My At-Home Workout Motivation, A New Mocktail Option, & More

My at-home workout setup. Now I work out every morning. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Habits > willpower

I’ve been on the Faster Way to Fat Loss program again for a couple of weeks now, and feel I’ve finally found my groove with it. The first time I tried the program a couple of years ago, I’d say my participation level was probably about 30%. I was intimidated by the workouts so didn’t do them. And I was resistant to the concept of tracking my food. I dropped out after about 3 weeks.

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This time I felt ready to really focus and do the work, and it’s helped that my friend Karen has been training to be a coach and just passed her certification. She’s been a great source of support and information, along with the coaches I was assigned when I joined. (If you’re thinking of joining up, there’s a new session starting August 24. She’d be a fantastic coach and you can request her!)

Staying motivated to work out at home

When I posted my workout setup on my Instagram stories earlier this week, a few people asked how I stay motivated to work out at home. As with any practice, I’ve found that making it a habit is key. It’s like brushing your teeth or getting up for work every morning. Making it a habit takes all of the decision-making out of it.

So I do my workouts at around the same time and in the same place every day.

I don’t have a large at-home workout space, but can setup this arrangement in our bedroom in just a minute, and then stash everything back in the corner when I’m done. Link to the tripod HERE. I like this one a lot; it’s lightweight but sturdy and easy to adjust.

Another thing I’ve found helps me is to keep the time commitment manageable. I can do almost anything for 30 minutes. And the FWFL daily workouts are varied enough that I don’t get bored. They also show low-impact and other adaptive moves. And finally, I feel so energized afterward that I want to stick with it.

I’ve been doing the workouts almost every morning (except when I have my Pilates session) and have been tracking food consistently. I haven’t experienced any cravings, and have much more energy. While I’m staying off the scale, I do feel less bloated.

Mocktail Hour! 🍸

GT's Kombucha drink, 25th anniversary. My new favorite!! Details at une femme d'un certain age.

When we first went on lockdown in the Spring, I thought it might be fun to start enjoying a “cocktail hour” a few days per week. I learned to mix up some of my favorites: Negroni, Boulevardier, Perfect Manhattan, Aperol Spritz.

But the cocktails weren’t doing my waistline any favors, and I knew partaking in hard alcohol a few times a week probably wasn’t my best move health-wise. So I’ve been on the hunt for some non-alcoholic, low-calorie alternatives that are satisfying.

Karen recommended Kombucha, and mes amis, I am HOOKED. I love this stuff! It’s refreshing, not too sweet, and may have both probiotic and antioxidant benefits. I don’t miss the alcohol.

And in other health news…

Last weekend we were informed that Jeune Homme had tested positive for COVID-19. Fortunately he’s been asymptomatic, but it does mean that he’s in isolation and we won’t be able to see him for his birthday tomorrow. We’ll be dropping off a cake and some gifts for him at his residence.

Fortunately, none of the staff at his group home have tested positive. They are taking all precautions with protective gear. Next week he’ll have another test, and if it’s negative we should be able to see him again the following weekend.

Thermacell DEET-free mosquito repellent. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

No me moleste mosquito… 🦟

Finally, I was reminded that I’d promised to circle back and report on the Thermacell mosquito repellent device we’ve been using in the backyard. I think it works well, as long as I keep it nearby when in use. Our climate is dry, and we don’t usually have a huge bug problem in the summer, so I don’t know how this would work in more bug-infested zones.

You have to replace the little pad with the repellent every couple hours of use, and the butane cartridge every 12 hours of use. It takes a few minutes to warm up before it’s effective, IME. When it’s on, there is no discernible scent.

What helps keep you motivated to develop or maintain healthy habits?

Bon weekend! And thanks for reading.

Stay in touch.

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34 Comments

  1. Linda J
    August 8, 2020 / 3:27 am

    I’ve been a home exerciser for years. I tried a gym but I for me, I couldn’t get motivated to go especially in the winter. I think it’s important to find something you enjoy. I found 2 YouTube channels I love. But I agree with you completely about making it a habit. I workout in the morning and it’s just as important as my coffee. I don’t feel right all day if I don’t do it and I have a great rotation I follow, even rest day light workouts or stretch routines. That way I am doing something everyday. My motivation is I love how strong I feel and I love the outdoors and hiking. I want to stay fit and active as long as I can.

    • August 8, 2020 / 4:59 am

      Would you please share the names of the 2 YouTube channels that you follow for at home exercise?

      • Linda
        August 11, 2020 / 6:23 am

        Hi Dianne, Jessica Smith has many videos with all types of workouts and modifications for all fitness levels. Also if you like Yoga, Yoga with Adrienne is excellent.

    • Joan
      August 8, 2020 / 9:51 am

      Linda J,
      I would also like to know the YouTube channels that you follow for exercise. I have found several for strength training that are good, but start WAY above my capability, and I worked out in a supervised program for a year before trying to find strength training on line!

