I am often questioned about motivation. My journey was not a short one. Sure, I could have lost those 50 lbs in a matter of a few months. I didn’t. I had a bit of a set back where I gained back 20 or so pounds. I lost site of my goals, I let stress and emotions take control of my habits again and lost motivation completely. I could have easily been like “well I guess it wasn’t meant to be” and quit running, quit Weight Watchers and gone back to my old ways. But I got back up and kept on fighting.
Weight loss, fitness or muscle gain are not easy roads and you will wake up some mornings feeling that motivation pumping through your veins and other days waking up not wanting to get out of bed. These moments that our mind is resisting what our heart wants most are the moments that we need to find a way to push through. Those moments can be what determines your success. It is far too easy to say “oh well, I missed one day…I start next week.” Nope! I am telling you now that you need to pick your butt off the ground and do it now even if you don’t want to. Believe me, when I was in the peak of my marathon training there were mornings where I was ready to have a hissy fit, crying and all, because I did not want to run 36 km in the pouring rain and wind by myself. But you put your big girl (or boy) pants on and get it DONE.
Here are a few things to remember:
Duration of workouts
I find more often than not people have this idea that fitness has to last at least an hour to see any kind of result. Not true. When I first started I told myself “Jenn, move for 20 minutes..” That is do-able right? 20 minutes is basically a sitcom on TV. If you are getting into running, that could be running 10 minutes from your doorstep and 10 minutes home. There are 1440 minutes in a day…what is 20 minutes of that? Not much! Get going!
Biting the bullet and just doing it
There are MANY days I wake up with that want to just stay in bed and not complete my workouts or anything else I have prepped for that day. Sometimes you just have to do it. Get a playlist together, watch some youtube videos on your phone if you have a data plan or wifi, download a podcast or audiobook and get on your way! You need to remember that these moments of resistance are the toughest to pass but they can be the difference of you improving or staying static with your fitness.
Find things you love to do!
No one is forcing you to run a marathon. If you don’t want to run a marathon, don’t. There are so many options out there. Join a team sport, take group fitness classes at the gym, pick up some at home workout DVDS, start hiking, swimming..ANYTHING. As long as your moving, you are ahead of the game! Okay, I take that back…wii bowling or wii tennis isn’t really something to “take up.”
Find someone to stay accountable with
If you know someone who has similar goals, text or call each other each day to ask what they did or plan to workout together. Make sure you both are on the same page and push each other. “I’m not gonna workout today” does not always deserve an “Okay” type reply. Ask their reasons for missing a workout or making the choices they are making. You have to call each other on excuses! Or if you feel super comfortable with a person you can make a weekly measurement/weigh in/ body shot date if that will keep you more in line. Personally I don’t weigh myself very often but if that is something that will keep you motivated, go for it.
Yes! I goal set for most time periods. I have daily, weekly, monthly, and annual goals. They keep me on track and keep my on the right road. My daily goals usually include drinking a gallon of water at least (I drink lots of water, yep :)), thinking positively (Positive self talk is extremely important), taking my vitamins and eating only when I am hungry (I am a terrible boredom and stress eater.. but this goal keeps me in line). I often write these on a post it and keep them in a visible place, for me that’s my agenda. I keep weekly and monthly goals in my Agenda/Journal too.
Or, if you are a runner, cyclist or into adventure type sports, sign up for a race! I am signed up for the TC 10 Km at the end of April and Tough Mudder in June. By committing financially, most of the time people commit to their workouts and training.
Schedule time for fitness and make it a habit!
I still don’t take the “I don’t have time” excuse as a viable reason for not working out. Like I said before, a workout does not have to be an hour long. You can always find time. If that means waking up an hour earlier so you have time to workout and shower before work, do it. If its important you will find time. Fitness needs to be scheduled just like any other appointment you make. Its a commitment to yourself. “They” say it takes about 21 days to form a habit. Make yourself a regiment and commit to it!
Find your WHY
Check out my last post. Determining WHY you want to lose weight, WHY you want to be healthier, WHY you do anything is extremely important for success. Write this and keep it somewhere you can reference!
Find what motivates you
For myself, I can be motivated by MANY things. New playlists, a new audiobook on self-development, Pinterest, Youtube videos, blogs, you name it! Find what fuels you to push past those “I don’t wanna” moments and run with it! (PUN TOTALLY INTENDED).
For those who are brand new to fitness remember you won’t see change over night. In fact you may be sore for a while after starting to workout. Take everything one step at a time! Start by being active for 2-3 days a week, then as time goes on you can add in more days! You are trying to change up your eating habits? Have one less soda or make healthy substitutes (Example: Sour cream swapped for Plain Greek yogurt..tastes pretty much the same!).
Sore does not mean stop
Like I said, you will most likely be sore post workout. This is normal! Your body is being challenged! With challenge comes change so don’t stop! If you are TOO sore to even think of the idea of running, squatting or what have you, add an active recovery day! Yoga or going for a power walk with your puppy are great options!
Balancing cross training
I find people have the most trouble with the idea of doing more than one type of activity in their routine so they just lose the motivation to keep up with it. Know that it is possible. Get out a calender and plan out your week! Planning ahead is everything! Just make sure you have at least one full rest day in there, you aren’t working the same muscle group two days in a row and you aren’t over training to the point that it is completely bogging your entire week down!
Sometimes people are motivated by rewards. Personally I ask people to stay away from food type rewards as sometimes it can trigger them into a spiral of unhealthy eating. When I started my journey I was motivated by making rewards like pedicures, massages, new workout tops and so on. I would get a reward for every new “decade” I would enter in my weight loss :). (aka, every 10 lbs or so)
I’ve said it before, and I say it again. Rest is equally as important as work periods. If you don’t allow rest, your muscles will not repair, you won’t see much change, injuries can happen and plateaus are very common.
So all in all, remember. You are not a lone. It is VERY normal to wake up unmotivated to eat well and workout. You just have to battle your “I don’t wanna” monster and do what has to be done!