I get asked questions like this a lot... "Just wondering if you can help - I want to get back into running and exercising again, and dont have the motivation anymore. Any suggestions how to get it back??" It's a biggie isn't it? How the heck in this time poor, full on and busy life do you find time to run for 5 minutes let alone exercise regularly? More importantly how do you get up each day and actually WANT to do it?
Well I hate to say it - I have tried to find the real secret, the most amazing insights and the best advice... I looked high and low for the best programmes and motivation techniques - but the truth is there is NO magic formula. There is no magic pill you can take. And there is no magic wand you can wave. Crikey if there was I would be a millionaire over and over! As corny as it sounds the only bit of magic exercise mojo comes from deep within YOU! And there's only one person who can tap into it.
So the only way I can describe what might work is what has worked for me. Personally, I have found the best place to start is to have a goal. And that needs to be closely followed up by a reason why and a plan? So aim to run a 5km road race or a half marathon or even a full one. Look at attempting your first triathlon, cycling race or yoga class... aim to have a toned athletic body and then ask yourself why you want to do it. Is it to get fit, lose weight, be more toned, wear a bikini by next summer, kick a ball with your kids without running out of breath or have more energy. Whatever your reason it has to be something that lights you up and means something.
The mind is incredibly powerful. It can be your best friend or your worst enemy. It can inspire you with loads of positive self-talk, it can fire you up and it can encourage you. Things like 'come on you can do this', 'so proud of you', 'you will feel fantastic when you do this', 'damn you're hot!' are wonderful. But often it is the negative voice that overrides it - 'oh its too cold - or too hot', 'go tomorrow', 'oh another day wont matter', 'no one cares anyway', 'as if you are ever going to look as hot as that', 'why was I born this way?', 'it's too hard', 'it hurts', 'I hate sweating' etc etc etc...
I used to work at a gym, I used to be a personal trainer. People would sign up and start with all the vim and vigor you would expect. Within a few weeks that had subsided somewhat and the bigger excuses came in. I really think people felt they could just 'buy' the abs, toned legs and fit lungs! They really didn't want to, or felt they had to, work for it. Then got disillusioned and quit. It is more common than you think!
Sadly though at the end of the day there is absolutely no one who can do it for you. Shame! No one can give you the health and fitness you desire. It takes work, it takes commitment and it takes persistence. And most of all guts and courage. No one said it would be easy. Love this quote by Gwyneth Paltrow.
'The reason that I can be 38 and have two kids and wear a bikini is because I work by (expletive) ass off. It's not an accident. It's not luck. It's not fairy dust, it's not good genes. It's killing myself for an hour and a half five days a week. But what I get out of it is relative to what I put into it. That's what I try to do in all areas of my life.'
When you look at anyone with a fantastic body, fitness levels you crave and what seems like an easily achieved look you need to know they work at it. The only time you can perhaps excuse it is on the youth. Often they can hammer their bodies, cope with lack of sleep and have skin that looks radiant no matter what they eat or do to it. However don't be fooled, time catches up and it does have an effect at some point sooner rather than later... Let's just leave it there with the youth!!
Back to you. Getting fit, finding your mojo and actually staying committed is a full time constant life challenge. This is why I really believe a programme or plan is the best starting point to finding your mojo and get into an exercise habit. Knowing what you have to get up and do each day is a great way to start a positive habit and get into a good healthy routine.
Hang around positive people. Don't let anyone crush your dream. Know that by you taking that first step is the most profound and exciting thing you could ever do. And know deep down anyone who knocks you is actually probably jealous of you and are gutted they don't have the mojo to do it themselves!
Get some new training gear no matter what your size or shape. It feels fantastic putting on a new pair of shoes, pants or sweat top. Reward yourself as you go too. The right clothing can make all the difference as silly as it seems!
Dont try to do it all at once. How easy is it to start with all the hope and energy in the world so you push it harder, run further or swim longer. Only to find you are exhausted and now probably too sore to get up the next day and do it again. You need to build up to get fit and toned. It does not happen overnight.. Shame I know!
Get some workout buddies. Find people with the same goals - or join a training group or gym or yoga class or swim group that are all doing what you want to do. Be careful as you get more into fitness and health your circle of friends may change too.
Have a chart on the wall or an exercise book that you tick off or fill in what you have done for the day. It feels so good as the book or chart fills.
Take before photos, preferably in a bikini.... seriously... Now stick that on your wall and see where the motivation comes from!
Every time you want to eat something sweet go get on your exercycle, get some running gear on and go for a walk, get into your room and do a 20minute intensity workout or brush your teeth. Do anything except stick that sugar in your mouth.
And most importantly... Be your own inspiration. The only real person you need praise from is YOU. So be that person you feel proud of. Your exercise mojo is in there... you just need to welcome it back into your life as your friend - not the enemy. So in the fine words of Nike... quit making excuses, putting it off, complaining about it, dreaming about it, whining about it, crying about it, believing you can't, worrying if you can, waiting until you are older, skinnier, richer, braver or all around better... Suck it up, hold on tight, say a prayer, make a plan and just do it!
Right... off for a run... Kim xx
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