Missing Motivation

Author: Becky Sappor

Remember when I started doing yoga and stopped eating biscuits? Remember how I said I was going to carry that yoga practice forward and incorporate it into my every day routine? well I have totally flopped. As in, I’ve not done it since the last day of the 31 day challenge. I have completely lost my motivation. Work got mega busy and I failed to assign myself that time, that tiny half an hour a day in order to please other people and let my wellbeing fall by the wayside. yet again.

But I think maybe it goes a bit deeper than that. I’m wondering if it’s this working out at home thing. Or am I making it a thing. I work from home. Aside form the school run and walking the dog/taking Tayo to the park for half an hour on the days I don’t work or taking Leo to his extra curricular activities I am in my house. The only reason I leave the house as just stated is for other people. So they can get exercise. Why am I not extending the same courtesy to myself?

I’ll tell you why. Can I justify paying a gym membership when it’s so easy to work out from home these days? For me there has got to be pros and cons to both…

Working out at home pros:
• I can do it in my underwear should I so feel like it.
• There’s no travel involved so the amount of time I need to use to exercise is as minimal as it can be.
• I can shower immediately in the comfort of my own home.
• You can buy equipment to have a decent workout for a relatively low amount of money (dumb bells, kettle bells etc).

Working out at home cons:
• I think being inside the same four walls as I work in, eat in, change nappies in is extremely uninspiring when it comes to focussing on fitness.
• It’s very easy to don the (awful) work out gear I own and then put the washing on and have a quick hoover round thus using up the 20 minutes I assigned to attempt to copy Joe Wicks.

Working out in the gym pros:
• I’m getting some time out of the house and doing it for myself.
• I get to shower post workout. In peace.
• I can swim if I fancied it (and would probably do so at the same time Leo has his lesson – two birds, one stone and actually, it’s something I used to love doing).
• I can participate in classes and get some adult conversation.

Working out at the gym cons:
• What the heck would I wear. No word of  a lie I wear some H&M gym type trousers and a sports bra I have from when I was 17 when I was doing my yoga at home.
• If I don’t go I’m wasting money (although I feel the spending of the money could work as an incentive?).

So you see, they’re much of a muchness aren’t they (although showering in peace is massively appealing). Either way I know I need to stop procrastinating about it and actually get my butt off the sofa and just do it.

How are you fitting exercise into your daily routine? What are the pros and cons of how you do it? And tips on gym gear are welcome in case I do decide to take the plunge and join. 

Author: Becky Sappor
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46 thoughts on “Missing Motivation

  1. Instead of joining a gym could you find an independent class nearby? Start of by doing that for a few weeks, it will certainly be cheaper and gets you back in the habit – promise yourself one class and two home workouts a week. Rather than everyday and actually set the days you’ll do then so you can work your week out ahead. You’ve more chance of adult conversation there than a gym in my experience!
    Buy some new work out clothes – you can get them cheap enough at the supermarket these days and having something nice to wear will make you feel more confident about going.
    Then after a while you can make a decision about joining the gym and whether it will be worth while or stick to what your doing and increase the number of days or add in a different class.
    It’s so hard to get motivated but sounds like you just need to give yourself a shove. Working from home can be hard and mentally it pulls you inwards, but you need to carve some time to get out for yourself x

    1. Thanks so much for your lovely and very helpful comment Claire. It’s made me remember that there is a lady in my area that does something similar to what you’ve mentioned – she charges a monthly fee and you go to as many or as few classes as you want to – I’m going to go back and try and find her details 🙂 x

  2. My life. Right here.

    I am slowly ballooning towards an unprecedented body shape that resembles an 80 year old pregnant man, my diet is horrific, work stress is through the roof but I can only ever manage to think about exercise rather than doing it.

    I have a window of around 6am where I can actually exercise, but y’know… Instagram. I’ve often thought about setting up a WhatsApp group for friends who want to join me / share motivation in some sort of cackhanded pyjama workout but i haven’t had the motivation to do it yet!

    I get the feeling I’ll still be in the same boat this time next year!x

    1. Oh my god Karen, you’re speaking to my soul! This was hilarious and Nail. On. Head.

      Ive neglected my much loved workout routine on the basis that I’m pregnant. When really, I know that’s no excuse and feel crap for it.

