Fake it till you make it mode.

I’m seriously stuck in a F-U-N-K and lemme tell you, it is a funky funk! Here’s the background in bullet form {because I’m a bullet-ed kinda gal}:

and yet here I am… despising the thought of working out. Cringing at the idea of having to do this for theee….ressstttt….offfff….myyy….lllllliiiiiffffeeeee. Do you know how long that is? It’s like, forever!Β  I got my workout in on Sunday and Monday,Β  just like I planned but I have to be honest, it took every ounce to personal responsibility and self ass-kicking to get me to do it. I often hear people report how much they love working out, being active and frequently advise others to “find something they enjoy.” I will never say that — because I will never ENJOY working out.

I enjoy the effects of working out
but not the working out itself.

I enjoy the post-run high
but not the act of running.

I enjoy the feeling of being strong
but not the lifting of the weights.

I enjoy the satisfaction of completing a workout
but not fight to complete it.

I am fighting. Struggling to find my motivation. Just scraping by. Often people ask me how I kept and continue to keep going. My answer? Is that I just keep going. I may not like it, I may not enjoy it. Yes, it is important to allow for a short break – but that’s it. Once the break is over, then it is time to…



That’s where I am right now.


  1. I know exactly how you’re feeling. Esp about working out–I read all these daily quotes and whatnot about running and about people who love being out there running and I keep wondering when the day will come that I don’t have to drag myself out of my apartment to run… I feel JUST like you. I love the feeling of HAVING worked out, not the doing it part.

    Just gotta keep on keepin’ on, right? πŸ™‚

  2. I am right there with you. I don’t think I’ll ever love working out. There was a brief moment when I thought I did, when I discovered I could work out but that faded. I like you enjoy the post workout feeling but not the doing.
    If you ever want to switch up your workout and try water aerobics it starts at 6pm at the ywca midtown Monday-thursday I have guest passes just to do something different. You are welcome to be my guest!
    Hope you find some inspiration Saturday and from the pack! If not just keep fakin it, it works eventually.

  3. UGH! Been there! All the planning and rearranging that I have to do around my kid, karate, supper, errands,etc! To fit exercise in…then I still have to DO it..and my brain is telling me 101 reasons why I don’t want to, 101 other things that I should be doing! UGH!
    I used to be “the healthy, fit Mom” til one day I just stopped. Now, I’m “the fat Mom” I am SO ashamed..so right now, I’m using that shame to move my butt…everyday I’m going to show that shame that I am worth it!!
    Jen, press on Girl! I am LOVING this site!

  4. oh Jen, how I needed to hear this today! It has been a rough winter around these parts – and no, I am not complaining about the weather – I have spent so much time sick this winter and my lungs are sort of “trashed” so I feel like I am really starting at square one.
    It is hard to want to do anything, let along every single day….but we are string and we do what must be done.

    Fake it, girlfriend!! Just keep doing it!!

    much love and big hugs!

  5. We’ve had this conversation before. Every single day, we have to do things we don’t particularly enjoy, sometimes even hate, because there are unpleasant and costly consequences if we don’t. Working out might be right there with paying bills, studying for school, doing laundry, cleaning your bathroom or going to the dentist or whatever. But you know the consequences of not doing those thing will come back to haunt you…sooner or later. And the more you avoid or procrastinate those things, the bigger mess you will have to clean up. Don’t fall back into fatgirl thinking. Remind yourself of the payoff for working out and the setbacks of sitting on the couch. Tell yourself it’s not optional and, as Nike says so well, JUST DO IT. Seriously.

  6. I hear you… I will never, never love working out (as in purposeful working out at the gym, at home, or just out running). I have done a lot of it for the past five years because I know it is what I need, but… UGH!

    I have been trying to make a life transition where I get a “work out” in just by living…. I’ve become a hiker, a skier, a kayaker which keeps me pretty active and feeling strong when I get out to do those things. And now that I have a dog (German Shepherd), I cannot NOT work out by walking and running everyday with him. It’s my solution for long term health, haha.

  7. I love how honest you are about not enjoying working out. I don’t think I will ever be one of those that love working out. It will be something that has to be forced and it will be something that I think I will need to push myself to do everyday. Thank you for being honest.

