Thursday, April 2, 2015

Project Me: Find the Motivation to Exercise

I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions on or around New Years Eve because I end up breaking those hastily made resolutions.

I’m better at keeping my New Years Resolutions if I make them when I need them. Usually several months before or after January first. Sometimes I make them in the middle or near the end of the year.

My 2015 New Years Resolution is keep rebuilding my muscles after leg injury last year with exercise, not excuses so I can fulfill my childhood dream of taking ballet classes.

finding the motivation to exercise
Unexpected bonus? The incentive to give myself pedicures more often because I take classes in bare feet.


I’ve struggled with getting motivated to exercise. While people like husband like activates like running that give him alone time after a crazy day, I learned I hate it. I always thought running was an instrument of gym class torture. I still do. (Sorry runners.)

Group fitness is more my speed. The instructor is there to keep count so I can let my mind chill out after a crazy day. It also keeps me from cheating on exercises I hate unlike fitness weight machines. That’s another reason why it was easier to pull teeth than to get to go with Husband to his office gym most nights. Some people are picky eaters. Apparently I am a picky exerciser. That’s not a good thing, by the way.

Strangely a good thing and my New Year’s Fitness Resolution came out of a bad thing.  Husband’s company closed the office building with his work gym. (Don’t worry family, he still works there just not in that building.) We started looking around and testing gyms unlike any other time when I’ve just picked one based on location or price. That made all the difference.


It also didn’t hurt that between Husband and I we have enough gear to get me started on this little exercise adventure. Husband uses the yoga mat for floor exercises at home and lets me borrow it to try out classes.

Husband and I have different exercise personalities and needs. Husband was happy with a bare bones gym with just machines like Planet Fitness. I wanted fitness classes but I also wanted to avoid the snobby attitudes when I was a member of Lifetime Fitness. Friendly people motivate me to work out. Who knew?


My ballet studio is friendly and a drama free zone too. I was happy that I’m down a size and my old dance clothes fit again.

We took a chance and toured a YMCA after asking friends for their recommendations.  The YMCA in my hometown had a basketball gym and an outdoor pool and not much else so I wasn’t expecting much. I guess it pays to live in a large city. Our Y has just about everything as the fancy pants gym at the top of list minus the attitude. Oh my gosh the people are so, so, so friendly!

That’s when I realized that also helps motivate me to exercise – being surrounded my friendly people. It doesn’t hurt that there is a wide range of diversity in the members and instructors. Being surrounded by healthy (or getting there) real people bodies that come in all shapes, sizes, and abilities doesn’t make me feel like a fool when I forget my left from my right in Zumba class.

Another surprise: I like yoga!

The first time I tried yoga is was on WiiFit. I didn’t like it. Actually I don’t like WiiFit in general. It is needy. Wii Fit whines that you are ignoring it if you don’t play it everyday. Do you know why Wii Fit? I’M NOT PLAYING YOU EVERY DAY BECAUSE YOU WHINE AT ME!  Whining = an exercise demotivator.

I tried a Hatha Yoga class to rebuild my balance and muscle strength because I often feel like a wobbly hippo on roller skates during dance class. I often feel like a wobbly hippo on a yoga mat during yoga class but now that I’ve been making myself go for a couple of months I am starting to really like it!

The classes are beginner friendly. They focus more on the physical part of yoga than the mystical (not that I mind either way but this way feels more beginner friendly.) My favorite instructor gives tips on other activates to pair with his class for cardio, etc. Sometimes he slips rock music into his playlist which is fun too. I like that they make the classes fun instead of an intense super serious kind of thing. It helps keep me motivated to keep trying when I turn most asanas (poses) into a face plant, which is often.


I also learned that it is a great idea to clean your yoga mat often when you are sharing it with another person or it will get whiffy! Learn how I make a non toxic DIY yoga mat cleaner on my DIY blog Condo Blues.

I like the weekly Hatha Yoga class so much, I started going to Piyo classes. Piyo combines the stretching and balance of Hatha Yoga with Pilates abs and core mat exercises. I like the stretching and balance part. The crunches and planks are still hateful. They are a reminder of how my muscles have turned to Jell-O during and especially after class.

My instructor reminded me today that I didn’t get out of shape overnight. I won’t get back in shape over night either. It will come if I keep at it.

Now that I’m starting to look forward to my workout classes, I found a new challenge: not spend all of my money on cute yoga clothes.  I recently rewarded myself with a new outfit. I took a ton of willpower to not give in to the temptation to buy almost everything in the store!

What motivates you to workout?

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