I’ve shared my weight loss story about how I went from 240 pounds to 160 and am still losing weight. One component of that story was the health and fitness routine that I have adopted as a lifestyle. It isn’t always easy to get motivated to get moving, but when you are ready to get fit it comes down to mind over matter.
It’s a matter of self discipline.
I’ll be the first to admit that it is intimidating to go to a gym when you are overweight. You feel as if you are surrounded by fitness experts and athletes. The truth is that you are surrounded by people, just like yourself, who have taken the initiative to take control of their health and fitness.
Fitness Success: The first battle is in the mind
The mindset that I had to adopt, from day one in the gym was that I was not in competition with the pixies floating on the treadmill or the thick necked weight lifters who dominated the weights. In fact, I made a decision not to put my eyes on them at all.
There comes a time in life when you have to focus on yourself and your own goals. My challenge was and is me against me.
Fitness Success: Find your motivation
It wasn’t just fitness that was at stake. It was the ability to be agile and active again. It was my weight. It was my heart, blood pressure, and general health. All of these things combined to create an internal motivation that I could no longer ignore.
Fitness Success: Write down your goals
I wrote down the factors that motivated me to get to the gym and get back into fitness. When I don’t feel like going, I’m having a bad day, or I feel a little tired I go back to the list of reasons that I am working out.
As weight fell off, that no longer became a priority or motivating factor, but I was able to change to make a final push toward my weight and fitness goals. Once my size and fitness goals are reached I will re-asses my motivating factors and write them down again.
When your motivation is written down in front of you, it is hard to not to follow through with exercise or a trip to the gym.
Not only did I write down my motivation for fitness, but I also wrote down my fitness goals. Fitness goals are different from weight loss goals.
I had to decide what level of fitness I wanted to achieve. I started with small goals. My cardiovascular health wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t great either. I started out by setting time and heart rate goals for myself on the treadmill, elliptical, stair climber, and spin cycle.
Fitness Success: Keep moving forward
I started out small. I wanted to reach 30 minutes without feeling like I was going to pass out. When I reached 30 minutes, I bumped it to 45. Then, since I enjoy cardiovascular work so much, I moved it to an hour. Now I am able to do two to three hours, which has put me in shape for another of my goals.
Twenty years ago I was an avid runner. At 240 pounds I could roll faster than I could run. As I gained fitness success I was able to set new running goals. I’m now in shape to run a popular Labor Day 10K in Atlanta.
Another goal I wanted to achieve was to be able to bike to my friend’s house, which is 2 miles if you go one way and 3 if you go the other way. I made it to that goal and pushed it farther. I biked to my mom’s house, approximately 11 miles away. I had my husband pick me up because at the time I couldn’t bike back.
A little further into my fitness training I biked into the small town of Hiram, approximately 11 miles in the opposite direction from my mother’s home. I biked to the library, worked for an hour or two, then biked back.
Once I run the Labor Day 10K I want to shoot for 50 miles on the bike, and then prepare for a biathlon. I’ve written my goals down and will continue to work to achieve them.
Fitness Success: Share your fitness goals with friends and family
You don’t have to broadcast your fitness goals to everyone, but it is a good idea to share them with a trainer, your spouse, or friends. It helps you commit to training and will serve as additional motivation if when others help hold you accountable.
One great thing about sharing your fitness goals and success is that you may have family and friends join you in your quest for health and fitness. What’s better than a healthy, life-building activity with family or friends?