Mind-Body Bliss Welcome Kit! $10 off Shiatsu & Yoga, Fun Videos, Tasty Recipes & more...

Can you get Fit without the Gym?

Liz VequistCan I be honest with you?

Like really brutally honest? I’m in the best shape of my life and I don’t belong to a gym. To be 100% truthful, I can’t stand going to the gym.

I was a member of gyms for many years and it always seemed like a good idea when I signed up. I would get really excited and swear that this would be the year that I would get in shape. But then…

  • I wouldn’t go.
  • I would feel guilty that I wasn’t going.
  • I didn’t lose weight and I never felt fit.
  • I was stuck in a gym contract that I wasn’t using.

What the heck was going on?

I used to think,

“__ is in great shape and goes to the gym so that’s what I should do.”

“If I join a gym it will cost less than paying for individual classes.”

“I need to do cardio and weights a certain number of times a week.”

“The personal trainers are really hot – that will motivate me!”

None of these are good reasons to work out and clearly it didn’t work for me. The classes at the gym weren’t a good fit for me (or weren’t at a time I could go). I got bored working out on machines more than once or twice a week. I didn’t get the results I was looking for because the gym was not aligned with Me.

How I changed things up…

I thought about all the ways that I’ve enjoyed moving my body since I was young. What could I do outside of the gym that would fit into my lifestyle? What could I do that would be Fun, that I would do consistently and also get me Fit? Could my workouts feed my soul as well as my body and become something that I crave rather than resist?

I did some brainstorming and thought about all the ways I like to move my body… and created my own Fitness Plan based on Me. My list includes dancing, hooping, swimming, tennis, cycling and yoga. Many of these activities I can do on my own without any special equipment. Some of them require a friend – bonus! All of them are things I love.

I was a little scared… would I really do it on my own?

Since I am someone who needs accountability, I sign up for a series of classes. I go out dancing and hoop regularly in the park with friends. I get competitive enough playing tennis that I’m inspired to improve my game and take lessons. I commute to work on my bike so that fitness becomes part of my lifestyle.  I create attainable goals and push myself to reach them. I have found it surprisingly easy to create my own personal fitness plan that really works. It works because it is Fun, fits into my lifestyle and makes me feel good.

How can you create a fitness plan that is based on You?

How do you like to move your body? What fitness activities feed your soul? What activities are included in Your Personal Fitness Plan? Share them in the comments below!

16 Responses to Can you get Fit without the Gym?

  1. Oh I am with you now Liz! I used to LIVE at the gym pre-children and I actually loved it. I was addicted in many ways and I was then in the best shape of my life but, after my girls wow…that changed. I am a lover of outdoor activities especially hiking or walking in the woods. I miss it once the weather turns cold. It’s where I feel the most alive. My goal this winter is to “start” yoga with my eldest. Multiple benefits here…we get to spend some time together doing something we both enjoy, I get “out” from behind the PC and then there is the exercise component. It’s time…ok ok Liz, signing up for yoga 🙂 Time to move the body!!!

  2. I’m so glad you said that! I hate the gym too and I refuse to go. I struggled with weight much more when I had gym routine than when I listened to what my body wanted. My body loves yoga more than anything, and it’s a treat to go, not a chore 🙂

    • Yes, I love listening to my body and finding out what will feel good today, not just what I think I “should” do. Bleh. Sometimes of course I do have to push myself a bit, but I try to remember how I’ll feel afterward… that lovely body high is what gets me off the couch :).

  3. As someone that used to spend hours at the gym and feeling like I was on a hamster wheel that I could never get off, I love this post. It was scary for me too to let the gym go, and every so often I still hear that voice telling me I should join again, but my soul knows she isn’t happy AND I’d so much rather do things like dance, yoga, hiking, and being outside!

    • Haha, I know I get that little voice in my head too! And to be 100% honest I did join a gym last winter so I could stay in biking shape… and um, for the sauna :). I look at it as part of my toolkit and not the default. As the creator of my experience I’m in charge of how I move my body and what feels good for me :).

