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Looking for alternate methods of motivation in regards to working out/eating healthy. I follow a vegan diet, so for the most part I eat healthy. Unfortunately my pre-vegan weakness was oreos and ice cream. Stores here sell really good non-dairy ice cream and then there is the whole oreos are vegan thing. Otherwise I eat healthy. I find it hard to get to the gym or even work out at home. I have a sit-down job also. Thinking "you're fat and you don't want to be" or simply "bikini" motivates me a little but not enough. I just want to be as physically confident as I am mentally. Tips, advice, motivation would all be appreciated!
 

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Maybe try focusing on how you want to feel, rather than how you want to look, if that's not working. I know when I'm exercising regularly and eating well, I feel better. I have more energy, I sleep better, and I feel stronger and more balanced. That's pretty good motivation, if I remember to focus on it.
 

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^^^ Good advice! Another thing you might try is to meditate on your core values of compassion and health.
 

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I find that the best motivation for working out is... well... working out.

Seriously, though, if I work out every day for ten days, I'm probably going to work out for the eleventh, too. If I work out for two days and quit, it's hard to summon the motivation again later. So I guess just stick it out for a few days and see if that helps?

I also hang up clothes in very visible spaces that I want to fit into.
 

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Finding the motivation to actually go and exercise is always a bit harder than just knowing you would like to because of physical and/or emotional reasons. I am not perfect with my exercising now, but I used to really struggle with motivating myself. I think a lot of that had to do with when I had put on quite a bit of weight after I quit smoking... luckily I never started smoking again, because to me it was worth the extra weight gain, but I would feel discouraged when I'd be doing a sit up and saw the flab on my stomach.

Anyway, a couple of the things that really has helped me are these (hopefully some of these can maybe help you too!
)):

* First, I told myself "If I exercise consistently, I WILL slowly get in better shape and feel better physically and emotionally. If I don't exercise, that will not happen." Starting is the hardest part, and if you can get past the first few weeks, then it should become enjoyable to a certain degree.

* Another thing that keeps me actually WANTING to exercise (and this is probably one of the main things that motivates me) and actually makes me look forward to it is to find things that I actually enjoy doing. I remember last summer I did p90x and although it probably got me slightly faster results, I would often dread waking up and having to do 1 to 1 1/2 hours of listening to Tony Horton (I love him, but he can get tiresome when you hear him every singggggle day haha). I started a new work out schedule this year, and I sat down one day for a bit with my iCalendar up and wrote down all the things that I enjoy doing. Those turned out to be: Hula Hoop Work Out, Belly Dancing, Pilates, Yoga, occasional interval training and stretching/meditating on my rest days. I then made up a non-rigid workout schedule and added it into my iCal. The good thing is though, if my knees are sore or my arms, I can switch out a scheduled work out for another, and because I enjoy all the things in my schedule, I'll never really hate exercising. If I feel a little lethargic in the morning and lazy, I will just think about how good I will feel after, or that 1 minute into exercising I will get into it.

I don't really work out for a crazy amount of time either, but sometimes I go for longer. For example, my schedule for Wednesday is Hula Hooping & Pilates - The Pilates is 20 minutes and the Hooping is around 35, so it doesn't eat into my day and it makes me feel soooo good!

Are you into dance or anything like that? One of the good things about Hula hooping and Belly Dance is that I've been learning to hoop dance and I've been Tribal Belly dancing for a few years so it's just extra practice with the added bonus of getting in shape! Perhaps look for a dvd that is a dance work out that you're interested in? Also, yeah... perhaps you don't need to go to the gym and can do it in your own home. I haven't been to the gym in a few years and I can get just as good a work out if not better when I'm at home.

* Third thing (I realize I'm talking too much so I'll just write one more thing unless you want me to ramble further hehe) is that I kept a private tumblr blog in the beginning of getting in shape again (tumblr just because it's so easy to setup and use) and I would track my progress and create small little goals for myself, like being able to touch my hands flat on the floor when my legs are together and straight. That way, it keeps me motivated and keeps track of what I've been doing each day. Also, in my iCal, after I do a work out listed I'll write "DONE" next to it, and if I needed a rest day for whatever reason, i'll write "REST".

And yes, I agree with Clarita - Of course physical results are important, but if you base it on how it'll improve your life mentally, that might take a load off since mental relief and improvement will probably come before the physical.

