The questions that I get most often in regards to my weight loss journey:
1. How did you get started? (You can catch up on that HERE)
2. How did you lose weight in your arms?
3. What did/do you eat?
5. How do you stay motivated to workout?
I want to use this blog post to address that last question, sharing how I stay motivated to workout, so grab a pen and some paper and let’s dig in! Though I always say that there’s no “secret sauce” to this whole “healthy lifestyle” thing, there are a few things that have helped me to succeed:
- Setting Small Goals
It’s sooooo easy to get discouraged in this journey, whether you’re trying to lose weight or gain it, it can be easy to feel demotivated when results take longer than we want. I had to remind myself, “I didn’t gain this weight or develop these negative habits over night, so I can’t reverse everything overnight either.” Instead, I started setting small, chunk-size goals, that could feel like little “home-runs” or wins to keep me going.
“I will lose 5 lbs. in the month of May”
“I will workout 4x a week this month”
“I will meal prep 90% of my meals and only drink alcohol 1x a week”
Once I started keeping my word to myself, hitting these smaller goals, they started to roll into the larger goals, 5lbs turned into 15lbs. and 4 workouts a week in one month drove 5 workouts a week in the next. With each “home-run” I allowed myself to celebrate, but I’d also set a new target and begin the grind against these new goals. I’d celebrate with new workout clothes or shoes, a massage, a new outfit or something else that I’d been wanting!
Note: I had to reevaluate the manner in which I was celebrating my wins early on, watching when I would celebrate with food, for example. Being that an unhealthy relationship with food is what drove the majority of my weight gain, I wanted to be mindful of how I was gifting myself for hitting goals, so no cupcakes, wine or other snacks as a gift. Because, on the other hand, I didn’t want to deprive myself of these things and kick back to those bad habits of overeating or “sneak-eating” if I didn’t achieve a particular goal.
- All Of Your Goals Shouldn’t Revolve Around Weight
We talked about goal setting, but what should those goals be? Well, anything you want to achieve, but I caution you against hinging all of your success on the scale/a number. Why? Well for one, your weight can be so finicky, fluctuating based on water, your menstrual cycle (for women) and so much more, causing the scale to go crazy, in turn, driving you crazy! So while I wouldn’t suggest you abandon the scale completely (though I have for the time being), I think it’s critically important you also consider other tangible ways that your body is changing. What are some of my goals?
Being able to gradually increase the amount of weight that I can lift
Correcting/perfecting my form
Increasing my reps/time/performance
Fitting into my clothes better
Visibly noticing changes in my body/losing inches
- Developing A Routine
It’s so easy to fall of the wagon or lose motivation to workout if it doesn’t fit into your schedule. I always tell myself that I can’t “squeeze my workout into my schedule”, that I need to work my schedule around my workouts. If I am planning to travel, I plan my schedule so that I can still hit my weekly workout target (or get close to it), before heading out on vacation. If it’s busy season at work, or in life (see hot girl summer), I make sure to build my schedule so that my workouts do not have to be sacrificed. Develop a routine and stick to it to the best of your ability. After 30 days of consistency, something will become a habit, once you have this habit and routine, it will feel weird when you break it.
Another tip, if you need to, schedule your workouts on your calendar or add them to your to-do list! Having that calendar reminder or having to cross off the action from your to-do list is a great daily reminder to get moving!
- Making It Fun
We talked about routines, and though I personally have developed a habit of working out an average of 5 days a week, fitting my lifestyle and workouts together, I still have days that I don’t feel like working out. Work becomes a lot, life gets in the way, last minute plans may pop up, and even PMS or other moodiness try to keep me out of the gym and oftentimes, it takes some personal convincing. I do this by telling myself, “we’ll only do workouts that you like to do”, or “we’ll only workout for 30 minutes,” for example. Most days I am not a huge fan of cardio, but I do it because I need it for my body type (not sure of your body type? check HERE to read my post on body types), but on those days that take convincing to even get to the gym, I’ll typically tell myself, “we’ll skip cardio”. Instead I’ll go straight into weight lifting or some other HIIT workouts that I enjoy doing, like squat jumps or jumping jacks, I’ll focus on legs (my fav) and I’ll just build my routine around my favorite exercises. After about 20 minutes or so into my workout, I start to mentally adjust, getting into the workout and 9/10, by the end of the session, I’ll be ready for some form of cardio.