  4. Part of me really wants to be gung-ho about this, and I love that it’s so effective for the rest of you! For me, though, things I love doing very quickly becomes things I hate doing if I associate it in any way with fitness. My associations with the word itself are demotivating and demoralizing. There are active things I love, but the draw is always something else. For yoga, it’s the depth knowledge of an alternative paradigm. For kayaking, it’s observing the shift of different wave patterns through different conditions. For hiking, it’s the scenery, the time to listen to books on my iPod, and the different rhythm of my thought patterns. Even going to the gym can be really fun, because it’s not about the what, but about the why. Lifting weights is great when I want to remind myself of origins and insertions. Rowing is meditative. It has to happen for reasons I deeply value, and if I feel like I’m trying to trick myself into doing something because I ought to, I get resistant, like the dog sucking off the butter and spitting out the pill.

    • hmmmm…. this is so interesting. It seems as though you’ve completely disassociated from your body in these activities. For me, the reason I move my body is because it feels so good… if not during then afterward. Those feel-good endorphins flood my body which also affect my mind and spirit. I find it strange when my friends (or clients) don’t feel this way. While I know every body is unique, it’s almost like we’re speaking different languages and I wish I had a translator who could transmit the way I feel! 🙂

  5. Brilliant, Liz!!! Way to take charge of your fitness beliefs and really infuse them with your ‘inner guidance’ (to quote Angela:)) I LOVE your implementation of your unique fitness regime!!! I used to commute on my bicycle ALL over Los Angeles, when I dated a cyclist. Just got back on my bicycle this week as you’ll see in this week’s blog post!! Cycling makes me happy! Dance of course has kept me fit as well, hiking, walking anyone’s dog. I’d love to find some newer activities that turn me on. I love swimming but not thrilled with chlorinated pools and the ocean is too cold and polluted at the moment. Hooping sounds fun and a great idea. I must find some buddies to hoop with- perhaps a meetup group! I did just initiate skyping with a fellow movement friend- an hour a day- 4 days a week!!! In the mornings! That is so wonderful for me! I love climbing on rocks in the creek as well- need a friend to join me on that, too. Thanks for the inspiration!!!

    • I can definitely see you getting into hooping! There are a bunch of hoop meetups around LA. I have a hooper friend who moved to LA from Boston that I’ll connect you with :). I love your idea of a skyping movement buddy – fun!!!

  6. Liz, I so enjoy your energy in this post and the encouragement to create a personal plan. Growing up, I was a very disciplined athlete and that discipline extended into my 20s in relation to the gym.

    As I have gotten older, my exercise is more aligned with what you are saying here. I move from inspiration rather than regimented discipline. Dancing, hiking and yoga are my favorite ways to move my body! This post is reminding me that I want to play more tennis. <3

  7. Wow, yes… I belong to a gym and never go!!! I used to go and enjoyed it but that was a lifetime ago. One thing I realized recently is I used to dance, a lot, and loved it……. and haven’t for years now! I miss it and want to start again! I already researched a couple places in town I could go and participate but hit time conflicts. So I am still searching and planning! I will be dancing soon, even if its in my own living room!

Leave a reply

Love Notes...
Adina Rose, MFT, East Bay California
Adina Rose, MFT, East Bay California
I am a busy mom of two and have been wanting to lose those extra few pounds for years now. On my own, I lacked the motivation to stick to a healthier eating plan for more than a few weeks. After completing Liz's 6-week plan I feel confident that I can maintain better eating habits as a lifestyle choice, in way that I have been wanting to for years. Not only did I loose 5 pounds in the six weeks, but I also lost 2 inches each from my hips and thighs; 1.5 inches from my waist! I learned new yummy recipes, and so much more. Thank you, Liz!  
Katie Hazard, Project Manager, Burning Man, San Francisco
Katie Hazard, Project Manager, Burning Man, San Francisco
Wow, what an amazing program! I went from feeling sluggish & self-conscious to feeling healthy & ready to rock my bikini in just 6 weeks. Liz's knowledge and deep care really guided me through this process beautifully, and having the fantastic group support motivated me to eat well, move my body, and feel good about myself. Thank you!
Helaine Unger, Early Special Educator
Helaine Unger, Early Special Educator
Doing this program with Liz has changed my relationship with food. I have fewer cravings, enjoy cooking more and have more energy. I lost weight and inches and feel so much better in my clothing. I have developed new habits and feel confident that they will continue.
Jennifer Carey, Beverly, MA
Jennifer Carey, Beverly, MA
I worked with Liz for 6 months on a plan for me to have a healthy relationship with food and to make eating well and exercising an automatic habit in my life. The plan, the work and the outcome were all a success! Liz combined her knowledge of food, nutrition and holistic health with her genuine passion to help others make positive changes. This was all done in such an authentic fashion that I finished the program with the self-awareness and knowledge of food that I needed to be an intuitive eater with healthy habits. I'm cooking more, eating better and exercise is a routine that I don't think twice about incorporating.  I look and feel better.  I know that Liz's support, clear and applicable exercises and tools helped me make these changes and that these changes will be long lasting. I am and will be forever grateful to her. 
Loretta M., Watertown, MA
Loretta M., Watertown, MA
I have found Liz's work extremely beneficial and have improved my overall well-being since I have seen her. Liz is very knowledgeable on self-care and holistic health and practices it herself. She is very accommodating and trustworthy. Someone you can count on to find the imbalances and try to help alleviate them. From the moment you walk in her space it is calm, safe, and inviting to start the healing process. I can't say enough good things :)
Inez N., Brighton, MA
Inez N., Brighton, MA
Liz is my therapist. She's soft-spoken. But don't let that fool you because she has Ninja fingers! In 60 minutes, she bends and folds, twists and pulls at my comatose body. Shiatsu kind of feels like someone is putting me in yoga poses while simultaneously working my pressure points. The result, for me, is leaving "the shop" feeling loose and better aligned.
Michael Kirk, Producer/Director/Writer
Michael Kirk, Producer/Director/Writer

