Exercising Motivation Help

Updated on June 02, 2017
T.D. asks from New York, NY
14 answers

so for mothers day i won a 6 month membership to an exclusive all womens fitness center. they boasted of results after the first week, and 6 weeks to see your numbers moving towards your goals.
i have jumped in with both feet, i am following the nutrition program, i am doing 3x a week workouts. and my results are soreness. i weigh the same if not a lb or two more. my measurements are the same. i expected to have some kind of results after these 2 weeks but nothing. i am already finding it hard to get motivated to go to the "boot camp" classes that i won. i am finding it hard to stick to the nutrition program. i expected to lose weight and inches and see results like they say everyone else has but its not there. so far the only thing i am getting is in pain. i am sore after every workout. mondays workout was outside and i ended up with a migraine so bad i nearly puked while making dinner.. how do i keep my spirits up? how do i motivate myself to continue when i have invested hard work sweat and pain to get nothing good back?
is there something i am missing? should i be jogging miles on the off workout days? or using my elliptical for half hour on the off days?
the training they use is "high intensity interval training" and the workouts are brutal and i definitely feel the burn. but the lack of results is diminishing my drive to continue. mybe i just need reminders that change like this takes time and i will soon see results? i dunno. but i am feeling defeated and down about it

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So What Happened?

Thank you for the encouragement.!
none of the workouts themselvs ahve made me vomit, that was the sun induced migraine i got later in the day when i did the workout outside.
i was able to chat with the trainer of the classes this morning. before class. she said she would keep the classes inside when possible and notify me ahead of class if its going to be outside so i can ajust my routine.
i also met with the owner and he said not many of the free pass or membership winners ever stick it out and encouraged me to stick with it so he can do a video of the journey to encourage others to stick it out. ( he said most never show up at all)
the other trainer also said if i need to do fewer reps or less burpees to cut it in half and build up to the full amount and that i should give myself a month to get to the full amount. so i will continue to bust my booty and hope i see some results by end of july!
again thank you all for the encouraging words!! i will try to keep you posted on my progress.

More Answers


answers from St. Louis on

Make friends with the other people in the class, talk to them. They have all done it, are doing it, and are your best resource for motivation.

Put a tracker app on your phone. To lose weight you have to burn a lot more calories than you take in but starvation will actually make you gain weight in the short term. A tracker tells you how much you are burning and what you are taking in.

More than anything you should be enjoying yourself if you are not try a different fitness plan.

Per your what happened, oh god you are talking crossfit. No, stop, stop now! Their trainers are not properly trained and what they do is so destructive to your body. There are much easier ways to burn calories. As my physical therapist says, I love crossfit people, I just bought a new car. Crossfit is bar none the worst thing you can do if you just want to lose weight and get in shape.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I've always been into exercise but now that I am in my late 40's I find for me it is really about diet. I've lost 10 lb in the last month by simply cutting bad carbs out of my diet. I'm not eating any treats but I do eat all the fruit I want.

I also found that having a plan is making all the difference. I eat Greek yogurt and berries for breakfast, a pre-made salad and chicken breast for lunch, I snack on a handful of nuts, then a healthy dinner. After dinner I don't eat.

My cousin lost over 100 lbs on weight watchers. She found the support and weigh ins to make all the difference for her.

Check out the book "Body for Life". I found it extremely motivating and in just 12 short weeks you will notice renge your body if you stick it out.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Wausau on

Their claims are a gimmick, you can't take it seriously. It's nonsense to get people to sign up.

