Wednesday, July 17, 2013

My Trick for Staying Motivated

Exercising is not necessarily something that comes to me naturally. Having lived for so many years with several conditions that cause sever chronic pain, it is often very difficult for me to move at all, let alone move enough to call it exercise.

But in recent years, as I've worked to take more control over my life and my conditions, I've made a serious effort to find things that I can do to help me get in shape. And I've developed a great relationship with my elliptical machine.

As with any relationship, though, you run the risk of having things get stale. You have to try to find ways to keep things interesting. And you have to find ways to keep yourself motivated to stay with it. So over the summer, as the temptation to "just take the day off" became an almost daily struggle, I had to find a way to keep myself from giving in (and giving up on something that I had worked so hard to build.)

Because you know how easy it is to talk yourself out of doing something that takes hard work. No arm-twisting needed. Just a flimsy excuse will do.

So I came up with a trick to help me ignore the voice of my sweat pants. As soon as I get up in the morning, I change out of my jammies and into my gym clothes. That way I know that as soon as I'm done getting the kids fed (and taking care of all the other morning responsibilities) I will go and work out.

This works for two reasons. 1) Gym clothes don't lie, and there's no hiding those bulging reminders of why I need to work out. And 2) If I start trying to weasel out of exercise, I remind myself that I'm already dressed for it, so I may as well do it. (It sounds silly, I know, but it works.)

Unplanned side note:
As I sat down with my coffee this morning, I had another unexpected reminder of why staying motivated to exercise is necessary and important. I wasn't feeling all that great today (the weather has been aggravating the pain quite a bit lately) so I chose a coffee mug that would make me smile. Because any little reason to smile helps.

I love this mug, and it does always make me smile. The only thing is, I usually hold my mug with my left hand, which means that this is the part that I see:

So there's another motivator. Get up and get exercising before I'm so "stuffed with fluff" that my big butt won't even fit through the door. :)


  1. Great post Melissa and immediately going from jammies to exercise wear helps me as well.

    Like you, I have a favorite mug which makes me smile and lifts my spirits (mine has flowers and bumblebees on it -- although Pooh's bum would be better for motivation).

    Thanks for posting!

  2. That is SUCH a great idea!! Honestly, I have no doubt that if I was dressed in gym clothes I would definitely be more motivated to actually exercise! Love this!-Ashley

    1. Yep, it really does work. *Almost* every time. ;)