009, 03:12 AM   #6
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Or "what Blue Wind said"
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Old 07-10-2009, 08:00 AM   #7
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I try to do what I think is fun Running(yeah I'm weird), weight lifting (DH and I do it together), pilates, yoga, belly dancing and swimming are the main ones I do. Just start experimenting....anything that gets you more active than what you were before counts as exercise in my book!

For me it was the fun factor (my motivation at first) and scheduling it in my day then doing it like any other responsibility that I have. When you form the habit it's a bit easier to keep doing it.
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Old 07-10-2009, 08:21 AM   #8
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My rule is that i have go to the gym and get on the machine for at least five minutes. If i still feel terrible at that point i can always go home. That gets me there. Usually after i've done 5 minutes i convince myself to do another 5 minutes, etc. It is the getting there that is the hard part, once i am there i usually manage to exercise.

This usually works well for me. There is only 1 time that i have actually gone home after 5 minutes and i really did feel unwell.
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Old 07-10-2009, 08:46 AM   #9
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While I am waiting on exercise to become fun, I just have to make myself do it.

Like blue wind, I have had to ease myself into it. My primary exercise is walking. Wearing a pedometer helps because I make it a competition with myself. I keep track of the number of steps that I have walked and keep pushing myself to up it. This really encourages me to walk around the building when leaving work or parking at the back of the parking lot. Those seemingly little things really add up.
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Old 07-10-2009, 08:49 AM   #10
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1. I make a promise to myself that I will do it, if I can't keep promises to myself who can I keep a promise to? I also don't beat myself up if the weather or some unforeseen force prevents it, like a kid needing to go to a doctor or a friend in crisis.

2. I keep it fresh and the ladies above me have lots of suggestions for that. I never really saw myself as a biker. I love my bike, the progress I have made. I currently fantasize about day long rides and overnight trips where I am sore and tired and getting there at 22 mph

3. If you are having trouble getting started, start small.

4. HAVE FUN AND SMILE (even when you don't mean it, this is called the fake it till you make it!)
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Old 07-10-2009, 11:08 AM   #11
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You have part of the answer yourself when you were talking about how you used to feel. You can focus on that.

Are you competitive? My YMCA has a program called Fitlinxx in which you keep track of your weight-lifting and cardio minutes and it assigns points. Then you can compare the points for the month against what you did last month or against everyone at your facility in your age group and for your gender.

I have a point goal for the month and if I'm up to date with what I did last month I know I'm on target. But I also try to stay in the top 10% of women in my age bracket. Sometimes the only thing that gets my walking shoes on at 5:45am is the desire to stay in that top 10%.
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Old 07-10-2009, 11:17 AM   #12
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I tell myself that I pay $36 a month for the gym and I better get my money's worth. Also, I recently bought a new ipod when my old one fried and it's the same logic - you spent $$$, you better use it. I think about cost per use a lot, and if I don't go, cost per use becomes enormous.

I also have a huge desire to be muscular and powerful like I was when I worked out a lot as a teenager, but the money thing is (strangely) the most powerful motivation.
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Old 07-10-2009, 11:34 AM   #13
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I totally agree, start small, and make it fun, those freebies {on-demand for me on my local cable} is a great place to start. The secret for me is to just make it part of you day, like brushing teeth, showering etc......no excuses to not do something daily. Start small, but just plan it into your day.
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Old 07-10-2009, 12:22 PM   #14
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Seriously, I pull up my sleeves, flex my arms and there's the motivation right there. I have SERIOUS arm muscle definition and as soon as I finish burning off all this flab I am going to give Linda Hamilton in T2 a run for her money. Also my upper stomach looks HOT (wish the lower stomach would catch up to it!) with major muscle definition. Finally, I weigh around 250 lbs and can almost fit into a size 14. If that's not motivation I don't know what is. BELIEVE IT AND YOU CAN ACHIEVE IT. Seriously.
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Old 07-10-2009, 07:00 PM   #15
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Thank you all for your ideas and support. Reading this thread was enough to get me up off my butt and outside for a bike ride today. It was hard, it hurt, I thought I might die, yet I enjoyed it in a weird way. I could feel my muscles and that felt good. So thank you! I hope to keep up this motivation and start slow and build from there.
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