You know when you have a goal that you want to achieve…
… and you know EXACTLY what you have to do…
… You just have to dig deep to find that motivation to actually do it.
More specifically, you know that if you want to have the body that you want, you have to be willing to work for it.
You KNOW have to put down the extra dessert, that bagel or that extra pasta and get your butt moving…
It’s just so… ugh.
After all, an object in motion stays in motion. An object at rest… You know how that goes.
You haven’t done anything active in GOD knows how long so the thought of actually getting moving feels like pulling out old tools that seriously need some WD-40 to get working again.
I know what you’re thinking…
Can you use WD-40 on your joints?
My entire childhood, I was a competitive athlete.
I did gymnastics for 10 years and spent about 20 hours a week at practice… I would get off the bus from school, my mom would have a sandwich waiting for me and she’d drive me to the gym.
She’d pick me up when it was dark out, I would go home, do my homework, go to sleep and do it all over again.
Thinking back, that’s probably not the childhood that most kids would want but I LOVED gymnastics.
My mom would get me to do my chores by threatening to keep me from going to practice…
I would turn into speedy Gonzalez to get them done because I never wanted to miss practice (plus, my coaches would make me condition extra if I missed without a doctor’s note so that was my secondary motivation).
Once I hit middle school, my gymnastics coaches left the gym and I didn’t want to work with new coaches so I went to competitive cheerleading (it IS a sport, don’t debate me on that — you won’t win).
My schedule was way more laid back with cheerleading because we only practiced 5 hours a week but my dedication level didn’t change.
When I went away to college, I stopped being active and got really focused on being involved in organizations like student government.
I didn’t gain any weight or anything but I lost a ton of muscle tone, broke my fitness routine and just didn’t have the same level of commitment to being in shape as I did when I was competing.
I think I probably worked out all of a dozen times the entire time I was in college. Yuck.
Fast forward to now…
I recently found out that a friend of mine has a drinking problem and I realized that our group of friends was enabling him because he had the go to place.
We’d all go there, hang out and have a few drinks.
The problem is, when you’re at your own house and you don’t have to drive, you drink a whole lot more.
To stop him from drinking so much, we decided to start getting more active and spending more of our time together being productive…. Plus, it would keep us in shape.
Since we decided that about two months ago, we meet every Saturday at 8am to workout together and I have been working out an additional four or five times a week (sometimes more just for fun).
What’s most interesting is that the changes that have been happening in my life haven’t just been physical…
Those changes have been mental too.
So here are the 10 things that happen when you start working out…
1. You get pumped up.
The first thing that happens when you commit to working out is something motivates you to start going to the gym.
Maybe you started working out because you realize bikini season is around the corner, you’re going on vacation soon, you’re re-entering the dating world or maybe your doctor told you that if you don’t lose weight, you’re going to have some serious health problems.
Whatever motivated you to do it, once you commit to starting to work out, you get excited about all of the potential.
You stalk Pinterest and Instagram for workout outfits, perfect bodies and protein powders for this new habit that you’re going to dominate…
If you’re feeling like splurging a little, maybe you even went to go buy some new stuff…
Oh, and you definitely can’t forget about all of the fitness apps you downloaded and the endless number of sites you’ve visited and videos you’ve watched about different workouts you can do.
(Am I the only one or do you do this too?)
You envision yourself walking on the beach with your new chiseled chest or perfect booty.
You are SO ready to do this.
You’re like I’m going to make this fitness thing my bitch.
2. You start working out… and wonder what the hell you were thinking.
So much for making this whole fitness thing your bitch… Now you are starting to feel like fitness’ bitch.
Fitness is literally kicking your ass and you’ve done like one jog and lifted two weights.
And even though that’s all that you did, your body hurts… Everywhere.
The workouts feel good and you’re proud of yourself but you just don’t know if it’s even worth it because it’s freaking hard.
After all, you did like three workouts and it’s not like you’re seeing results yet.
You keep compulsively checking in the mirror to see if those gains are going to pop up… As if those noticeable gains are going to actually start to show in the five minutes that it’s been since the last time you checked the mirror.
You start questioning if working out is even for you, if it’ll even work, you start thinking maybe your body isn’t so bad after all or your original motivation just isn’t big enough to keep you going.
Most people quit right here…
Those that push through the initial hell phase (I always say the first 2-3 weeks are the hardest because your body is re-learning how to move and you’re just starting to get your strength back), you’ll start to see the benefits.
If this is you right now, don’t quit. Keep going.
3. You start sleeping better.
Oh man… Everything hurts. Your body is like PLEASE. STOP.
You start to realize that it’s not the day after you workout that you’re sore… It’s actually the second day that’s the worst.
You roll out of bed in the morning and you literally can’t even stand up because everything hurts.
