How I exercise and pretend to enjoy it.

On June 21st, almost 3 weeks ago, I started working out. In the past, I claimed to have "starting working out" when in reality I maybe did it like twice and forgot about it. But this time is serious. I mean, I bought sneakers.

Here's what has worked for me:

1. Gear - I know, normally, people go on and on about how it doesn't matter how you look when you work out and that clothes should just be comfortable. I don't agree. I think if you like your work out clothes, and you think they look good on you -- you'll enjoy wearing them more often. I bought work out clothes from Kohls (they had really great deals and I got a bunch of stuff for $20 one day), really comfortable socks from Target and new Nike sneakers. Once I had all the stuff, I played dress up with my work out clothes. You know, to get psyched. Before I knew it, it was time to get dressed in the whole outfit to actually work out. And I didn't hate it.

2. Speed - I'm not a runner. I'm trying to be, but I'm not… yet. I used to be all "but people will see me running so slowly and they'll laugh". And you know what? Maybe. But only mean people do that. Let's face it. When I see someone running down the street, no matter their speed -- I'm envious that they're out there!  Plus, I just tell myself that onlookers (and really, if they are out there running… they're thinking about themselves not me) don't know whether I'm on mile 2 or mile 12. There could be multiple reasons that I'm going at a snail's pace. I mean… I could have just ran a marathon yesterday!

3. Change - The reason I never stuck to anything in the past is because two days of doing the same thing is boring. The past three weeks I have changed it up constantly. First of all, I've been running outside. This is a major surprise to me since I dislike being outdoors but the environment is actually better than being on a treadmill. At least there's stuff to look at. Along with running, I'm following a work out plan that includes 6 different circuits each week. So I'm on week #3 now. In addition, I've been going to classes -- zumba, pilates, yoga, barre -- you name it, in the past few weeks I've done it. It's hard but it keeps it fresh.

4. People - Ah, people. Getting in shape is not an individual thing, I don't care what you say. You need a team. I've been working out with my friend 2-3 times a week and with my dad who is a personal trainer a few times a week. People help to keep you motivated. If you're doing it alone it's easy to skip and slide by. But if you know someone is waiting for you -- you tend to hold your own. Also, it helps that Sean has started working out, too. We don't run together because he just gets up and runs… fast... for miles. But we compare our running apps later in the day. Oh, and it's especially good if the person you're running with can talk to you the whole time you run… without ever expecting a response from you. My friend tells me stories the whole time -- it makes the run go by quicker and since she doesn't expect a response I can still breathe (not easily, of course). I'm still working on the whole "chat and run" thing.

5. Goal - You always need a goal. But it's never been helpful for me to have a weight loss goal or a "let me SEE the change" goal. I was just never able to see results like that so I would quit. So now my goal is to complete the Mudderella. To do that I know I need to work on my core, balance, flexibility and strength. I still have nine weeks to go… so we'll see what happens. As of now, I just smile through the whole thing and pretend I'm doing the exercises just like the instructors and the women in the YouTube videos. It's sort of a "fake it till you become it" mentality. My goal is to finish but I don't need to be first.

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