Okie
Hope some of that was at all helpful

Cheers,
--Clare
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Quote:
Maybe try focusing on how you want to feel, rather than how you want to look, if that's not working. I know when I'm exercising regularly and eating well, I feel better. I have more energy, I sleep better, and I feel stronger and more balanced. That's pretty good motivation, if I remember to focus on it.
Great advice! Poppy is right as well


Quote:
I find that the best motivation for working out is... well... working out.

Seriously, though, if I work out every day for ten days, I'm probably going to work out for the eleventh, too. If I work out for two days and quit, it's hard to summon the motivation again later. So I guess just stick it out for a few days and see if that helps?

I also hang up clothes in very visible spaces that I want to fit into.
That could also help, having a visual goal to look forward to. Also, knowing the health risks involved in being unhealthy as you age is a very different motivation. Almost a scare, tactic, but motivational in and of itself.

Quote:
Finding the motivation to actually go and exercise is always a bit harder than just knowing you would like to because of physical and/or emotional reasons. I am not perfect with my exercising now, but I used to really struggle with motivating myself. I think a lot of that had to do with when I had put on quite a bit of weight after I quit smoking... luckily I never started smoking again, because to me it was worth the extra weight gain, but I would feel discouraged when I'd be doing a sit up and saw the flab on my stomach.

Anyway, a couple of the things that really has helped me are these (hopefully some of these can maybe help you too! )):

* First, I told myself "If I exercise consistently, I WILL slowly get in better shape and feel better physically and emotionally. If I don't exercise, that will not happen." Starting is the hardest part, and if you can get past the first few weeks, then it should become enjoyable to a certain degree.

* Another thing that keeps me actually WANTING to exercise (and this is probably one of the main things that motivates me) and actually makes me look forward to it is to find things that I actually enjoy doing. I remember last summer I did p90x and although it probably got me slightly faster results, I would often dread waking up and having to do 1 to 1 1/2 hours of listening to Tony Horton (I love him, but he can get tiresome when you hear him every singggggle day haha). I started a new work out schedule this year, and I sat down one day for a bit with my iCalendar up and wrote down all the things that I enjoy doing. Those turned out to be: Hula Hoop Work Out, Belly Dancing, Pilates, Yoga, occasional interval training and stretching/meditating on my rest days. I then made up a non-rigid workout schedule and added it into my iCal. The good thing is though, if my knees are sore or my arms, I can switch out a scheduled work out for another, and because I enjoy all the things in my schedule, I'll never really hate exercising. If I feel a little lethargic in the morning and lazy, I will just think about how good I will feel after, or that 1 minute into exercising I will get into it.

I don't really work out for a crazy amount of time either, but sometimes I go for longer. For example, my schedule for Wednesday is Hula Hooping & Pilates - The Pilates is 20 minutes and the Hooping is around 35, so it doesn't eat into my day and it makes me feel soooo good!

Are you into dance or anything like that? One of the good things about Hula hooping and Belly Dance is that I've been learning to hoop dance and I've been Tribal Belly dancing for a few years so it's just extra practice with the added bonus of getting in shape! Perhaps look for a dvd that is a dance work out that you're interested in? Also, yeah... perhaps you don't need to go to the gym and can do it in your own home. I haven't been to the gym in a few years and I can get just as good a work out if not better when I'm at home.

* Third thing (I realize I'm talking too much so I'll just write one more thing unless you want me to ramble further hehe) is that I kept a private tumblr blog in the beginning of getting in shape again (tumblr just because it's so easy to setup and use) and I would track my progress and create small little goals for myself, like being able to touch my hands flat on the floor when my legs are together and straight. That way, it keeps me motivated and keeps track of what I've been doing each day. Also, in my iCal, after I do a work out listed I'll write "DONE" next to it, and if I needed a rest day for whatever reason, i'll write "REST".

And yes, I agree with Clarita - Of course physical results are important, but if you base it on how it'll improve your life mentally, that might take a load off since mental relief and improvement will probably come before the physical.

Okie Hope some of that was at all helpful

Cheers,
--Clare
Clare, your enthusiasm alone is motivational! And you advice is great too! I like your ideas of different ways to workout so that it doesn't feel so much like a chore. I don't really "hate" working out, but its not something I enjoy either. Not that many people do. I want to be healthy, happy, and confident. And I know that feeling good about myself on the outside will just emphasis how confident I am with the person that I am. That should be motivation, but to be blunt, I am lazy. I just don't motivate myself to workout, and I want to so so so bad! I want to lose weight, tone up, and increase my confidence more than anything!! This advice is great and I think I will try to follow all of it until I find exactly what works for me.
 

