I don’t mean to brag, but… wait. Yes, yes, I do. I have been to the gym more in that last 2 months than I went all last year. I’m on week 4 of working out 4 days a week.
I am officially one of those people you want to punch who says, “I love going to the gym! I look forward to it. I love the way it makes me feel,” and means it.
In the past, of course, I’ve gone to the gym or ran insanely long distances outside of the gym, but I never, ever looked forward to it. I did it as a means to an end, and would make a lot of excuses not to go.
Now, I’m nearly skipping gleefully on my way after I’ve dropped the kids at childcare. And as soon as I’m done, I’m already planning my next visit. HAAAAAATTTE ME. It’s okay. Old me hates me, too.
I did some reflection last night while pushing through a few miles, trying to figure out what is at the root of this change, and this is what I can say:
It took followthrough and about 3 weeks. In the past, I didn’t consistently work out, and as soon as I saw results, I’d let myself slack off. We’re not talking results like a six pack. Nah. Just, like, the minute my pants buttoned again, I was like, “Welp. My work here is done.” This time, I really stayed focused on long-term results, and I’m challenging myself to go 4 days a week for as long as I can. After 3 weeks, I FINALLY started to not hate it.
I found a gym SUPER close to home. A new gym just opened so close to us we can WALK there! This is sooooooo exciting, especially because we’re not used to being able to walk anywhere out here in the ‘burbs. It’s nearly like having it in our own house. Now, is it the best gym? No. There are no fancy rock climbing walls, the pool is crazy small, and the childcare is essentially a large closet with a TV and an adult who I am pretty sure will just keep them alive while I’m gone. (The childcare room is an actual joke, honestly.) But it’s EASY to get there, and it’s fast, and the kids will be fine. They will hate me, but they will be fine… I’m mostly sure of this.
I stopped running on the treadmill. I’ve run 2 marathons, so I’ve always felt like running should be a big part of my workout. But I have always hated the treadmill, yet I still subject myself to it because… why? Because I feel like that’s the only way to do cardio? I don’t even know, but it’s soul sucking, and I was done with it. Now I’m all about the elliptical, but not in the way I’ve used it in the past. No casually bouncing up and down for 20 minutes while watching TV. I set it to high/intense intervals, and I really focus (and sweat!) for 20-30 minutes. TV off, tunes up. Also…
I mastered the rowing machine. Hey, if it’s good enough for the Underwoods! Also, I met some competitive rowers in Israel and holy crap they looked amazing. It’s a fantastic full body workout, especially if you do it right, and work hard at it. Definitely read up and watch some videos on how to do it properly. (Here are some I found helpful.) After just a week of doing it for 10 minutes each workout, I noticed a difference in my upper body strength and my posture.
I got wireless headphones. The wires of my headphones always annoyed the shit out of me when working out, and I ruined 2 pair by rowing over the wires. So I made an investment in myself and sprung for a pair of Skullcandy wireless headphones. FREEDOM!! I mean, did I NEED these to work out? No, but it’s made it so much more fun to listen to my Spotify playlists, which I love customizing for my workouts.
I keep my workout clothes clean and easy to find. Because, you know, it’s so easy to talk yourself out of the gym when you have nothing to wear. So I have a few outfits that I feel really great in, and I make sure to keep up with cleaning them.
I make it a priority. No seriously, really. I know I have to fit in 4 days in a week. I know I’d rather not be there on the weekends. So that really means I only get one weekday to skip. I always try to go on Mondays & Tuesdays so I can use the skip day later in the week if I need to. I think about what’s on my calendar that week, and plan out my workouts in my head, but I’m flexible. It’s not the end of the world if I don’t make it. I CAN go on the weekend if I have to. I don’t sabotage myself by waiting to get all 4 workouts in the last 4 days of the week.
I’m not weighing myself. For me, my goal is not necessarily to lose weight. I mean, yeah, that would be lovely and I do hope that happens, but it’s not how I’m judging my success. I want to feel better (and I am!) and I want my clothes to fit better (and they are!). I’m sure I’ll weigh myself eventually, but I haven’t stepped on a scale in 2 months. I know that if I do, and if I see that I haven’t lost what I arbitrarily feel is a number that represents all that work I’ve put in, then I’ll feel like a failure. And it’s hard to get failure-me to follow through on things.
Bonus: I’m putting myself out there, asking others to hold me accountable. I’m sharing a bit about it on Snapchat (I’m JillKrause there) and LOVE when people snap me back with their own fitness updates. I’m putting this here. I’m asking my husband to help me make this a priority and I’m helping him do the same.
I’d love for you to share what you’ve done or are doing to help make working out more fun for you. Do you love it? Share your secrets!