I have always hated working out. Back in junior high, my parents made me do one sport a year. I was fine with show choir and student council, but no - I needed to “try things.” The first year I chose track and hated it so much that I formed my own society within it for kids in a similar position. It was called H.A.T. (Hating American Track). We had hats. It was pretty clever for a 7th grader, if I do say so myself. The next year I tried volleyball, and that, while not quite as disastrous, was also a failure. Eventually, they let me give it up and stick to things I was actually good at: drama, music, and all things academic.
So from high school up until a couple of years ago, I lived a sedentary life. I’m naturally thin, I don’t like sweat, and workout clothes are not my style, so I didn’t have much motivation to be moving. It wasn’t until I started taking yoga classes after my undergrad that I really got into the groove of things for the first time. And let me tell you - I learned VERY quickly that being thin was not the same as being fit or being healthy.
But what was a girl to do? I didn’t want to, like, die, and I knew eventually my lucky metabolism would wear out. I’ve since slowed down on the yoga and started going to the proper gym - treadmills, weights, and all. I hate it. Like, really, really, REALLY hate it. But alas, it must be done.
Because of this deep-rooted loathing, I’ve had to come up with ways to motivate myself to get out the door and to my personal hellhole (No offense to my gym - it’s me, not you. You’re great). Today, I’m sharing these tricks with you.
Put it on your calendar, and don’t let yourself go home first.
I’ve learned that home = food = couch = not going to the gym. My first appointment after work is the gym. It’s on my calendar, and it’s unmoveable unless I have otherwise scheduled a time to go with my workout buddy. See next step.
Find someone to yell motivational things at you.
That person is my boyfriend. When we’re there together, he’s a colossal pain in the ass (Josh - if you’re reading this, I mean that in a nice way). If, say, I get to 11 out of 15 reps and want to take a break because I’m tired, he yells at me (lovingly) and won’t let me. It’s nice in a weird sort of way.
Don’t do all stuff you hate.
For me, that’s pretty much everything, but I do enjoy yoga. I mean, there’s basically a built-in nap at the end. If you give yourself a not-as-terrible thing to look forward to, it makes the rest of the working out stuff seem less garbage.
Buy yourself cute stuff to go in.
It’s a short term fix, I’ll admit, but it’s fun. You feel cooler when your sports bras have weird cut outs and when your kicks are brand new.
Find something you really love and only let yourself do it at the gym.
It’s called temptation bundling. I love trashy teen TV dramas, and I refuse to be ashamed. I’ve set a rule that I can only watch my vampire shows when I’m running on the treadmill at the gym. Those shows have awesome cliffhangers that I NEED to see resolved, so I often find myself going another half mile to find out what happens.
None of these things really make me love working out by any means, but they get me there, and I suppose that’s what matters. What works for you? Any tips to make me hate this hour of my life each day a little less? Let me know!
P.S. - if you’re interested in learning more about temptation bundling and how effective it is -- and research shows that it works very, very well -- listen to this awesome Freaknomics podcast where I learned about it a couple of years ago.