Fitness has always been a huge part of my life. I grew up in a very athletic family. My parents are in the water sports business (specifically windsurfing and paddle boarding) So, I was in the water from the time I was a little girl. My Bubby was an avid tennis player up until she was 80. I started playing tennis at age five and played all the way through high school. Between those years, I did gymnastics, swam, played soccer… but those all faded, besides tennis. Throughout high school and college, I was a paddle board instructor during the Summer… safe to say I love the outdoors and love being active. When I moved to downtown Chicago for college, I struggled a bit with staying active because joining a tennis club was crazy expensive, so I had to change up my routine. It didn’t take long to discover Core Power Yoga and I was hooked pretty quickly. I’ve stuck with it ever since. But, after some big life changes back in November and December I have been struggling to get motivated to get back to my normal workout routine.
I felt like my whole life was off kilter and I totally fell out of my normal work out habits. I paused my Core Power membership for a month because I was traveling a lot and just couldn’t seem to get on my game. I’ve been working on figuring out how to get back to my normal workout routine. I feel my best when I get a good sweat in every day and I know that working out will not only help me feel better but also help me stay focused, be more energetic and all around be happier. So, I’ve been searching for motivation. I know that a lot of us go through this type of thing. We say, “I’ll start working out tomorrow” day after day until, all of the sudden, it’s summertime and we haven’t been to the gym once. I wanted to write about ways that I’m trying to motivate myself to try and get back on my best workout game because I thought maybe they'd come in handy for you too!
My first sign to motivate myself was the charge from Core Power on my credit card. Today’s the day, I thought. Your membership is reinstated now get your ass back to the gym. Now, saying it is the easy part. Actually going… not so much. The first thing I did to help motivate myself was to look at my calendar for the week to see where my workouts would fit in best. I then checked the schedules of the two closest Core Power locations and added the workouts that fit into my schedule onto my calendar with alerts. I find then when I actually put things on my calendar, even the smallest of things, I am more likely to accomplish them, so this definitely helps me.
When I can, I like to workout in the morning, but that doesn’t always happen. I find it’s harder to workout after a long day. So, on days when I couldn’t make it to the gym in the morning? I got dressed in my gym clothes and wore them to work all day (being a freelance photographer, the dress code is pretty lax). This was one step towards getting to the gym out of the way. I found myself looking forward to my workout during the day instead of dreading it.
Another way I like to motivate myself is to wear gym clothes that I love! Who says you have to wear an old t-shirt to the gym? If you enjoy the clothing you workout in, I truly believe you will feel better about yourself, and in turn, be more motivated to get to the gym.
Next, when I’m feeling tired and I’d way rather sit on the couch with Obi in pajamas then go to my workout class, I tell myself that getting there is 100% the hardest part and remind myself how great I feel after a workout. I also like to remind myself that I know it’s possible for me to feel and look so much better when I stick to my workout routine. Thinking about the shape I’ve been in in the past totally motivates me to get up, work hard and get back to that place.
Another thing that absolutely helps keep me focused on getting in shape is eating clean. When I eat clean, I feel so much leaner, stronger and more energetic. Days where I eat heavy (lots of carbs, any dairy or sweets) it totally drags me down and makes it way too hard to get to my workout. (If you’re interested, I’d be happy to share more about my clean eating routine.) But as a general rule, I stick to lots of protein (mostly chicken and fish), tons of veggies and a bit of fruit. I have an awful sweet tooth but try my best not to eat deserts…. my fix for this is chai tea. I often have one after dinner to satisfy my craving for something sweet. It still has sugar but I figure, it’s a hell of alot better than ice cream… When I’m eating clean it definitely helps motivate me to workout.
One thing that’s huge for me is having friends who also like to workout. My mom is definitely one of my favorite workout buddies and I have a few close girlfriends who are also extremely fit and definitely inspire and motivate me. Something that helps me get to the gym is to tell those friends my workout plan. For example, I’ll text my Mom and say, I’m going to 8am Sculpt tomorrow! It may sound silly, but once someone else knows I’m going, I can’t wimp out! This is something that’s super easy and definitely helps me to stay motivated. Find your workout friends and share your routine with them, or even better, workout together!
My last tip is to search for a full body workout that you love and stick to it. Or, find a few classes that you love and work different parts of your body and do them on a rotation. If you’re motivated enough, you can of course also workout at home! My favorite class is Sculpt at Core Power Yoga. It’s heated power yoga with weights. It’s fast paced with pumping music and is a total killer. I’m one of those people who want to totally get my ass kicked if I’m going to take the time out of my day to workout. Sculpt is my favorite ass kicking. Although it’s extremely difficult it’s also fun because of the great music (each instructor makes their own playlist so the music is always different) and the energy in the room. Finishing a Sculpt class is so rewarding and the feeling post class leaves me wanting to come back! If you can find a class you love this much it makes it so much easier to get back to a good workout routine.
Last week was my first week since my membership re-instated and I made it to Core Power three times! It’s a good start, I think. I’m going to continue to follow my own advice for getting motivated with hopes of getting back to class at least 5 times per week. Do you guys have any motivation tips? I would love to hear them!
Photos by: Caitlin of Public Lives Secret Recipes