Blog Header

Getting motivated to start a workout routine

Getting motivated to start a workout routine

I used to hate exercising. I had so many reasons/excuses to not consistently workout:

  • I get winded too easily.
  • I am too tired when I come home from work.
  • I don’t want anyone to see me workout.
  • My knees hurt.
  • It’s boring.

I’m sure I could come up with twenty other excuses if I try hard enough and I bet a lot of you have the same reasons.

If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know I’ve been on the Advocate Weight Management Program for about 18 weeks now. I am down 46 pounds. They tell me to add a disclaimer at this point saying results not typical. This is the first successful program I have stayed on and have seen consistent results.

To make it work I’ve had to do six things: follow the eating plan, drink all of my water for the day, keep accurate records, get adequate sleep, stay accountable and exercise. When I follow that recipe for success, it works well.

About a month into the program, you start to realize you have to start moving. With the weight coming off, my body is getting lumpy, bumpy and jiggly. I’m sure that’s more information than you need, but that is my motivation to get into a workout routine. At my young age of 59 and a half I am not ready to look my age-wrinkles are not in my plans yet.

I started out just by moving more-just taking a walk around the block. Yes, I was winded and my back and knees hurt, but I kept trying to push a little more every time.

After I realized I would need to increase my activity, I bought a FitBit and started tracking my steps every day – starting out to reach 6,500 steps. I have a very sedentary job and sit in lots of meetings, so that meant I had to walk about one to one and a half miles at night. Sometimes I didn’t make it. Sometimes I didn’t want to walk.

Thankfully I have a very supportive husband who would coax me into at least walking around the block with the dog rather than do nothing and we would end up walking further. On weeknights and weekends I no longer sat around watching TV – my closets are cleaner than ever and my garden looks fabulous! I just wanted to keep moving.

Then I took all the clothes off my Tony Little Glider, Total Gym and my stationery bicycle – they were being used as extra hangers in our spare bedroom. After I wiped all the dust off, I would use them in 10 – 15 minute spurts just to keep moving.

With the help of Michael Heidkamp, exercise physiologist with the Advocate Weight Management Program, over the next months I increased the steps slowly to 7,500 then 8,500 and now am pretty consistently over 10,000 steps a day. Now I take a 2.5 mile walk and I don’t get winded, then come home and get on my glider or bike just to get over my goal. I can’t stand it if I’m 500 steps short.

On the weekends my husband and I do a four mile walk round trip to Starbucks in the morning to get my morning jolt of caffeine and to get my steps out of the way. Remember, this is coming from someone who hated to exercise when this all started.

Three months into this journey, I joined the Fitness Center at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Ill. The membership was free for three months along with two personal training sessions because of being in the Weight Management Program. I was a little skeptical I would use it at first. I met with a personal trainer who developed a routine for me that would not only include cardio, but also circuit training with weight machines to help firm and tone my muscles.


I do 10 – 15 minutes on the treadmill to get my heart rate up and then the circuit takes another 20 – 30 minutes. I start with 8 – 10 repetitions for three sets at each machine. Most important is form when doing the exercises. If I couldn’t do 10 reps correctly at first, during the third set I would only do eight. In the three to four weeks, I’ve increased to 12 reps with three sets and have slightly increased the weight.

I look forward to doing this two or three times a week now and also continue my walking most every day. On the days I can’t get to the Fitness Center and I need to do weight training, I’ll use small free weights or I have plenty of the exercise bands from years of physical therapy after knee replacements and shoulder surgery.

One of the most important things to remember is to “listen to your body.” It’s ok to take a day off once in a while. It seems like I need a day once a week or so to recharge or if something really is sore and not feeling good when you try to exercise, give it a rest for a day. And here’s another disclaimer which will make everyone happy–I am under a physician’s care while on this program-not only the physician managing the program but also my primary care physician.

If you are starting an exercise program, check with your physician to make sure you are able to regularly exercise. All I know is, now I am not bored, nor too tired and really don’t care who sees me working out. I am doing this for me and it’s going to help me reach my goal of going into my sixties in a much healthier shape than I could ever imagine.

Every month I get questions about this program. Get more details here.

Related Posts



  1. Deb, you are a wonderful example to all! We all need to get out and move more! Keep up the great work!

  2. Angela Hacke

    Great job Deb – keep it up. You are an inspiration! Good for you for sticking with it. I agree that the FitBit is a great motivator. I cannot go to bed until I reach my 10,000 steps. I find that I work out almost everyday to help get in those extra steps. I took a new Barre exercise class and I am super sore today – so I am taking this as my rest day!