The thing with frequent, heavy exercise is that you build muscle as you lose fat. Your weight is not going to be a good measure of success. Instead, pay attention to how your current clothing fits you. That is where you will notice changes. Stay.Off.The.Scale.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

Girl, don't expect to undo years of damage in a matter of weeks! This coming from someone who's thrown thousands of dollars into gym membership contracts since her teen years and always gave up after not seeing immediate results. I also used my PCOS and Hypothyroidism as excuses for throwing in the towel and accepting I would always be the chubby girl. Honestly, it takes time, be patient. Are you watching your calorie and carb intake? That is usually the biggest culprit, as are hidden carbs, and large portion sizes. For me, the portion sizes were a big contributor in my weight gain. I didn't eat fried chicken or anything unhealthy like that, but I would eat things like two chicken breasts, or maybe a 26 oz piece of steak (now I eat 9 oz), a salad bowl of brown rice, and occasionally, a scoop of ice cream. Pizza maybe twice a month (now it's once every 2-3 months, and not as a main course, but something I eat as a side dish to a large kale salad, so I only eat one slice, versus 3 when making it my sole meal). I make sure my protein portions are about the size of my hand, and I fill up on foods with high fiber content, like broccoli, as well as berries, grapes, and apples.

I also had a sedentary lifestyle and expecting one hour of exercise to undo the 8+ hours I was sitting on my butt all day within weeks was unrealistic. I eventually dropped weight by pretty much cutting out all carbs from my diet, being strict about those things, cutting out sugar and instead using substitutes, and speed walking for an hour, 5-6 days a week. If you're overweight, you might have liver issues -- I did. That is what motivated me the most to take control of my life, not the fact that I could not fit into a size 0 or size 2, or that I wanted men to notice me. Think about all the benefits from exercising -- less risk of heart disease, dropping your risk of cancer (including breast), being able to fit into your clothes, undoing liver damage, back pain, joint pressure, and more. See it as a lifestyle change and reward yourself when you lose weight. Something as simple as buying yourself a cute shirt every month, or allowing yourself one cheat day, does wonders. It won't be easy, but it is so worth it. You have already started on the path to a healthier lifestyle. Keep going and don't fall back!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

Muscle weighs more than fat. It is denser so muscle weighs more.

I would have expected your measurements to have reduced at least a little bit by now. If you are working out so hard that you are puking then you are doing a dangerous program. Please tell them no thank you and stop.

A fitness program is built around your lifestyle, you make changes to be healthier by adding a salad instead of a carb side. You add things that you like that are better for your body then lower, a little bit, the things that aren't good for you. If you cut them out all together you will crave them and want them and are more likely to cheat and eat them, then you eat and eat and eat them.

I think people that eat in moderation do so much better in the long run. They can also get better at limiting those things over time.

Going to the Y or a real gym on a regular basis will help you tone over all your areas. It will increase your calorie burning ability and kick your metabolism into high. You just need to go someplace that isn't crazytown.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I always gain weight (a little, not a lot) before I start to lose when I start a new exercise program. I think it's because muscle weighs more than fat, and you have to gain a some muscle first. Muscle metabolizes more even when resting, so once you build that muscle, it will make losing easier later.

Anyway, I hope your goal is not to be a certain size. Your goal should be to be healthy! Stronger muscles and better heart health are great goals no matter what size you are. I agree with JB that giving yourself other goals - like the ability to do more of each exercise or hold your plank for longer or lift more weight - will show you that you ARE making progress and help you stay motivated while you wait for the longer-term changes.

That said, you need to bring the outside workout/migraine issue to your trainer because something isn't right there. If you have bad allergies, maybe you need an alternative workout if they are going to be outside. If they aren't giving you enough breaks to drink water, they need to know that. And you should always listen to your body and take breaks when it's telling you that you need to.

But in general, it's great that you embraced this and I hope you can keep with it and focus on being healthy!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

You're working too hard, getting sore, and not wanting to continue. Normal. Back off a little - go as often, but lift less weight or do fewer repetitions. If you are using 8 pound weights, drop down to 4 or 5 pounds. If you are doing 20 reps of each exercise, drop to 12. Do something else in between so you rest those muscles before going back to do another set of reps.

Of course you're not losing weight in the beginning - you are building muscle, and that weighs more. Your body has to learn how to use that muscle to burn calories, and that doesn't happen overnight.

Be sure you are not eating too little - if you take in too few calories (especially at a higher activity level), your body will think it's starving and slow down your metabolism.

