It can be so difficult when you know that you need to workout, but you don't feel confident or comfortable in your body. There have been so many times that I told myself that I would start working out when I got 'smaller'. The main problem with this thinking is that the focus is still on my size. I had to start shifting my mindset from working out to get skinny, to working out because I love myself and it's good for my body.
*Disclaimer - I am not a certified personal trainer or nutritionist. These tips are based off of my personal experience.
It is truly amazing what our bodies are capable of. My body has been through so much and I am learning to be grateful for it and see it in a different light. Working out reminds me of my strength and it makes me feel so good. Here are my best tips to help you get started working out at any size....
Shift Your Mindset
I talked about this in the beginning of the post and I am going more in depth because it is so important. I think that many of us have had years of misinformation and lies pounded into our brains and it takes work to shift that to a more positive and self-loving mindset.
Start focusing on what your body can do and not what it looks like. Focus on how good moving your body makes you feel. Think about how getting outside in the fresh air helps your anxiety. Start looking at movement and exercise in a positive light and not as a punishment.
Find a Workout That You Enjoy
You do not have to do what the fitness models on Instagram are doing (unless you want to). You can do what makes you feel good. Personally, I LOVE lifting weights at the gym. It makes me feel strong, confident and even sexy. I don't love cardio, but I know that I am more likely to enjoy it if I am outside, so that's what I do.
Find what you love, try new things even! Here are some ideas....
- Walking. Even if it is just for 30 seconds at a time, just get started. You will be walking laps before you know it!
- Barre Class (my sister is a dancer, this is what she loves)
- Swim laps at the local rec center (great option if your knees are bad like mine)
- Play a game of soccer with your kids (lots of running and fun!)
- Spin Class
The point is to start moving your body and to do it consistently. It is not always about feeling motivated, it is about building the discipline to stay consistent. It is difficult, but you can do it and so can I!
Buy Cute and Comfortable Workout Clothes
Buying some cute new workout clothes always gets me motivated!
I love Old Navy for affordable plus size outfits. My favorite sports bra is from Old Navy, it is comfortable and supports the girls really well (I am large chested).
While I love affordable options for working out, I also love high quality leggings and bras. My favorite, favorite, favorite leggings are the Athleta Elation ⅞ leggings. They are insanely soft but also hold me in and are completely squat-proof. I am so glad they have plus size options because they have the BEST workout clothes.
Find a Workout Partner
Being with a friend can make working out fun. Having a workout partner is also a great way to stay accountable and build that consistency. Try setting a date with a friend once a week to go for a walk or try a new gym class. This way you get to move your body and have quality time with a pal.
Comparison is the thief of joy. Don't compare to people on social media (stop following accounts that make you feel 'less than'). Don't compare to other people in the gym. Focus on the fact that you are moving your body and celebrate that. Don't let comparison keep you from stepping out of your comfort zone. If I start to feel those thoughts creep in, I turn up some music to get me pumped up. I also remind myself that I am there for ME not anyone else.
Set some goals for yourself and then pick some fun rewards when you hit them! Celebrate every victory, no matter how small it may seem. I don't use food as a punishment or reward anymore, so I try to pick a variety of fun things and experiences. Here are some of my favorite ideas...
- New Running Shoes
- New Workout Clothes
It can be anything that keeps you motivated!
Listen, I have been 160 lbs and I have been 300 lbs. I know how hard it can be to start working out when you feel so far from your goals. But I encourage you to get started because it is so good for your health both physically and mentally. Step outside of your comfort zone and you might just find that you love moving your body!
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