Motivation may actually hinder your progress
I'm not a huge fan of relying on motivation to get to your goals. Something I hear often when I talk to people about creating a sustainable healthy lifestyle is “I’m just not motivated enough”. This is just another excuse that is keeping you from your ultimate goals.
Motivation is just an emotion. We all have cycles of motivation to live our healthiest life whether that may be with food or exercise or our mental health. Just like we’re not happy or sad or proud all the time, we’re not going to stay motivated all the time. We have peaks and troughs of motivation and that’s OK.
Am I motivated to live the healthiest life all the time, actually no. I have bad habits like everyone else, we all have our demons and I am certainly no exception. I however own those habits, recognise them as a very rare event and move on. I don’t punish myself if I have mindlessly had that second bit of cake or a few extra pieces of chocolate. I don’t throw in the towel after a weekend away where my primary diet has consisted of champagne and M&Ms. I might not be motivated to get to the markets and stock up on beautiful whole foods but I put my big girl pants on and do it anyway.
Because I am so incredibly worth it. I am worth spending money on beautiful produce to nourish me and my family. I am worth an hour or so in the gym or out for a walk all to myself. I am worth organising time for just me to do what I need to do.
When we eat beautiful food we feel amazing, when we feel amazing we want to look after ourselves, when we look after ourselves we feel amazing and the cycle goes on. This is way more powerful than relying on motivation. We have heard it a thousand times but relying on healthy habits that become second nature will be way more influential than motivation in the long run.
You don’t rely on motivation to brush your teeth or get in the shower do you? I don’t rely on motivation to move my body or eat consistently well everyday. I remember on Mothers Day this year I was up early, cannot for the life of me sleep in post children, and raring to go for a run. My gorgeous hubby said to me “Why don’t you go back to bed and have a sleep in, you can have a day off exercise you know”. I remember thinking but this is not a punishment for me, I really want to move my body because it feels good. Yep, I am that annoying person that would rather exercise than sleep once the sun is up. I love the post exercise endorphins, I love the time to myself and I love the health snowball that it all creates.
This is not a dress rehearsal peeps. It is a beautiful life if we choose to view it that way. Being overweight is really, really hard. It’s hard on the body, which luckily is incredibly forgiving, but it’s even harder on the mind. Weighing 107.2 kg stopped me from doing so many things. It increased my risk of heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure just to name a few. The limiting nature of being obese was a constant reminder that I defined by the number on the scales not defined by who I really am. For me, that is all the motivation that I ever needed. Chronic health conditions add a whole new element to the hard you already know being overweight or obese. If you ask those with chronic debilitation health issues they will tell you over and over again, that without our health we have nothing.
So that’s all good and well but if you’re still not feeling it here are my tips
- Just start somewhere. Whether it’s cutting sugar from your tea or coffee, adding an extra cup of veggies to your day or gong for a 10 min walk on a beautiful morning. Just start. Little changes consistently = big results
- Acknowledge that you just don’t feel like exercising today and put your runners on and go anyway. Just because you have convinced yourself you don’t feel like exercising doesn’t make it factual. You will feel so much better when it’s done and you’ll get that snowball rolling.
- Start being selfish when it comes to your own self-care. Ask for help from your family or friends if that is the only way to get out. Work out reciprocal childminding with trusted family or a girlfriend to get some exercise or a massage or a date night in.
- Sign up for a fitness charity event or endurance event of some kind. There's nothing like fear of failing to really get you moving.
If you make the choice to be the very best version of yourself, you are already leaps and bounds ahead of the pack. Believe that can and you will.
It’s not who we are that holds us back, it’s who we think were not