Super Fox Sauce: “I hate working out.” 5 Tips to Improve Exercise Motivation
In American society, women often sweep their needs under a rug. One of the biggest is self-care. Self-care includes many things: body wellness, mental wellness and soul food [spiritual care.] Women have more responsibilities than ever before, which brings less time, extra stress and body neglect. Over the years, I have found a couple of things that have helped me stay motivated and bring success towards staying fit, strong and balanced (if anyone truly finds “balance”.)
I’m not going to blow smoke up your ass, ladies. I cannot emphasize this enough: not everyone is capable of achieving Jillian Michaels fitness. I’m not saying it’s impossible. Everything is possible with training; however, the time it takes to reach certain goals is not realistic for many busy career woman or stay-at-home moms. The most rewarding goal is personal power. What would really allow YOU to feel beautiful and powerful INSIDE? Remember this: Life is about maintaining 8 percent body fat. Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? That’s because it is.
Every year I experience body transitions, either from having children, gaining weight, losing weight, changing sports or recovering from injury/illness. My size has yo-yo’d from 0 to 14. During transitions, it’s important honor these periods. They are the greatest learning tools for appreciating your age, abilities, body image and most importantly—the willingness to hold your head high with grace and self-love.
I love helping women embrace their strength and gain confidence. When I ask women what goals they would like to achieve, I NEVER ask what dress-size or how much weight they want to lose. I ask them: What physical activities would you like to be able to do effortlessly? What kinds of movement make you feel beautiful and strong? What memories from your past make you feel indestructible? For me, it was roller derby. At other times, it was rock climbing, or ballet.
Having a beautiful body is just a bi-product of hard work, will and spirit. A woman can be an athlete at ANY age. I’m 41, and have accomplished more physically and mentally over the last 5 years than I ever did during my 20s or 30s. I destroyed my body in my 20s binge drinking, sleeping only 3 three hours a day, smoking, eating Taco Bell and guzzling Dr. Pepper. In fact, I know my body better now. I rest when needed, eat better foods, sleep sounder and am stronger NOW than ever before.
I’m going to share some tasty tidbits for achieving fitness, confidence and body-love. Not all of them will be right for you, but don’t skip over anything. You might be surprised to find out that you have been ignoring the one simple thing that can transform your motivation towards a healthier life and strong body. DITCH THE EXCUSES, LADIES. It’s time for self-care and empowerment
1. “I DON’T HAVE TIME”
Make your workout a part of your daily routine. I know this is common sense, but you must CREATE A HABIT of taking care of yourself. I wake up every day early (sometimes 5:30 a.m.) and squeeze in a run, yoga or gym time. I know what you’re saying: I’m not an early bird. Well, that’s fine. You must find an hour or even 30 min to totally whoop yourself to exhaustion. I don’t care what time it is—JUST DO IT. Energy levels vary at different times–so find the time that suits you and DO IT. After you get past the first week of dragging your ass out of bed, the following days will be much easier.
*the “money” tips:
Schedule it in your planner—along with putting on YOUR UNDERWEAR.
Keep your gym clothes in your car
Bring the little people and torture them with you. Freeze tag/hill sprints
Workout during your children’s sports. Run on the football field while they do drills.
Do two separate, smaller workouts. This can help—do 2/20 min. cardio sessions/ day if you can’t find an entire hour.
2. “IF I WEIGHT TRAIN, I’M GOING TO GET HUGE.”
PLEASE DON’T BE A WOMAN who is terrified of “getting too big.” This is my biggest pet peeve ever. Women body builders or fitness competitors dedicate hours each day at the gym, increase their calorie load, and design specific workouts to get REALLY BIG. I promise you, you are not going to look like Ms. Olympia unless Arnold Schwarzenegger is your training partner. Please LIFT WEIGHTS or cross train. This must be done at least 2 times a week. With more muscle mass, you burn significantly more calories. It’s a fact. Google it. If you find you can’t lose the jiggle, start lifting. It’s just as important as cardio.
*the “money” tips
Lift ENOUGH weight. If you are not struggling on the last 2 reps. You are NOT lifting enough and you’re wasting your time.
If you want to build strength and power—perform 8-10 reps. If you want to build muscle endurance and lean muscle—perform 12-15 reps (Maybe more if you want a good endurance burn)
If you want to really increase the benefit—limit rest for 30 seconds between sets. Keep that heart rate up—you’re actually doing cardio while weight training.
If you get bored easily with weights: do a fast-paced circuit. If you don’t know what that is—YouTube…or ask me!
3. “I HATE RUNNING.”