    • The FitBit obviously only works if you own a smartphone — and plenty of people still don’t. What can *they* do in the absence of such a tool?

      • Debi Jordan

        The FitBit also syncs up with your computer-not only a smartphone. It is still a wonderful tool as I can see it light up to tell me approximately how many steps I’ve done in a day so I can plan if I need to work harder at night to reach my goal. There are regular pedometers you can wear on your waist and I know a sugical nurse that puts it in her bra as she can’t obviously wear it in surgery. There are so many programs out there that are free that can track exercise, your eating, behavior online-you just need to write things down. I know a smartphone is not for everyone, but with this huge lifestyle change for me, it has made all the difference.

  3. Sarah Childers July 28, 2014 at 12:11 pm · Reply

    Keep up the good work! We love to see you here at the fitness center!

  4. You are an inspiration, Deb! Now to follow your example and dust off my walking shoes, weights and resistance bands, and carve out some time for me…for the health of it! Thanks for sharing your story–and your successes—with us!

  5. Great job, Deb! You look fabulous!! Exercise is the best!

  6. Great job Deb! I have been following your journey & I am sure you have inspired so many other people by sharing your story. I have a sedentary job as well ~ getting my FitBit was the best thing I have done because I find that I am looking for every opportunity to walk so I can get my 10-15,000 steps per day! Keep up the great work!

  7. Deb – Congratulations on turning your life around! What an inspiring story. You hooked up with the right people to help you and took the ball running. I am sure your family and your doctor are thrilled for you as well. Enjoy your new active and healthy and fun lifestyle!

  8. Okay, there’s a lot here about what you actually did, and kudos to you — but the headline is MISLEADING, because there’s virtually nothing in here about how to create motivation where there isn’t any. Just telling people that they’ll look and feel better once the weight is gone obviously isn’t enough, or far more people would be exercising than do now.

    • Debi Jordan

      I am sharing my motivation and how I got started just doing a simple walk around the block. I do want to look better. I also feel better physically. The added benefit of this exercise is my pulse has gone down from 76 to 62 and I am now off of all my blood pressure medications. That did not happen until after I posted this blog. With weight loss and exercise, until you have made up your mind for yourself that you want to make that commitment to change, you will never succeed. I have tried half-hearted before and always failed. I wanted to lose weight because of an event or for my husband – it was never just for ME! Exercise was never in the equation either and I had numerous excuses as to why I couldn’t exercise. I am hoping I am offering encouragement to take that first step.​

      • Debi,
        Your blog is great inspiration! I am also on the WM program and along with the pounds, I have seen my blood pressure drop from about 140/90 to 100/68-70 over the course of 7 weeks! I’m thrilled! I’m exercising a lot more than I had been. I feel and look so much better. Keep up the good work!

      • Debi Jordan

        Way to go S.K.! I know how much work it is and how hard it is to stay on track, but when you see results like that it keeps you motivated!

  9. Great work Deb!! You are inspiring many, I’m sure…

  10. Julie Goldstein July 30, 2014 at 1:25 pm · Reply

    Good job Deb! Keep it up!

  11. M.R. Traska….if seeing someone else open up with their struggles to getting started on the road to becoming more fit isn’t motivating enough for you, then no headline will help you!
    She said why she didn’t want to work out, and then she baby stepped us through what she did to overcome her resistance. Maybe you need to re-read the beginning of the post a few times and do it slowly to let it all sink in.
    Oh….and motivation doesn’t come after action….action creates motivation. If you sit around waiting for motivation, you are sunk. Motion creations motivation….seeing the effects of your motion creates a positive effect that makes you want more…which is motivation!
    In other words, motivation is not served on a platter….

  12. Well, Thanks to you & reading your blog – you HAVE truly motivated me! Good job & keep it up, I will too!

  13. they mention losing 50-125. i need to lose about 35. is this plan geared for that

    • Debi Jordan

      I think it depends on your bmi. I recommend giving them a call – Phone 847.990.5770. I know of someone who started the program and did not need to lose 50 pounds.

Subscribe to health enews newsletter

About the Author

Debi Jordan
Debi Jordan

Debi Jordan, health enews contributor, is senior account rep for the Advocate Health Care Media Center. She is sharing her weight loss journey.