      • LINDA J
        August 11, 2020 / 6:25 am

        Hi Joan, Jessica Smith has weights, cardio and flexibility and she has modifications for all fitness levels. She is also really down to earth and pleasant.

  2. August 8, 2020 / 4:24 am

    I love that tripod. Perfect for setting up. Would you please share where you got it? Does it have a name? We do lots of traveling and something like that for my phone would be idea. Thank you so much. I’m a newcomer to your blog and I really am enjoying the info.

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      August 8, 2020 / 6:25 am

      Hi Marisa, here’s a link to the tripod: https://shopstyle.it/l/blimy. I’ve tried a few and like this one the best. It also comes with a bluetooth remote.

  3. Kelly
    August 8, 2020 / 5:12 am

    Any time I want to start a new habit, I connect it to an old habit because I’m not very disciplined! When I decided to start doing some strengthening floor exercises, I decided to do them in the evening while my husband and I are streaming our favorite shows. I actually like taking the break from the sofa to get some movement. I also “have to” walk our dog twice a day and during Covid I decided to make the walks a little longer through the neighborhood. We’re up to about 25 minutes for each walk. I added calling my Mom, whose retirement community is still on lockdown, on the morning walk everyday. Another new habit connected to an old one.

  4. Sandi
    August 8, 2020 / 5:21 am

    Kudos to you on the diet and exercise program! And sorry to hear about your son but grateful he is asymptomatic. My son lives in a group home also and was in lockdown for a long time. He has recently been able to return to his part-time job and Anne Carlson day program in ND. I am a friend of Brenda Kinsel and love your blogs.

  5. Merilyn Brooks
    August 8, 2020 / 6:33 am

    What a good question! What keeps me motivated for exercise/good health today is the same thinking I started with 40 years ago…to be able to fully enjoy my life for as long as I’m alive. The strategies may have changed with time, but what’s important to me around it, and what I’ve been wanting for myself with it, has only continued to become clearer.

  6. August 8, 2020 / 6:57 am

    My motivation is the content of my wardrobe. If I cannot fit into my clothes I am sooo sad. So a shalow hobby keeps me healthy haha.
    Greetje

  7. Terri
    August 8, 2020 / 7:12 am

    I’m a morning exerciser as well. For most if my adult life I was a runner and then in my early 50’s I sustained an injury that resulted in a full hip replacement. I struggled to find a running replacement but have settled with walking/hiking and road biking. Every morning I do some home exercise with either “Yoga with Adrienne” or “Pahla B” on YouTube. my motivation is staying strong to be able to do everything I want to do and staying consistent is key. Thanks for the blog, it’s a highlight of my days!

    • August 11, 2020 / 5:41 pm

      Thank you for the tip about Pahla B! I like the variety of workouts that she has on YouTube. She chats a lot, but is motivational and cheerful. I love the variety of her classes. Thanks again!

  8. Alexis I
    August 8, 2020 / 7:45 am

    I hope that jeune homme’s quarantine passes quickly and you are able to see him soon.

    For my own habits towards diet/exercise – my baseline is to journal what I eat and I wear a fitbit to make sure that I walk a minimum of 2 miles a day. When it comes to exercise I’m consistent for a while and then something always seems to come up to disrupt my routine – the recent being straining my back.

    Regarding kombucha – I’ve been a kombucha fan for a while and if you are ever in socal there is a great little place called Zama Tea in old town Tustin that makes great kombucha.

  9. August 8, 2020 / 7:58 am

    I’m always fascinated by people’s relationship with exercise. So much of it is affected by culture. I’m physically active but don’t exercise in a traditional or regimented way ’cause that takes the fun out of physical movement. I simply do a variety of movements with free weights, etc.

    Your discussion of mocktails is also of interest. I try to avoid hard liquor but like the flavor of cocktails. My solution, discovered recently, is botanicals made without liquor. They give you the taste but not alcohol. E.g., http://shybiker.blogspot.com/2020/04/something-new-to-drink.html

  10. Carolyn Matter
    August 8, 2020 / 8:51 am

    I am in appreciation of your blog so much. It has certainly improved my life in many little ways. I have been having a hard time with any commitments to exercise! Your recommendation a week or so for a show called Banking District brought such a spark to our life and we watched all of the episodes. I lived in Geneva for two years so the attention to small things Genevoise by the actors gives me a tickle. We purchased the MHz network for Banking District and are beginning to watch the other emissions, documentaries and movies. It’s alleviating our travel itch for awhile and now, as suggested, maybe we will do a few stretches while watching?

  11. August 8, 2020 / 8:51 am

    I’ve done Pure Barre for 5 years, and had tried their online workouts to keep a routine during vacations, snowstorms etc. So I was already used to it when the studio closed in March. Although they’ve re-opened, I’m still mainly working out at home because there are many fewer In-studio classes offered. And I just plain Iike my 10:00 am time slot, gets me going and then whatever comes up later does not disrupt my workout. It may take awhile to form a habit like working out, but it feels so good to complete the sessions, getting stronger each week. When it’s all said and done, this is about being strong in my daily life, not getting back to a size 4!!