      Becky, I second Claire’s thoughts above, I reckon you should join a yoga studio rather than a gym. You loved it so much! I was part of my local one quite religiously until the recently. It’s an awesomely zen space and you get to sweat, but I think it feels a bit more like self care than the hassle of gym workouts. Plus yoga gear is cute ☺️

    2. Oh Karen thank goodness for you! You do make me smile. The Whatsapp group is a good idea for motivation! Maybe you and I should set one up 😉 x

  3. I’m not sure changing the location will increase motivation. If exercise per se is unappealing then it’ll prob remain unappealing. Perhaps better to focus on finding something active that really floats your boat and that might be something e.g.hiking, kayaking etc….that takes place in neither place but instead in the great outdoors x

  4. In January I started doing women’s only group personal training, we have to go to the same classes 3 times a week and if I don’t I lose my money. To some people this might seem odd but it keeps you massively accountable and means that there’s never massively crowded sessions, the people you work out with become your friends and you actually know what you’re doing!

    I spent years wondering around large commercial gyms not really knowing what I was doing and it’s been an eye opener and I have finally got results. I don’t personally have children but masses of the amazing women I work out with do and for them it’s like therapy! We get 3 hours a week to do something for ourselves.

    Sadly what I do is an independent gym but I know there’s others about, my advice we be find something your passionate about and good luck! And still eat mini eggs 😊

    1. Ah Beckie this sounds perfect – so god to hear you’ve found something that works so well for you! 🙂

  5. I’d second a PT that comes to your house. They aren’t that expensive for once a week. You get the benefits of exercising at home but someone to give you a kick up the arse.

    I don’t have the time at all unless I started at 4.30am. I’m up at 6am, kids are up and dressed by 6.30am, out the house by 7am. We are clockwork. I don’t have a spare 5 minutes in that. I don’t take lunch. I finish work at 5.30pm, get home at 7pm, put the kids to bed for 8pm, start prep so we can run out the door the next day and, you know, eat. Hoovering is for other people. And it’s 9.30pm and I’m ready for bed so I can do the whole thing again tomorrow. SAD

    I used to LOVE the gym and swimming. Right now I’ve had to stop posting photos of myself with the kids to Instagram after my best friend text me to say ‘Jesus Christ get your eyebrows done’. I don’t even have time for that. Exercise is just so far down the list of critical things to do, I can’t EVEN.

    I just think this is just a phase of my life and it soon will pass. Or you know, it won’t. But it’s ok. Yes I would love the headspace of exercise but right now, I don’t have the time. I have to be ok with that.

    And are you kidding about finding the right exercise gear? Like anyone gives a rats arse? It’s the bloody GYM. Just order a load of black leggings from Nike via John Lewis into Waitrose click and collect and wear with an old vest.

    1. What a refreshing comment! Rebecca you sound like an absolute Wonder Woman in my eyes! (also, I’m sure your eyebrows are absolutely fine)
      Wish I also had the time to fit exercise in, but I have work, family & other priorities so walking round National Trust properties or through the woods at the weekend will have to do. Also, I cannot afford the gym and I would count it as a middle class luxury TBH.
      Ditto on the exercise gear – seriously?! No-one cares!

  6. Snap! I am currently in the ‘I could do some yoga before breakfast, but oh look! Instagram’ zone.

    I do have a couple of things a week which get me out of the house for me though – a writing course (which is sadly about to come to end) and a Pilates class, once a week, because that makes it affordable. I find that the fact I’ve paid for a block of classes up front keeps me accountable, whereas if I just had a rolling gym membership this would probably, eventually not be an issue. The last couple of weeks I’ve been trying to introduce a little bit of yoga in to my home routine too, and have found a few YouTube videos for toddler/child yoga so my toddler can join in too. It’s not necessarily pushing me that hard, but it gets us up and moving when we otherwise might not have been.

    1. Oh Rebecca a writing course?! That sounds amazing… What a great idea to just be doing something you enjoy. That increasing the amount of actually slowly seems to be a good way of doing it and upping the amount you do. It’s lovely to get little ones involved as well isn’t it 🙂 x

      1. It’s been so much fun – and great for the adult conversation side of things. Last night was the last session though, so now I need to work out what to do with my wednesday evenings, and how to keep the momentum going on the writing without that structure.

  7. We have a subsidised yoga class at work and what makes me go is having it in my calendar and setting several alarms on my phone telling myself to down tools and go to yoga, no really it’s time to go to yoga now. It seems to work for me.

    I know that when I worked from home I would never have managed to do exercise there too. It would be like trying to do it in the middle of your office.

