Finding Your Perfect Workout If You've Never Been Active
My fitness activity growing up was a dismal.
I tried to play softball when I was 12 years old on a team of 10 year olds because I was that bad, and after one game I was like, "This is the worst decision I made this year." I made contact with the softball once all season.
Then in high school I gave drill team a shot and that was medium enjoyable. I like dancing but I did NOT like working out before dancing, the tacky routines we had to fake enjoying, or the ever so clever title the nice kids at school called the drill team: The Whore Core.
I'm a creative person so my energy was better spent in theater, acting classes, writing, debating (just for fun, with everyone, because life is short), and a lifetimes worth of hours spent on AOL/AIM/MySpace talking in chat rooms to complete strangers because life used to be simple and innocent until we found out everyone lies online.
Physical exertion was never a priority in my life nor did I feel I was missing something without it. As most teenage girls my age I wanted desperately to have the body of Britney Spears or the moves like Christina Aguilera (Dirrrty days), but dear God I wasn't going to start running or doing crunches or anything that made my body burn. The feeling is unnatural and from the devil!
(heat=hell where the devil lives)
So, how does one go from zero desire for physical activity her whole life to losing 20+ lbs and keeping it off for 3 years?
How do you find your secret sauce?
How do you keep it up and not let it fall by the way side within 2 weeks?
Why do other people make it look so easy but it's complicated and frustrating to you?
If this is your goal, resolution, or biggest challenge going into this new year, I want you to ask yourself these 3 questions to help you reach whatever a healthy lifestyle looks like TO YOU:
1. What activity did you enjoy doing as a kid?
Think back to when you were around 8-10 years old. Before we (girls) started caring about how we looked and we (boys) played sports for competition rather than fun. What activity, sport, outside game, school field day got you SUPER EXCITED? For me, I loved sprint relay races on field day. I wanted to show how fast I could run in one quick swoop and be done with it. None of this cross country running bullshit; one quick run was all I needed to feel strong, powerful, confident, and overall really happy. What did YOU, and your body, like to do when you were a kid? If you can find this answer quickly and go with what your memory serves up, this will make your fitness/health goals INCREDIBLY achievable! Not to mention you will STICK WITH IT.
2. Which fitness class or group exercise have you wanted to try but feel too afraid for whatever limiting belief you are keeping in your head?
That's the one you need to sign up for ASAP.
Literally, if a workout class just popped into your head, get online and book a freaking class and YOU ARE GOING TO IT BECAUSE THIS IS HOW CHANGE STARTS! You will find out if you really LOVE that workout that's been on your heart for as long as you can remember OR if that workout was put there to just shake you a bit (maybe even literally if it's a dance class) and get you out of your comfort zone because hey, maybe it's not for you but you know what? You did it and that's all that matters in this arena. For the longest time I wanted to try Ballet Beautiful or some type of ballet inspired workout for the sole reason being my heart wanted to try it. My body didn't even care but my heart was like, "This sounds cool and something I would like..." So I tried it. And love it. And you can read my 4 week recap here because I loved it so much I wanted others to see if it was for them also. My mom always wanted to try yoga but thought she wouldn't be ready because she wasn't flexible. Over many, many conversations telling her that's not something to fear going into the class she finally tried it AND THEN KEPT IT UP AND LOVED IT!
I'm telling you, answer this question quickly and just f-ing try it....
3. Do you want to workout at a gym with equipment and classes at your disposal OR would you feel more comfortable working out from home and creating your own little home gym, buying classes here and there?
Get super clear on this. Weigh the pro's and con's of both because this will determine how successful you will be moving forward. Personally, I like my home. I have absolutely zero excuses when it comes to getting a workout in because I have everything I need, at any time of day, in the privacy and comfort of my home. This, combined with a treadmill at my old apartment and a track walking distance, was how I lost 20lbs and maintained. I chose to take the excuse out of the whole equation because that's so easy to fall back on. I utilized what I had at home, bought cheap workout equipment from TJ Maxx and Marshalls, and subscribed to multiple online streaming based workout videos that update monthly and cost a FRACTION of a gym membership! If a gym is something you think would hold you more accountable, them commit to it and remember it's the motivation you needed to get OUT of your house and move your booty. If you would rather start out with a CrossFit, PureBarre, OrangeTheory, Camp Gladiator, or the plethora of cycling and yoga studios out there to get you moving, THEN DO IT. There is no set right or wrong plan or program for you. The "right" one is one that makes you happy when you finish. The "wrong" one is the one you hate going to.
If you start with these 3 questions you will absolutely succeed. You will be setting the foundation for your goals with these questions along with the discipline to come back to them at any time if you start to fall off, get discouraged, or feel like you're not making progress. These questions will continue to remind you, and your body, mind, and soul, what makes you feel the best when you ask your body, mind, and soul to move for you.
It's cliche but as I told you before, I have NEVER been an active person NOR did I EVER seek it out until I wanted to lose weight. The struggle was real finding my rhythm and is still ever changing which today makes this fun.
So you know what?
If I can freaking do it, YOU can freaking do it :)