Workout tips for those who hate working out

hilly country road

Looking up the road toward home this evening.

I’m sure there are people who love working out. They probably live for a nice long run, or spending hours in the gym, or taking hundreds of laps in the pool. To them I say good for you! Nonetheless, I’m not someone who loves working out, but I do it anyway and I’ve learned a few things that I’d like to share with those who want to be healthier but don’t revel in the idea of working out.

Don’t Wait

If you’re waiting to work out until you feel the desire to work out, it’s probably never going to happen. Just get up off your butt and workout.

I have days where I really don’t want to work out, but I make myself do it anyway. My favorite part of a workout is usually when it’s over because then it’s time to wash the sweat off and that’s also when I feel really proud of myself for doing it.

Make a plan, not excuses

You have to plan time for exercise into your daily schedule because if you don’t, you’ll find yourself making excuses for not working out such as “I’m too busy.”

During a “normal” week when my daughters have school on my days to have them I’m able to do the first half of the week’s work and then fit in a workout before or after lunch. On days when I don’t have my daughters, my schedule is much more flexible and I’m able to accomplish more writing work and college work while still fitting in a workout. When it’s nice weather, my workout might be taking Jazzmin on a nice long walk and sometimes if I’m feeling really ambitious, I’ll do a walk and a DVD workout or free weights.

Expect challenges

In order to see results, your workout needs to challenge you physically, but beyond that, you also have to expect things that will challenge your ability and availability to work out.

A good example of this happened to me last Thursday when unexpected events made my morning errands run longer than usual and left me so stressed out, I just came home and took a nap. Yes, I could have dealt with that stress by working out, but I just didn’t have it in me that day. My body and mind wanted rest, so I obliged them. My evening proved too busy to work out because I had my mother over for dinner and my oldest daughter had her chorus concert so Thursday turned into an unplanned rest day.

I had my daughters this past weekend and while I managed a workout Saturday, Sunday was full to the brim so I had two rest days last week when I usually only take one. Nonetheless, I didn’t take all that as a reason to stop working out altogether. In fact, I not only did the Zumba step workout today, I did the Zumba ab workout and took Jazzmin on an evening walk down and then back up the steep road I live on. If it’s possible to make up missed workout days, I certainly accomplished that today!

Eat better

All the working out in the world won’t help (well, maybe it will if you work out 24/7) if you’re still eating an unhealthy diet. You have to be willing to make changes in what you eat or you’re undermining all the sweating you’re doing.

I’ve had to accept that eating cupcakes with the girls isn’t going to reduce my squishiness and that eating a chicken Caesar salad is a better, healthier lunch than creamy macaroni and cheese. I still have cravings for sweet things but I make healthier options as I did tonight. My girls usually want ice cream in the evening and it sounded good to me too so I made up some frozen yogurt with my handy Ninja blender and put it in the freezer. When my girls had ice cream, I had my homemade frozen yogurt and it satisfied my craving perfectly while being filled with protein and calcium.

 I’m sure there are better fitness experts out there that can give great tips, but those are just a few things I’ve learned over my years of working out and eating better. Being healthy isn’t something you can just do long enough to lose weight, you have to make it part of your whole lifestyle or you’ll end up back where you started. Life doesn’t move backward, it moves forward so grab your sneaks and hit the pavement with your pup as you head into a better, longer future.

Working out is a pain in the…


woman holding weight

Working out is a pain in the…everything, if you do it right. Yes, a proper cool down and stretching is supposed to prevent muscle soreness, but anyone who has ever really pushed themselves working out know that there’s always some soreness. I don’t mind soreness because it shows me that I’m working the muscles that I want to..and that they still exist.

Last Monday I decided it was way past time I started consistently working out again. Walking Jazzmin on days above 20 degrees meant that we only got in a few walks a month since January and that wasn’t frequent enough to improve my physical health. The time for shedding layers of clothing will arrive within a few months here (hopefully) and I want to be ready to enjoy the outdoors with ample energy.

To achieve my goal of better health and more energy, I knew I had to be serious about working out. No wishy-washy “I’ll do it tomorrow” stuff, I had to do it 6 days a week! Therefore, last Monday I started exercising again with the Zumba step workout and I was so proud of myself for getting off my duff to do it! I can always tell how out of shape I am by how long it takes me to feel sore and as I felt sore within 20 minutes of finishing the workout, I knew I’d seriously fallen off the workout wagon.

Nevertheless, I worked out Tuesday with a free weight routine I saw on I alternated between 5 and 12 pound weights depending on the exercise and by the end, my muscles were begging for mercy. I was still sore from Monday’s Zumba workout on Tuesday and by Wednesday, every muscle in my body hurt, even the ones I forgot I had. Yet I persevered and did a Zumba workout without the step and the Zumba ab routine. Thursday was Zumba step and Friday I did weights and was finally able to walk Jazzmin because it was above 20 degrees. By Friday, my muscles weren’t as sore and on Saturday, I felt human again. I did a fun little cardio hip-hop routine Saturday and walked Jazzmin in the increasingly warmer air to wrap up the week.

