How I started going to the gym consistently!

I was always athletic in secondary school, but when I moved to America it really changed. They say people gain about 15lbs in college, but your girl went ahead and doubled it for them just to prove a point lol. I wasn’t insecure about it but people around me didn’t let me forget I was getting fat. All through college, the only thing I would hear is ‘you are adding o’ ‘Ada e bukazi’ (Ada you are too big) and all the likes. That was where the insecurity came from. After four years, I guess people got tired. As part of moving to a new city, I wanted to become more active. All the times I had tried previously (and trust me it was a lot of times), it just didn’t work. This time around, something was different.

1. Know why you want to do it- Prior to this point (January- May 2019), the only reason I wanted to loose weight was because other people said I was fat. I realized that is a really shitty reason. I could never sustain it cause when those voices were gone, so was my motivation. In December, I came across this plus size runner, Latoya Shauntay Snell, and it truly changed my perspective on exercise. I saw how far she could run, and the things her body could do even though she was big. She wasn’t interested in losing weight and she was fit as hell. That really changed my motivation. It stopped being about the weight, and about treating my body right. That meant drinking my water, eating healthy and exercise. It means getting all my sleep and taking all my breaks. It became easier to go to the gym when it was only a part of the process and not the whole process itself.

2. What will motivate you?- Figure out what will work for you. I am very easily motivated by money. My first year of college, whenever I wanted to miss class I would remember how much I had paid in tuition and jump off my bed immediately. I knew that paying for some type of exercise regimen would ensure I stuck to it. My school’s gym provides classes for $75 a semester. I took advantage of the opportunity and it was really fundamental in ensuring that I was consistent.

3. Build it into your schedule- I heard this a lot but I didn’t realize how important it was. My gym classes became part of the routine. The same way I have my class schedule I had the gym schedule. Prior to this, I would always say ‘I will go to the gym Tuesday’s and Thursday’s.’ This time around it was ‘ I will go to the gym on Thursday at 5:30 for my 5:45 class and be out by 6:30 so I can be home to have dinner by 7.’ For me, that meant that I wouldn’t book meetings, events, or social activities during that time. Your exercise time is as sacred as your class time, work time, etc.

4. Find a friend- So important! I dragged one of my friends with me and I don’t regret it. It helped keep me accountable. Knowing that someone was counting on me to show up at the class removed any excuses I wanted to make. I don’t want to disappoint her cause she doesn’t have two heads and she is still going 😂.

5. Congratulate yourself for small steps taken- This is so important!!!! People only celebrate scale victories and for some people that may not be easy in coming. I remember in my first yoga class, I couldn’t bend with my hands clasped behind my back. I could barely get into the pigeon pose without feeling lots of pain. Three weeks in, I clasped my hands behind my back with ease. I almost started crying. I couldn’t believe it. I could do my whole HIIT class without feeling like fainting. I would complete Zumba and be ready to go for pound class. The energy I felt and the things my body could do in such a short time amazed me. Those were more important than any numbers on the scale.

6. Enjoy it- Find something that works for you. If you like to dance, dance. If you want to run, run. If it’s swimming, swim. There is no formula to exercising. Just do what works for you and enjoy it.

I really hope this helps. What else have you found that works for you?

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