There's nothing quite as rewarding as pampering yourself, especially when you've worked hard to earn it. Mark your calendar -- actually schedule the days and times -- with work-out appointments. Don't write down 30 minutes -- record the actual time you'll have to commit to your workout, including traveling, changing and showering.
Pencil in a special appointment at the end of each month for some pampering: a manicure, pedicure, facial or massage. Make a deal with yourself that you can only keep this spa appointment if you've kept all of your gym appointments.
Clothes and working out really do go hand in hand.
Get back into your favorite jeans. This may be the catalyst that gets you interested in going to the gym in the first place. Hang those suckers in a prominent place and make bi-weekly dates to try them on and measure your workout progress.
Splurge on a tank top and yoga pants. Buying exercise clothes may not seem like a bribe, but doing so may motivate you to hit the gym more often. Face it, you don't feel good about yourself when you're wearing sloppy sweats that make you look heavier. You'll take your work-out more seriously -- and see results more readily -- when you wear exercise gear that truly fits your body. You'll only feel self-conscious until you realize that the other bodies in the gym aren't perfect either.
For every pound you lose, reward yourself with something new to wear. For each of the first five pounds, buy some costume jewelry or a new lipstick. For pounds five through 10, you'll earn headbands, scarves or fun socks. Each of those challenging 11 to 15 pounds earns you a new top, pair of pants or fabulous shoes!
Instead of spending half an hour on the phone with your BFF, agree to meet eachother at the gym. The two of you will put five miles on the treadmill before you've covered even half of the latest gossip. And until you get into the routine, be a little bit inaccessible to one another -- promise each other that the only way you'll touch base for awhile is in work-out gear at the gym. This motivates both of you to be there. You'll build your bodies and relationship at the same time.
Hiring a professional fitness trainer will motivate you in more ways than one. You'll want to recoup your financial investment, and you can only do that by showing up.
A trainer will also help you to navigate the gym. So many women avoid the gym because they're intimidated by the equipment and classes. Your trainer will teach you the proper way to use the gym's facilities to get the best workout for your fitness goals. Once you know your way around the gym, you'll feel more comfortable going there.
Bribe yourself with food? Sure! Food is your friend, not your enemy. By carefully planning what you'll eat before and after a workout, you'll get the most out of both diet and exercise. And once you're in the habit of exercising, you'll find that you crave foods that fuel, not fatten, your body.
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