I had a non scale victory today. I use that phrase flipantly, as I don't weigh myself at all, but it has come to mean 'things worth celebrating that are not weight related', so here it is. In the past 13 days I've been the gym 7 times. I won't bore you with my gym/weight/fitness story right now, but I used to be fitter and smaller, and I'd like to return to that way of living.
So I was at a spin class today. It helped that it's the best instructor my gym has (he actually plans his tracks and exercises, and really makes it interesting), but it also helped that I can feel my body responding. Today I could really feel the strength in my legs returning. I could keep up with the RPMs, and I could follow all of his directions. It felt good.
So what is are my top tips for finding your own motivation to return to the gym....?
1. Don't fall for the trap that you'll feel motivated or ready to leave every day. Just treat it like a job, or an appointment. You don't need to feel like going, you just need to go. Like when you don't want to leave your bed but you have to get up to go to work. You just do it. Even when you don't feel like it.
2. Don't dive in too deep, but also push yourself a bit. If you go to a class that it is too scary, or try and run a marathon before a 5k, you'll crumble and hate it all. Ease in to start, this is a long-term goal, so don't rush. Just make sure you're going, even if you're doing something a little easy for the first few sessions. Turn up. Celebrate turning up. But don't get too comfy. Everyone is nervous trying a new skill, but we can all learn. Try new things. Ask for advice. Push yourself. Changes don't happen in your comfort zone.
3. Don't expect miracles overnight. Remember we're in it for the long term. When I lost weight years ago, I'd say I really noticed it after 3 months. You just have to keep turning up. Keep going and trust the process. It only works when you stick with it.
4. Focus on your gains, not your losses. Going to the gym isn't a punishment. It's an investment in your physical and mental wellbeing. It's treating your body well because you love and care for it. When i was fitter, I used to really enjoy my calves and thighs. I'm not trying to shrink away to nothing, although yes I loved being slimmer too, I was focused on being strong. So I'm excited to get some muscles back.