An African mum living, learning, and documenting the process.

Marcy Madzikanda: On discipline

I’ve been struggling to find the motivation to get fit? I’ve read a lot about motivation and blogged on goal setting. Bought the apps, gym membership, scheduled my workouts, bought new work out gear… you name it, I’ve done it. Still stuck.

I recall a conversation I had with another manager I had several years ago (I wrote about another). The fact that we were both Virgos warmed me up on the inside. We simply understood each other, there was never any reason to explain ourselves and worked well together. I said “you need to motivate me”. His reply, “you need to motivate yourself” and a long discussion ensued. That stuck with me.

For a long time I’ve struggled with motivation to exercise. I used to be in the gym 5-6 times a week, first with weights, swimming daily at 6:30am, discovered my joy for group classes mainly Les Mills and loved Step Aerobics. My typical Saturday morning, was back to back classes, (changing drenched tops between classes – I really put my effort into it) shower, lunch and then I’d veg out. I would treat myself to a monthly Swedish massage.

I know this helped tremendously with my mental and physical health. From about 2009 for many reasons this desire started fading. Now, it’s virtually non existent. I will sign up for gym membership, or get a Personal Trainer, or subscribe to some home based work out like BBG or Les Mills and do a few workouts and stop.

I’ve tried to muster up the motivation to work out and be healthier but mentally I have been unable to do so with conviction. I know I like group work outs and the socialising aspect however most of the budget friendly gyms don’t offer the classes I truly enjoy.

I was prepared to pay for a luxurious membership package but the childcare package doesn’t apply for under 4s or seems to be offered during the day when I’m at work and my child at nursery. It seemed silly to pay hundreds of pounds and not not be able to physically make any classes. I hope by the time she is old enough to use the gym while I work out, I will have ‘fixed’ myself.

I am fat. I’m all for body positivity etc. but I know I am the heaviest I have ever been and I want to be healthy. Mentally and physically and being the weight I am now is not in my best interest. Funnily when I see myself in the mirror I think I look fine. It’s when I see photos of myself and think, who is that person?!

So how do I motivate myself? I’ve searched high and low and honestly there hasn’t been a direct answer. My partner suggested I join ‘the gym’ next door and ‘just’ go everyday to instil discipline before I committed to the more expensive gym. That was about three months ago and I think I’ve been twice.

To be fair I’ve had a problem with an old ankle injury which hasn’t helped. I have worked out what alternative workouts I can do other than using the treadmill or high intensity workouts etc.

I have set goals, plans, scheduled them in my diary, visualised a healthier me etc… but yet no marked improvement. The desire is there yet no will.

Now what I have come to know and my lightbulb moment is nothing new. Discipline. Discipline? Yes, discipline.

That was my revelation after listening to a podcast this week. I have to discipline myself to go to the gym no less than three times a week. I’ve worked out that the best time for me to work out is first thing in the morning before I talk myself out of working out. I’m talking 5 – 6am. I’ve also talked myself to sleeping in my workout gear so I literally roll out of bed, put my shoes on and walk out no questions. How this works as part of a couple time will tell. I thought this would be easier in summer but we slept later so waking up early was not consistent or I did but and would scroll on the phone instead. I occasionally did an on demand workout but I’m working for consistency here. The plan is to scroll on the phone whilst sat on a bike perhaps (ankle injury, low impact workout).

Looking forward to a kettle bell workout

I’ll try to update on my progress over the next few months and will seriously need bags of discipline as we enter the ‘fall’ season. If you have any tips or words of encouragement please share in the comments below. This won’t only help me but others reading this post! Thank you.

Until next time.

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