If you’re following us on Instagram, you’ll notice there’s one woman in particular that we’re posting on our stories almost every week. Meet Paula, an IT Service Desk Lead for a cybersecurity company in Abu Dhabi and one of ACRO’s friends.
Paula, who regularly shares her workouts to her followers, inspired us to find out what her motivation is behind her fitness journey and the power of just showing up.
Paula in the cocoa set
Firstly, what types of workout do you do and how often do you train?
I have a personal trainer with a program focused on weight loss, strength and endurance. Plus I have your usual cardio and then HIIT. I workout at least 4 times a week.
When and why did you start working out?
I started working out November 2021 but really committed to it April 2022. I started doing it because I am no longer happy with the choices I’m making in terms of my health, food choices, activities or lack there of. It is affecting my confidence.
Do you do things differently now compared to when you first started out?
Yes, definitely! I am very committed now and I make sure I rally through the end workout. And if I don’t then I feel bad. I also really started watching what I eat and its portion, so that helped a lot!
What keeps you mentally focused on days you don’t feel like working out?
This may sound crazy but I bought a ton of clothes one size smaller so the motivation really was to fit in those!! Also wearing cute workout sets are motivating, really! But generally, I will always think of the end result, that I will feel really good long term if I continue to push through my workouts. I get a high from the end result, but also the mere fact that I showed up is a win!
Paula in the mint set
From your own experience, why do you think some people struggle to be consistent?
Personally, I struggled before because I was not seeing the results I wanted and I gave up early. Also, the absence of support system and peers who motivate me and push me to do better.
What is your advice for someone who doesn’t enjoy working out but want to be fitter and healthier?
Find a reason on why you want to be fitter or healthier - then believe in it! Little progress is still progress, it is not a race and your journey is your own (remembering that every body is different) so do not feel let down, it will happen if you commit. Most importantly, always remember that you are investing in yourself so you might as well enjoy it!
According to B.J. Fogg, Ph.D., behavioral psychologist in an article for Thrive Global, all it takes is a little mindfulness to reframe your efforts from this motivating perspective. One research reveals that incorporating mindfulness into our movement routines can benefit our well-being and performance, especially for new practitioners.
So the next time you exercise, go ahead and give yourself a smile for prioritizing your well-being, and acknowledging that you showed up for yourself.