Getting back into shape can be challenging for anyone, especially if you are used to a certain level of fitness you once had or have a set goal in mind of where you want to be. In my own personal life, it’s been only within the last few months that I have been able to start working out again… so today, I want to share a few tips for those trying to get back into it or into it at all. I may love running and working out, but doesn’t mean it comes easy… so let’s review what we can do to motivate ourselves to keep going! #teamexosym
Set a goal.
For me, this is everything. Maybe it’s my Type A personality ☺, but goals give me structure and something to work towards. If you feel like you are lacking motivation in your life, try setting a challenging goal for yourself – something you can work towards and something that you really want to be able to do.
Here’s an example: After my car accident this past December, I really struggled a lot in those first few months. One thing my PT had me do was set goals. Not to just be able to walk a straight line, restore balance, etc. (those were important and necessary goals), but in addition to the medical based goals, I needed a heart based goal… something that would help to remind me of myself, so as I progressed, we set a long-term goal for me to be able to run a race again. At the time, it felt impossible and many people didn’t think it would be possible. How could I do this with my back and head the way it was… it was a really dark time in my life, but little by little… month after month, with patience and hard work, I achieved that goal (the 10K race) last month and along the way found myself again. ♥
The importance here isn’t so much the number of goals you have, but the value of what they mean to you. Set a goal that means something to you and you will be motivated to achieve it. Also, think about putting your goals up on your wall or mirror so you can see them every day. The key is to have it be a visual reminder of where you are and where you want to go. #goals
Log your workouts.
I used to think, “Oh, I’ll remember what I did last week, etc…” Well, let me tell you, after a few days, no you won’t. ☺ And unless you have an amazing memory, you certainly won’t remember how you felt during and after the workout too.
I’ve started logging my workouts on a poster board that I got from Michaels. Just a simple white $0.50 poster will do just fine. Take out a ruler and write in the calendar for the remaining of the year – leaving yourself enough room to write something in each day. Then, you can log your workouts, rest days, how you felt, what shoes you wore (so you know when to rotate), etc, and then you can look back each week/month and see progress – it’s awesome because you can see it in one place all at one time! This has also helped me a lot with my head injury — it’s a great tool to track progress. I have a Polar M400 watch that tracks my workouts in details, but I’m kinda old school and like to write it down as well. I also like to write a positive quote at the end of the month to summarize how that month went… just an idea. ♥
Surround yourself with inspiration.
We’re pretty lucky to be surrounded by such an amazing group of people with Team ExoSym. I feel truly blessed to know so many of you! (big hug) If you have an Instagram, make sure to check out @exosymplyamazing to get connected with other patients or the Facebook group (link in Helpful Links above) is also a great place to connect too. If you don’t have any social media accounts, no worries – try looking up motivational and inspirational quotes on Google. Print a few off, put them where you can see them. Read inspirational stories… surround yourself with uplifting words and images – it’s the best way to live! An inspired life is a motivated life!
Celebrate little victories.
It’s important to honor your successes along the way. When I first started trying to run again a couple months ago, I started over from scratch. Literally was starting over again so being able to jog 1 min, walk 1 min for several minutes was something to celebrate. Sure, it may seem small, but at the time it was a huge victory. Celebrate the victories along the way – that’s what makes the journey special. Think of it as mini goals within your goal. If your goal is to run a 5K, start with being able to run a mile. It can be a really fun process to look at it this way.
Live with gratitude.
One thing that keeps me motivated and inspired is living gratefully. If you are trying to run, be thankful for that gift you once perhaps didn’t have… smell the fresh air, feel the sun against your skin, see the sweat on your shirt — these are all things to be thankful for! For me personally, I love running more now than I ever did before my ankle injury in 2011 and probably even more since my recent accident… because every step reminds me of what a true gift it is. Be inspired by opening your eyes to see your life with a new perspective. I may not be the runner I once was, but I am grateful to even be able to lace up my shoes and get out there. ♥ #blessed
Put your game face on.
Let me be the first to tell you this is not going to be easy. Life isn’t easy. Goals aren’t easy. Challenges aren’t easy. This is when you have to dig deep and put your game face on. Yesterday I went out for a long run… there were a few times I wanted to stop and call for an Uber, but you know what? I didn’t have my wallet. haha just kidding, don’t worry I didn’t quit and call for a ride (although a few people stopped and asked if I needed one when I finished the run and laid down on the sidewalk to recover haha). ☺ But, no I walked a little, sipped some water, and then I continued on my run again. Make a decision to never give up. “Run when you can, walk when you have to, crawl if you must, just never give up.” – Dean Karnazes
Listen to your body – we all have off days.
Here’s where I probably shouldn’t be talking haha. I’m the first to admit this is not my strongest suit. For various reasons (probably all the injuries in my life), I’m pretty good at tuning out my body and just pushing beyond how it feels. But as time has gone on, I’ve learned it’s important to listen to your body. It’s always sending us messages… we just have to be willing to listen. A week or so ago, I had a really off week. Just felt like nothing was left in the tank. I was so tired… so I decided to listen to my body and give it a rest… which it really turned out to need. My advice for you is to try to be more open to listening to your body. I think with a lot of us, we are so used to tuning it out because we had to tune out pain for so long with our injuries (it was the only way to get through the day)… but we need to find a way to bring that balance back. What has helped me is meditation and yoga… through these practices I’ve learned to listen and that it’s okay to feel again. Don’t be scared to listen. Don’t be afraid to try.
Love yourself the way you are.
I think this last piece of advice is most important. Love the person you are. You didn’t come this far to just come this far. Be proud of you who you are in this moment and every challenge that pushed you to where you are today. You only get one body… love the one you have. It’s pretty ExoSymplyAmazing, after all. When people ask you, “What happened to your leg? What’s wrong with it?” Understand that people ask from their own point of view. We all live within our own worlds, seeing things from our own perspectives. Don’t let it hurt your feelings. (Take it from someone who has been answering this question for several years now haha.) A lot of times, I think people just don’t realize what they are asking and how that could make someone feel. The key is to love who you are and answer with confidence – be proud to be YOU. Rock the ExoSym. Believe in YOU. Embrace yourself. Be yourself. Accept yourself. Motivate yourself. (You and your body on the same team after all!) Treat yourself. My personal favorite is getting new workout shorts and headbands… ☺ (do I have too many headbands??)
So as you wrap up the weekend and start a new week, decide what steps you can take to motivate and inspire yourself. I believe in all of you! You can do anything you set your mind to – it just takes time and hard work! It’s not going to be easy, but who likes easy? Be willing to try new things. Open yourself to new possibilities. See the world with a positive attitude. Set a goal. Spread the light to those around you. Make a new ExoSym buddy. Enjoy the journey. It may get hard sometimes and that’s okay. The point is to just keep picking yourself back up. Say no to the Uber ride and make a decision to never give up. ♥
#beYOU #beAMAZING #ExoSymplyAmazing