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do you have a friend, roomie or loved one who can join you in working out?

i find motivation from people and groups also when you set a date with someone to do an activity you are more likely to keep it bc someone else is planning on it too.

signing up at a gym or for some fitness classes might help too. if you are paying to work out you might be inspired not to waste your money.
 

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I think it helps to have an outlet. Trying to get in shape when the bulk of your day is centered around things that aren't physical is like living in China and trying to find motivation to learn to speak Inuit, knowing that you are unlikely to ever come across anyone that also speaks it.

Whether you have something you have to do which is physical, such as a work or volunteer work obligation, a sport you take part in, or some big excursion you have planned (my girlfriend and I are heading to Nepal for some rough hiking and rafting once the baby is old enough for us to be able to get away with it
), it is much easier to stay in the habit if there is an end purpose to it.
 

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I know myself, and I am super goal-oriented. I create personal challenges for myself.
The key is to set realistic, reachable goals in order to make progress!

For example, if you don't exercise at all, set a goal of exercising intentionally for 30 minutes, three times per week. Once you have achieved that for a while, amp it up, either longer time, or more frequently, or both. When you are working out, set some achievable goals as well. So if you are working on learning to run, aim for a continuous jog of 1 minute, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, 10 minutes, etc... and work up from there. You can challenge yourself with weights, reps, duration, distance, etc... make it a game!!

That's how I do it. I make it fun. I log my food in Fitday, making it a goal to reach X number of fruits and veggies and calories and whatnot, and I set goals for myself to work out and try to reach personal milestones during workouts.

It's working for me - hope it motivates you, too!
 

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Each morning ask yourself:

What kind of person do I want to be?

What WILL I do TODAY to move toward becoming that person?

How will I feel WHEN I become that person?

What will happen IF I don't?
 

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I know this thread is a bit older but i wanted to chuck in another suggestion: find some exercise form that you can get really pumped about. It'll change your life.

For me, that exercise is dance. I picked up oriental dance after a life of being the chubby, bullied girl with glasses who was bad at sports. Well, what do you know? I picked up the basics fast and am devouring instructional DVDs, scholarly articles on the ethnic origins of certain folkloric dances, forum posts concerning performing etiquette and costuming no-nos and immersing myself daily in classical Arabic music.

It's not a cardio workout, but the only reason I ever feel motivated to really do other exercise is thinking, "Stronger glutes will give me bigger, more controlled hip bumps and my mayas would be so much more fluid if I worked on my obliques..." All exercise has become a means to the end of improving my dance to me, and it works very well as a motivation. I dance all day long, just practicing glute squeezes or belly rolls on the bus under my big winter coat or shimmying while cooking or going down the hall. I certainly get my half hour of exercise daily, it's just divided up into small, barely-noticable chunks. It also makes me feel good and veeeeery positive about my body. (Bellydance is very inclusive to different body types.)

In conclusion: I think it's the best if you find "your" exercise (be it dance or martial arts or aquatic sports or...) that you dedicate yourself to because it speaks to your heart, and treating other stuff (like gym maybe) as supportive: not necessarily the most fun but leading to a definite goal that you will enjoy in your chosen dedication.
 

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Resurrecting this thread so as to avoid thread redundancy.


Every so often, I find myself feeling totally pumped up (pun intended) to get in shape. Not just with exercise, but also with healthier eating and stress reduction. Wish I could say this was one of those times, but even though restarting a healthy lifestyle regimen has been on my mind and I've recently rededicated myself to regular exercise, I'm not quite feeling the motivation.

However, I did get myself an iPod Shuffle yesterday (first Apple purchase!) to make exercise more fun. Also wanting to immerse myself in things that remind me of the benefits of healthy living - books, podcasts, etc. Maybe these suggestions will help you as well!
 

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Lifting stuff is fun indeed, both in the sense that you can see your body change as well as how much you can lift, but it's also fun in general for me.
 

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Not sure if this is even an issue for the original poster or not, but I read somewhere that oreos aren't really vegan (kraft uses multiple sugar companies and some do use bone marrow to process the sugar), I think I have posted about it in the past and started world war three. So everyone else please don't start an argument / debate about it again. I'm just trying to help.
 
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