  8. I agree, I don’t get how some LOVE working out. I guess if I had all the free time in the world, I would like it…I have to make a concious effort everyday to do it also. I love your posts and your honestly, I read everyone else’s comments on this one too and it seems that most feel this way. Makes me feel better!

  9. Thanks for your honesty! i’m in exactly the same camp… I break through that wall each day when I put on workout clothes. If I don’t get to that point, I end up sitting on my butt all night. Good luck, you can do it!

  10. You have no idea how glad I was too read this. I, for the most part, HATE working out. Like you said, I love the results and I feel accomplished when I’m done working out, but some days it takes all the effort I have to drag my butt up and get to moving. I’ve always wondered how people loved working out (thought there was something wrong with me because I didn’t). Love your slogan “Fake it till you make it”!!

    Absolutely love your site and blogs, it’s so nice to hear from people who are going through (or have gone through) a weight loss journey. Keep up the great work.


  11. Hi Jen,
    You are so honest and I agree with you and what the others are mentioning. If we could all be independently wealthy and have maids, nannies and chefs…we’d have nothing else to do but work out and then it would be our FUN since it would be the only thing we could do ourselves, but of course we could afford a live-in trainer too. Heheheh

  12. Yep. I am one of those people who LOVE working out. I cannot get enough of it, sometimes I think it’s like a drug and I tend to over do it which backfires because then I am so hungry I eat my weight in food. Not good either. I wish you could find something you love because that is definitely what gets me there.

    Have you tried Zumba? I am a Zumba instructor (who doesn’t teach right now) and when I finish a Zumba workout, I feel awesome, happy and like I could just keep going. It probably won’t be a solution but it might be an alternative workout you could try once in a while?

    Good luck!

  13. I was going to suggest Zumba also. A great workout that feels more like you’re just dancing and having fun.

    Anyways, if Zumba isn’t your thing… do something else that’s new to you. It mostly just sounds like you’re bored. Must be time to try something new.

    • Leanne took the words right out of my mouth, Zumba is a great workout and feels more like fun than work. My instructor’s comment is just keep moving and smiling even if you can’t get the steps. I also agree that it sounds like you are bored with the same old work out…try something new, even just “walking” around the lakes with your pup enjoying the sunshine, or biking the trails around Minneapolis, go hiking, try a resistance band class rather than weights, snowshoeing (although hopefully our snow will be gone soon:)!!!), a change of scenery outside of a gym’s walls or your own home is always motivating to me. Your blog is always motivating….good luck!

      • I’m here to write about Zumba too!!! I’ve been going to my class for well over a year now and I LOVE IT! I never have to fake a thing πŸ™‚ Every Tues and Thurs I feel energy all day just anticipating the dance fest I’ll attend this evening.

  14. Jen,
    I could have written this post … I am only 6 weeks into my journey and I am already getting that – I don’t know how I am going to do this forever – feeling. I literally drag myself to the treadmill most nights and while I am running I am struggling hard – when I am done I feel great but during I feel like ripping someone’s face off – LOL … BUT I keep doing it because I know if I don’t I will never make it to my goal, I will never change my life, I will never be who I know I can be … I do it because I know the alternative isn’t what I want any more… So I will definitely fake it until I make it! =) .. thanks for the post, I am glad to know I am not alone and even people who have had great success like yourself are still human and still have your trials but you keep on keepin’ on and you truly are in inspiration … =)

  15. I hear ya!!!! I SCREAM the same thing. Why can’t I just look good without all the hub-bub! It’s for you girl! That’s why you do it. You do it so you don’t ail with poor bones, you do it so your heart and lungs keep you going in a good manner. You do it for the love of life. You do it to avoid feeling like some of the people you know who do nothing and complain about how crummy they feel. And here’s a good one as I am in my mid-40’s I am proud to look strong and lean. Seeing friends who have always been slight in weight who have never had to work out have now turned the corner in their female cycle and their skin is looking slack—-there’s never been muscle there—just a thin body. Now that they have turned that menstrual corner, their skin got really old looking. They don’t look as healthy. Their bones are probably weaker too. Keep doing what you are doing. It’s worth it to feel great. Take more breaks. Shake up the routine. I do the same weight-lifting program you are doing and it’s wonderful, but taking a break is good. It sometimes causes me to step backwards in the routine, but who cares? I am at least doing SOMETHING! You are self-less as you give to me and others every day in this blog. YOU—healthy you provides such tremendous inspiration. Lift-Step-Run-Jog-Squat-Walk On!

