My 2018 goal was #yearofnewandbendy – and honestly, I think it went pretty dang well. This year I tried a wide variety of workout classes and most importantly, I fell in love with working out! I want to say again at the end of that last sentence, but honestly, I never liked it. From the time I was 4 until my sophomore year in college, I was a swimmer. I didn’t like it – but I was good at it so I stuck with it.
Once I stopped swimming – I still had to pass my PT tests at the Air Force Academy so I still worked out, but I dreaded it. I dabbled in CrossFit, but I didn’t take the time to actually learn anything about it and forced myself to run daily because everyone else was doing it.
Bottom line – I was a retired Division 1 swimmer that hated to work out and hated to eat healthy. The result – 25 lbs gained with the addition of some fun chronic health conditions.
I shifted my eating habits over time, but my working out habits took a lot longer. In fact, at the beginning of 2018, I still hated to workout.
Here are some things that helped me enjoy working out in 2018 and hopefully will help you as well!
Find Your Why
I talk about this with my nutrition clients all the time. Find your “why”. Your why has to be more than “I just want to lose a few pounds” because some days, you’re not going to care if you lose those pounds. Dig deep on this one. For me, I have a few health issues that weren’t getting better with diet alone. Physically, I have joint issues and low bone density and also have Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I decided to give working out a shot to see if these improved with movement and sure enough, they did! This became my why. Prior to that, I can honestly say I was just going through the motions and forcing myself into the gym whenever I could because it was what I was supposed to do. With this mindset, gym visits were few and far between.
Find something you like
Take the time to find something you like, you don’t have to go along with whatever is popular. For example, a few years ago I committed to running a half marathon because I thought it would be cool, but you guys – I freaking HATE running. I tried to train, but I dreaded every run and eventually just gave up. So yea – don’t sign me up for cardio.
I started dabbling in CrossFit again, but it was pretty rough on my body so instead of trying to find an option that works for me, I just gave up.
Here are some things to think about. Do you like working out in groups or do you prefer to work out alone? Do you like working out at home? Are you good at holding yourself accountable or does it help you to have someone else hold you accountable? Do you like cardio or more weight based training?
Maybe you don’t know the answer to any of those questions yet, and that’s ok, but writing down questions and exploring is the perfect way to start.
A good way to start to discover what you like is finding studios in your area that offer free classes for your first time.Usually you can find that info on the website, and if not, by calling the studio. After trying out a lot of studios, I realized that I really don’t like sticking to only one type of workout so I mix it up! If you prefer to be more of a regular somewhere, this is a great way to discover a studio or type of workout that you want to stick with.
I discovered studies and workouts I enjoyed through using ClassPass. Also, I absolutely love variety so this worked so well for me, but you can also book the same types of workouts or even the same studio multiple times in a month.
Ease back into things
Trying to jump back into your routine that you had before you took 2 years off of the gym? Don’t! I made this mistake too many times. Here’s how it usually goes – you show up to the gym, work yourself to the point of jello legs and rubber arms, then spend the next 4 days recovering and wondering why you even tried to work out in the first place.
It’s ok (and much better for you) to take it easy at first! If you’re doing a group class, don’t feel like you need to keep up with anyone, your workout is your own. If it’s something like CrossFit, make sure you let your coach know that you’ve been out for a while and need to take it easy. Your body will thank you for it.
Also – you don’t need to start out going to the gym 5 times a week. Be realistic. If you haven’t worked out at all in 2 years, then going once or twice a week is better than none, then you can build from there as you get used to working out again.
Last but not least – find accountability. There is no wrong way to do this, but accountability is important, especially for those obligers out there! Find a coach that will ask you where you were if you don’t show up, find a workout buddy, invest in a personal trainer, whatever it takes for you to stay accountable! ClassPass was great for me for this because they charge you if you don’t show up. Nothing like putting money on the line to get me to prioritize my workout 🙂 If you’re an upholder and can keep yourself accountable, well – I don’t know what that’s like so good for you!
Wishing you all the #gainz in 2019 😉