My heart filled with dread. It was measuring day today. I loathed the idea of stepping onto that evil scale. And the thought of having that measuring tape remain at the exact same place around my arm and my abs filled my heart with discouragement. So, do you know what I did? I decided to forgo my measurements! It was so freeing to stop fretting about my measurements and just focus on my workout and the positive results I was getting. So, if you are feeling discouraged by your lack of progress at the gym, I want to share with you these 5 Important Things To Remember Before You Hit The Gym.
Find What You Love
I think this is one of the biggest factors that will contribute to any exercise regimen. If you love it, you will stick with it. If you hate it, it will just be a matter of time before you quit. You might even start believing that all exercise is painful and a nightmare.
This is where I am at with the leg press! Crazy, hey? 210 lbs of STRENGTH!
Some people love to run. I know, it doesn’t make sense to me either;) I don’t like it one bit. I get shin splints like crazy. I bought expensive running shoes that were supposed to help. They didn’t, so I bought another brand. No success. I gave up. Running is NOT for me. But there are many people out there who don’t have the same issues I have with running (shin splints, pain in my knees) and they live for it.
I love the challenge of weights. The feeling I get when I move the weights up one more notch makes me feel STRONG. But not everyone likes weights. If you don’t find something else.
For several years, I attended a weekly adult jazz dance class. It was so much fun…AND…I got to dance on stage for the year-end recital. What a great chance for this introvert to SHINE!
Maybe you enjoy exercise videos at home. Do that. Or perhaps you enjoy hikes or walks in nature. Commit to continuing on with that form of exercise.
Whatever it is that you find to do, you will find so much more fulfillment and additional benefits if you enjoy it.
Find that sweet spot and run with it…either literally or metaphorically depending upon how you feel about running;)
Skip The Scale
When I joined this new ladies gym in January, I requested a training session with a trainer. One of the first things she said to me was, “Your scale is mine”. She was intending for me to become obsessed with stepping on the scale every day – or even weekly – for the first couple of months. The scale is not the single most important indicator of success at the gym.
Believe me, I know. How many times have I stepped on that scale only to see the number increase. It is discouraging!
One thing we need to keep in mind when we are exercising is that we are building muscle and one pound of muscle is a whole lot smaller than one pound of fat! So, while that scale might not be going down, that doesn’t mean that you aren’t getting rid of fat. It is likely that you are replacing fat for muscle – pound for pound. If you don’t believe me, simply google “one pound fat one pound muscle” – and you’ll see.
So, stay off that scale! If you have to, bury it under some boxes deep inside your closet so it is difficult to get out.
How Do Your Clothes Fit?
After about 5 weeks of my new fitness routine, I noticed that my bra wasn’t fitting properly. At first, I thought that it was just too old and the elasticity was shot. But then I realized the truth. The band was too big! Then I started noticing other articles of clothing and how they were fitting. Some were looser and some were just too big now! And just so you know…the number on the scale did not budge. At least not yet.
Be aware of how your clothes are fitting. This is a fantastic indicator of fat loss. Share this progress with a friend and celebrate. It is a wonderful achievement!
Physical Fitness And Beyond!
I had just finished several report cards in one day. My brain felt ‘full’ and tired. At first, I did not want to head to the gym because my head hurt from the work I had accomplished that day. However, I decided to go anyway…I wondered if exercise would help me feel better.
I went, completed my routine and walked out the gym feeling lighter and more relaxed. It worked!
I also look at the long-term effects on how I feel. Exercise is so good for helping feelings of depression. Years ago, when I joined this other ladies gym in my previous town, that was one of the main reasons. I was struggling with depression and I had heard that exercise helps. My exercise was a great supplement for the healing work Jesus was doing in my life at that time.
There have also been times when I have gone to the gym while angry. WHOO! What a workout that always is! And I generally feel better afterward.
Our entire body is the temple of God and it is our responsibility to do what we can to care for it. Therefore, if you feel better emotionally and mentally through regular exercise, that alone is worth sticking with your commitment.
There is one dynamic of successful exercise that is often overlooked – or not even thought of by most. That is prayer. I pray for my exercise regularly. I pray that God will bless this time that I spend taking care of my body and that He will help me to be physically fit. I pray that I will enjoy my time at the gym and the results I see will glorify Him.
Try praying for your exercise time. Praying while working out is even better!!
Next week, I will share my EPIC playlist for an awesome workout!
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