… but because you’ve been doing so much, you find yourself falling asleep faster and so long as you get enough hours of sleep, *gasp* you actually sleep better and start to feel rested in the morning.
You just can’t comprehend how you’re sleeping so good.
You loved your bed before but now you discover that you’re actually soulmates and you never realized how amazing your bed is.
4. You start eating better.
You find yourself in positions where your favorite dessert is right in front of you or maybe even your favorite extra heavy, carby or buttery food and you turn it down.
You’re like woah… who is this person!?
After all, you’ve been working your butt off and you don’t want to just destroy all of that effort just to eat that food that you know isn’t even good for you so you pass.
It’s the craziest thing ever but you’re proud of the new you.
5. You drink more water.
You even find yourself guzzling more water like you’re a camel.
Your body craves water and you start to notice that you’re always dehydrated.
Maybe you even start to pass up on some of the more sugary drinks….
More than anything, you’re proud of all of these new habits that you’re developing just by consistently working out.
6. Your body starts to crave movement.
You find yourself moving around more just because your body wants to and it gets harder to skip your workouts.
In fact, you might even be afraid to miss a workout because you don’t want to break the habit.
Instead of eating pizza, drinking and hanging out, you find yourself wanting to go to that cool new trampoline place or go play laser tag.
You start taking your dogs for walks and your body starts to feel more limber.
Again…. WHO IS THIS PERSON?! ARE YOU EVEN REALLY YOU?!
7. You actually start falling into a schedule.
Because your body craves movement and you still have a bunch of other stuff to do, you start to fall into routine.
You might even start to question if this is the new you — after all, you hate those people who only talk about the gym, fitness, eating clean and working out but you’ve become one of them.
Maybe you’re not sure how you feel about it and you might even feel like a hypocrite or an imposter.
You want to talk about all of this new stuff that you’ve learned, but you don’t want people looking at you like you’re just trying to fit in… After all, your body doesn’t show all of the results yet, but you’re starting to FEEL differently.
Don’t worry — just keep pushing.
Success happens in centimeters, not inches.
Don’t quit… Success also happens gradually then suddenly.
If you’re not measuring yourself regularly, you’ll find that one day you’ll be standing in the mirror (or if you’re like me, in the shower) and you’ll notice that your butt looks amazing or for the guys, maybe that your chest is really starting to take shape.
In other areas of your life, you find yourself doing things you wouldn’t do before…
Maybe you’re taking out the trash without being asked or spending more time with your kids because you have more energy.
Either way, the more you push yourself in your workouts, the more you start to realize that your mindset is becoming more powerful and the little bit of extra effort you put in while working out also carries over to other areas of your life.
8. Your skin starts to clear up.
You’re doing the same skincare routine but one day you’re washing your face, you look in the mirror and you realize how clear your skin is.
All of your breakouts and bumps are gone and your skin just looks so… glowly and soft.
You’re like “when did this even happen?!”
Well my friend, that’s what happens when you’re ridding your body of toxins by sleeping well, eating right and drinking water.
Plus, all of those endorphins that your body is releasing on a daily basis are starting to really show through in your glow.
9. You start seeing results and feeling great.
At first, you’re measuring yourself every single day and analyzing your body but you don’t see results so maybe you forget to measure or analyze for a couple of weeks…
Then one day you notice that your body has changed (or maybe someone tells you that you’re looking really good).
The results aren’t insane but you see that you’re looking more toned and it gets you even more excited to work harder.
… and because you’re getting stronger, your posture is a little better too.
Maybe you even start getting hit on more often and you just feel so. damn. good.
Your mood is boosted because you’re feeling good about yourself, you’ve built some new powerful habits and everything just seems a little brighter.
You have more energy and you start to realize that this IS the new you… It’s the better you.
… and that means that the content of your conversations starts to change.
You start to talk about the gym, working out, eating clean, macros, carb cycling, timing your recoveries, supersets and a bunch of other stuff that you didn’t even know was a thing a couple of months ago.
… and because you’ve changed your habits, maybe you’ve made some new friends or lost some old ones who didn’t align with this new you.
You might feel a little weird about this but DON’T.
You are who you hang around, so those better friends are going to make you better.
10. It becomes addictive.
Now that you’ve seen results, you are addicted.
I know there’s a lot of stats that say that it only takes 21 days to build a habit, but turns out that that’s actually not true.
… It actually takes an average of 66 days.
Discipline is only necessary until it’s a habit and by this point, you’ve built the habit and started seeing the results so there’s no other way to put it…
The days that you don’t workout, you just don’t feel right and you just can’t get enough.
You’re loving this new version of you and maybe you’re even setting goals higher than you were before.
It’s worth it. Push through the hell weeks and get to the point where you feel weird if you don’t workout. Future you will thank you.