  16. Well, it appears from the comments – you are not alone! Which in turn makes me feel better because I am not a huge fan of working out either! With the kids, work, house duties, etc my time window for working out is early morning and evenings after the girls go to bed – IT’S SO HARD! The getting up early (I really enjoy sleeping) and then having the energy after a long day of work and playing with kids before they go to bed – it’s really hard to stay motivated. Just wanted to let you know that you took the words right out of my head today – thanks for being real! And keep faking it – cause you are definitely making it!!!! Have a great day!

  17. Tiffany H. says:

    So needed to read this post today. Do I hear you!!! I have been doing P90X for 5 weeks-6 days a week working out, which makes me feel and look good. But Can I say I am BURNT out! I think it has to do with the weather though too Jen, its cold here in WI too πŸ™‚ the sun may be out but brrrrr. I have my first 5K of 2011 in two weeks, its killing me to think I have to do a run today and then Kempo tonight. I like everything else I will do it and check it off for the day and smile watching biggest loser tonight, knowing I did my part.

  18. Try Zumba or changing it up with a Salsa class. Kettlebell work out? Yoga? Swimming?

  19. me too. totally.

  20. It’s so nice to read that others feel the same way. I will be celebrating my 1 year anniversary of starting this weightloss and healthier lifestyle this Saturday and well thinking about having to maintain for the REST of my life..well that’s not something that sounds fun. I don’t enjoy running or even trying to eat healthy- let’s face it – it was easier when I was fat and lazy, but I was so depressed and unhappy and on my road to an early death. so i do it for my kids, my husband, my parents, my family! And I’m happier now. I am going to try to find something FUN to do and just keep finding NEW things to do to keep me motivated…for the rest of my life!

  21. I am 50 pounds overweight right now. I am very good about about going to the gym, because I am now very very focused on being a priorfatgirl. But when I read your blog about how you skipped dessert at dinner and how your ordered fruits with your cheeseburger instead of fries, I would always wonder what motivates you? When I eat a salad for dinner while my husband has lasagna, my scale motivates me.

    I guess I am just blathering here. All I wanted to say is, you show so much restraint with your eating, wonder why that doesn’t spill into your workouts. I guess that we all need some goals to make workouts fun

  22. Once I am at the gym, I am fine – but some days I just don’t wanna – but I know I have to!

    Hang in there Jen! πŸ˜€

  23. Sign up for a 5K or try Zumba. Do something different or with a goal. Find a friend to workout with. I know it stinks sometimes to have to go to the gym instead of going home to relax but the benefits outweigh the misery of being a gym rat.

  24. Trust me I hear you! Signing up to train for races is the only thing that keeps me consistent with working out. Every time the race is over, I take way too much time off from working out, and promise myself I won’t let it happen again.

  25. get a Kinect. Seriously. it’s the best investment i’ve ever made for my physical activity. so much fun and i can get all nice and sweaty right in my living room. i recommend Kinect Sports and the Biggest Loser Workout. i hated exercising too… until I bought this!

  26. I will join the chorus of “me too”s. In a way, reading your post scares me because sometimes I think to myself that I could grow to love working out if I just persisted. Maybe I’ve never given myself a chance to get used to it and start reaping the benefits? But to read that you, after this long, still do not enjoy it, I don’t feel particularly optimistic. That’s not to say that your honesty is not a good thing. It definitely is! At least it helps those of us with a long ways to go understand that it is not ever going to be “easy.”

  27. I’ve recently started reading the Newbie Chronicles on runnersworld.com. Here’s a particularly fitting quote I read that also gave me a giggle:

    “The only thing running hasn’t changed is running itself. I would have guessed that by now it would be easier for me to do. It isn’t. People say the run gets easier, but people say aliens abduct you in the desert, too. I’ve stopped looking for signs of an easier run in exchange for signs of an easier life. Those signs I’ve seen. Running is still as grueling as ever, but life outside of running is getting easier, better.”

