How to Find the Motivation to Exercise + Ravioli Bake


We all know it’s good for us.  We know if we want to eat delicious foods that our body craves, we should probably add a little exercise to our routines to counteract that.  And on top of that, you gain more energy, deal with stress better, and have better overall mental and physical health, etc etc.  You don’t need me to tell you all the benefits you will receive from adding a little movement into your life.  I’m not saying you have to go all P90X or Insanity on me now (unless, of course, that’s your thing).  I’m just saying a brisk walk around the neighborhood, a quick workout dvd, or just 30 minutes of Wii Fit is all it takes to feel good about yourself.

But I Don’t Want To!

I remember when my set workout time was at 4:15am (yes, before the birds have even woken up).  The excuses and deals I would make with myself when my alarm went off at that awful hour.  I would convince myself that my body really needed the extra sleep today.  Or that I kinda feel a tickle in the back of my throat, so I wouldn’t want to make myself sicker.  I would tell myself that I’d eat extra careful that day if I didn’t work out.  Or even that I would find a time later to work out (full-well knowing that the only time that really worked for my schedule was the already set time of 4:15am).

I know all the games our minds play with us when it comes to working out.  But you know what they are?  They are just excuses.  Because working out isn’t necessarily fun.  It’s hard work.  It’s gonna make us sweat and get dirty.  It might even hurt a little bit (or sometimes I lot… I remember back when I was doing Insanity not being able to sit easily to use el potty).  But our bodies need it.  They are not made to be sedentary and just watch tv or just watch our kids play.  They are made to get up and play with them!  Chase the kids outside.  Take your dog for a jog rather than the regular walk (dogs need exercise too).  I know you don’t want  to do it, but when it comes down to it, you’ve just gotta!

Tips to Get Going

Alright, this is what you came here for.

Tell at least 3 people when you’re going to workout.

It is much easier to make excuses to yourself than it is to 3 of your friends or co-workers.  Do you really want to go back into work the next day and tell your neighbor that you were just too into the latest Kardashian’s Episode to get up and get moving?  A few times of excuses, and your buddy’s just going to think you’re lazy and never take you seriously.  When we tell people we are going to do something, more often then not, we actually follow through and do it.  I know for me, there’s not much worse than having to go tell someone that I just couldn’t do something.

Commit to 10 minutes

Really, just 10 minutes.  Tell yourself that’s all that is required of you. If you’re just not feeling it after 10 minutes, then by all means, bag it if you feel the need. Chances are though, once you’ve gone to the trouble of getting your workout gear on and started to break a sweat, you’ll end up working out for longer.

Find a Workout Buddy

This goes hand in hand with the first tip.  Not only are you telling someone you’re going to work out, but you’re committing to be at a certain time and place with that friend.  Do you really want to let them down and make them do this themselves?  Your buddy will be counting on you, and just like you wouldn’t want her to flake on you, she’s hoping you aren’t going to flake on her.

Plan Ahead

Know what you’re going to do and have your clothes all laid out as well as any equipment you might need (weights, yoga mat, etc).  Set an alarm for whenever you’re supposed to get ready to workout, whether it’s in the morning or 8 at night.  Have everything all ready so you can just get right to it without worrying about the logistics.

Think About How You Will Feel if You Don’t Workout

I don’t know about you, but this was always enough for me to guilt me into working out at 4 am.  I just knew that if I didn’t workout in the morning, all day I would get that nagging feeling that just ticked me off every time.  I’d kick myself over and over asking myself why I didn’t just get up and exercise!  Everything I ate would feel heavier, knowing my metabolism was slower than most days.  So every time I even thought about not working out in the morning, I would think about how I was going to feel later in the day.  It doesn’t take long to get my butt going after that.

Find a New Routine

Are you bored with the same routine you’ve been doing?  Or maybe you don’t have a routine at all and don’t know where to start?  You don’t want to pay for an expensive trainer to tell you what to do, and I sure don’t blame you!  There is an abundance of ideas online.  Have you browsed Pinterest for workout ideas?  I’ve made an ‘Imma Be Ripped‘ board on Pinterest of just a few workouts I’ve tried or would like to try.  Feel free to follow the board.  Something as simple as just switching it up for a day could be all it takes to kickstart you into a new workout rhythm.

Update Your Playlist

There’s just something about new music that will get me hopping.  Imagine.  A new playlist plus a new routine!  Man, I’d be ready to roll right away!  There’s a bunch of great sites like this one, that lists hundreds of songs based off how many beats there are per minute (BPM).  That way you can match the activity you are doing (running, jogging, cycling, walking, etc) to music!  I have yet to go in and check some of the music out, but I know I need to revamp my playlist before my first 5k in less than 4 weeks!


Here’s A Workout to Get You Started

I actually just did this workout this morning, and for a quick 15 minute pick-me-up, I am pleased.  It was enough to get me winded and sweating!  I was able to do it right in my front room.  I didn’t need any special equipment.  Just me, the stopwatch on my phone, and a glass of water.  If you aren’t sure what some of the exercises are, just google it and you should be able to find a pretty good description. So get up!  Enough sitting here reading… do this 15 minute workout!  (and then come back to see the delicious recipe I’ve posted as a reward)

And A Recipe to Reward Yourself!

After your hard work at the gym, outside, or wherever you chose to exercise, I highly recommend this delicious dinner.  I’m a sucker for pasta.  Especially when it’s filled with cheese!  Generally, I always go for whole wheat pasta, but I have yet to find a whole wheat ravioli.  Does it exist?

This is an easy dinner you can throw together on a weeknight.  I love it because it not only has a marinara sauce, but the ravioli is first bathed in a creamy white cheese sauce before blanketed in more cheese and tomato sauce.    It is ooey gooey hot and steamy on my plate, to my fork, and into my mouth!

Ravioli Bake


2 packages (25 oz) frozen cheese ravioli

1/4 cup butter, cubed

1/4 cup flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

2 cups milk

1/4 cup vegetable broth

1/2 cup minced fresh basil (or about 1 Tablespoon dried)

3 cups (12 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided

2 1/2 cups marinara or spaghetti sauce


Cook ravioli according to package directions.  Do not overcook.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt butter.  Whisk in the flour, salt, and nutmeg until smooth.  Gradually add milk and broth.  Bring to a boil.  Cook and stir for 1 minute or until thickened.  Remove from the heat.  Stir in the basil, 1 cup mozzarella, and 1/4 cup of Parmesan.

Drain ravioli.  Place in a greased 9×13 baking dish, and toss with the sauce mixture.  Top with 1 cup mozzarella cheese and marinara sauce.  Sprinkle with remaining cheeses.

Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.  Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.


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