Monday, April 29, 2013

The Right Reasons

Lately, I've been working out pretty regularly. I am surprised at my consistency, because exercising has never been one of my favorite things to do. I always knew I could trick myself into it by playing some kind of team sport, but then I would get discouraged by how out of breath I was while playing, and how sore I was the next day. But there are several things I've discovered over the past couple months that have enabled me to stick with it this time around.

Schedule. One of the excuses I used to use was that I got off work too late, and after a long day I just wanted to go home and relax! Now, I am off by 1pm every day, and that consistency keeps me from wimping out. I've also discovered how to do an abbreviated workout when I don't have as much time, but still want to be active. I also know what things to do when I'm feeling sore from a previous workout and just don't want to move my feet! And that leads me to my next topic:

Stretching. It is a serious motivation killer to wake up the day after a good workout and feel like every muscle in your body hurts! I've taken to saving a good 10 or 15 minutes at the end of my workout just to stretch. Then, the next day, I actually WANT to go back and do it again!

The elderly. My gym is full of old people who are cute (the "aww" factor!), slow (no competition!), consistent (how inspiring!) and old! (They're not the typical gym rats who are already in perfect shape and just go to be admired by other perfectly in-shape people.)

Rockin' tunes. I have forgotten to bring my headphones a few times, and let me tell you, exercising without music is BORING! My top 5 kick-butt-motivating songs are:
"Turn Me On," David Guetta & Nicki Minaj
"Die Young," Ke$ha
"Brokenhearted," Karmin
"Big Mouth," Santigold
And my FAVORITE workout song (seriously, please add this to your playlist now, I promise you will want to run forever and conquer the world when you hear this) is
"Run the World (Girls)," Beyonce

(I just watched the video... It is weird but the song is totally a girl-power song.)

Motivation.  I've always known that I'm never going to be a small girl.  I'm "big-boned," as they used to say.  And when the motivation for working out is to lose weight or whatever...  Well, progress is hard to see, and I get impatient waiting for results.  I won't deny that I would like to go down a size or two, just to make buying jeans easier.  But it's easier to keep going back to the gym when the goal is to be strong and healthy, not tiny and thin.  And it's easier to notice the results!  My arms are more toned, I have the slightest hint of a bicep bulge, and I am batting better at softball games.  Work is easier, and my legs aren't as tired after standing for eight hours.  I'm more flexible!  All the ab work has made it more natural to tuck in my tummy.  And although I don't see any changes in my weight or the fit of my clothes (I have yet to get disciplined with my eating habits), I like being able to DO things easier.  I like being strong.  It makes me proud of my body, and I want to keep going back every week.