Here’s a “shocker!” You don’t have to run. Why the hell would you choose running if you hate to run? The reason you hate cardio is because you are picking an activity that YOU DON’T LIKE. This applies to any cardio activity. This is really important. Find an activity that you like doing. This can be anything that keeps your heart rate up. This can include biking, hiking, aerobic classes, dance, running, wrestling your neighbor…whatever.
*the “money tips”
When you find a cardio activity you love, ramp it up. Push yourself. Many women need to find a way to stay motivated and sometimes group settings are the best way.
Pick an activity that is new and challenging. It will make it fun, and you’ll learn new ways to push yourself. I personally love to dance but hadn’t danced on a wood floor since I was 5. So, I bought some ballet slippers and the rest is going to be left on The Nutcracker stage.
Be brave. Cardio not only pushes the endurance of your body, but also your willpower. Create a mantra and say it over and over again. I like to say, “I am a fine-tune machine. My body and spirit are unbreakable.”
4. “I DON’T WANT TO GIVE UP CARBS.”
I like French bread as much as the next girl. And I’m letting you know a valuable secret that had changed my entire perception of food, calories and energy. The best way to view your daily nutrition is to ask yourself, “What activity did I do to today? What fuel supports my activity and feeds my body, muscles and heart?”
Food is fuel, and if you starve yourself of much needed calories, your body will just hold on to the calories. In other words, your body goes right to your reserve tank [(fat/muscle) storage.] Initially this sounds great because everyone wants to burn fat, right? The problem is that you could be attracting muscle loss—which depletes much needed strength and energy. If the gas tank is empty—there’s only slowing, cramping and stopping. This is what runners refer to as “hitting the wall” during long races. Their body literally burns the calories (including electrolytes) faster than the runner needs to finish. Hence, running out of gas.
If you want to burn more fat, I focus on longer cardio sessions. This included 45-1hr sessions at lower/consistent heart rates. This is why distance runners look so lean—their body steadily burns fat. They have an efficient fire-burning metabolism. So stay on the stair-master/4 mi. walk/mountain bike ride just a little longer than planned. You can do it. And it doesn’t have to be at an Olympic pace.
Keep healthy, nutrient-dense snacks with you at all time to keep your metabolism steady. This is important: make sure your snack include a good, fatty source to steady your glycemic index (GI.) Glycemic index refers to blood sugar. When the GI (carb/sugar) is high—your body uses sugars faster—therefore, leaving you hungrier sooner. I believe this is why we want to finish those Chinese, Chow-Mein leftovers an hour later. So grab those almonds, cheese and avacados to go with that pasta salad.
For some great, nutritious low-GI foods check out this link:
Every “first-timer,” feels awkward in the gym—even Tom Brady. Of course you don’t know what the hell you’re doing! No one starts with knowledge—it takes time to build motivation. That’s why it’s important to grab some balls (or boobs,) embrace your insecurities and give yourself some credit [for trying something new.] By the way, it’s no one’s business why you are at the gym/park/barre class. It’s not your responsibility to justify to some yoked- out, ego-ass hat why you are not “fit” enough to be at the gym. Get some headphones. If you’re approached or snickered at—let the turds know they can borrow your loudspeaker so EVERYONE [in a 2 mi. radius] can applaud when they hear them grunt and drop their weights through the floor.
AVOID TYPE “A” NUEROTIC ATHLETES/ workout partners whose sole purpose is to “show-off” and “one-up” you. I know you know this douche. They are also the ones who know everything/everyone, are perfect and claim they take their sports “very serious.” [in other words—no one will ever surpass their “skill,” “motivation,” or my personal favorite-“experience”]
I’m not saying there is anything wrong with being proud of yourself or accomplishments. But there is a difference between friends who GENUINELY encourage and feed EACH OTHER to reach new goals. Ditch the narcissists and self-serving dicks. Their sole purpose is to make you feel inadequate while fertilizing their own egos. Not sure if you have one in your life? Ask yourself these questions: Do you feel empowered or belittled? Do you feel good around them or leave feeling deflated or SUCKED DRY. Are you exhausted listening to their stories of greatness and patting them on the back? If so, politely tell them you’ll pass on the coffee/gy date. Take time to feel pity and compassion for those narcissists. Most of all, appreciate that you offer friends authenticity, care and love.
When you finally learn to embrace your courage, beauty and uniqueness, you’ll discover the toxic people drop out of your life. New opportunities, passionate people, gifts of power and confidence will find you. Let yourself feel awkward. Walk over the coals. This is the beginning of finding your inner “Athena,” and kicking some serious ass. You are a perfect, moving creature just the way you are, and now it’s time for YOU to believe it.