    1. That’s such a good idea to have the class at your work! And you’re right with your comment on like working out in your office. It’s nice to know I’m not just being daft with that and that people understand that it’s difficult to sometimes separate everything when you’re always at home. Thank you x

  8. I found that if it’s out of my way from work I wouldn’t go so I’ve found a fabulous little independent gym in the country where I work. It’s on my way home and just five minutes from work so I don’t feel put out at all.
    Going to a small independent gym feels so much more personal and less invasive than a leisure centre. I can literally just open the door to the gym and I’m straight to it and left to my own devices without any judgement. The owner knows my name and that’s lovely rather than presenting a gym membership card to some rude receptionist in the leisure centre.
    I also mix up the monotony of the gym by playing badminton with work friends mid week. I know there will be weeks where I lose my mojo or I’m too busy to go to the gym but I try not to be too hard on myself.

    1. Love that Lucy and I love badminton! Anthony and I have often talked about perhaps getting a babysitter once a week so that we can go and do something sporty together and that is on my list! x

  9. The only way I fit in exercise is by going to the gym in my lunch break. I get up for work at 5.30am and don’t get home until after 5pm, and with two little people to bed, bath and cajole to bed after, it’s that or nothing. I pack my gym bag the night before so I have no excuses, and block an hour out of my work diary every day. When I was on mat leave I worked out at home, but I found it so difficult to motivate myself. It’s still tough to motivate myself to go to the gym, but I convince myself if I’m tired that I’ll just do a quick run and some stretching and before I know it I’ve been there the full hour.

    I use one of the cheap no frills gyms (£17 a month) and find it has everything I need. My gym gear is a selection of vest tops from Decathalon, Nike black capris and a couple of tatty shock absorber bras. I wouldn’t worry about what to wear at the gym as I’ve seen some interesting sights (a large gentleman in electric blue dance leggings, with coordinating bum bag; another man in cropped denim shorts that left little to the imagination and the lovely ladies who apply a full face of make up before working out!!)

    1. This routine sounds great Sara – means you get to keep your evenings free. There are a couple of the no frills gyms near to me as well that I need to investigate 🙂 Thanks so much for your comment x

  10. If it is adult conversations and getting out the house have you thought about joining a sports club?
    I play hockey but there are loads of different sports. Our club has beginners training sessions, they provide sticks and anything that isn’t trainers and sports gear. Training sessions run at the same time every week, there are always new starters and a mix of ages, abilities and skill

    1. I would totally echo Jenny’s comment about a sports club. I recently joined a local netball league that just play for fun (google Play Netball, they have leagues all over the country) & I’m really enjoying it. I hadn’t played for 20 years (i.e. since primary school) but a quick google to get the rules sorted & away you go. I joined a team of complete randoms ranging in age from 23 – 48 & we’re all shapes, heights, sizes and abilities. It’s only 40 minutes but it gets the bloody pumping & quite frankly it makes me laugh to see everyone leaping about trying to catch a ball without moving their feet once they land 🙂
      P.S. I was never once picked for the netball team at school, so this is possibly fulfilling some kind of childhood dream of playing centre…

    2. Thanks for this suggestion Jenny – I’m going to have a look into what groups there are around here – I was always pretty good at Netball so might start my research there 🙂 x

  11. Yes to the above comment from Jenny! Finding a team sport might be the answer! I have played netball all my life and I also coach a couple of teams. We’ve just started back to netball sessions for anyone who wasn’t played since school or have never played at all! We have such a range of ages (the eldest is 66!!) We get such a great turnout each week and I think it’s because it doesn’t seem like a chore, they come along with friends and can chat and have a laugh and enjoy the exercise! There are so many back to netball sessions across the country, have a look at this link. https://www.englandnetball.co.uk/netball-sessions/ xx

  12. I’ve recently started working from home full time and the gym has definitely become my escape. I do yoga most mornings at Home especially if I have a busy day but I need to break it up otherwise I go insane being in the same four walls!! Even just a half hour swim or class I find massively helps. Xx

  13. Come and join my netball club!

    With gym gear, I have bought a couple of bits from JD Sports recently (hadn’t been in there since I was a teen) which motivates me to get off my arse and go to the gym x

  14. I totally understand this Becky, but you seemed to feel really good about the yoga when you were doing it, so perhaps there are different yoga challenges you could try to keep the momentum going?

    Alternatively there are loads of gyms these days for less than £20/month and I have taken to using an app called Aaptiv whilst I’m there. I too used to wander around big gyms not really sure what to do with myself, but it basically offers virtual classes – so you could pick e.g. a 20 minute beginner treadmill workout and it tells you exactly what speed/incline to use throughout along with occasional and fairly inoffensive ‘motivation’ from the trainer.