  12. Tracy
    August 8, 2020 / 8:56 am

    I’m sorry your son has tested positive. I hope all goes well and that you can see him soon.

  13. Barbara
    August 8, 2020 / 8:58 am

    I love Kombucha and mix it with tonic water. I have also discovered Monday Gin, which has zero alcohol (and zero calories) and makes great gin and tonics; the perfect late afternoon antidote to these hot, sticky days.

    • Dee
      August 9, 2020 / 12:27 am

      Thanks for the tip about Morning gin..found that it is made in Australia and not hard to find.

  14. Betty Goldberg
    August 8, 2020 / 9:15 am

    I am sorry about your Jeune Homme testing positive and hope that you’ll be able to visit him soon.

  15. Christie
    August 8, 2020 / 9:20 am

    Dear Susan, I am very sorry to hear about your son. Hoping that he stays asymptomatic. Sad right before his birthday! Hopeful for a happy reunion soon. As for exercise, I love swimming, eliptical, and exercise bike. Then some strength training-push ups, squats bridges. Add in some light weights to round things out. Four days a week 30 minutes.

  16. August 8, 2020 / 11:35 am

    So sorry to hear that your son has contracted the virus. Hope he is on the mend soon. And, happy birthday to him! As for working out, just as I got back into going to the Y, my stomach (colon) decided it was time to act up! If it’s not one thing, it’s another. Keeps life interesting.

  17. Cat
    August 8, 2020 / 11:57 am

    Sorry to hear about your son. I have a Jeune fille who is on the spectrum and who would have a hard time understanding being seriously ill, so I hope he is ok. On his birthday too! My birthday is tomorrow too, so cheers to him from me! Maybe I’ll treat myself to one of your excellent fashion recommendations…

  18. Joan M.
    August 8, 2020 / 12:11 pm

    Sending healing thoughts to your son, and also to you as I’m sure you are concerned…hope all
    will go well in his recovery. I do yoga through Zoom now that the classes have been cancelled and I also walk every day in my neighborhood for 30 min. The outdoor exercise allows me to sleep good and also to stay out of my life-long tendency towards depression. Plus I do some gardening everyday, especially now with our world situation.
    My husband at 80 is in super good shape, everyday he rides his bike 15 miles or he runs/walks on the treadmill for 45 min. plus another short walk in the evening…I cannot keep up with him and cannot ride a bike as I have osteoporosis, hip replacement 1 year ago with no problems. Neither one of us has a weight problem as we have been plant based eaters for the past 9 years.

  19. RoseAG
    August 8, 2020 / 2:49 pm

    How strange about your son. Maybe it’s a false positive. He would have had to have caught from somewhere, and not everyone who gets it is asymphtomatic so you’d think there would be a trail someplace.

    My WFH life is fairly scheduled. I work 20-30 minutes in before work, and go out for a walk at lunch. I used to work through lunch so I could leave work earlier, but without the commute time I can take an hour or so at lunch and get off work about the same time I used to when I was in the office.

    I think watching your drinking is a wise idea. It’s calories, it’s poor nutrition, and it’s a depressant. Myself I like shrubs with soda water. They’re fizzy.

  20. August 8, 2020 / 4:53 pm

    As I’ve mentioned before, I love hearing about Jeune Homme because he reminds me of my brother who also lives in a group home. How delightful to learn that they have the same birthday! Mon Frère will be 70 tomorrow and were it not for Covid, we would be in Vancouver to celebrate with him. His house manager, who has been involved in his care for over 30 years and who is like a sister to me, went all out this afternoon and held a small at home party for him with his housemates and various staff members. She sent me several photos and videos.

    I’m so sorry to hear that Jeune Homme has tested positive for Covid, but very glad that he’s asymptomatic!

  21. August 9, 2020 / 12:41 am

    I love Kambucha. My son makes some fantastic versions. Hope that you can see Jeunne Homme again soon. Josephine

  22. Pat
    August 9, 2020 / 6:01 pm

    Mosquitoes love me and I’m always looking for repellents. This is my new favorite site, they make beautiful shawls and scarves infused with insect repellent. https://shooforgood.com/
    The company also donates to an organization that works with regions in the world fighting malaria.

  23. August 9, 2020 / 9:13 pm

    Wishing a quick recovery (and a Happy Birthday!) for Jeune Homme. . .

  24. August 10, 2020 / 12:12 pm

    I enjoy reading your posts! Thank you for providing elegant, sensible and honest lifestyle musings. I am interested in Faster Way to Fat Loss…by chance, are you able to provide any discount coupon for joining? And my very best wishes for Jeune Homme to recover speedily and fully from COVID19. Be safe and I hope you continue on your health journey!

  25. Lynn
    August 11, 2020 / 7:46 am

    Great tips! Sorry to hear about Covid. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.
    Can you put a link to the Kombucha? And maybe a drink recipe or two?
    Thanks.

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