Motivational quotes. We see them on a daily basis. Fitness blogs, Instagram health gurus; they all say it. ‘Wake up with determination, go to bed with satisfaction’, ‘Don’t limit your challenges, challenge your limits’, and they are great. BUT. Let’s be real for a sec, weight loss and fitness are not as simple as a cute little quote to get you going. There is no ‘3-week workout’ or ‘quick weight loss’ program that will give you lasting results and have you pumped up from the get-go. I kind of believe there are two types of people in the world, those who always wake up feeling excited, like anything is possible; and the rest of us (yes, I’m lumping you in with me. Sorry, not sorry). For the rest of us, the realities of working out, forming healthy habits, and eating right are not as simple as ‘Stop wishing, start doing’, they’re more like, ‘The struggle is real, but if I keep trying, I will beat the struggle’. So I thought, hey, why not share a few truths about working out, to remind those of us that are struggling but still kicking ass that we are human, we are awesome, and we’re getting there, even if progress is slower than we’d like.
The quote: Wake up, kick ass, repeat.
The truth: No matter how much you love working out or want to work out, you’re probably going to snooze your alarm in the morning
I don’t care what the morning people say, nobody hops out of bed in the morning. Not even on Christmas. Maybe kids. For people like myself, it takes two alarms, or three, or five. Whatever it takes, eventually you will get out of bed and get it done, and that’s all that matters.
The quote: There is no shame in sweat.
The truth: Yes, sweat is proof you worked hard, but there is nothing sexy about that smell
The quote is actually one of our own, but I still feel like I need to get this off my chest. You’re probably different to me. I’m sure you smell like a flower shop or a freshly washed baby after your p90x workout. Not so I. I stink. I can usually ignore it for a few minutes. Maximum an hour. But by the time that hour is up, I smell enough to put you off food. The only feeling better than that post-workout feeling is the post-workout shower feeling.
The quote: Sweat, smile and repeat.
The truth: Working out is less happy ponytail swinging from side-to-side, and more puffy cheeks, heavy breathing, red in the face
I love workout ads. Talk about motivation and inspiration. Check out all those flawless, sexy athletes, lifting weights and not breaking a sweat. Just incredible. Unfortunately not realistic. I don’t know about you, but I don’t smile while working out. I grimace. And if I’ve learnt anything from doing CrossFit, it’s that real exercise consists of grunting, deep sighing, sweat dripping, hair glued to your forehead. You are not expected to be glamorous when you workout. I’d go as far as to say that the gym is one of the few places where looking ‘unattractive’ is essentially celebrated. That’s how it should be.
The quote: You’re only one workout away from a good mood.
The truth: Not every workout leaves you feeling euphoric
Yes, endorphins are fantastic. Yes, they are real. No, you are not going to feel great after every workout. Some workouts will feel awesome. You will leave your best workout feeling like you de-throned Beyoncè and run everything. There will also be workouts where you feel a little disappointed with yourself because you wanted to do more, or you didn’t have enough time, or it feels like you took a step back instead of a step forward. It’s normal to feel this way. Yoga won’t always leave you feeling ‘om’. It’s okay to feel that. It isn’t okay to wallow in it. What’s done is done. Say to yourself, ‘That was a crappy workout, next workout will be better’, and then stop thinking about it. I don’t want to sound like Elsa, but you need to ‘Let it go’.
The quote: Be gentle with yourself, you’re doing the best you can.
The truth: You’re actually under performing – but it’s okay.
I like this truth because when I feel like giving up it spurs me on. Workouts like Insanity and the Orange 60 show that most of us only workout at a fraction of our full capacity. That sounds negative, but what it means is that you’re capable of more than you think. Don’t give up on yourself so easy. Think you can manage 6 reps, do 7. Think you’re only able to run 4 kilometers, you can probably do 5 with a little more effort. I’m not telling you to do what you know for a fact you can’t do – I mean if you felt a crunch in your knees it probably is best not to continue – but I’m saying if the only thing standing in your way is your mind, and not the actual exercise, then try, you probably can do it.
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