The Daily Beet

02 Apr The Power of Momentum

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I hate ruts. I had managed to get myself in a rut when it came to working out last month. Things were just so busy, and I used that as an excuse to not workout as much as I had been. I’d justify this with the thought, I’d workout the next day, put in more time.

Granted, March was a very crazy month. It got to that point that no matter how much work I put in, I was still going to be behind. And so I felt guilty for even thinking I should take “time off” to go and workout.

10 days ago I decided I’d do something different. I would get up, put my workout clothes on and my sneakers first thing. Now, this didn’t always mean I’d hit the gym right away, but I was always ready to go. I  decided one day that I was just going to go to the gym for 5 minutes, that was it. So I set out to do just that. Got to the gym, put on my headphones, and started my workout. 45 minutes later, I realized I had done 40 minutes more than I intended. This has gone on everyday since. And once I hit that momentum, it just got easier.

Here are a few things that I implemented to help me get a good workout in every day: 

1. I put my workout clothes and sneakers on first thing.

2. I have a momentum calendar. I bought a dry-erase calendar to hang up, and each day I mark an X when I complete a workout.

3. I do not check work stuff while I’m working out – I was finding that doing so made me slow down or stop.

4. I  have a rule that I don’t watch shows unless I”m on a treadmill, elliptical or stationary bike. House of Cards has made me walk for almost 2 hours a few times now :)

5. I only tell myself I’m going to workout for 5 minutes, everything else is a nice bonus. (note, I have not had a day that I worked out less than 40 minutes, but I try to give myself a very realistic goal instead of a lofty one)

6. I do things that I am capable of. I am not aiming for an “A+” when it comes to working out. I am aiming for maybe a B, C+. I am not an athlete, and I don’t plan on being one anytime soon. My goal is simply to move.

7. I bought new sneakers. It’s no fun working out in sneakers that are not supportive. I kept putting it off, and finally decided that if my feet were not happy, I wouldn’t be happy either.

8. I drink water. Before/During and after my workouts.

9. I  joined a pick-up basket ball team with women in the building I live. This has been a lot of fun, and gets me moving, without thinking that it is “work” it’s also got me a little bit more social (I’m super introverted).

10. I don’t beat myself up if I have a bad day. There are some days where 2.5 mph is about as good as it gets on the treadmill, and I don’t feel at all like moving. I remind myself that the key is in momentum.

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Natala Constantine

Natala is the director of communications for Engine 2 Diet, she is also one of our coaches on our support site, Engine 2 Extra. A few years ago, Natala was at the end of her rope. She was on almost 15 medications daily, had out of control Type 2 Diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, issues with nerve damage, and was morbidly obese. She was just over 30 years old. She decided to take her life back by becoming plant-strong. She has lost over 200 pounds, got off of all of her medications and now has great health numbers. Natala plays the violin and studied music therapy. She became passionate about plant-strong nutrition, received her Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition through Cornell University, a certificate in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention and is currently pursuing a degree in nutritional sciences. Natala is also a featured speaker at our Engine 2 Retreats she talks about the reality of our nations obesity epidemic as well as providing practical steps to becoming a healthier person.

  • Heather

    I’m completely in love with Natala, just sayin’.

    • SuztheVegan

      Aren’t we all? Natala needs a book, and her own site, and her own events!

      • Jill

        Eh-hem, also think Natala’s about due for a book of her own.

  • Diane

    These are great tips! You are my plant-strong hero!

  • Ruth

    Loved this real and honest look at working out. Just move.

  • Meg

    I would beg to differ Natala – you ARE an athlete. You just don’t identify yourself that way yet. Nike used to have a slogan that said “if you have a body, you are an athlete.” Just look behind you at everyone who never bothered to get off the couch! And I’m totally with you on your “House of Cards” comment :-)