Finding Motivation to Workout When you Are Out of Shape

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Finding motivation to workout is difficult. Add on the fact that you are totally out of shape and it can seem downright impossible to gather any motivation to workout at all.

During my pregnancy, I had a cyst the size of a small watermelon that grew along with our baby. This cyst (and the tiny child) smushed all my organs to a point where my blood circulation to my legs was cut off. It wasn’t necessarily comfortable, and it kept me from walking more than 50 feet at a time for 8 months.

With limited mobility, and the general symptoms of pregnancy. I put on a little extra weight and lost a lot of muscle strength. After I finally had surgery to remove the cyst, I had a lot of work to do to regain the strength that I once took for granted.


I really wanted to jump back into working out so I could get back in shape, which now in my late twenties, doesn’t just happen after cutting out carbs for a day and spending 30 minutes on the elliptical.

But I really struggled with finding the motivation and confidence to start working out again. I was pretty fearful that I would be even weaker than I realized, which kept me from taking action for quite a while.

Looking back, I wish I would have embraced where I was and just started taking small steps forward. I wasted a lot of time not wanting to face any realities and I would be a lot closer to my fitness goals if I would have just started making progress.




Clean Out Your Closet

After two surgeries and 2 pregnancies, I had gone up 3 dress sizes. Naturally, I held on a lot of my (much) smaller clothes hoping that 2 weeks after I had a baby, I would be able to put on all of my old clothes with no struggles. I now know that unless you are Wonder Woman (or probably even just Gal Gadot herself) that doesn’t happen.

Instead of having to look at all of the clothes that didn’t fit me any longer, I decided to clean them out of my closet. That doesn’t mean that you have to get rid of them (but if you want to make some extra cash from your clothes, I have a few ideas).

I put any clothes that I wasn’t fitting into at the time into storage boxes and just hid them away until I could come back to them after losing a little weight.

I find it is helpful to not have to be reminded daily about where you used to be and instead, free yourself to focus on feeling your best today and as you move forward.

This really doesn’t take more than an hour to do, so get it done this week!



Set Some Fitness Goals

Goals are important so you have a finish line created for yourself. That doesn’t mean’
that you have to stop your healthy living practices, but it gives you something to celebrate.

Be sure that your goals have a timeline and are realistic. Go a step further and add action steps.

You want your goals to sound less like, Increase arm strength, and more like, Be able to do 25 full pushups at the end of 6 weeks. 

Get more in-depth goal setting tips here.

Create a Healthy Inspiration Board

A physical inspiration board or a digital one on Pinterest both work great, but you don’t want to skip out on this! Feel free to include your fitness goals on this board too.

Ideas of what to put on your inspiration board:

  • Trainers you are inspired by
  • Positive quotes
  • An item or trip you will reward yourself with when you hit your goals
  • Images of your favorite workouts or workouts you want to try
  • Your reason for why you want to get back in shape

You can always follow my Grow Your Fitness Pinterest board for ideas!

Schedule Time To Work Out


I love working out at home because of the convenience of it, but I have found that I am less likely to actually do my workouts if I don’t plan them out.

ClassPass has really helped me on my postpartum fitness journey because it gives me the opportunity to commit to a time and place to workout. It is also the cheapest way to get into studio classes ($10 a class – YES I AM FOR REAL). Once I have my classes scheduled at the beginning of the week, I know that those times are blocked out for me to work on myself and it becomes much more difficult to back out. There is also a small fee if you back out less than 12 hours before your class, so that is a little extra incentive to make sure you follow through!

No matter where you work out, be sure to plan for it ahead of time. Sit down at the start of the week and block off that time with a big bold pen. Tell your spouse about your plans too so you can both plan to make sure other responsibilities (like kids) can be covered.

Get the Right Equipment


Let’s get this clear from the get-go – I am not telling you to invest hundreds of dollars in fancy workout equipment. I am, however, telling you to be sure you don’t get started on your workout only to realize that you need free weights and you don’t have any so you give up and quit.

Plan this out when you schedule your workouts. If you need a yoga mat, be sure you have one before you plan to do Yoga on Tuesday. You can’t expect success if you don’t give yourself the right tools.

There are tons of workouts you can do with no equipment at all. So feel free to start there!

If you find yourself backing out of workouts because you don’t feel comfortable in your current athletic clothes, get a few new pieces that you can wear until you start fitting back into your other gear.

I am currently loving (and putting all the things in my cart) from the Target JoyLabs athletic wear line.

All you have left to do now is pick up the weights and get to it! I am currently trying to drop down one dress size, and tighten things up around my middle where I seem to carry all of my extra weight. I love spin classes, so we got a Peloton and I have loved being able to experience studio spin classes in my own house. Please connect with me on Instagram so we can motivate each other!

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    1. Thanks Jordyn! They have all been really helpful for me!

  1. Super, can-do tips! And tis the season to get serious about this, so thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks Meredith! I know any encouragement for these types of things is helpful for me!

  2. I love your article and it is perfect for where I am in my life. I have set small goals for my healthy eating and exercising, which makes me feel accomplished and keeps me motivated. Great tips!

    1. Thanks! That sounds like a perfect way to get in shape, Jenny! Small steps add up!

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