Many women tell me they are not motivated to exercise, they do not want to sweat or they are too busy. Exercise is an important tool to end overeating. I spent some time with Denise Rhyne, coach at Kaia F.I.T.in Roseville. I asked her the questions I hear from so many women who feel overwhelmed with having to add exercise onto their already full plate. Denise is extremely passionate about fitness, but understands the reality of our daily lives. Denise advises us to get away from letting the number on the scale dictate our level of success, instead focus on “strong is the new skinny.” Here are her answers to the questions I often hear:
How does someone who has never worked out much get started?
- First and foremost, start slowly and stay in the “now”. Stay away from the negative thoughts that say, “I shouldn’t have let myself get so out of shape”, “If only I’d started 3 years ago,” etc. Allow yourself to be exactly where you are with starting over or just starting your program.
- Commit to your workouts for at least 21 days or 3-4 weeks in order to create a habit of activity.
- Choose a venue or environment that feels comfortable to you, like if you know you love to be outdoors, pick an outdoor venue. If you know you love to do a variety of different exercises both indoors and outdoors, pick a place that will offer you those options.
- Schedule your workout time (days, times and locations) on your calendar for at least 21 days.
- Be patient and keep your expectations realistic, just starting is good.
- Enjoy the process and don’t give up. Too many times we set unrealistic expectations and look at a workout program as a “start to finish” event. Instead, look at your health and workouts as a long term life style.
There do not seem to be enough hours in the day- how do you recommend someone find time to work out?
- Just as we can all find extra money per month by eliminating even the smallest items, we can find extra time by eliminating time wasters or time spent doing things for everyone else that is not absolutely necessary.
- Look at the time slots in your schedule that you can control and identify an appointment, errand, commitment you’ve made that you can delegate, or eliminate. Get up early while everyone is asleep or go right after work.
- Although finding this time may initially be an adjustment and a challenging one at that for you and others in your family or circle, 99.9% of the time, everyone adjusts quite well and you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to keep that time to yourself!
So many women go to bed with the intention to work out the next day, but they wake up unmotivated. What are some tips to get motivated?
- Ultimately, we all want to feel and look healthy, have more energy, sleep better, have clearer eyes and skin. It is proven that a healthy lifestyle including exercise and clean eating contribute to feeling and looking healthy.
- Think about why you made the initial decision to begin your workout program; remind yourself of your “why.” Your own “why” is a deeper reason than wanting to lose weight. An example of someone’s “why” would be “I want to lose weight so that I can play and move with my kids at the park rather than sit on the bench because I am so uncomfortable getting up and down carrying this extra weight” or “I want to lower my cholesterol or blood pressure to prevent any risk of health issues that are prevalent in my family, so that I am around to see my kids graduate from high school, college”
- If you have not really identified your “why”, now is the time to do this. Finding and remembering the real reason you want to stay on your journey to health and fitness is key to staying on your path.
People start a diet program and end up losing weight in the beginning but then plateau and can’t seem to lose the rest. They get frustrated and stop working out.
- With so much information, hype and focus on losing weight and being thin, it’s easy to get caught up in the numbers and to lose track of the real and individual meaning of health and fitness for each of us.
- The good news is that solely focusing on the number on the scale is not as important as how strong and fit you feel.
- Strong is in. Feeling healthy and vibrant is in. Looking and feeling fit is in.
- A true plateau is four weeks of no body fat lost, no inches lost AND no weight loss. Chances are, when we think we’ve hit a plateau, we really haven’t. If in fact you have experienced no changes in any of the 3, you’re not at a complete dead end. This is a great opportunity to re-evaluate and get extra honest with you, with your nutrition and exercise habits.
- How are your meal and snack portions?
- How frequently are you eating?
- What are you eating?
- Are you consistent with your workouts? Are you mixing up your workout regime so that your muscles and mind are “confused” and are not used to the same old training regime? “When you change your workout routine frequently, you are asking your body to continuously adapt and to be challenged, act and react in different ways to do what you’re asking it to do. With the constantly changing movement of your muscles, your metabolism will naturally increase.”
- A good exercise to help reset yourself is to journal your food and workouts for at least 3 days. 99% of the time you will find that your portions are a bit larger than they should be or you are waiting too long in between meals to eat or those “just this time” less than optimal food choices are occurring more frequently than you realized. You may also realize that your workouts have been more sporadic than you thought.
- Keep track, change it up and keep going!
Gyms can be intimidating- what should someone look for in deciding where to work out?
- First impressions are always key and are also most always accurate. When you call or drop in to check out a gym or workout facility, you want to feel immediately and genuinely “invited” or welcome. If the feeling you get from your first encounter does not sit well with you, move on.
- Don’t be afraid to ask any and all questions that you have. You workout program is about you.
- With that said, don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. If you find a workout place where you love everything you see and hear but there are one or two items that are not on your “perfect gym list”, re-evaluate whether or not those items are excuses or real requirements. An example might be, if one of your requirements is that the workout area’s temperature is like that of a doctor’s office waiting room and the facility you’ve found is not as cool, but you love everything else about the facility and you have no medical conditions that require you to be in a certain temperature.
Get out of that temperature comfort zone and try something new! You will be pleasantly surprised at how quickly this requirement becomes unimportant to you and that is really was an excuse!
If you are struggling to put exercise as part of your lifestyle, I think Denise makes some great suggestions. I have personally used her suggestions to help me remain motivated. Thinking more about fitness as a goal and less about weight loss can be a great contribution to overall success. Hope to see you at the gym soon!
Kim McLaughlin, MA is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who specializes in helping people with eating issues and eating disorders. If you are concerned that about overeating, weight or your use of food in general please contact her here. Sign up for her FREE Top Tips to End Emotional Eating here. Check out her website at www.FeedYourSoulTherapy.com.