There are always tons of excuses not to work out like being too busy, feeling tired, finding working out boring, not liking to sweat and so on, but excuses don’t burn calories so I was done with them. I’m a busy chick but I made time in my schedule for a workout of some kind Monday through Saturday last week. Sunday was my rest day, but even then I took Jazzmin for a short walk.

Once I start working out regularly, it has the lovely beneficial side effect of decreasing my desire to eat junk that’s bad for me. I started craving vegetables like Brussel sprouts, asparagus, and broccoli and stocked up on them and healthy protein for my larger meals. When I want something sweet, I try to choose fruit instead of a baked treat, but I don’t always succeed. My goal isn’t to have 0% body fat, my goal is to be a realistically healthier version of myself. As I’ve said before, I like having curves. 😉

Today I will continue my workout plan with Zumba step and I know I’ll need to increase the intensity to achieve the results I want. The more I do a routine, the more my body gets used to it and the less effective it is so I have to keep mixing things up. I’m going to add in more ab and free weight routines and as the weather is supposed to be above 30 all this week, I’ll be walking Jazzmin every day again. Achieving and maintaining a healthy body takes daily work and I know from experience that there are no shortcuts.

From ugly duckling to clumsy swan

I imagine many people go through an ugly duckling phase at some point in their lives. Not me though. I didn’t go through a single ugly duckling phase…I went through many!

I think I was a pretty cute little girl until about the age of 12. That’s when I first got glasses, a perm and started to get a bit rounder in all sorts of areas.

I don't think my outfit was helping my case...

I don’t think my outfit was helping my case…

I had the “pleasure” of enduring all sorts of lovely nicknames during that stage including “Feefee” “Blondie” (for the curly hair) and worst of all “Misery” after Kathy Bates in the movie Misery. Fortunately, I started horseback riding when I was 13 and that, along with puberty being nice to me, helped me blossom into an attractive young woman.

My senior ball which also happened to be my 18th birthday.

My senior ball which also happened to be my 18th birthday.

My lowest weight was 128 pounds when I was 18 and even then, I still felt like the awkward, overweight girl from my past. I gained weight after high school and was around 160 when I got married at 21. During the first few years of married bliss, I pretty much ate anything I wanted, didn’t exercise and I gained another 20 pounds. A healthy weight for my height of 5’5″ inches is between 114-144 pounds (114?? Seriously?!) so I was overweight and didn’t wear it well.

I was around 180 when I got pregnant with Jordan and to me, pregnancy was the perfect time to eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted! I was around 220 when I gave birth and that definitely wasn’t all baby weight!

Over a year after having Jordan. I was around 200 pounds

Over a year after having Jordan. I was around 200 pounds


I knew I wasn’t a healthy weight and I wasn’t happy with my appearance but I didn’t have the energy or desire to try losing weight. I’m not an athletic person and I hated gym class growing up so the idea of exercise didn’t thrill me. I tried diet pills and shakes, anything that didn’t involve breaking a sweat or changing my diet but those things never work, no matter what the stupid commercials say.

My wake up call came when my father had his first stroke. He’d had diabetes for years but wasn’t taking it seriously. He didn’t eat right and he didn’t exercise and one horrible day when Jordan was still a toddler, he had a stroke. Seeing that happen to my father and watching what it did to him was sad and terrifying. I knew that if I didn’t get my rear in gear, the same thing could happen to me. I didn’t have diabetes and still don’t but I was at a higher risk for it being obese.

As I’ve said in previous posts, I worked out twice a day to DVDs and changed my diet to lose over 40 pounds. I kicked, punched, walked, jumped, weight lifted and did step aerobics until I got down to a healthier weight. I learned to be okay with sweating and I discovered that the more I worked out, the better I felt and the less I wanted to shove unhealthy food in my mouth. I put weight on again when I was pregnant with Jaycie and went through yet another ugly duckling phase, though this one was shorter because I knew how to take the weight off.

Shortly after Jaycie was born.

Shortly after Jaycie was born in July, 2006.

Still one of my fave pictures. October, 2010

Still one of my fave pictures. October, 2010

I’m still not at my goal weight of 140 pounds. I’ve been stuck at 155 for a few years now and according to all those lovely BMI calculators and height and weight charts, I’m overweight. As I think is true of a lot of people who were once heavier, quite often I still feel like that “fat girl” I see when I look at old pictures. I can’t compete with today’s skinny standards and while I know I’m beautiful, sometimes my belief falters.

When Ed Justen from Workspace 36 asked me at the Wolf Meadow Farm grand opening event in February if I’d model for him to help him with his photography portfolio, I immediately and enthusiastically said yes! It wasn’t because I have a big ego, it was because I was thrilled that someone thought I was attractive enough to model. I’d done several at-home photo shoots but the idea of someone else taking my picture sounded like much more fun!

The photo shoot for Koobis Photography & Media was fun and helped remind me that I’m a pretty darn attractive woman. While I’m still not at my goal weight, I do know that I’m not an ugly duckling anymore. Considering the number of times I trip over air pockets, stumble into walls, slip on ice, whack my head on car doors and that I even bonked my head on the stair railing during the photo shoot, I’m more of a clumsy swan these days…

One of the many photos taken by Ed Justen