Let’s be honest: there are fewer people out there with six-packs than Pinterest would lead us to believe. And frankly, I’m not sure if that many of us want to be totally ripped anyway. I would just like to climb up a few flights of stairs without wheezing or fit into my favorite pair of slacks without sucking in my tummy.
But how to motivate ourselves? If you’re like me, then you know that body shaming yourself into it won’t work. You may succeed for a couple weeks, but you’ll eventually give up and feel worse than ever before. Believe me: I’ve been there more times than I can count.
Our culture doesn’t exactly help. I like shopping at Victoria Secret as much as the next girl, but those models have bodies that just aren’t achievable for the average woman. So, here is a list of some items that help me motivate myself to work out and to take better care of myself when I don’t feel like it:
1. Look to Your Role Model
Something that helps motivate me is to think of my health role models. For me, it’s my mom and aunt. They’re both built very similarly to me, and while there’s a good 30 years between us, they hover around the same weight as I do (despite having two kids apiece). When we all go swimming together, it’s not that they look like 25-year-olds in bikinis — they don’t need to. They’re healthy women who have treated their bodies right their whole lives, and it shows. When I see them, it reminds me that I’m capable of taking care of myself that well too.
This can be a slippery slope because we often fall into trying to make ourselves into someone else. That’s why it’s important to pick someone who already shares traits and body types with you. If you don’t have someone in your life like this, that’s okay. However, rather than going to standard fashion magazines where everyone is photoshopped, try to look for magazines centered around women’s health instead. One company’s magazine that I really like is called Title IX. They create athletic apparel, and what I love about looking through their clothing options is that all of the models look happy, trim, and healthy — and all at weights that feel achievable for my body type.Read More »
If you’re like me, working out is something you do more out of obligation than desire.
The problem with that though, is that I give up after a few weeks because I begin to dread putting on my sneakers. I keep trying to find ways to exercise regularly doing work outs that I truly enjoy. It’s easier in the summer where I can bike and rollerblade, but winter in the Midwest can be rather vicious. Gym memberships are pricey and involve travel time, so my preference is for workout videos. (Since I paid money for them, I give more effort than I do for Pinterest tutorials.)
My current favorite this past season has been one of Jillian Michaels’ DVD workouts. It’s five 10-minute workouts plus a warm up and cool down. What I love about this DVD is that it’s easy for me to do only one workout, but I can also add three more if I want to. The five workouts each specialize on a different exercise type, which I will break down below. All of them challenge me, and all of them have been a lot of fun.
This is probably one of the most challenging on the DVD. Calisthenics means using your body weight as your tool of resistance (think push-ups) — no free weights needed for this one! You’ll feel this one the most in your shoulders and arms because of all the plank positions.Read More »
In case you missed an earlier post, I’m participating in Jon Acuff’s #DOSummer2015 Challenge , which is a challenge to spend 25 hours of the summer honing or learning a new skill. I decided to go with the classic resolution of working out more. (Original, I know.) Acuff has created a Facebook group to serve as fellow cheerleaders in this challenge and has also created a calendar for participants to track their hours. Right now, I’m at about four hours total. Read More »
First off, apologies for the single and tardy post for this week. One of my classes ended as one of my internships (the freelance one) began, so there’s been a lot of shuffling around between blogs, emails, exams, papers, presentations, meetings, and commuting. However, my class ended just a few hours ago and I’m really enjoying my internship, so all in all, things are pretty great right now.
One of the first blog assignments I received for my internship was to write up a quick post about a new challenge Jon Acuff issued for this summer. In case you aren’t familiar with who Jon Acuff is, here’s a link to his bio. And if you’re too lazy to read that, here’s my version: he’s a speaker, author, and blogger who is fairly well known for his sarcasm, semi-motivational speeches, and snappy copy.