How did you maintain motivation at the start?

posted 3 years ago in Fitness
Post # 3
720 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

I’ve always struggled at the very beginning – for me, getting through the first 2 weeks was the difficult part (as I felt like I was going to die every time I ran or went to pilates). I found that, once I was in better shape, it was much easier to get myself to go for a run or whatever. Another thing that helps me is working out as soon as I get home from work. I don’t even let myself sit down on the couch or turn on the TV. If I let myself relax for a bit, I will be so much less motivated to get back up and run. Also, watching the number go down on the scale is excellent motivation! As was beating both of my sisters in a pushup competition 🙂

Post # 4
414 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@winstonchurchill: I think you need to create a realistic goal, and work toward that. I started running almost a year ago, and it was my goal to keep active four days a week. I bought a Nike fuel band, which kept track of my runs, pace, calories burned, etc. It was great to be accountable and know exactly how hard I’m working, and how I was improving. And start slowly… you will improve.

Also, try and find a buddy to work out with, and find exercises you like doing. There’s no point running if you’d rather be swimming or cycling. Any activity is better than no activity.

Post # 5
151 posts
Blushing bee

@winstonchurchill:  I have had huge motivation issues in the past.  For me it really takes a couple months before I feel “committed.”  To get to that point, I take my workout clothes to work so I do t have to go home, where I’ll be tempted to stay.  I aim for 3x week which is manageable, and don’t set myself up for unrealistic scenarios of going 6x week.  I can always go more often once I’ve established a good routine.  Also, I personally need to vary what I do, whether it’s alternating going to the gym with Pilates, or something like that – even if I hit the gym 3 times in a row, I’ll do different weight machines, different running routines, etc. to keep me from getting bored.  Just make sure what you’re doing is something you can stick with long-term or you’ll never be able to sustain it.  Good luck!

Post # 6
236 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

@winstonchurchill:  what works for me when I start a new fitness routine is creating a calendar that has my workouts and rest days for every day of the month so there is no questioning what has to be done for the day.  Currently, I am training for my third half marathon and I am incorporating a weight lifting routine as well. I created a calendar and it has my schedule for 3 months out.  Of course, there are the days that have unforseen circumstances, or times when you just need to switch some days around; but, having the schedule keeps me accountable and if I miss I day, I either do it on a day this was scheduled “rest day” or sometimes just give myself a break if my body really needs it!

I also use an app called “Lose It” on my phone and track everything I eat.  It has a barcode scanner so you can scan products and it puts it right in! While sometimes I go over the allotted calories and sometimes I am way under, its a great way to guage where you are with your eating. 

Good Luck!

Post # 7
1470 posts
Bumble bee

Great thread! I’m just commenting to mainly get some great advice as I, too, have issues with motivation but I’ve picked up some good habits along my struggle.

This is my 3rd time on the fitness/eating right bandwagon and a tip that’s helped me is to just not have horrible unhealthy things in my home. I don’t shop at the supermarket hungry so I’m not tempted to buy something snacky to “hold me” while I cook. If I bring it home, I know I’m going to destroy the whole bag/container/etc so I just don’t.

If you have Instagram, I follow a couple of the fitness accounts and they’re really helpful! Looking at ripped up women with killer arms…or even just regular women who are strong with flat tummies and toned booties lol It just helps because I know one day, I’ll get there….I just have to put in the work!

I also buy cute work out clothes, that always motivates me to wear them and once I do that, I might as well work out ya know?

I used MyFitnessPal with great success…trying to get back into it!

Good luck!

Post # 8
1287 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@winstonchurchill:  They say that anything continuously done for 3-4 weeks becomes a habit; whether you start a routine, try to stop something, etc.  SURE, after the initial ‘this sucks’ phase, you still need to make a conscientous effort to continue making those decisions, but it does seemingly get ‘easier’. 


At two weeks, you are DEFINITELY in the ‘THIS SUCKS…why MUST I DO THIS to myself?!” phase.  The good news is that if you find it within YOU, the outcome of sticking to anything becomes way more rewarding, and less like a chore you need to get done.


Some tips on maintaining motivation, as far as what works for me anyways, is as follows:


* Find something you do not HATE doing. 


I HATE, have always hated, going to the gym.  I always felt sub-par, hated the stench, etc.  I would go for a small period, then stop going.  This time around, I turned to outdoor running.  I decided to start the Couch to 5K program, which only mandated 3 workouts/week, and was a manageable program.  When I started that, I also signed up for my first 5k the weekend after the 9-week program.  Since I did that, it motivated me to complete the program.  And guess what?!  I realized I LOVED running.  After my first 5k, I signed up for more and more races, and trained to better my time/go longer/be faster, which also kept me accountable and motivated.  Now that winger is around the corner here, I have amped up my outdoor running clothes with warm weather items, bought shoe spikes for tennis shoes, etc.  In doing that, I know I need to keep running outdoors, because I spend the money.  Mind tricks work!




* Purchase a scale, and use it (but do not go overboard!)


I never owned a scale.  I hated the scale.  I still hate the scale actually.  I do not believe the number dictates healthiness at all, but dedicating myself to a weekly weigh-in kept me going. The first week I had lost 3 lbs, the second week 2lb, and so on.  Seeing the numbers go down is a huge motivation – if that is what you want!  Just do not get obsessed with it either.  Now, if I lose it is about .5-.8 lbs/week, but I have also hit my plateau/healthy weight range…


* Re-vamp your music.


