Many friends asked what keeps me sticking to my gym routine and the fact that many of my friends have terminated their gym membership made some people wonder why I haven't give up yet. Although I slacked a few times and thinking about it I think I'd slack at least twice a year. Once during puasa/raya and then once again during year end period (Nov-Dec). It's a recognizable pattern now so hopefully next year I'll have a Plan to ensure I don't slack.
I don't have many tips on motivating myself to work out. So, in this entry I'll share with you some of the things that really helped especially when I was down and lost interested to exercise.
I researched, borrowed, bought, copied songs that can be used for my cardio sessions. Now that I'm more into running, I Google suitable playlists. Sometimes, I go through the old CDs I keep in some forgotten boxes in the house. With iTunes Genius, now it's easier to group songs and create playlists. My faithful iPod has served me for more than 3 years now, I love it so much although now I can't store all of my songs there anymore. So I rotate the playlists to be synced with it.
I invested a lot in gym attire. It started with just 2 Adidas workout pants, 1 Nike Sportsbra and 1 Nike workout top. Whenever I felt that I was about to slack, I'd go to the nearest shopping mall and visited either Al Ikhsan, Nike, Adidas or departmental stores (sportswear section). After about 5 years joining the gym, now I have at least 5 sets of gym attire (complete with headgear). The most important pieces are the sportsbra and headgear. They made me feel comfortable and complete.
Good shoes (oh, what's new... hehe)
I've used 5 pairs of trainers so far. Different trainers for different purpose. When I used to go to group exercise classes, I invested in indoor trainers - suitable for that sometimes slippery studio floor. Lately, I've been investing in good running shoes from Nike (complete with Nike sportsband - for tracking).
Tools and gadgets
Besides the iPod, the Nike sportsband has helped a lot in motivating me to run further, faster and more often. It keeps all my running records and upload them to Nikeplus website. I can monitor my progress and target to become a better runner. I can also track how many calories I've burned since I started running.
New clothes (clothes again... hehe)
I tricked myself into believing that I have a better body by buying clothes that complement my figure. Know what's best for you and it'll make you feel good when you have them on. Most of the times, it's really frustrating when we're not losing any weight even after all those gym session and healthy eating. In order not to feel beaten, I'd shop for new clothes that I know would make me look and feel good. Once I hear three friends give their compliments, that's enough to get me excited to work out again. And harder than before.
They're my best advisors/critics. I listen to them. None of them ever told me that they don't see any difference after all those hard work I've done. Perhaps there were results, or perhaps there were none but they always there to tell me to continue whatever I've been doing - work my ass off at the gym.