I’ve already admitted that I’m in possibly the worst shape ever currently. When 2019 ended, I was recovering from a burnout and had cut heavy exercise – notably the 4-5x weekly weightlifting sessions I’d indulge in – from my schedule temporarily while recovering. Then COVID hit and gyms closed. The summer months went past quickly. And now here we are.
I have been getting my home workouts in, but have honestly struggled with my own motivation. I’m missing my normal #gymlife like crazy, so I wanted to share my top tips for staying motivated as well as fueling that motivation, plus a few tips for tackling fitness during the @home prison situation. Stay strong! #sooverit
P.S: I’m wearing one of my favorite Cotton On Body sets in the pictures.
My Own Fitness Journey
I didn’t always love working out, but 4.5 years ago I decided it was time to get back in the gym and reach a new fitness level. In my early 20s I’d done a ton of gym classes, but I wanted to really free myself from the dependency of an instructor telling me what to do.
So I started lifting weights. In the beginning I hardly knew what I was doing, but everything good requires effort, and knowing how to effectively work out is a skill in itself.
For years I kept building my strength, skill and knowledge about fitness and nutrition, while consistently working out anywhere between 3-6 times a week. I managed – and enjoyed – this because it could easily fit into my lifestyle. There’s always a gym floor open somewhere, no matter what time or day it is!
My workouts became an important part of my self care routine and provided me with the mental break from being in a constant state of thinking. I also really enjoy the solo time of just doing my own thing.
My Best Tips For Staying Motivated To Work Out + Getting Your mind right
1. Motivation is only half of the equation – discipline is what needs to see you through when you are not motivated. There is no magic hack or workaround.
2. Don’t allow yourself to spend time contemplating and getting stuck in a decision making process. If you decide to work out, work out.
3. This one is big: No one is able to give 100% every workout. I learned to consider 80% a success. Aiming for 80% brings you consistency, and consistency will get you very far. I’ve gone to the gym for 20 minutes of very light exercise more times than I can count. Learn how to feel good about these workouts too, and don’t judge yourself.
4. Diet and workout goes hand in hand – once you’re doing one of them, you’ll feel a lot more motivated to do the other, so focus on just getting one right to start with.
5. Your limitations only exist in your mind. I’m a firm believer in this. Every transformation starts with a shy wish. Be careful to not listen to your own negative thinking patterns and self-talk.
6. Embrace the incredible fact that mind and body are intimately connected. Your brain needs to connect with what you’re doing for it to be effective. Once you master the mind-to-muscle connection, you can make incredible progress with good nutrition. You can, in fact, completely change the physical reality of what your body is capable of doing. This blows my mind endlessly!
7. Food is fuel. When I started lifting weights, I was amazed at how much weight I lost even though I was in a completely normal weight range. I began thinking differently about food, and during weeks where I’d work out the most I could pretty much eat anything I wanted (with some moderation, of course). Who doesn’t want to live a life free from restriction?
8. Okay, now on to the more fun part: Shopping. I recently posted a bit of shopping inspiration. I love treating myself to some cute athleisure wear, and I find that it can boost my desire to work out if I’m struggling a bit with my motivation. I wanna look cuuute. U know?
9. Watch YouTube videos and find content creators and influencers you love. If I’m struggling with my motivation, a sure-fire way to get it back is to binge-watch a few YouTube videos of my favorite gym girls: Krissy Cela and Whitney Simmons are my absolute favorites of allll time. They both give me plenty of inspo for changing up my routine when I need it.
10. Take progress pics. It is SO motivating, I promise. Whenever I’m feeling down about my lacking #gymlife nowadays, I look back at some of my pics from when I was in peak shape. Damn! I was on 🔥. Get those workouts in so you can get those pics, girl. You deserve to feel good about yourself.
11. Make sure you have found the right exercise form for you. Your ability to self-motivate and self-discipline hinges on the fundamental premise that you actually enjoy your workouts. I hate cardio, and don’t do much of it. Weightlifting became my passion. What’s yours?
… And it might be the most important one of all. Embrace that everything fluctuates. Our moods, weights, motivations, appetites. ALL OF IT. It is part of life. No one goes through life in a perfectly robotic way. My weight fluctuates within a range of 5 kgs, and I sometimes go for weeks without a proper workout.
Bouncing back and restarting is SUCH an important skill to learn. It doesn’t matter that you missed 2 weeks of gym or healthy eating, it only matters that you get started again, and that you get it right the majority of the time. Delete the word failure from your brain, and don’t waste energy feeling frustrated. Just get started.
Tips For working out At Home during lockdown
- Yes, you can work out from home. No, it won’t be the same. I have lost so much muscle mass during the past year, because my workouts fundamentally changed when I couldn’t do 120kg leg presses anymore. It’s all ok.
- You don’t even need a subscription service, there are SO many great, free workout tutorials on YouTube! We all sometimes need someone to guide us through, so go find content that motivates you!
- Do what you can. 10 mins of simple floor exercises count. A gentle walk outside counts. Stretching in the morning COUNTS.
- Lean into the discomfort of working out when you don’t want to. Yes, become that person. Physical activity is so important for our mental health and overall wellbeing. You should push yourself to do this.
- Get it over with. If you struggle to find your motivation to work out, chances are you’ll procrastinate. Get your workouts done first thing in the morning, or right when you decide for it.
- If possible, get some basics: A few dumbbells, a resistance band and a mat can get you very far.
- End each workout with a small treat. It could be a fancy-ass showergel you love. It could be 10 minutes of guided mindfulness while you’re tucked in comfortably on the mat. It could be a delicious protein treat. Reward yourself.
- Remember, this pandemic too shall end. And then how are we gonna feel? Make your future self proud by sticking with it.
Let me know in the comments below how you’re staying motivated to keep at it during lockdown and any favorite content creators you’ve discovered!