Stop listening to their promises. Sit down with one of the trainers and explain that you are sore and ill and ready to quit. They don't want that, ideally. However, understand that some of the less-reputable places make their money by selling a package that they don't have to deliver on because people get hurt.

You should be working with someone to make sure you are in exactly the right position for each exercise - the wrong position can cause injury. If they aren't taking the time with you, complain. Ask for a less boot-camp-style instructor/trainer and say you are getting ill. And do hydrate more. Don't do a bunch of chemical-and-dye laden things they are selling you though. I work in exercise nutrition, and most of the stuff they hawk at these gyms is over-processed and over-priced, and the staff is not all that trained in it. The gym managers go for the high profit margin stuff and not what really works for muscle repair/recovery.

I would not jog if you are in pain. I would walk on the treadmill or perhaps use the elliptical, but focus ONLY on time and your target heart rate, and not so much on speed or distance. And you absolutely need a day off in between - take a slow walk so you aren't need the kitchen, but stop trying to burn burn burn! Use ice to reduce inflammation in the muscles. You are trying to accomplish too much in too short a period of time, and your expectations aren't realistic. And do stop looking at the scale. The mirror will be the best judge, but not for a while. Resolve not to look at anything for the first month except whether you are walking a little farther each time.

Do you have excellent shoes? If not, go to a real running/sports store (not a mall chain) and have them watch you walk in shoes and without shoes, to look at your stride and whether you pronate, then fit you for a good shoe with good cushioning for YOUR FEET. Let them know the types of things you are doing - probably they will fit you with a good cross trainer shoe but let them guide you.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

"No pain no gain" was the exercise mantra of the 80s - and it was/is so wrong.
Pain means your body is trying to tell you something.
Slow down a bit and work up to it.
Exercise is good for you in so many ways.
Unfortunately it's not so great for losing weight.
And on top of that - working out can prime your appetite - so you want to eat more, crave carbs.
Nothing can get you results in 2 weeks.
The sooner you let go of that marketing fantasy, the better you'll feel.

It's common to gain a little when you start working out because muscle mass weighs more than fat - and you need the muscle to burn fat - so be patient while your muscles ramp up.
Keep yourself well hydrated - this means drinking water.
Infuse it with a few slices of fruit if you get bored with plain water but water is superior to anything else you could care to drink.
Counting calories is good - watch your carbs, sugar, alcohol - it all turns to the same thing in your blood stream.
Protein and fiber is good.
It helps keep you from wild swings in your blood sugar levels.

In the mean time - give yourself an epsom salt bath several nights a week - your muscles will start to feel better.
Also take Tylenol and Advil - they both relieve pain in different ways.
Compression socks/sleeves can really help with any shin splints you might be feeling.
You want something that holds you firmly but not so tightly that it cuts off blood circulation.
It can take a little experimentation to get the right fit.
Talking to a trainer is a good idea.
A lot of good can come from this next 6 months but you're going to have to change your pace and mindset a bit.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I understand the disappointment and frustration. Here's what I would say... It sounds like you took on a very big goal with a 6-month membership. That's a LONG time to commit to. It sounds like you are not totally doing it for the right reasons. When you start any kind of plan, you should start slow, otherwise you will burn out. At the rate you're going, you will stop going completely, if you don't slow down and be a bit easier on yourself.

Before you start any program like that, you need to get a thorough physical from your doctor. Make sure that your labs are normal and that you are in the right health to be taking on this type of plan. It's definitely not for everyone. Some people start with weight loss and then do an exercise plan after they lose some of the weight. The nutrition plan AND this extreme workout plan may be too much?

The other thing i wanted to tell you is, be patient with yourself. Two weeks is not very long.We have to be kind to ourselves when we are experiencing change. If you beat yourself up, you are less likely to stick with the program.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

I lost 30 pounds over a year by counting every calorie that went in my mouth (tracked it online with sparkpeople...it was free) and doing two hours of exercise at the gym 4-5 days a week...for a whole year. Two and a half of those months I didn't see anything happen at all...it was like I was stuck.

