Ten years ago when I thought of getting fit, I thought of getting skinny. Fitness to me then meant being able to go shopping without feeling like I wanted to cry on the way home. It meant conquering BIG goals. Running a marathon or participating in a triathlon. It meant achieving goals that require hours of grueling preparation and training. Before I even decided to take a step towards fitness, I was already groaning. Sure I wanted to not cry when I went shopping but was it worth the hours upon hours of running and endurance training that I had to do? No way. So, before I even started on a path to fitness I already built a huge roadblock, and it was all mental. My attitude towards fitness boiled down to this lie. Getting fit is pure drudgery and I can’t do it anyway.
The biggest surprise I have had since joining OrangeTheory Fitness 2 months ago is the way it changed my mind about fitness in general. I am no longer obsessing over numbers on a scale, but measuring progress by how far I am able to jog during my treadmill block compared to last week. I am slowly falling in love with fitness- here’s how you can too.
Love who you are, today. Your body is amazing. It has gotten you this far in life, and now it’s time to start taking care of it. I have discovered that coming from a place of self-loathing has hindered any attempt I made at getting in shape. I used to finish a workout and pick myself apart. I focused on the things I couldn’t do and tore my physical self to shreds every time I looked in the mirror. That kind of negativity bleeds into everything you do.
Now, this takes time and intentionality. Every time you catch yourself making a negative comment about yourself, take the time to stop and correct it. It feels silly at first and very unnatural, but do it anyway.
Looking in the mirror and loving my curves has actually made me love fitness much more. Instead of feeling discouraged about what I can’t do, I think about what I did this workout that I absolutely could not do two months ago.
Make realistic goals and reframe your thinking. Exercise is not the enemy, it’s a tool. Fitness is truly investing in yourself. Think hard about your overall goals and how important those things are to your quality of life. I don’t know about you, but I am well past the age of wanting to look good in a bikini. I mean, that would be nice — don’t get me wrong — but that goal seems so shallow now that I am a bit older. Instead of just physical changes, I’d love to improve my mood and energy level. I’d also like to not pull a muscle while carrying laundry up the stairs or be out of breath at the end of changing sheets.
Find something you love to do, and be consistent. For me, OrangeTheory is by far the most motivating fitness community I have experienced. The group class environment really pushes me to do my personal best each time I go. In fact, I had strep throat for a week and a half or so and actually MISSED going! I can’t believe I am even saying that. I actually missed getting my butt kicked at the gym, and pushing myself to my limit.
Write down non-scale related changes and progress. You may have a certain amount of weight you want to lose, a number related goal. That’s fine! But I’d love to encourage you to look for other benefits as well. When the number on the scale doesn’t change, you will need to remind yourself of the other positive changes that fitness has brought to your life. Energy level, sleep quality, clothes fitting better, junk food cravings lessening, skin changes: the list goes on and on. I have started using exercise as a way to help manage my anxiety and depression. I am hoping to start using a good workout in the same way I used my weekly indulgence of pizza and wine. As a stress reliever, a reward, as something I crave when I am having a hard day.
Be open to friendships along the way. The people you surround yourself with are so important to the way you think about things. Being around people who encourage you rather than those who tempt you and tear down your progress is a crucial key to any lifestyle change. One thing I love about OrangeTheory is the opportunity to meet other members. Sometimes we do partner workouts or friendly competitions. There are also regular events for members to hang out and get to know each other outside of the gym. Being isolated in any journey is difficult, so being willing to reach out and get to know others on the same path is helpful. I am still working on this part, as it is hard for me to open up to people, but just knowing that the opportunities are there at OrangeTheory is so encouraging. (Looking for workout friends? Join us on December 12!)
I am still overweight. I still struggle with emotional eating and self-control. BUT, with accountability the fitness community that I truly love being a part of at OrangeTheory, I am confident I will get there. So far along this journey, I have learned two things. One: I am stronger than I think I am. Two: that falling in love with the process is just as important as the destination.
It takes time to change your way of life. Expecting to lose 40lbs in a few months is unrealistic for a busy mom. Adjusting my expectations and focusing on the parts of this that really add to my life helps me to keep focused on the long-term lifestyle change. Until next time, friends.
We love seeing new faces here at OTF Providence! We offer guaranteed results for all fitness levels! Please give us a call to learn more about us and to come in a try a free class, or join Providence Moms Blog at their next event:: Moms Night Out- Workout Wednesday Edition with OTF Providence on December 12! Space is VERY limited, so pre-register today!