"How do I become a runner or not hate working out?" Alright internet, I'm breaking the workout fiend code and I'm doing something no endorphin junkie has ever done before. There are workout secrets that makes working out easier that are only passed down from one workout fiend to a workout fiend hopeful. There's this terrifying and exhilarating ritual that happens right before the secret is revealed (it's very similar to that initiation scene in Finding Nemo).
BUT ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! I'm sick of seeing people who, like me, aren't athletic and struggle to run around their block. I see the yearning in their eyes "I WANT LOVE WORKING OUT TOO", they scream. I'm doing it! It's secret revealing time! You ready?
Alright...Here goes nothing....
THERE'S NO SECRET. WORKING OUT SUCKS AT FIRST AND IT'S REALLY HARD AND IT'S NOT FUN WHEN YOU'RE JUST GETTING STARTED.
Now wait just a second!
EVERYONE STAY CALM!
ALRIGHT ALRIGHT ALRIGHT! I get it! Look, there's a reason I'm telling you this. Here's the truth,
THAT'S NOT TRUE! Of course you can handle the truth and enough gifs! Jesus! Can't I get serious for a second? Look, this doesn't just apply to running this applies to getting active in general. There's no secret, no shortcut and no easy way to "becoming" someone who actually enjoys working out. Whenever I read personal trainer's or other industry professional's advice for "How to become a fitness addict" (I admit, I've even caught myself saying it) they always say, "Find something you enjoy or have fun doing."
If you aren't working out regularly, chances are there isn't going to be something you have fun or enjoy doing...YET. The first few weeks of anything are going to suck! They aren't going to be enjoyable! The real fun starts once you know what your capable of and find that desire to see how far you can push your limits.
If you're looking for a way to fall in love with running or how not to dread working out in general, here are 5 tips to go from hating working out to tolerating (if not enjoying) working out:
1. Suck It Up.
Yes, you heard that correctly. Stop making excuses and stop taking the easy way out. It sucks. It's not fun. You're going to be uncomfortable. Sorry, that's just the way the cookie crumbles. But if you, like me, want to be able to have your cake and eat it guilt free, you need to get sweaty on a regular basis. And here's the silver lining, give it 3-4 weeks and I promise you will stop dreading working out and you'll start looking forward to it.
2. Set Some Measurable Goals.
Maybe make your goal to workout two mornings a week. Then make sure you wake up by booking a class you know you won't miss because you will hate yourself forever for wasting the money and sleeping through it. Expensive? Yes. But you spend that money going out to eat anyways so why not take a week off from spending nonsense money and invest in yourself. AM I RIGHT OR AM I RIGHT? (No? Hey, it's just a thought.) Stick with workouts with measurable results. Keep track and set goals that require you to push yourself. You can't cheat if there's a number attached to it. (I know because cheating is my favorite thing in the world. I'll admit it! What? I love taking the easy way out. I ran my first marathon in 2 months way under prepared. That's how much I love cheating.)
3. Don't Give Up.
You are going to spend more time trying to convince yourself to put on workout clothes than you will actually spend working out. That's the territory that comes with getting active. It doesn't last forever though, it may not necessarily get easier but you get stronger. And as you get stronger you start wanting to see just how far you can go. That's where those goals start to get exciting. I love running because you have an actual finish line you are working towards. I don't like weight loss goals, they don't make sense to me. I won't go to the gym if my goal is to lose weight. But I will run and cross train if I sign up for a half marathon or marathon. I will put in the work because --
1. Running a race you trained for is 10 times more fun (and comfortable) than winging it.
2. I want to see how fast I can go.
And as I do the work to get to that finish line, my body changes without me having to worry about it. I don't have to count calories or sit in front of a mirror body shaming myself into going to the gym. I get stronger because I'm having fun attacking a goal. I wouldn't trade my giant quads and calves for "toned" or "smaller" quads or calves. They are a result of how hard I'm working. I'm proud of them. My body makes sense now thanks to running and cycling.
4. Care, Be Honest and Do It For You.
Don't half ass your fitness goals. When I first embarked on my weight loss journey, I remember the number I wrote down was half the amount that I actually wanted to lose...I just didn't think I was capable of making it happen. Don't be afraid to set really lofty goals. It took me a month to muster the courage to sign up for my first marathon because I didn't think I would be able to do it. I didn't hit my time goal by a long shot but it didn't matter! I crossed the finish line and a light bulb went off. As long as I care enough to sign up and start training, then the rest is second nature.
You have to care enough to stick with it. You have to be honest about your goals. Most importantly, you have to do it for you. You can't do it because you want to look a certain way for someone else. If you believe you aren't enough now you certainly won't love the way you look once you make your goal a reality. Love what you see when you look in the mirror now regardless of where you're at in your journey. There will always be room for improvement, that's the fun part.
5. Have Fun.
Surround yourself with people who you can have fun suffering with. That is the best piece of advice I can give to you. I dread going to group fitness classes because I have no upper body strength and I always feel like everyone knows what they're doing except me. I sweat 10 times more than everyone else which is always embarrassing and even though I run 40+ miles a week, I can't do 3 pushups to save my life. That's why I enlist my friends who will come with me and laugh the entire time. I think it's OK to laugh at yourself and have fun while you suffer. Some people aren't there to have fun, that's their deal. I won't do it if I'm not having fun. That's why you'll see me running through Central Park singing Beyonce and Taylor Swift with my sister or dancing whenever we stop for water. Be silly. Be weird. It's OK to say, "THIS SUCKS!"
Time is a tricky thing and sometimes it takes a couple of tries to find something you'll stick with. Don't just go to the gym or make a weight loss goal. Do something with actual results like walking, running, biking or swimming a certain distance. Try strength training or dancing. Try Pilates and Yoga. Getting started is absolutely without a doubt the hardest part. You don't have to be athletic to not dread working out. I thought it was impossible as well, turns out with enough time it's not so bad.
I'm biased, but if you're looking for a way to get active, healthy and acquire that foxy body -- START RUNNING! Here's what you can expect when you start running. Otherwise, set a goal and give it at least 4 weeks before trying something else. Do you have any tips to not dread working out? Until next time, #RunSelfieRepeat.