5 Ways to Find & Keep Motivation In Your Fitness Journey | Vika's Victories
The photos above were taken in August 2018, November 2018 and January 2019. Since joining Life Time Athletic last June, I’ve lost a total of 30lbs and 10% body fat! Learn more about the #LT60Day Challenge here!
Weight For It… #goals
I am one of the most impatient people you will ever meet. When I initially started, I (only half jokingly) told my trainer I wanted abs. Within 60 days for the first challenge. What a joke! I quit the first challenge about half-way in. I needed much smaller, attainable goals. It’s great to have long-term goals, but it’s the short-term ones that keep you going.
My short-term goal for my second round of the 60 day challenge was to lose just 10lbs. I thankfully surpassed that! It was less intimidating and more motivating to see myself get closer and closer to that weight as the weeks passed.
The day after my 60-day period ended, I was lost. Why? I needed new goals! I needed something to look forward to. Set goals and reevaluate them every 2 months.
Treat. Yo. Self. When the time is right and you have hit your goal — treat yourself. Whether that’s a new gym bag or getting your nails done — whatever puts a smile on your face. Reward yourself for your hard work. You deserved it! (For me, that was a little shopping spree at Lululemon… Y’all, if you’ve written them off because of the cost, just go buy ONE thing and you’ll be hooked, I promise you.)
Even more minuscule than that, find little things to get excited about every single day. I love how peaceful I feel after yoga. I love the way I feel in the middle of HIIT (after round like 2 or 3, because let’s be real, no one likes HIIT). But, I swear it’s like a detox all on its own. I love the way I feel in the sauna after I’ve gotten my strength training and cardio done for the day. Sometimes I’ll treat myself with a protein shake from the cafe after a workout (because I HATE washing dishes). It’s the little things!
Wake Up, Kick Ass, Repeat
AKA find a routine that works for you. Put in into your calendar and GO.
Have you ever taken a day or two off of the gym because of vacation, just to come back and struggle? Rough!
I typically look forward to yoga every Sunday. Today was a different story. It’s 20 degrees outside, I’m sleepy, I would rather be on a couch buried in cozy blankets with fuzzy socks… BUT I sucked it up and went anyways. I was looking forward to this class all week and I wasn’t about to let some apathy bug get the best of me and keep me from my goals.
With routine comes accountability. You need someone to keep you accountable. Personally, I invested in a personal trainer. It’s the best decision I could have made, honestly. Having appointments set in stone the week before keeps me on track with sticking to whatever regime I’m on and keeps me coming back to the gym.
I’ve read that scientifically, you have more willpower in the morning. So, maybe morning workouts are a better option for you if you are exhausted by the time you get off of work and dreading the commute to the gym.
Maybe your accountability can be having a workout buddy, keeping a daily log of your journey in a journal or do what I did and post it on social media (I give you permission to be “one of those” people, because for the 9 negative Nancy’s, there’s 1 positive Paul who’s going to be inspired by you. Yes, you.)
Music To My Ears
Literally. Songs are like photographs to me. I immediately get taken back to a memory, whether I like it or not. I am obsessed with Spotify and keep monthly playlists so I can do just that — travel back in time and visit memories.
When I said in my original Facebook post that Post Malone helped me through this journey, I wasn’t kidding. Better Now used to be one of my favorite songs, turned sour after heartbreak and used as fuel for fire during workouts.
If you don’t operate the same way — Gucci, Cardi B and Lil Wayne have been my foolproof artists that somehow make me dig deep and find the energy to finish my workout.
Health is Wealth
I’ve been to the ER 4 times. We have a running joke in my family that I am due every few years, because it just happens. Many times due to injuries, bed rest after surgery or medications I wasn’t always able to get up and exercise. You always miss what you can’t have the most when you can’t have it. All I wanted to do during those times of rest was to get up and run. (And if you know me, you know I hate running!)
You don’t know what you have until it’s gone and I told myself during those times that I needed to take full advantage of being in good health when I had the chance.
Likewise, I saw the impact that working out had on my stress level. You can choose to cope in a heathy way and sweat it out or you can choose unhealthy coping mechanisms like alcohol and junk food. There was a period in time where I chose the latter and gained 40lbs from it, so I get it and there’s no judgment here.
Lots of you have asked how I have the motivation to even spend and hour driving across town the gym and back. For me, driving is therapeutic (ironically since I was terrified of driving as a kid and got my license when I was 22). The price tag on my membership is high, yes. BUT I knew that it was an investment in my health. I saw quality and value. I knew that I would be excited to go there, purely just for the facilities. A good workout was just another plus! ;)
Exercise is medicine. If anything, do it for your health.
“If you lost 20lbs, I would put a baby in you.”
If I’m being totally honest with you all, my “why” initially was really petty. I was told by a significant other (at the time) that I needed to lose 20lbs. (Y’all, I could have made a BANNER out of those red flags he gave me.)
I (reluctantly) share this story with you all for two reasons. 1.) Your reason for starting doesn’t have to be some kind of self-awareness epiphany. 2.) I share this for any person that has been told this. You are worth so much more than being talked down to and nitpicked on your appearance. Don’t settle for anything less than a partner who encourages and praises you with positivity.
All this to say — start with why. A definite must and something you will revert to on days when you roll your eyes at the thought of suffering through eternity on a stair master.
Maybe it’s a health reason, maybe you want to do your first 5K, maybe you want to be able to get through a Warrior Dash obstacle course, maybe you just want to feel better in your own skin…
My “why” is now rooted in my self esteem and confidence. I love that I know what friendships and relationships deserve my energy and most importantly my time. Devoting time to getting active means reevaluating time that you have been spending elsewhere and who you have been spending it with. I love that I can inspire people (that you may think don’t even look at your posts or at your lifestyle), but that come out of the woodworks to thank you for kickstarting their journey to health. I love that I am working on being the best me, focus on recognizing self worth and look forward to finding someone who recognizes this in themselves and can compliment that in a healthy relationship.