Hello fresh faces! Before we get started on this week’s topic, I wanted to address a concern that was expressed in last week’s comments. I’d said that my initial motivation for getting back to the gym last year was wearing a bikini in front of throngs of drunk lesbians, and one or two readers felt that in saying so, I was perpetuating those idiotic beauty standards we all despise so much. Even though I think most everyone understood my point and the underlying and overt message of Get Fit, I still wanted to get a few things on the record.
This column is in no way supposed to objectify women or try to make anyone fit into the societal and heteronormative ideals of beauty. In my first post, I did not, in any way, tell women they had to look a certain way — I didn’t say that anyone needed a thinner body or six-pack abs. I just said “look good,” which means different things to different people, and falls in line with our constant message of You Do You. And anyway, looking really good is actually just a side effect of feeling even better.
If anything, what I want to do is push people to gain muscle and endurance, to make them feel strong rather than runway model waifish. This is about reaching your own personal goals. It’s here to help us all get motivated to work out, feel better, and eat healthier. The beauty of fitness and health for me is one’s ability to set goals and work toward them. It’s finding your inner strength to do the things that you set your mind to, and living your life with integrity because you fucking did exactly what you said you would.
Plus, the stronger you are, the easier it’ll be to toss hot girls around. BAM!
This is meant to be a safe space for people who are hoping to get in shape for themselves. I understand that everyone has a different approach to fitness and health and I hope that I can cover as many different topics as possible. Please give this column time to unfold. Keep using the comment section to give your fellow straddlers tips and pointers, to ask questions, and to suggest topics that you want to know more about. I want us all to be allowed to be honest about our health goals without worrying about offending someone. Work under the assumption that we support you and your rights and the value system that Autostraddle has worked so hard to create. And now, on with the show!
So you’ve been working out for the past few days and it’s going really well!
Except for that day you didn’t run. OH! And those four days you forgot to eat fruits and vegetables. Seriously though, it’s hard to continue to stay motivated when you’re still getting back into the swing of things. Here are a couple tips to help you keep your head in the game!
Staying Motivated Tip #1:
Be Like Nike and Just Do It.
This one is so simple yet the hardest one for people to stick to. Just Do It. For me, working out earlier in the day is better because as the day goes on I will have more time to think of a reason not to hit the gym or go running. My good friend said that once she gets home from work she puts on her running shorts and sneakers IMMEDIATELY so she would have no excuse to not go running. It’s a simple psychological trick that gets your mind in the and it works like a charm. So stop making excuses and just do it!
Staying Motivated Tip #2:
Give It Time.
In general, it takes at least two weeks to see any kind of changes in your body from working out. Clearly every body will differ and individual results will vary depending on a lot of factors. If you’re looking at yourself in the mirror and feeling disappointed after your first week of working out, DON’T GIVE UP. Trust me on this one, just keep hitting the pavement and pumping that iron, wait another week. Whatever you do, do not get discouraged.
Staying Motivated Tip #3:
Join a Team!
Seriously, there are women’s and co-ed teams of all sorts probably really close to you. If there aren’t tons of team options, there’s almost definitely a running team. Runners have pack mentalities and love to have a new buddy to share their passion with. OR you can start your own league/team! It’s so easy to get a local middle school to lend out their gym once a week on Tuesday nights for your league dodgeball tournaments. Promise.
Staying Motivated Tip #4:
Don’t Weigh Yourself.
I am not kidding. Who cares what that dumb scale says anyway. He don’t know me! He doesn’t know how tall you are, or how your eyes sparkle when you laugh, or how soft and shiny your hair is. Don’t you dare listen to his lies. Also, your body weight is rarely a good indicator of your health or fitness level and even your BMI isn’t always a useful number. Although it’s easier to sell magazines and diet plans when there are “rules,” only you know your body and how it reacts to your diet and exercise habits.
What you should be aiming for is how you feel. How high is your energy level? How do your jeans fit? Once they start to loosen — or fit tighter in all the right places — then you can high five yourself in the mirror (I can’t be the only one who does that…).
So how have things been going for you? Did you start a new fitness routine last week? Have you stayed motivated in the face of occasional laziness? What’s your favorite way to cook kale? I think next week we’re gonna talk about nutrition!
Thumbnail image model: Collins