    Re gym gear – rightly or wrongly, I find that I am much more confident going into a gym or class if I feel that I look alright, although I am aware that no one else cares. I am not too fussy about the top half (and H&M and Primark do some decent gym tops) but as the owner of a less-than-svelte behind, I swear by Sweaty Betty leggings which are just so much more flattering and kind of suck you in. Expensive, but the quality means they look like new for years and never go see-through, so for me a worthwhile investment.

    I personally struggle with motivation for exercise but given that I manage to watch an hour of TV every day, I’m not kidding myself that I’m “too busy”. I know that if I exercised more regularly I’d actually have more energy too so tiredness isn’t really an excuse for me either. I think there’s a danger of people falling into the ‘competitive busyness’ trap – when in fact everyone that has posted here has at least managed to find time to read and comment on this post which isn’t exactly a critical activity. No judgement obviously – you have to do things you enjoy in life otherwise what is really the point?!

    1. Totally agree with this comment Katie! Nothing wrong with wanting some gym wear that makes you feel confident and encourages you to want to go to the gym / a public class or whatever! I’m not great at fitting exercise in, I think it’s always hard when you work / have kids etc but yeah, without sounding rude the ‘competitive busyness’ does make me eye-roll a tiny bit… your life is what you make it and if it’s THAT busy with absolutely no rest / down time / fun then changes need to be made, or they would need to be for me. Life is too short! 🙂 x

      1. Thanks Sarah . I think that’s why I’m so conscious about the exercise because I know once I start it is something I do really enjoy – it’s not that I don’t take ultimate joy from my kids or anything but that’s a totally different type of fulfilment isn’t it. I just need to crack on don’t I – no more excuses! xx

      2. Slight dig? Its hardly “competitive busyness”. I, like a lot of other readers, check in on the train on my way to work. I could hardly use that time more effectively to sprint up the train carriage.

        Like Sophie said above in response to my original comment, life in the week is about no rest / down time / fun – life at the weekend is about spending quality time together as a family so a walk or a hike in the woods is sufficient for me.

      3. I’m pretty sure that prefacing a comment with “without sounding rude” means you are automatically going to end up sounding rude. No need to be mean about the fact that some people’s lives are genuinely busy. Agree that life is what you make it so when I’m busy, sometimes that means I’m busy folding laundry whilst watching Netflix and stuffing a toffee crisp in my mouth. My choice!

        1. Completely Sophie and a choice I often make too rather than going to the gym! What I meant was, if life is so busy with work / chores / general life admin that you’re not getting to do anything you enjoy then I would make a change. Whether the thing you enjoy is going to the gym or sitting and watching telly, it doesn’t matter to me, I just think everyone should prioritise a bit of down time and fun in their life 🙂

    2. Katie! Thanks for understanding. And you’re right – I really was enjoying it wasn’t i? That app sounds really good. Way back when when I did go to the gym (I know I loved that as well – something so satisfying about lifting weights) I used to follow a couple of fitness people on IG and just followed their work out routines but this sounds like a more concise in-one-place way to do it 🙂

      And I am so with you on the gear stuff – I want to feel good and I think that’s half the fight isn’t it, wanting to feel good but knowing that currently you don’t necessarily feel good (or are conscious of certain areas and that has nothing to do with other people caring what you look like its just how you feel) – having some swanky Sweaty Betty’s on my pins might be the key to helping me with that 😉

      Thanks again for your comment xx

  15. Same boat Becky. I do work in an office but currently on maternity leave so the whole leaving the house thing resonates a bit! When I’m at work, I do a yoga class before I go to the office on a Friday morning. It’s on my way to work so I have no choice and it’s from 8-9am so I’m not even leaving the house any earlier. That’s all I can manage as evenings are so hectic in our house i cant find time to get out to a class. I’d say join a yoga class. It’s only once a week and not as full on as a gym membership, either in terms of money or time. Find a class you can go to straight after the school run. You’ll be glad you did!

    PS H&M have some nice gear that doesn’t cost the earth if you don’t stick at it 😊

    1. So good to hear you have a good routine Tracy – I had thought about timings and trying to do whatever it is I decide on straight after dropping Tayo at nursery on the 3 days he’s there and then hopefully that would become a solid routine x

  16. I hear you Becky, it’s hard to find the motivation regardless of working in or out of the house I think… in your situation I would do as others have suggested and try signing up to a weekly yoga class – you’ll go because you’ve paid for it and then you’ll feel great and it might encourage you to do a couple of sessions at home as well? How is the biscuit thing going now that the ban is over? Are you back to eating them like before or do you find you eat them less now? I reeeeally need to give up chocolate and biscuits, they are my massive weakness and I eat them mindlessly. I think I’m definitely addicted to sugar and I need to do something about it but I forever think ‘tomorrow…’! x

