The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Health and Fitness: How to Get Off the Couch and Stay Motivated

By Kate Richlin-Zack

Getting off the couch to do anything can be difficult for a Lazy Girl. Getting off the couch to work out is even more difficult. Who wants to get all sweaty and gross when you can lounge around in sweats? Not me, thank you very much. But if you want rock hard abs and a gravity defying tush, there’s no way around it; you need to exrecise. So how do you overcome the lure of cheese balls and pajama bottoms? They’re so tempting…

Here are a few tips to help you get motivated and stay motivated.

1. Visualize your goal

Normally I associate magazine clippings with ransom notes and psychopaths, but in this case, we can make an exception. Whether you’re cutting pictures out of the latest issue of Women’s Health magazine or pinning “fitspirational” photos on your Pinterest board, you’re essentially visualizing your goal. Identifying what you want is the first and most important step in getting it. Reminding yourself of that goal on a daily basis also helps, and trust me I’m not above plastering my refrigerator with pictures of Jessica Biel in a bikini if it means I’ll think twice before devouring the entire tray of lasagna.

2. Create the perfect playlist

It’s been scientifically proven that music is a great accompaniment to any workout. In fact, it does double duty. Not only does it motivate you to get moving in the first place, it also helps you maintain a constant pace by distracting you from discomfort and fatigue. Skeptical? Remember last Thursday night when you were out for drinks with your girlfriends and Beyonce’s Crazy in Love came on and you just HAD to dance even though your feet were killing you from your new Louboutins? Yeah … that’s what I’m talking about. Fire up your iTunes and make yourself a workout mix. I always get excited whenever new songs are randomly shuffled into the mix as I’m trying not to fall off the treadmill.

3. Dress the part

This may sound totally superficial but sometimes you need to start from the outside and work your way in. If you LOOK confident and sexy, you will FEEL confident and sexy and — if you feel that way in your workout clothes — you’ll be more inclined to wear them where it’s most appropriate: at the gym. Someone once recommended sleeping in your workout clothes so when you wake up the next morning, you’re already dressed and ready to hit the gym. If you’re a morning person, this may be a great suggestion but since the title of this column includes the phrase “Lazy Girl,” I’m guessing you are not my demographic. I’m a raging [insert expletive of choice here] first thing in the morning. Don’t even talk to me before I’ve had a cup of coffee. Since morning workouts have never worked for me, I stick with afternoon or evening. To help encourage me to go to the gym, even after a long day of work, I put my workout clothes and sneakers on as soon as I get home. There’s only so long you can wear a sports bra before you feel like you should put it to good use.

4. Misery loves company

Mama said there’ll be days when you’re comfy bed is more enticing than the bootcamp class you signed up for. But if your best friend signed up with you, she’s going to be pissed if you leave her to suffer through pushups and agility drills alone. Being beholden to a workout buddy means you’re less likely to blow it off and watch rom coms with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s Chubby Hubby.

5. Keep track of everything

Whether it’s your daily caloric intake, the number of days you exercise, the amount of weight you’re lifting, or the amount of weight you’re losing, keeping track of your progress is the best way to stay motivated. Once you’ve set your goal, no matter how ambitious, it can seem impossible especially on days where your boss yells at you or your car breaks down or that new guy you’ve been dating cancels at the last minute. Life happens. It will continue to happen so it’s not a legitimate excuse. If you have a record of how hard you’ve worked over the last few weeks — or even just the last few days — it can help you stay on track and avoid being completely derailed.

Those are just a few of my favorite motivation tactics. Most of the time they help me power through excuses and sleepiness but sometimes I need a break and you probably will too. The most important thing is not to beat yourself up if you take a day off and have an entire pizza for dinner. Not that I’ve ever done that … As long as you’re relatively consistent with your workouts and careful about what you eat, a few lapses in healthy behavior are perfectly fine every once in a while.

“The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Health and Fitness” is a column on running every Tuesday at 10:30am. It is written by the irrepressible Kate Richlin-Zack, a former plus-sized model turned fitness enthusiast who lost 60 lbs in the process. She loves food and views exercise as a necessary evil in her quest for looking good and feeling confident in hot pants. You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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3 thoughts on “The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Health and Fitness: How to Get Off the Couch and Stay Motivated

  1. Kaitertot says:

    i definitely use tactic #1 a lot, both on pinterest and at my office! I have this hanging on my cubicle wall!!

  2. [...] on and on about ways to incorporate healthy choices into your lifestyle. Whether it’s tips for staying motivated, reasons you should avoid alcohol, or how to recover from a weekend warrior session, I try to keep [...]

  3. [...] Recently, a friend asked me, “How and when did you make the choice to be healthy, and how do you stick with it?” [...]

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