Three Tips For Not Hating Your Workout.

It was a hot summer evening in a little town called Green Rock. All of us neighborhood kids were locked in a world class squirt gun battle that took place over about 3 hours and 6 different back yards. There were about 9 or 10 of us and there were no teams. It was truly every man for themselves. Elimination could come from anywhere! I remember running as hard as I could and leaping behind a dog house to take cover. I worked my way around my house to end up hiding beside my own front porch. I remember this because all this time, my head is dripping with sweat and my temples are pounding with each heartbeat. Was I in pain? Yes! Was I having the time of my life? Again-Yes!

I bring this up because I finished 2011 weighing in at more than 200 lbs. For my height that was too much. My healthy weight window is between 170 & 185. What really got me though was when I saw pictures from one of our family reunions. It was in the middle of the summer and we were at a lake. I saw myself in those pictures and did not like what I saw. It was my wake up call.

Badge photo from 2011

Badge photo from 2011

In December of 2011 we talked about buyout our own elliptical machine as our Christmas present to each other. While we were considering this and checking out different machines, a local fitness center ran a deal where you could join for $10/month. We went on a walk through and looked at all the available equipment. We decided that rather than buy an elliptical, we would just rent several for $10/month.

I had a slow start. The truth is that I didn’t like pushing my body. My body didn’t seem to like it either. I compare it to drilling with a dull bit. It’s hard, noisy, generates a lot of heat and yielded slow progress. I began to understand that if I was going to get there, I needed to stay with it. I made an agreement with myself. I would show up. My total commitment was -Just walk in the door. If at that point I turn around and go home, I kept my commitment. I knew that once there, I would work out because there was nothing else to do but that. I just wanted to make sure that I liked it enough to keep it up.

I would walk on a treadmill for 15 minutes and then do the elliptical for 15 minutes because I was trying figure out how I could get the best results, and I was trying not to get bored.

One day, a friend of mine from Bible school was there and we ended up next to each other on the elliptical machines. We began to talk and the next thing I knew, an hour had gone by and I didn’t even notice it. Not only that, but I had burned an amazing amount of calories and had gone more than 6 miles. As I was thinking about this, I remembered that epic squirt gun battle we had when I was in the fourth grade.

This brought me to the conclusion that my body will do what it’s told. The problem is with my mind. When my mind was distracted by a good conversation, or even play, my body would just carry on doing what it was told to do. My goal became clear. I needed to find a way to mentally make friends with the workout.

  1. The first thing I needed to do was set my goal. I wanted to lose 30 lbs. Then I began to work backwards from the goal. What did I need to do in order to reach it. That would depend on when I wanted to reach it. Then – how can I break this into manageable chunks? I decided that a pound a week was a good metric. I figured I could do that and not end up hating it.
  2. I have come to really like running on the elliptical machine. Mainly because I can do it with my eyes closed. It’s easier to daydream and distract yourself with your eyes closed. With the elliptical, you are hanging on with your hands. Running on a treadmill becomes awkward when you are trying to run and hang on at the same time. It’s important to be able to hang on when you are running with your eyes closed so you don’t get vertigo, lose your balance and invade the personal space of the person running next to you.

    Recent photo at the gym

    Last week at the gym

  3. I am also a big fan of the right playlist. I have a playlist on my phone that’s just called “Running”. I have chosen those songs based on tempo and energy. I find that I don’t actually listen to the songs as much as I just use them as a rhythm to keep up with my pace.  I also sometimes like to listen to good Bible messages and audio books.

Using just these few hacks have made the difference in me staying with it and ultimately begin enjoying my time at the gym.  There are many other things to consider when trying to get healthy and lose weight.  This post is mostly focused on ways to not hate the work-out.

What sorts of things do you do to keep yourself moving forward?  Join the conversation by leaving a comment.

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2 Responses to Three Tips For Not Hating Your Workout.

  1. Jade says:

    I look at the positive of how much energy I will have and good it feels to get the workout in after I accomplish it!! It makes it easier instead of dreading it!!! 🙂

  2. Art says:

    That’s true! I often say Happiness is being done! I get disappointed in myself sometimes when I don’t get my workout in, and I always feel better when it’s over.

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