In my busy, bicoastal life I work hard to find centers of calm. Liz Vequist's careful and sensitive work is one of those centers--restful and rejuvenating.

C. Coleman, Cambridge, MA
C. Coleman, Cambridge, MA

Liz Vequist is a true healer--insightful, caring, and committed to supporting wellbeing on physical, emotional, and spiritual levels. I feel fortunate that our paths have crossed.”

 
Svetlana Howard
Svetlana Howard
The Slim, Fit and Sexy program with Liz gave me a huge jump on getting closer to my ideal body looks and weight. I have gain a certainty that I can get to my goal by sticking to the healthy lifestyle that I have learned on this program. I was very impressed with the group motivation, recipes, and well-structured weekly diet/tasks that was doable to follow even with my busy lifestyle. Thank you, Liz, for being such a passionate coach.
Cora Poage, NY, NY
Cora Poage, NY, NY
Before I started working with Liz, I thought I was "healthy". Boy, was I in for a surprise.  With Liz's guidance I was able to "crowd out" most processed foods.  What a huge difference!  I eat more fruits and veggies than ever before and I notice a difference in my skin, my mood, and my body.  Liz also helped me face up to and conquer a major Diet Addiction and deal with a negative body image.  For the first time in my life, I truly love my body, AS IS! Thanks so much Liz! You truly changed my life for the better! 
Clara M., Madrid, Spain
Clara M., Madrid, Spain
Liz is phenomenal! I love how close and warm she is while giving support. She has motivated and helped me change some of my unhealthy habits. I am getting great results and would be getting them for the rest of my life! I admire and respect you enormously, THANKS LIZ!
Amy, Cape Cod, MA
Amy, Cape Cod, MA
I've never lost this much weight so easily and without feeling deprived or starved. Really! Plus I now have a whole new arsenal of food that keeps me full AND fit!
Ryck L.
Ryck L.
Plagued by stiffness, chronic joint and back pain and other concerns, I first became a client of Liz Vequist over three years ago. While I've gotten older since then, I've also gotten better. Liz offers an intense, therapeutic shiatsu which has been very effective at reducing pain and stiffness while increasing flexibility. It works! Liz Vequist is now a key partner for my personal health and well-being.
Nancy McLinskey, M.D.
Nancy McLinskey, M.D.
The food involved in this cleanse was so good and nourishing that after the 5 days were up, I found myself actually turned off of sugary treats and instead craving roasted root vegetables! Liz is very knowledgeable and was very supportive throughout the cleanse.

Mind-Body Bliss Welcome Kit! $10 off Shiatsu & Yoga, Fun Videos, Tasty Recipes & more...

Mind-Body Bliss Welcome Kit!
Your Mind-Body Bliss Welcome Kit includes
Special Offers ($10 Off!), Fun Videos & Yummy Recipes.
Your Information will never be shared with any third party.
Mind-Body Bliss Welcome Kit!
Your Mind-Body Bliss Welcome Kit includes
$10 off Shiatsu & Yoga, Fun Videos, Tasty Recipes & more...
Your Information will never be shared with any third party.