Most, if not all people listen to music while working out.  I found some awesome playlists online, on FB when I asked people, etc.  I made a ‘workout’ list with a ton of music, and I really love each song for different reasons.  Some keep me on pace, some speed me up, some make me cry (true), but finding a playlist that keeps me going kept me motivated.

* Give yourself a break!

I think it is important to not be too hard on yourself.  For a lot of people, dedicating time in your day for a workout IS HARD.  However, I think a common ideal is that you need to dedicate 1+ hour(s) every day to working out.  NOT TRUE!  I take 2 days off a week from working out at all.  I dedicate 2 days to a full hour + (my longer runs) workouts.  The other 3, I do not worry about the length of time, but just worry about doing something.  Usually, those days, I am doing about a 30-minute workout.  Some times it is just cross training in my garage (sit-ups/push-ups, etc).  Some days it is sprinting up and down my driveway. Some days it is doing a quick ‘3-miler’.  It IS sometimes hard to find the time, but I think doing something is better than nothing at all, and it is easier to not detest working out this way (for me anyways!)

I hope these tips helped a bit 🙂  Good luck!


Post # 10
2915 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Wynn Las Vegas

I think having something to look forward to really helps (wearing a hot dress soon, bikini season, vacation). When I’ve started its usually something special coming up I want to look hot for, and then I just continue to go to the gym after bc I want to keep it!

Post # 11
7654 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2012

@winstonchurchill:  It really helped me to join a community like My Fitness Pal becuase you got support, motivation, and accountibility for exercising or not exercising and eating healthy. That is what worked for me. I loved being able to tell people with the same goals in mind about my success.

If MFP isn’t for you, I would keep a diary or something of what exercise you did and how you felt before, during, and after it so you can reference back and say, “Ok, I sucked at getting out the door, but once I got our for my walk/run the crisp air just made me feel so calm. By the end I was tired, but felt very accomplished!”

Post # 12
3596 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

I gained 55 pounds after college and I losted it a year and half later. I kept yoyoing every winter because I main run and I’m not  hardcore enough to run in the winter.Lasy year I manage not to gain over the winter, and I am doing the same this year. These are my tips.

1. Make gradual changes: Doing a radical workout regimine is just going to cause you to crash and burn after a few weeks. So intregrate things in slowly.

2. Have Fun: I hate the gym and avoid it at all cost. Now I find things I enjoy like kickboxing class, I play intermural sports for adults, I also take a barre class all which are enjoyable and I look forward too. If you are miserable you won’t be motivated to keep going.

3. Don’t be too restrictive with your food: When you fee deprived it’s hard to keep eating that way. Experiment with making your favorite foods in a more heathly way, if you want a cookie have a freaking cookie. What I do now is I make a lot of vegan desserts that taste really good and are more healthy. We tend to eat very healthy meals during the week, and use our weekends to splurge.

Post # 13
1629 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2014 - Church

@winstonchurchill:  I think setting small goals and starting small is working for me. Also finding something you enjoy doing (whether it be taking a dance class or going to the gym or running) really helps – because then it is not a workout, it is something you are doing for fun. Finding a gym buddy or running buddy to motivate you. No one says you have to go to the gym or run or whatever to work out.

Post # 14
11772 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2013

@winstonchurchill:  I weighed myself every day!

You lose weight fastest at the beginning, so every day there’s an instant reward!

Also: NO CRASH EXERCISING. Nothing gets old faster than spending 10 ours a week at the gym or doing exercise DVDs!

There’s a rule for runners that I think should apply to all exercise: You should never increase what you do in a week by more than 20%. It’ll keep you from burnout!

Post # 15
259 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

Everyone on here has great advice!

@winstonchurchill: The number one thing that motivates me is knowing how hard it is.  My good friend Google told me one day, “You did not get fat by eating bad one day, and you are not going to get skinny by eating well one day.”  It is a long journey and it is important for me to remember that I am doing this for me and I ultimately feel better when I work out and eat healthy.  Yes, of course, me getting into that slimming wedding dress is a HUGE motivator, but ultimately, it is knowing how I feel when I accomplish something by doing what is right.

Definalty let me know if you want to buddy up…it does make things easier.  MyFitnessPal has a great motivating community and system that works if you work it.

Post # 16
402 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

@winstonchurchill:  The beginning can be HARD–you’re used to eating more, so you’re constantly hungry, and you’re wiped from the extra exercise. 

Usually what keeps me motivated in the beginning is just the pure drive to feel and look better.  And then slowly you start seeing results and feeling stronger, and the success drives your motivation even further.

I’m actually having a harder time NOW–I’ve lost 20 pounds and am very comfortable and happy with where I’m at, although I’m intending to lose another 10 strictly for vanity reasons lol.  I’m sticking very easily to maintenance but having a harder time actually LOSING any more. 

In the beginning, I wanted the weight off so badly that I turned down social occasions to go to the gym or because I didn’t want to eat restaurant food.  Getting in shape was priority #1.  Now that I’ve met that goal, it’s harder to stay motivated–so I’ll be checking into this thread for ideas! 🙂

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