Sunday, July 26, 2015

Motivation to Be Healthier and Happier

Last year I completely (practically) stopped working out. I was coming off a huge depression caused by different migraine medication I was taking at the time. I had never felt so unmotivated, down, dark, and hopeless in my life. I am a pretty "glass-is-half-full" kind of person. Going through such a dark time in my life really took the wind out of my sails. 

I truly enjoy Zumba and dancing. I used to go a few times per week and also go to group dance classes (salsa, swing, hustle, bachata, waltz, etc.) at least once each week. Last year all of that stopped when I couldn't even get off the couch or get out of bed. I felt miserable, not myself. My body felt like it didn't belong to me. I felt inhuman--I don't even know how else to describe my feelings at the time. I had no emotions and the things I loved did not bring me any joy. I could hardly even take the dogs outside, let alone think about going to a dance class. 

At this moment in my life, I feel 110% better. I feel more myself. I've been weened off the last of the medication causing me problems. My head feels clearer. My body feels my own again--I control it, not vice versa. And my mind is living in a more suggestible state at the moment. It's easy to convince it of the benefits of working out and making my body follow through. 

In general I am pretty good at pushing myself to do something. I've never lacked the ability to motivate myself to do something, especially when I know it is good for me. Exercise is a huge anxiety release for me. If I feel my anxiety creeping up on me, I know I have to work out. My head feels so much clearer after a good exercise stint. That in itself is usually good enough motivation to get me to workout.

Feeling good after a workout at home

It is, however, not easy to restart a habit once you've lost your momentum. Here are a few things that I did to help motivate me to stay on track with my exercise routine:

New Shoes

I have plantar fascistic. When I wear out a pair of shoes, my feet are not happy campers. I usually wear out my shoes and continue to wear them over and over because I just don't want to suck it up and get new ones. I haven't really found a great pair of shoes that I love to workout in. However, I decided that I needed new shoes if I was going to workout as much as I am this summer. I found THE PERFECT shoes, and I love them! I think it was just luck, but I don't care because my shoes rock!

I looked up some good shoes to Zumba/dance in. So many running shoes are not good for me because they have too much traction on the bottom. It's hard to twist your feet, turn, and move quickly without twisting your ankle. I ended up ordering the Nike Free TR 5 Women's Training Shoe. I can move really well in them, and they give my ankles great support (old dance injury). I love them!

New Workout Gear

Since I gained weight, a lot of my workout clothes felt a little tight on me. I ended up going to Old Navy and buying two pairs of great workout leggings and a few shirts on super clearance! I also bought a few new pairs of cute socks because I couldn't find any matches to the ones I had! It felt good to have my workout clothes fit well. And I felt like I looked good in them because they fit. It is definitely a motivator to be able to feel comfortable in what you're wearing!


The second week of July I had been working out solidly and tracking my calories in My Fitness Pal for a good month. I never drink frappucinos from Starbucks, but the 
S more's Frap sounded delicious as a treat, so I decided to get one. I got a tall, light frappucino. It satisfied my sweet tooth craving, and it was amazing! I don't plan on ordering another anytime soon, but who knows? Maybe I'll have one next month as a treat to myself. If there's something you would really like to treat yourself to, everything is okay in moderation. I don't plan on depriving myself of things I enjoy just because I'm trying to lose weight. I added it into the calories I ate for the day, and I was still under. Seriously try this one if you're into S More's or Starbucks.

Workout Friends

I love the people in my Zumba classes. It's fun to be there and dance with people you really enjoy being around, but I also convinced my sissy to come back to Zumba too! She is my ultimate workout partner. I am so happy she started going with me again! I also occasionally get to go with one of my long-time friends from high school. I love being able to see her more than I normally do. It's super fun, and it keeps me going to class even if I'm trying to talk myself out of going for the day. 

Grabbing lunch with my sissy after working out.

Try Something New

Sometimes you just need to do something different. I found a dance studio that has adult modern dance and hip hop drop in classes. I'm so excited; I'm going to go to the modern dance class next week if it's offered. I haven't really "danced" in about 13 years, so wish me luck! I am SO EXCITED to try it! Dance, dance, dance! Try to find something you love to do to get your exercise in. Dancing is totally me; I was a dancer for about 18 years. That's why I love taking the classes I do. I don't really feel like I'm working out when I'm on the dance floor.

What do you do to keep yourself motivated in your workouts?

Love and happiness <3 Holly

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