But I stuck it out and I did drop 30 pounds. Then I dropped my gym membership...I should have kept going for the exercise alone just to stay healthy but they closed their kids club and I had no place to watch my kids.

Keep going and watch your eating habits...it will happen just not as fast as we all would like. Big hugs!!



answers from Sacramento on

You may be replacing fat loss with muscle, so don't lose hope. I've found, too, that it takes months for my body to really show results. It's pretty intent on not shedding weight or toning quickly, but I'm in my late 40s, so I know that has a lot to do with it.

You need to make sure the exercise classes you're doing are ones you enjoy. I've found that yoga is my thing. I do a very intense yoga sculpt class (yoga meets HIIT) and a yoga flow class, with a HIIT DVD at home as my third day of exercise for the week. I love going to both classes and don't mind the aches afterward because they were rewarding to me. If you feel like you're forcing yourself to do these classes only to suffer afterward, you're not going to be motivated to continue with them. If they're not a match for you, try something else. Can you use other parts of the gym, like the bikes, pool, elliptical and weights? Maybe one or all of those are a better fit. My husband does the Beach Body DVD workouts and they're so crazy they make him vomit. I know for me that would never fly.

Also take a look at that nutrition program. Are they cutting your calorie intake too far? I did the SparkPeople diet once and it limited me to 1,200 calories a day. My body went into starvation mode and I didn't lose a pound after weeks. Joined Weight Watchers after that and ate a lot more, and the weight started coming off.


answers from Milwaukee on

Tadpole, congrats on your forward-thinking goals, & action! Getting involved is the first step, and sometimes it's such a doozy people don't even make it.

It's good to see from your update that you are connecting with the trainer & adjusting your workouts as needed. From personal experience, I have some health issues that make physical exercise difficult, and any changes have long-lasting effects. I'll have pain/fatigue for a week if I overdo it one day when I think I have a burst of energy.

Best thing for you long-term is to stick with it, & enjoy the benefits that come. If you overdo it, your body might retain some water to help your muscles heal, so keeping your workouts lower intensity will help not only with the soreness but also the lack of weight loss. Make sure you stay well-hydrated, even more than before you were working out, to help that as well. (sounds counter-intuitive, but if you don't have enough water, your body holds on to it. If you have what you need in regular supply, your body doesn't try to retain it)

You have 6 months to enjoy this change in your life, it's only been 2 weeks. So hang in there a bit longer - change is hard, & good, long-lasting change takes time! I know so many people who say "I don't have the results I wanted" after a couple of weeks, but if they stick with it they have sudden weight loss & muscle tone as their body catches up with the new routine. Good luck!! T. :)



answers from Portland on

I started around the same time with a new program. If it helps, I have not seen results either, but I didn't expect to - just yet. My friends have told me (in same program) it takes time. They are definitely firmer - so I am going with that, over weight loss. For me, I'm just not toned at all. I think you have to do more cardio to lose pounds. I'm doing strength training - build muscle, which I think (?) weighs more than fat.

Our instructor told us not to do exercises on our 'off' days as our muscles need to rest and recuperate. So I walk on my off days.

So maybe cardio for you on your off days.

I too feel drained and can end up with a migraine if I do too much. Drink TONS of water, and then some more. That will help. You may not be getting enough when you're exercising.

Hang in there - good to know I'm not only one taking on a new challenge and wondering about results! Hopefully we'll see (or at least feel) some soon!


answers from Santa Fe on

I just wanted to encourage you...the soreness is because you are building muscle. (Be sure to let your body get it's rest to heal and to eat well.) The more muscle you build means your body will burn more calories each day on it's own. So, you may weigh the same due to muscle being put on...but you are definitely getting healthier. Stick with it! It has only been 2 weeks...give it a few months and then take note of any differences you can see! Before I had back problems I used to do a free weights class (called Power Up). I also was into biking (on trails and in a class). I was in amazing shape then. sigh.

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