I don’t know about you, but I have been SERIOUSLY slacking with my exercise routine lately.
It started when we were in the trenches of cold and flu season, and has been spiralling out of control ever since, and when I accidentally caught a glimpse of myself in a full-length mirror while on a date with my husband on Saturday night (during which I enjoyed a little too much bubbly and the most decadent brownie I’ve ever eaten in my entire life), I had the shock of my life.
What the heck happened to me??!
The thing is, I’ve never been an overly big girl, but when I slack off my exercise routine for more than a couple of weeks, I immediately start seeing dimples in places I really shouldn’t be seeing dimples.
And then I started to feel depressed.
And the more depressed I feel, the more I eat.
And the more I eat, the more dimples I get.
You see how this becomes a vicious circle, right?
But with summer on its way and a closet full of cute maxi dresses and capri pants I can no longer squeeze into, I’m on a mission to get my body back and I’ve put together a list of 8 tricks to help you AND me get back into a regular exercise routine so we can look amazing in time for swimsuit season.
1. Stop wearing comfortable clothes around the house
I love nothing more than lounging around in a pair of stretchy, bum-hugging yoga pants every single day, but I always find that I’m less likely to gorge on my beloved Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal if I’m wearing a pair of skinny jeans…especially when I’m also wearing a slightly-too-tight-for-me sweater that draws attention to my growing muffin top.
2. Tape a picture of yourself to your fridge and cupboards
There’s nothing more powerful than having a picture of a hotter, trimmer version of yourself staring at you every time you reach for the Twinkies. Don’t have a drool-worthy photo of yourself? No problem. Buy a health magazine, find someone else who has the body of your dreams, cut her photo out, replace her face with yours, and you now have one of the biggest weight loss motivators in the entire world at your fingertips!
3. Set a realistic weight loss goal
Whether you want to shed those last pesky pounds of baby weight or squeeze into that new pair of skinny jeans, write your goal down on a Post-it note and stick it somewhere you’ll be sure to see it over and over and over again. Be sure to make it realistic so you don’t get discouraged, and each time you feel like quitting, stare at your goal until you find the motivation to keep going.
4. Keep a food journal
Have you ever done this? I do it every time I fall off track with my weight loss goals, and I’m always embarrassed and disgusted when I see how many calories I can consume on a daily basis. I make it a point to maintain a food journal for the first few weeks of a new exercise routine as I find it keeps me from consuming a million calories as I dial up my exercise schedule.
5. Team up with a friend
I don’t know about you, but I’m not one for organized fun, so the whole notion of having a gym buddy really doesn’t appeal to me. But when 2 of my college roommates asked if we could compare gym notes to keep each other motivated to look hot by bikini season, I was all over it. And you know what? It feels pretty awesome that I’m the ONLY ONE who made it to the gym in the last 5 days! The trick is to find a way to make yourself accountable for your goals, even if it makes you a bit uncomfortable.
6. Download some good tunes
Nothing gets me pumped more than listening to some loud, upbeat, blood-pumping songs while I’m sweating at the gym, so I’ve started to reward myself with a new iTunes download for every 5 workouts I do, and it’s keeping me motivated. Here are 40 of my favorite workout songs!
7. Keep your workout fresh
For a long time, I was doing the same routine every single time I went to the gym, and I found it made the time drag on forever and ever. Also? My weight loss efforts started to plateau. So now I switch it up a bit. One day I’ll run sprints, the next I’ll do strength training, the day after that I’ll go for an 8K run, and every once in a while I’ll hop into a class for some good ‘ole group fitness fun!
8. Reward yourself
I like to set short-term goals around calories (if I make it to the gym 3 times in a week, I get an extra glass of wine on Friday and Saturday nights) and long-term goals around clothes (if I squeeze back into those capris, I’m treating myself to a hot pair of wedge heels), but you can do whatever works for you. Just make sure to keep your rewards motivating so you have something to work towards. And don’t cheat!
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