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The Motivation You Need To Get Going & Feel Great

“Everything changes when you workout. The world starts to become full of possibilities. You become capable, strong and more able to face challenges.”

There’s something paradoxical about motherhood and fitness. On one hand, you’ll never need to be as fit and healthy as when you become a mom. Never will you need the strength and energy that good food gives you more, and never will you need the serotonin, the energy and the strong body that exercise will give you post-kids. Ironically, never will you have as little time to dedicate to yourself as before.

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Choosing to be a fit mom takes dedication, but the payoffs are absolutely worth it, says fitness instructor and mom, Jessica Cooke who runs Inspire Fitness. “It's impossible to explain to someone how amazing you'll feel when you workout. When I had my little girl last year, I was so stressed and I couldn't work out for a while. Temporarily, I forgot the benefits of exercising. When you look from the outside in, you just think that ‘working out’ is just that - ‘working out’, but it’s not, it's a whole new you. Everything changes when you workout. The world starts to become full of possibilities. You become capable, strong and more able to face challenges.”

Again, paradoxically, it’s usually those times that we feel that we couldn’t face exercise that we need it most. Those 20 minutes in the evening that you have to yourself while your partner feeds the baby, or that half hour when the kids are messing with dad in the garden? As tempting as it is to lounge back with a magazine and a packet of biscuits (and yes, we need this sometimes too), stepping out for a walk, a run, a stretch - whatever you can manage, will leave you feeling a whole lot better than you did when you left the house. Even if you can’t get out on your own, there are some great online workouts that you can tailor to your schedule - be that ten minutes or half an hour.

Knowing how great we could feel is rarely enough of a motivator when we’re feeling less than self-confident though, or when we don’t have the mental or physical energy to give it that initial push. But exercising creates energy. That saying, ‘You’re just one workout away from feeling great’? Jessica lives and breathes this motto, but understands that it’s usually something deeper that tends to hold people back from getting fit. “The biggest thing that stops people is fear of failure. For a lot of people, they’ve tried so many different things that haven’t worked out that they've lost hope in themselves. And that's so sad. Can you imagine how much that is going to make you fail, before you even try again?”

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Whether it’s just getting out for a walk, going for a swim, or venturing out for a run, take each day at a time. So you didn’t exercise at all last week - shake it off. “It doesn't matter how many times you fail, what matters is that each time you do, you've got to lose the cynicism and believe this is the time that you're going to succeed. You've got to have a good self-image of yourself and believe in yourself before you start again,” insists Jessica.

So if you’re thinking that you’re simply not designed to be a runner or a gym-goer, that it’s probably not for you anyway, that exercise is only for the fit people, Jessica has these words of motivation. “Remember that you’re no different to anyone else who’s out there getting fit and sticking to it. Everyone struggles, everyone has their baggage. You either quit, or keep going. Failure is no big deal - get comfortable with it; it’s simply a part of success.” So those few pizza slices and chocolates and wine you had on Friday night? Let it go. The past three months of gym membership that you wasted? Let it go, and start next week.

Once you’ve had a good think about what’s holding you back from being the best that you can be physically, work on your self-esteem, suggests Jessica. “You're never going to succeed if you don't think you can.”

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On a practical level, she suggests giving yourself a break at weekends, to never diet, but to choose your food wisely. “Eat healthily, don't omit any food group. Enjoy your life and have things to look forward to. Work out three times a week.”

It might sound easy, and it’s not - initially - but a couple of weeks in, and you’re starting to see the benefits of some exercise and making healthy diet choices are making in your life, you will fight tooth and nail to get to your exercise class.

So instead of taking it on the chin, and deciding that fitness and health don’t have a place in your life anymore - you’re too ‘busy’, leave a little room in your life for yourself. OK, so you might not be in a position to hit the gym every morning or evening for two hours, or spend a huge amount of money and attention on your diet alone, but you absolutely can find a balance. In a hectic, stressful, demanding and often time-poor week, the time that you spend exercising becomes your meditation time, your stress-busting time, your relaxation time, your body toning time, your self-esteem time, your good mood time and your health time. Think you can afford to forego your exercise time?

Visit Inspire Fitness for more great motivation and inspiration.

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About the Author

Jo Lavelle is a freelance editor and journalist with 12 years experience in the magazine, newspaper and radio industry. During her magazine career, she was style and beauty editor, before going to be editor of a magazine group. She was also a news writer and reporter for both newspapers and radio, in addition to feature writing for the press. She’s mum to 18 month old Elise, and has another on the way!

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