So Week 1 of my joyous journey to get healthy again is officially over. And guess what, guys? It’s the literal worst. Well, that’s not entirely fair. I’m sure there are a lot worse things out there than the fact that I can’t eat potato chips and that I have to start going to the gym every day again, like poverty or Justin Bieber. But still, just let me have my dramatic moment, okay?
Here’s the thing: I’ve been through this whole gung-ho, “Gonna get healthy and lose weight and get back on track” thing before. It was between my freshman and sophomore years of college, after I had put on while I’ll VERY generously call the Freshman 15, because honestly it was probably somewhere around the Freshman 25. I was working as a summer camp counselor, so the world was my oyster after 4:15 pm when I got home. I joined Weight Watchers (which, if you’re just starting out or if you find you need structure for your dieting purposes, I highly recommend), booked a summer of sessions with the sassiest and most ass-kicking Danish trainer on the planet, and started hitting the gym (or doing some kind of physical activity) six days a week. I remember it being easy, albeit painful, I remember feeling great after every workout, and I remember loving the results before the weight and laziness started to creep back in. The problem? I remember all the good, and none of the bad. I had completely forgotten how hard it is to get started again.
The whole eating healthier thing actually isn’t a problem for me. It’s easy enough to just stop eating junk and make healthy meals for myself. It’s the whole “getting my lazy ass off the couch” thing that’s the real kicker. I’m just going to be honest with you, because I feel like we’re all friends here: I went to the gym a whopping total of one time this week. Granted, I did an ab workout the day after, but it was at home and I probably didn’t go for it as hard as I should have.
So, it got me thinking: What’s different this time around? Well, work, for one thing: A summer job’s got NOTHING on full-time work, and since I’m a writer, I don’t always have normal 9-to-5 hours. I’m usually mentally exhausted by the time I’m done, and even though there are days where I work from home in my gym clothes in an attempt to convince myself that I’m ready and rarin’ to work out, it doesn’t always compute.
So, this week, it’s all about motivation. I’ve already gotten the healthy eating down, and now it’s time to figure out what I need to do to keep a steady exercise regimen. I was initially considering going the Mindy Kaling route:
But then I thought, “Well, that’d be weird to have to explain to people when they ask me how I can manage to get myself to the gym every day.” So maybe I won’t do that.
Here are some of the more realistic things I’ve decided to do:
1. Pack a gym bag before work. I’ve found that, if I bring a bag full of my gym clothes to the office with me, I’ll automatically go to the gym afterward, because I didn’t just lug all of that crap around for nothin’.
2. Put it on my calendar. I don’t know about you, but I personally don’t find anything more annoying than when my Google calendar constantly reminds me to do things. If I put it in my phone, it’ll usually irritate me enough that I’ll just get up and go, even if it’s for a little while. You know, just to appease technology.
3. Work in my gym clothes. I work from home a few times a week, which means I have the freedom to work in whatever clothing I want. Instead of taking the no-pants route of yore, I’ve started working in my gym attire so that there’s no changing that needs to be done between finishing my work and leaving the apartment. Keeping things quick and simple has been the key to getting me to do things in the past, so I’m hoping this will work in the long run.
4. Take classes. I don’t know about you, but if I’ve reserved a class somewhere and there’s a cancellation fee, there’s no way I’m going to pay it just to stay home for another hour. Plus, the classes give you a finite workout time, so you won’t feel like you’ve done too much or too little when you just go to the gym on your own.
5. Find a workout buddy. So I haven’t actually done this yet, mostly because I’ve never been a big fan of working out with other people. You might be thinking that, if that’s the case, why would I even want to find a buddy in the first place? Because #accountability, that’s why. That’s part of the reason I’ve decided to start this column. If you have someone who’s going with you to exercise and watching you do it, you know you’ll work ten times harder. Unless you’re me and you only go to the gym once a week even though there are random Internet-goers following your exercise regimen.
So, as far as goals for next week, I guess I’m just hoping that I’ll go to the gym more than once? I’m not a patient person, and I’ve found that the only way I can get results at a rate that’s even remotely close to what I want is to eat healthy and work out like a beast, so consider me in #BeastMode, y’all. Oh, and if any of you have any motivation tips and tricks you’d like to share with the class, post them in the comments!
Until next week, mah peeps.