  28. I read the article about you in Woman’s day and went to your website. I only started reading your blog a few days ago. It has really inspired me and I think that I am now addicted to reading about your journey. I don’t usually reply to things like this but some how I feel like this time I may just accomplish my goals. I read your blog a little at a time so I have only gotten to February of 2009. I am 38 years old and I have a 12 year old daughter that is also over weight. We are going to start walking and today I started counting calories. Just wanted to say congrats on your goals and I too hope to be a future priorfatgirl…does that make sense? Thanks for your inspiration

  29. I have so been there. You are right you have to just keep faking it till you make it. I think you have to keep searching for new motivation. What motivated you in the past, may not work today. I recommend a fitness related goal. It could be a number like weight, or BF%. It could be fitness achievement, a 1/2 marathon or a triathalon. Then attach a prize to that goal – something you really want. This is just one idea. But I know for me, when I have a goal I really want to achieve, I find the motivation.

    Good luck!

  30. OMG Jen! I’m in the EXACT same slump! I have grown to absolutely LOATHE working out!!! I started my journey in Nov 08 (84 pounds ago). I did pretty awesome for a year. Then the Holidays hit and that’s when it all started. I took off almost the entire month of December and every since then I have been kicking my ass to get through EVERY.SINGLE. workout! I used to some what enjoy working out…or at least I didn’t even think about it, I’d just go and do it…it was routine. Now I think about it all the time and despise every minute of it. I don’t understand the people that just love to workout, but girl we need to figure out what they have that we’re missing!!!

  31. I can so relate. It’s so darn frustrating, way to stick with it. I keep reminding myself life is unfair and to just suck it up. I’m angry that it comes “easier” to some people, because it never feels easy, and sometimes it doesn’t even feel doable.
    Keep up being strong!

  32. Well, KEEP FAKING IT!!!!! I just started following your blog!! It’s too early for me to quit! I’ve only been at this for 3 weeks….I’ve got 40 pounds to go, and a LOT more miles to run!!!!!!!!
    Thanks for your continued inspiration and good reading!!!!!!!!
    Spring has, well, sorta sprung!!! Maybe the new weather and melting snow will bring you motivation!!!! I know I can’t wait to get outside!!!!!!!!

  33. oh Jen, i’m totally there with you. yesterday i gave myself my own little pity party with stuff/life/work etc… and didn’t work out. in fact i’ve thought about taking the week off stating “if Jen, a prior fat girl can do it, i can do it too.” NOT to say that i blame you, these are just the conversations i have in my head. it is so overwhelming when you look at it as the rest of your life…when it is truly just a day to day decision.

  34. You are not alone Jen! We all go through periods like this. The key is to keep moving in the right direction, even if you have to take baby steps instead of giant leaps. You can do it. Yes, you can! One step at a time!

  35. I feel you I am just starting to journey and it is so hard. I want it so bad but can get my but up to do it πŸ™

  36. Mykhelle Clarke says:

    OMG I saw your article in Woman’s Day magazine, that is how I found your blog. I love reading blogs, but your’s is def one of the best. I am going back thru some of them just to read your story, thanks so much for sharing, you ROCK!!!

  37. Jen, it is so amazing how a blog post where you share a weak moment is the one we all relate to, isn’t it? We are all human. We have times where we feel good working out (even if it is a struggle) and times where it just SUCKS. This is why you have so many who read your blog! Yes, we are proud of your successes and cheer you on in the good times, but we can oh-so-relate when you hit a rough patch and feel just like us. It can be overwhelming to think of it as a lifetime thing sometimes, but you’ll look back and the tough times like this will be just a blip in that life. As I struggle to maintain my 85 pound loss, I have so many peaks and valleys in this journey so I can relate to how you feel so much! Don’t force yourself to do workouts you aren’t enjoying. Take a break from those and just keep moving in general. Take a long walk. Do a zumba class (as it seems to be all the rage!). Keep it light and keep active, but take a break from what you are currently doing. Eventually you will want to go back to it. Switch it up for now. You are such an inspiration to so many…but because we see ourselves in you. Just remember that this too shall pass!

  38. I agree with a few of the comments: maybe you need to find something new to excite you and motivate you. If you find something to motivate you, maybe you won’t have to “fake” it; instead, it’ll be real enthusiasm. Have you tried yoga? There are so many types, it could be worth buying a package from a studio and trying the many different varieties. Kickboxing, spinning, pilates and step classes are other options. You seemed really excited about the prospect of being outside to run. Why not run, walk, hike or swim when the weather is nice?

