Before I was really into going to the gym I actually didn’t have any fitness motivation at all. For years I was one of those people who paid for a gym membership but hardly ever went.
I have very few memories of the first three gyms that I was a member of. The first one I joined was after my friend won a year’s free membership for two and chose me as the second person. I am ashamed to say I only went a handful of times! What a waste of a good prize!
The second gym was a ladies only gym that I quite liked and I like to think I went a few times as it was on the way home from work but I really don’t have any memories of great workouts there or making any friends or anything so maybe I didn’t go that often after all!
My next attempt was another gym on the way home from work a year or two later where I do remember really liking the body pump classes. This was my first real experience of group fitness classes and I enjoyed it. I didn’t go often enough to see any results tho and I was always too hungry after a long day of work so that gym membership went to waste as well.
It wasn’t until I was living in New Zealand and was offered a free gym membership from my boss (who had designed the gym) that I really started to take it seriously. I knew I would feel bad if I didn’t go so I tried very hard to go as often as I could. It also helped that he introduced me to many of the staff the first time I went to the gym and so I immediately felt among friends.
Queenstown Gym was a great gym, really friendly, great facilities and opening hours, and at this gym I was able to stick with it for long enough to see my body change shape! It was so exciting!
I attended body pump classes twice each week and got to know the instructors really well as friends as well as other regulars. I also enjoyed RPM (stationary spin bike classes) once or twice a week and I can honestly say its the best high that exercise has given me! I also used the cardio machines every time I was at the gym and really found that my body started to look and feel more toned and tight.
The real turning point for me tho was the bootcamp that was available at that gym. It gave me results like I could not believe. In 6 weeks my tummy measurement went down by 10cm! Thats awesome! And I was able to do things I did not know I could do, like hold a plank for 3 minutes and do an hour of hill runs. I realised then how strong my body could be and how far I could push myself and how much I liked it. It was then that I believed I could have, and enjoy, lifetime fitness.
After that bootcamp I have never looked back. I now know how to push myself, how to exercise outdoors or without equipment and how to eat well (they gave us a diet plan too).
Since then I have been a member of 4 different gyms and I am really happy at the moment to be at a 24 hour gym, using a weights programme from my trainer to change the shape of my body, and doing tabata style circuit training once a week, as well as cardio. I love the way my body is changing and I love that I have evolved through exercise and all the experiences it has given me.
I have made many great friends, formed social groups and developed bonds. I have gained in confidence and kept my weight steady, even tho I love to eat sugar! I have also found out that there are many different types of activity that I like to enjoy and I have been active now for long enough to know that I like to change, I like to try new things and I like to challenge myself.
Fitness has helped me to learn about myself and to see how I have grown. I can now look back on my earlier years when I wasn’t motivated and see that I just didn’t know what was possible. Its not so much that I was lazy – I know now that I am most definitely not lazy! It also wasn’t that I was tired – I can now see that I have a lot of energy, I just wasn’t making the right food choices. I can look back now and see that I was just like so many other people in that I just wasn’t motivated because I didn’t see results!
And that is key to so many people. I mean who wants to keep doing something, like going to the gym tired and hungry, and then not see any results.
So if you are lacking in fitness motivation and you are beating yourself up about it, thinking you are lazy or just not into exercise then I would say persistence is key. How will you ever see results if you don’t give yourself time?
Most good training schedules, food plans or fitness programs last for 12 weeks. Why not give yourself 12 weeks to see results and then see your motivation grow naturally! 12 weeks is not really that long. Its been more than 12 weeks since the 1st of January and how many of you are still the same size, same fitness and in the same health as then?
It doesn’t feel like that long does it? Another block of time like this and we will only be halfway through the year and honestly, if you stick at it you will see results in this time. Its all about being persistent. Follow your plan, eat well and exercise regularly and do not give up too soon.
If you can make it through the first 12 weeks then you will be on track for a lifetime of health and fitness. A short period of perseverance, when you may not really want to, will lead to fitness motivation for years to come, through all that life throws at you.
Persistence really is key at the start but don’t worry as this will soon be replaced with real motivation and a real desire to lead a fit and healthy life.