    1. Hi Sarah – I am back eating biscuits but not to the extent that I was thankfully but I do find that I still stress eat from time to time and they are my go to but I am definitely doing better, they’re not replacing lunch anymore so that’s got to be an achievement right? I hope you get on ok in reducing your sugar in take – it’s bloody tricky but I think I proved to myself that I could do it so I definitely binge less 🙂 x

  17. I have the exact same problem. Although all my friends think I am insane, I go at 6.15am between 2-4 times a week. This works for us as my kids generally don’t wake till 7am. My husband gets breakfast started and I’m home by 7.20am to get the morning routine going as he leaves for work. One huge help is that I work from home – so if I don’t manage makeup and hair and am still a bit sweaty, its cool.
    I have tried doing The Body Coach, yoga, running in my lunch hour, but I find I just don’t stick to it.
    I LOVE the morning classes I go to – loud music, chat some days, other days not….depends on the mood and the people on the day but it gets me OUT and I love it. I also go at 8am on a Saturday quite often and its similar to a week day…..the kids are generally up but play upstairs and by the time they all get downstairs for breakfast, I’m back. x

    1. Nikki I love this routine! It sounds lie it works perfectly for you and I like the idea that its done early and although you enjoy it and it definitely doesn’t sound like you find it a chore, it doesn’t then encroach on the rest of your day. Perfect. I wonder if I could maybe give that a go – be out at 6 and back by 7:15 sounds sort of doable… If I could only nail getting my toddler to actually stay asleep! Haha x

  18. Sustaining motivation for exercise has always been a problem for me but last year I managed to complete the couch to 5k running program with an app. I found it easy to fit around work and family life and once I’d broken through the initial struggle to actually run and keep running I found myself really enjoying it and have stuck with running. I joined a gym to keep at it over winter but really don’t find it the same and can’t wait to get back outside again. Incidentally I did 30 days of yoga everyday for the whole of January last year then never did it again for the rest of the year. I think although doing it daily gave me a routine, I think I pushed it beyond actually enjoying it and once I’d finished it my motivation just disappeared. Following your last post I started again this year but without the pressure to do it every day and have really got into again to the point where I’m doing it most days. Go figure. I follow yoga with Adrian on YouTube and love her. Good luck with whatever you decide to do

  19. Have you thought about jogging, trail running is something to do with the kids eventually, all you need is a good pair of shoes and sports bra. Its still you time but you can do it any time of day fitting it round your schedule. If you miss it because something happens, you can fit it in later, or the next morning or at 23:45 when you just can’t sleep. If you can only get out for 20 minutes, fine.
    Normally I run first thing in the morning, although it depends on my week, leaving my shoes and outfit next to the bed, I am up out the door before my brain even knows what’s happening. Yeah it sucks initially whilst your body, and more importantly your lungs adapt, but it will do so reasonably quickly and with a couch to 5k program (the NHS has a good one with the voices of some of the radio one djs to guide you) you’ll be running a 5k in 8weeks. I also schedule my runs each week when I sit down with my filofax to work out my week and where I can fit things in to be sure I’m getting my me time!

    1. Bekki I have thought about a couch to 5k – I am a notoriously bad runner which really puts me off but I have heard that anyone can do it if you follow a proper plan. I am going to look in to it a bit more 🙂

      1. I read all the comments becoming more incredulous that no-one had mentioned running and here we are at the last one – hoorah!!

        I cannot recommend the Couch to 5k app highly enough! I have always thought you are a runner or you’re not (putting myself firmly in the not camp) but running-fanatic husband finally convinced me to give it a try after my complaints of no time/feeling sluggish after birth of second baby. It is AMAZING!!

        Builds you up gradually from literally 30 seconds of running and the sense of achievement you feel is astonishing. I cried when I ran 10 minutes continuously as genuinely never thought I could do that!

        Parkrun was my aim (free 5k timed events all over the country) and I ran my first one with my husband on our 5th wedding anniversary last year with our two girls cheering us on with Grandma. Sobbing as I write this as I’m still so proud of myself and the moment my 3 year old shouted loudly “That’s my mummy and daddy running!!” to much amusement from the crowd 🙂

        I don’t love every run and admit there are days when I want to skip it, but I always always feel better for going. I’ve learnt that I have to stick to my set times and make the time to do it or it won’t happen.

        Hope others will read this far and give it a go! Physically, I lost all my baby weight this way and mentally, feel it gives me the headspace to breath so rest of life is happier too. Music blaring and out in the fresh air, me time has never felt so good! Xx

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