I really believe that exercise doesn’t have to feel like a chore. Sometimes, before I’m at the gym or before I’ve rolled out my yoga mat at home, I feel completely exhausted by the thought of having to work out. But I push myself because I know how much better I’ll feel afterwards. That sluggish feeling that I get when I haven’t made the best eating choices in a week or when I’ve just woken up after a night out, I absolutely hate. I hate when my body feels unhealthy and the only way that I find to get rid of it is to exercise.
I try my best to be aware of what I’m eating but I find that eating healthily all the time is something I do struggle with. I have a recurring chocolate craving and I can’t resist it. Particularly at work, in the late afternoon. As I work in an office environment, being at work is when I’m at my least active and I think it’s therefore even more important to be conscious of what you eat. Rather than policing your eating habits, just be aware of the quantity of bad things you’re putting into your body. I’m not saying don’t eat sugar ever again, I’m just saying make healthy life choices that will positively impact your body in the future.
Another thing that helps me is knowing that I don’t have to be at the gym to exercise. I picked up an exercise mat for £9 in Sports Direct. Rolling this out a couple of times a week plus going to the gym a couple of times a week means that I’ve exercised for four out of seven days a week. It doesn’t take a lot of effort at all. I’ve mentioned before that I use Fitness Blender workouts on YouTube, which are free! There are so many to choose from. Yesterday I came home feeling like a sloth, rolled out my mat, did a 35 minute pilates workout and instantly felt better.
Now, when it comes to that time of month, I try my best not to make excuses. I know that we all have different flows and levels of pain but there are always days when you can do something rather than nothing. I get really bad cramps some months, to the point where I feel like there are fifteen different knives jabbing my insides at different intervals. Or my back hurts so much I actually imagine chopping myself in half to make the pain stop. I feel like we’ve all done this. But I really do find that doing slow, strength based workouts like pilates, for example, helps me through the pain. It helps to loosen and relax my muscles and I feel a lot better afterwards.
I find that when I have a new outfit to work out in, I feel so much more motivated to exercise. I’m not saying buy a new outfit every week but sometimes you just need to give your workout gear a little refresh. Gym wear is actually expensive, so shop smart. Invest in the pieces that are important to you. I need to feel comfortable in my leggings which is why I’m willing to spend a little bit more money on them. The ones I’m wearing above are slightly too big (they were sold out in my size) but the quality is lovely. I also picked up a pair of Nike running trainers in the junior section and they honestly feel like I’m walking on marshmallows. Perfect for training!
Finally, the best motivation I have is wanting to feel confident and happy in the skin I’m in. I feel most confident when I’ve been going to the gym regularly and can feel my muscles aching from my work outs. I feel like I’m in good shape, I feel healthy, I feel stronger. Are you seeing a pattern here? I work out because it makes me feel good. I spoke about not putting too much pressure on yourself in another exercise post a few months ago and I still think this is key. I’m not trying to look a very specific way. I’m just trying to feel fit and look healthy and I think that’s what motivates me the most.
What motivates you?