Getting To The “Liking Your Workout” Stage

In the past I have been lackadaisical at best when it comes to working out.  I know that working out will reduce my stress and anxiety while also helping to lessen the symptoms that I get from my OCD/Bipolar.  I have always wanted to love running and yoga.  I want to be that person that does yoga and feels zen, instead of leaving the mat with shaking, jello legs and sore arms.  I want to be the person that goes for an hour jog and gets so lost in the rhythm that my run turns into two hours before I realize it.  Instead I run for less than a minute and my lungs are screaming for me to stop, everything in jiggling around and I feel like I might pass out.  But every time I start doing it and then stop in frustration and laziness, I find that it pulls me back with a strong call.

Now I am working out again committed to continuing.  I am not loving it yet, but I will get there.

How To Move From Forcing Yourself To Loving It

People eventually get to the point where they love their workouts.  When you look around, you find people who love to run so much that they run marathon lengths when they go out for their daily run.  You will find people who dream all week of their weekend bike rides.  There are people who can’t wait to get up to do yoga and meditation.  It takes time to get to that point.  Anytime you go from couch potato to working out, there are going to be parts of it that suck.  Humans are creatures of habit and to start a workout routine means stepping out of your comfort zone.  It also means taking the time to make a new habit and sticking with it and staying focused and motivated.  Although it is easy to put this in writing, it can seem hard in practice.  But if you get moving and stick with it you might just fall in love with something that is great for you!

Have hope though, there are several ways to get and stay moving.

  1. Think about your fitness goals.  What is the main reason that you want to get in shape or start working out.  Is it to lose weight, run a marathon, set a good example for your family, boost your health etc.?  Write down your goal.
  2. Think about how awesome your life will be once you reach your goal.  Think about it in detail.  Visualize exactly what benefit you will see in your life when you reach your goal.
  3. Write down 3-5 mini steps that you can take to reach your goal.
  4. Start Moving.
  5. When you are really struggling to keep moving or do a workout during that day, look back at your goals and spend a few minutes picturing your life as you visualize it when you reach your goal.

For me personally, I have set a large goal of being able to run a half marathon in November.  Currently I can’t run more than a minute at a time because I get so winded!  I am using interval training (running/walking combo) and trying to just build up to a 5K right now as that is my first mini goal.  I just read a book titled, Born To Run by Christopher McDougall and I would kill to run as easily as the characters in this book.  As embarrassed as I am to admit it, I get through my 30 minute run/walk routine by picturing myself running through the forest as well as the Tarahumara Tribe in Mexico.  Some days I even picture myself as a gazelle running gracefully through the woods.  That makes the workout more bearable although the visualization is not far from laughable!

If you don’t give yourself the time to get through the suck-tastic-ness of the beginning phases of working out, you might not ever know how much you COULD love it.


4 responses to “Getting To The “Liking Your Workout” Stage

  1. I don’t know if you ever reach that stage of liking your workouts… I know they do get easier! Goals are a big part of training as well as racing, that gives training more purpose. Slow and steady and you will reach your 5k goal. You will be running 10k’s before you know it!


    • Thanks so much for the words of encouragement. Everywhere I go I hear runners saying, “Keep it up! I used to hate it too! I am hoping that by pushing myself toward little goals like you suggest, that somewhere in the journey, I find that I too suddenly enjoy my workouts!

  2. Hi Jamie,

    Ah, I love that feeling, the jello legs and arms. I call it “Jello Zen”.


    What I did learn though is that the jello feeling, the practice of yoga itself is the preperation for meditation and achieving that feeling of zen. It should be right there waiting for you at the end of practice. Do you practice the corpse/final resting pose as part of your practice?

    Great post. You are brave to take on the marathon! I am not a fan of running, but I love the feeling I get in my yoga practice, and I recently starting some ballet exercises that are amazing. They flow very nicely with the yoga.

    See you in the forums!

    • Ha! Jello Zen! I love it! I had been forgetting to do any corpse pose but usually settle on my meditation pillow for a little bit at the end of my yoga practice. I will have to try to fit in the corpse pose too! Thanks for that!

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