As I write this I'm curled up under a blanket on the couch. It's mid day and I've been happily working on this blog. Happily writing and coming up with neat ideas. Except for the fact that one thing has been pecking at my mind like a pestering critic. Reminding me of what I've been neglecting for the last six months or so.
Finding The motivation To Work Out
The truth is that while I'm anal about what I eat, I've never been a let's go workout 'till we drop type person (except when it comes to yoga and sometimes hiking, more about that in a bit). And I've always been able to maintain my weight pretty well. Probably due to the fact that I eat well most of the time and my petite body type (I know I'm lucky, no complaining about that here), I was able to get away with working out part time.
That is until last year, my 35th year. My 35th year told me, "Kate, those days are long gone."
Last year was the first time I noticeably found it difficult to lose those couple of extra pounds quickly. No longer could I just depend on my healthy diet. Nope, it's become more and more obvious that I needed to get moving.
How I Stayed Fit Before
Throughout my 20s I went to the gym a lot. Mostly doing cardio and that's about it. I wasn't eating that great (totally thought I was at the time though!), and drinking quite a bit. I was not in "great shape" by any means, but to be honest I never really thought about my weight too much.
It wasn't until I was 27 that I really began my quest for wellness, which in my case meant, doing a complete overhaul in my diet. I cut out meat for the most part and lost ten pounds right off the bat. Ten pounds I wasn't trying to lose, mind you.
It was a reminder that I wasn't in the shape I had always thought I was in. Cutting the toxins in meat out showed me what my body was holding on to. It felt amazing to let that go.
Fast forward to my 32nd year when I started to do yoga regularly. Yoga was the first workout activity where I noticed a complete change in my body and myself. I got toned. In fact, I was in the best shape of my life when I was doing yoga 3 to 4 times a week coupled with a mostly vegetarian diet.
I was also lucky because as a benefit through work, I got a completely free membership to CorePower Yoga. That place changed my life. Their classes have been the perfect workout for me. I love their C2 class, which I credit with really toning my body; lots of flow and movement.
Some people may not think power yoga is not a complete workout, but I would disagree. I've tried all sorts of workout trends over the years and this was the only activity that not only toned my body, but left me feeling out of my mind amazing afterwards.
So What Happened?
Well, I quit my job last year, thus leaving me with no yoga benefit. I went through sort of rough time financially as well (so no money for yoga) when I decided to take a chance on throwing all my eggs in one basket to work on writing fiction. While I don't regret any of it, I do look back and see myself going from a super healthy lifestyle to a sedentary one.
The workout portion of my life only got worse when I got offered a well paying temp job I could not pass up. The job was great, I actually really liked it. However commuting to the office every day killed any motivation I had for working out.
I tried getting an intense workout in before work in the morning, but it just wasn't enough time. Plus, I need someone to push me or else I'm just not motivated to go all out. I went for small 30 minute walks during lunch, which got me moving, but I knew wasn't making any sort of impact on my body.
But at least I was doing something, right?
What I Realized About Myself
I know to some I'm full of excuses. I get it. But after 36 years of being in this body, I've also come to realize what I need. My persona is not that of a die-hard fitness fanatic. It's not how I release my emotions or frustrations (this is where my perpetually in shape boyfriend and I differ). My release comes through creative work for the most part. And yoga.
For people like me, and I'm sure many of you reading this, I need some extra motivation to help me workout. First of all, I realize that for yoga, I need to be in a class. I need a teacher leading me and I just thrive in that class environment. Doing yoga at home bores me. Trust me, I wish it didn't.
In addition to the yoga, I like going on walks or hiking. I've found that hiking is a much better workout, plus I love being outside. I love walking too for just getting out of the house.
I am curious about kickboxing after writing an article about a local boxing club. It looks like a really intense workout, which I could probably use!
But you're probably not going to see me doing burpees or push ups on my own.
Bottom line: I need to attend classes to keep me motivated with additional cardio every day.
The Pitfalls That Are Easy to Fall Into as You Age
This past weekend, my boyfriend and I were at the beach. I was already feeling not so hot because my period had just started (ugh). Plus I felt lumpy and gross, which is pretty accurate after essentially six plus months of no consistent workouts.
We happen to live right on the coast, just a mere five-minute walk away from the beach. At the beach, we are constantly surrounded by teenagers and girls in their early 20s roaming around in thongs. As a 36-year-old woman, well, what can I say? It sucks sometimes!
So anyway, this past weekend, there was a young girl with her boyfriend who decided to layout right next to us. She of course, had a perfect body, and of course, was wearing a little itty-bitty thong.
I was sure my boyfriend’s eyes were going directly to her perky butt under his sunglasses. Jeez, mine kept going there, reminding me that just a mere year and a half ago, I was frolicking around the beach in teeni thong at age 34. Yes, at 34!!!
It just made me realize how happy I was when I was doing yoga and consistently working out. Not because I had the confidence to wear a thong. No, because being fit just made me feel free. It made me feel at ease. I wasn't sitting at the beach feeling insecure.
My boyfriend and I also went to the beach yesterday where I continued to feel like a beached whale (periods suck). Yet again, another beautifully fit woman decides to plot down right near us, a young mother with two kids. I didn't think anything of it until I looked over and saw that she too was wearing an itty-bitty thong. This mother of two had the perfect body.
Great. Just great.
The truth is I don't want to be this negative person the older I get. This is not me and like anyone else, I hate feeling insecure. It's easy to look at someone younger or in better shape and say to yourself, I wish I wasn't getting older.
But it doesn't have to be this way!
The Next Step
I'm happy to say that I've decided to take the plunge and sign up for a membership at CorePower. I don't care that it costs a lot of money, it's worth the investment to me.
And I'm going to make myself go to their Yoga Sculpt class, which I've done a couple of times. It's a killer workout and puts me totally out of my comfort zone...which I think I need to do.
What are the Takeaways?
When it comes to finding motivation, everyone is different. For me, these are the top five:
1. Ultimately, I want to feel good physically, mentally and spiritually. When I don't work out, ultimately I feel like crap physically, feel foggy mentally, and not my best self spiritually.
2. My health. Wellness is super important to me and right now I'm missing a big piece of the puzzle. I can't wait to get back to feeling complete.
3. I like being naked, or half naked. I like frolicking on the beach without a care in the world. These are some of my favorite loves in life. And um, being in shape is a great motivator to do these things.
4. I have my boyfriend to keep up with. This is a little tongue in cheek, but there is some truth to it. My boyfriend and I connected through wellness, diet and yoga. He's much more into the fitness aspect than I am and has the perpetual in shape body to prove it. While we have our own hobbies, I want to do fun activities with him down the road and I don't want my lack of fitness to keep me from doing that.
5. It's fun. I enjoy yoga, and hiking. I feel great after a good workout.
What are your top five motivators for working out? If you've been in the depths of the workout dumps like I've been, take some time to write about how you feel. Chances are you'll realize what you need to do in order to gain that motivation to work out again.
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Disclaimer: All information on Salt and Ritual is based on my experience and is provided for educational and general informational purposes only. The topics discussed in this post may not be suitable for your particularly situation and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Always seek professional medical advice before trying anything you read online. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, and your individual results may vary.