Develop a bomb playlist, find a workout video or app to get inspo for workouts and make it fun! Take a class or two! Switch it up when you need to. Workout outside if and when you can! Just keep it fun and fresh, we don’t want working out to feel like a chore or a have to do.
I’ve also started saying affirmations to myself, switching my mind from “I have to workout” to “I get to workout”, “I get to try a new move today in the gym”, “I get to work on my body/temple today”, helping me to reframe my relationship with working out and going to the gym.
- Having A Support Group/Accountability Partner (AP)
I am all about community! I love having a group of likeminded friends who I can share grievances with, talk about wins, and ask feedback. Throughout the years, I’ve cycled through many accountability partners, but each served their purpose for the moment they played the role! From physically working out together, sharing recipes, sharing workouts, programs or workout accounts on social media, AP’s can serve various roles/purposes.
Sometimes AP or Support Groups are trainers and/or workout classes! I’ve gotten trainers at various points in my journey and they’ve helped to challenge me to get better/stronger, helped to hold me accountable and call me on my bullish! If a trainer would help keep you on track, even if on the short term, do it!!!
In 2021, I started doing daily check-ins on my IG stories, sharing with my followers whether or not I got my workout in and asking them to share with me if it was rest day or if they also got some movement in! My followers have now grown to look forward to these check-ins, reaching out to me if I miss a day or sharing their reason for missing a workout any day, or even sharing if they’ve reached a new goal and I LOVE THAT! My entire IG family is now a part of my virtual support group and they hold me accountable!! You can join my virtual support group by following me on IG HERE.
I also have a mini accountability group, the Healthy Hoes, and we’ve made a new promise to ourselves, if we don’t hit our goal of at least 3 workouts in a week, we owe each member in the group $5 dollars, if nothing motivates me, losing money will!
- Checking In With Your Progress
Keep track of your progress, it is always a great reminder to see where you’ve come from vs where you currently are. We often forget, without reminders, where we started, what we looked like when we started, how we felt, etc. I recommend either keeping a journal of your experience, taking pictures or documenting some other way so that you can continually check in with your progress. When I am feeling really stuck or hit a plateau, I can go back to my journal from 2015 or 2017 and see what my measurements were back then, see what my workouts looked liked, I can check pictures, and I get inspiration to keep going. I am reminded of how hard running for 5 minutes was when I first started vs now completing 5ks and running 3 miles on average! It’s easy to get caught up in the day to day, forgetting how hard you’ve worked and how much progress you’ve made, especially when you’re not yet at your goal, but don’t let tomorrow’s worries steal today’s joy, celebrate the now, recognize the past and know you’re only getting stronger for the future!
- Remembering The Ultimate Goal
And finally, it’s really about grounding yourself in why you started this journey to begin with. Whether it’s a life or death situation in needing to develop a healthier lifestyle or simply wanting to look good naked, there was a reason (or several) that you started this journey and you have to consistently tap in with that goal, especially when you’re feeling demotivated. Write it down somewhere. Repeat it to yourself daily. Share that goal with a friend. Whatever you have to do, just don’t lose sight of that!
There has never been a time that I’ve left the gym or completed a workout and thought, “I am so mad I just spent my time doing that” or “I wish I wouldn’t have worked out”, where on the other hand, I almost always regret unnecessarily skipping my workout. Developing these habits where my body and mind are used to working out, making it important to me and making it fun, have been the biggest drivers of my success thus far and what will keep me going for years to come!
I hope that one or all of these things on this list can inspire you to keep on your own fitness journey!