I read a really eye opening post the other day;
Fitness Friday…on a Saturday // 005 – ciarralorren https://ciarralorren.com/2017/08/19/fitness-friday-on-a-saturday-005/
The blog discusses our unfortunate use of fitness as a punishment. We are all prone to the human condition of laziness from time to time. Over eating, drinking, eating junk food, or skipping out all together for a little while, sometimes these things just happen. Then we pick up and move on. There are numerous workouts out there that utilize guilt in their advertising and play to people’s weaknesses. I for one do not want to be motivated to workout because I’ve been made to feel bad about myself…right?
“Eat one too many slices of pie on thanksgiving? Well that was a huge mistake and you totally failed, but if you buy a [shake-weight?] problem solved! Easy as that.”
These phrases imply that not only is workout a punishment for unhealthy choices, but also serves as an excuse to indulge. As long as you do the advertised workout, the slip up is completely erased. So what does this imply? We can have these unhealthy habits because our fitness routine compensates for it? Don’t get me wrong it’s better than having bad habits and no fitness routine, but we don’t want to use fitness as a justifier.
Now on the topic of workout/life balance, we enter into the opposite spectrum and a whole new world of issues. Once we get into a fitness routine, it can be easy to become obsessed with it (check out my post on fitness obsessions). Media definitely contributes to this. Five or six workouts a week are demanded of us so frequently from multiple sources that we feel an overwhelming obligation to keep up. Followed closely by a debilitating feeling of guilt if we shirk off one or two workouts.
I have been SO guilty of this in the past, I fully admit it.
Not working out for an extended number of days (I’m being ambiguous on purpose) meant that when I returned from my fitness sabbatical it was with the most epic 2 hour cardio and strength killer burner. I would shut down that gym. How horrible is that? That we should compensate for lost time with a harsh and unwarranted blast of athleticism is certainly not conducive to any fitness goal. It certainly does not give working out a joyful place in my mind.
Anyways, this is all very serious and you should read her blog for yourself. The rest of this post is going to shift slightly to what I hope is a constructive and lighter subject than what I’ve discussed so far.
In short, we work out to feel (and yes, look) good about ourselves. If I wake up cranky, I know that I need to put my workout on the ‘sooner-rather-than-later’ portion of my to-do list for the day, and preferably before I talk to anyone so I don’t lose any friends or other valuable relationships.
For some of us, feeling good is closely related to esthetics. I’m not just talking about clothes, although I will be in a minute, but in everything. A beautiful garden, a romantic dinner, something about a really clean, nice smelling bathroom (anyone? no?), and yes, clothes.
So what do I do when I just don’t feel like working out, even though I know my body is telling me to? I surround myself with things that make me feel amazing. And here goes:
How to look forward to your workout:
- Create an ambiance
I am very, very sensitive to smells. Bad smells cause my stomach to turn and I literally run for the hills. On the other hand, amazing smells take me away to another place. If I close my eyes and smell coconuts and sea salt I can almost taste the ocean spray on my tongue. Having pleasant smells filling the air and something about the serene flickering light of the candles is so calming.
If you are not uber-sensitive to smells like me create an ambiance that speaks to your senses. If you like working out in front of a mirror, make it happen. If music is your thing spend some time making a playlist that exactly fits your mood in that moment. Make your space beautiful for you.
2. Choose your workout zone
Don’t just throw your mat down wherever as you try to get through your workout as fast as possible without thinking about it. You will probably have a terrible workout, and you will remember that terrible workout the next time you reach for your mat. Setting yourself up for a random, kind of crappy workout creates a mental habit of association. We want to remember our workouts as highlights of our day, not random, distracting, can’t-wait-for-it-to-be-over parts of our routine.
Make sure your space is clean and exactly where you want it to be. You choose where your workout is going to be, not the other way around! Check out my post on cleaning, particularly if you have a hairy pet.
3. Pick your outfit!
Some of us feel great when we look great. I for one, love looking put together and sophisticated. This goes for work, errands, happy hour, and FITNESS.
I am guilty of occasionally working out in my pajamas. It’s so much easier than scrunching tight spandex onto my tired morning-legs and squeezing my head through a sports bra. And then every 5 minutes of my workout I have to stop and adjust my Soffe shorts (they ride up..) or pull my over sized T-shirt off my face so I can see. Now I’m just left feeling silly that I thought I’d saved that two minutes prior to working out not getting dressed, as I have now wasted a total of 15 addressing my baggy shirt.
So get dressed, and wear something you love. Don’t sacrifice a great workout because you are bothered by something as silly as your clothes. Bad workout clothes can make a workout SO BAD, and good ones can make it SO GOOD. When you don’t have to worry about falling out of your top or uncomfortable elastic you can focus 100% on your workout. Wear something you look amazing in and every time you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror will be a tiny accomplishment.
What do you think? Are you guilty of hurrying through a random workout in your pajamas? Does setting your stage help you as much as it helps me?