  39. I am in the same boat!!! So thank you for reminding me to keep up the fight and that everyone goes through this!!

  40. Truer words never spoken: Fake it til you make it. There are just some aspects of this healthiness journey (probably relates to many life things) that you just gotta do without liking it. Wanting to like it stands in the way of progress, often.

    For me, I love working out, but it’s the food thing. I hate limiting my calories. I still very much desire everything bad. I finally made progress when I stopped waiting to like eating healthy. Eating healthy is just a grown-up decision I make, like paying my bills when I’d rather spend the money on shopping and travel. I wish I loved healthy food, making up recipes, planning menus, and cooking. I despise all of it. And that’s ok. Just gonna fake it til I make it!

  41. If I only had the machines and weights to use at the gym I would have never made it a whole year going. I have to go to classes. I’ve a lot that I like at the YMCA and I go on my lunch hour. In the winter if I wait until I get home then I really don’t want to go because I don’t want to go back outside. In the spring/summer I like going at night.

    I think you need to change things up. Can you do a dvd or something else? How about running? I know as soon as MN stops getting snow I’m going to start running outside more and that’ll really help me with my weight loss.

    You know what to do…you’ve been doing it long enough. No matter how much we don’t like working out we stilll have to do it.

  42. i agree with others who have suggested you just need to change things up. two thumbs up to zumba, although i can no longer partake ever since the superbowl-kitchen-dance-party-back-injury-circa-2011 took place – yay packers! also, i’m in mke so i know the weather sucks and that doesn’t help when you’re hankering to get out of the house and get some vitamin d. when the weather warms up, i bet that will change your spirits a bit.

  43. I had one of these moments today. Thank goodness I had someone there to push me through it!

  44. That has been my mantra for the last few days! Thank you for this post, it makes me happy to know that I’m not alone.

  45. Hi Jen! I have been thinking about this for a couple of days. I am a former workout-tolerator turned workout-liker. I don’t love every workout, but I think the thing that shifted things for me was one day I was out struggling through one of my early, slow, overweight runs, thinking “Oh, poor me, I’m slow, I’m heavy, this is hard.” And I saw a young man out in his yard learning to walk with prosthetic legs. And I realized that slow and weak as my legs were, he would probably take my situation in a heartbeat if he could.

    Finally, even when you are switching things up with different classes, etc, it can take some time to find the right instructor or group dynamic. Make sure you’re treating yourself to fun music or whatever else makes a workout more tolerable for you.

    And I also love making workouts more than just “burning calories” by training for an event. Are you planning on the Challenge Obesity 5K again this year? It’s coming right up!

  46. Man your post hit home with me! I have worked out religiously 6 days a week for over a year. Well maybe took a few days off here and there. But I hit that same wall you refer to. The instructor at the gym I went to changed gyms, and the new people that took her place just didn’t cut it for me. Now the gym she is at I just don’t like the drive (20 min) opposed to used to be 5. I let myself take 2 weeks off. I went and lifted weights Monday, yesterday went to a Zumba class. I was going to do yoga also but was wiped out from Zumba. Today was going to the gym to do leg work. Came home from work.. signed on to my PC to do another hour of work from home. Told myself I would get up and go to the gym for at least another Zumba class, and ended up making dinner and using it was in the oven as my excuse not to go cause I would be late for class. Maybe something is in the air… but I sure hope to get out of my funk soon! At least we made it to the gym twice this week!

  47. Good post. πŸ™‚ I like the signs of the door to my local Gold’s Gym, on the way in it says “Know that showing up is half the battle” and on the way out it says “Know that you will be back tomorrow.” Cheesy, but kinds of gives me some resolve to live up to that ideal. When I think of “working out” I think of cardio (treadmill, elliptical, etc.) and weight circuit, etc. and that is definitely harder to get pumped up about doing. But when I think of going to a Spinning class, Zumba, Jazzercize or playing Racquetball…now that’s FUN. Find a workout disguised as fun and soon you will love “working out.” At least some of the time. πŸ™‚


  1. […] So, I am leaving you with a post from PriorFatGirl.  It was a great post.  And it sums up how I feel.  PriorFatGirl Post I liked […]

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