Orangetheory Fitness provided me with a complimentary membership for the Transformation Challenge. The opinions are my own based on my experience. I was not financially compensated for this post.
Eight weeks ago I joined an Orangetheory Fitness Transformation Challenge. If you’re curious about Orangetheory, check out my post here with my Orangetheory review and the answers to all the questions I had about Orangetheory Fitness as a first-timer, but today I’m sharing about something I think we have all experienced. I’m sharing the 12 different stages of adopting a new workout routine. To be honest, it’s not all pretty, as excuses and temptations do their best to derail you at first. But success lies just on the other side of these excuses when you find your motivation is more powerful. This is also an insight into my journey, and how Orangetheory helped me break through the difficult parts to place me firmly on this new and positive lifestyle path. To help illustrate the story I’m including some of the pictures of the motivational quotes on the wall of my Avery Ranch Orangetheory location in North Austin.
If you’d like to join me and take control of your health and fitness, I have a special for Fab Everyday followers in Austin and San Antonio! Use promo code OTFab to score your FIRST WEEK FREE at any of the participating Austin and San Antonio Orangetheory locations!
Every new workout routine begins with a decision – a decision that often comes from a realization that you want or need to take control of your health and fitness. Health and fitness were once a big part of my life until they slowly and steadily weren’t over the last few years. Just when I realized it was time to regain control of my health again I took up the opportunity to partner with Orangetheory Fitness for a Transformation Challenge!
Putting it out into the universe (AKA accountability)
If deciding is the first step, I think acknowledging your decision to someone else is the next. I don’t know if I’ve ever successfully adopted a new routine without making myself accountable to it first.
Finding your ‘why’ is critical in finding motivation, especially in the earlier, tougher days of a new workout routine. For some people this might be health and wanting to live a higher quality of life (Orangetheory’s mission of #MoreLife promotes investing in yourself, to become a better version of yourself). Incentive for others could be the 20th class reunion that’s coming up this summer (yikes!), or even a competition with prizes if you’re competitive like me. Orangetheory Fitness studios can offer Transformation Challenge contest promotions to win prizes at their discretions (contact an individual studio to learn more). I did the eight-week Weight Loss Challenge at the Avery Ranch Orangetheory location in North Austin. Click here to find an Orangetheory Fitness location near you.
The ‘oh crap this is hard!’
Commitment, accountability, and incentives are powerful, but I won’t lie… there are times after starting a new routine where you wonder if you can stick with it. Orangetheory is fun and effective, but it is also a no-joke workout. The hour you’re there three to four days a week is going to test your individual capabilities and push you to improve. Excuses start to creep in. My first few days I felt sore and tired. I vividly remember one moment I during my first week in the challenge where I was sore and tired and wishing I was still in bed. During that workout, Morgan, the Coach of that class said “change is on the other side of ‘I don’t want to do this.'” She was speaking to all of us, but it was like she saw right into the excuses I was pondering. I am not sure if she realized it at the time, but that phrase stuck with me for the rest of the challenge, and I recalled it every time I was tempted to stop or go easy.
The ‘why don’t I see progress?’
Even after breaking through the initial excuses, we do live in an instant gratification society, and it’s common to struggle with motivation in that phase when you’re working hard, sore, but not seeing physical progress yet. It’s irrational, I know, but when you are starting to feel better, you want to be able to see something different in the mirror, too. I remember being upset when I didn’t see more pounds coming off on the scale right away, as irrational as that was. The staff at my studio reminded me that the scale is not the best or only judge of progress, and instead to focus on how I felt.
Temptation to quit
This phase doesn’t last long, but it’s inevitable. At some point your excuses will gain power and you will be tempted to succumb to them. This is when it’s important to think about all those motivational workout quotes, and think about why you started, and the person you want to be a year from now… because the only way to get between those two points is to stay the path you’re on now so you don’t find yourself at the beginning of this cycle again.
Busting through your excuses
Small victories and short-term goals wield a lot of power when you recognize them. When you start acknowledging and patting yourself on the back for something that may seem as small as not listening to your excuses and pushing hard anyway, it gives you a sense of pride and motivation to build upon the next time an excuse rears its ugly head.
The ‘yay, my clothes are a little looser!’
Even when the scale isn’t telling you what you want to see, your clothes will. That first time I realized my core heart-rate monitor needed tightening, or had to pull up my jeans that were starting to sag, it was like my motivation had gotten a jump start. I was starting to feel progress and I wanted more.
The increase in weights and pace
That little extra motivation will push you to challenge yourself a bit more (which is really what Orangetheory does for me – it puts me in competition with myself and encourages me to push myself more each day). My Base, Push, and All-Out paces increased on the treadmill and rower. When my Coach suggested a starting weight during our strength sets, I checked in with myself to see if I could handle more. I almost always could when I really listened to myself.
The point where someone else notices a difference
As vain as it sounds, I feel like this is the most gratifying phase, and the one that cements the new routine. When someone else can see a difference in your face, your waist, whatever it might be, then the progress seems real and there’s no going back. You’re on your way now, and the only thing stopping you is you.
Accepting the change in diet
While changes in eating often start early in a new health and fitness routine, I feel like the true acceptance of it comes a few weeks in. For me it was when I realized that healthy food choices were not a punishment, but actually a re-tooling of my fuel source so I could work out to the best of my ability and truly get the most out of this new lifestyle. You can feel the difference and it becomes a part of your routine.
The competitive nature kicks in
At this point there is no way you’re quitting – you’ve come too far, dang it, and you want to see just how good you can do. Excuses don’t stand a chance; you already know what’s on the other side of them. When your Coach asks you to meet or beat your earlier timed-row distance, you do it, not because she’s holding your feet to the fire, but because you want to be better than that earlier version of you.
This is the sweet spot. Fitness has officially become a part of your life, and when you don’t work out, you feel it. You know you feel better when you do, your anxiety is lower, you are happier, and you feel a sense of pride for getting to this place.
I’ve got to say that I am really proud of myself for completing this challenge and getting to this stage. Now I can’t wait to see where the journey will take me. If you want to join me on this journey and try Orangetheory Fitness for yourself, don’t forget to use promo code OTFab to get your FIRST WEEK FREE at any of the participating Austin and San Antonio locations! You can also follow along on my journey in real time (and catch up on the stages leading up to this point) on my Instagram Stories (check out my Orangetheory Story highlight).