Friday, September 9, 2016

Tips on Staying Motivated

Fitness journeys are usually not easy. Getting there alone is actually a struggle. I started a serious fitness journey 6 years ago and there were some bumps along the way and most of the time, I fail. My own personal journey took longer than most people (after all, I'm not a natural athlete) but the thing is, at least I'm there. Reality check, we all need this in life. Being fit and healthy the natural way can save you so much money on medical bills and expensive maintenance drugs, therapy, or procedures you would have to undergo. It's also good for our brains and mental health. It's a must.

I'm not really hardcore like eating just chicken and broccoli and working out like 5 hours a day. I like getting strong while having fun. Having fun is the most important thing. it's the fun part that keeps me motivated. That's why fitness isn't such a chore. I guess that's why I stayed on here for 6 years and counting and even levelled up by writing about it, becoming a yoga teacher, and exploring other options.

For those who would want to start getting healthy, we start by committing to it. Not dreaming. Not wishing. Once we commit to the journey, we stay there, and here's how.

Find a workout program that fits you.

photo by Leo Castillo
I've tried so many workouts already - gym, Insanity, Tae-bo, aerobics, bellydancing, Pilates, name it. I'm really not into team sports since I'm anti-social and I didn't even bother taking up Crossfit because the whole high intensity workout and competitive environment is so not for me.  What I  regularly keep coming back to is always pole dancing and yoga. Sure I'd do occasional conditioning exercises from pilates and would pop in a ballet video once in a while but I always consider pole dancing and yoga to be my main workouts. However, these two may not be for most people so go and find a workout that you love and what fits your personality and stick to it. What matters is you keep your body moving in ways that you want to.

Set realistic expectations and small goals.

The shoulder mount took me years to do, and sometimes I still fail in this.
I make it my goal to develop muscles to make this constant. 
We see actors drop dress sizes and gain loads of muscle in like a few month's time. That's because they need to do that for a role and they have an army of trainers and nutritionists to beat them up into shape. They also undergo very strict diets, which in are quite hard to maintain in real life. We can start with small goals first, like being able to lift more grocery bags or being able to do a decent pull-up in a month or two. Try avoiding fast food or junk food first before going full hardcore vegetarian all of a sudden. Be kind to yourself and the results will follow.

Prettify things!

I'm all about beauty. I like having pretty things around me. The visual eye candy just gets me all energized so I get so motivated to work out. Instead of exercising in ratty, baggy old t-shirts and jogging pants, buy cute workout gear and work out in those cute leggings and sports bras. Eat a rainbow of colors by googling healthy recipes that are both pretty and gorgeous so healthy eating doesn't mean eating sad, colorless, tasteless, and boring food. Place citrus slices on your water so you get a drink that's pretty without the added calories and sugars. If wearing lipstick and winged eyeliner make you feel gorgeous then go ahead and come to a spinning class wearing them! That confidence you work on may actually motivate you to get healthy and you'll be wearing a pretty cropped top to class before you know it.

Surround yourself with people that motivate and inspire you.

Surrounding myself with positivity through friends who encourage and inspire.

Let me tell you a secret: I got bullied out of a job because I was passionate with fitness and my kitties. Rather than letting that get me, I decided to surround myself with people who are supportive of my own passions whether in fitness world or in work world. I've seen groups of friends both in pole and in yoga - and I am just amazed at how they lift each other up - both literally and figuratively. Literally like they will lift your hips so you can get to your handspring before they let go when you're stable in order to take your photo for you to upload in Instagram and figuratively because they're there to say na "kaya mo 'yan!" when you're about to give up. They will give you the spare banana in their bag when you're hungry, and share recipes and lend you a lipstick when you look pale. Let these people motivate you and let the strong people in class inspire you to do better rather than discourage you.

At one point in our lives, we will realize that we all should start getting healthy, either due to health reasons or maybe a family health risk, or maybe you just want to look good for your wedding. These tips will make you stay there so being healthy isn't just getting the blood sugar down and that's it or being able to fit in that gorgeous wedding dress you paid for. Let it be part of your life and encourage you to live it better. This fitness journey is long and each person takes different paths. Whatever path you take and how you choose it, commit and stay there and the results will be amazing!


Leo Castillo

Jade Activewear;

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