Motivation: Sometimes You Got It, Sometimes You Don’t

Since I ran the 8k in Charlottesville a few weeks ago, I’ve had trouble consistently making healthy decisions. Frustrating? Absolutely. And I have to say that it is tough to really want to write about struggling, but I’m cataloguing this whole journey, not just the highlights. I also am keeping myself accountable. This is a lifestyle change, not just a temporary change. So here I am!

My biggest challenges? The typical excuses: bored with my meals, too tired to cook, craving unhealthy foods, wanting a lazy weekend, not planning meals or time to exercise ahead and getting caught up in daily life.

But the biggest thing I’m fighting is becoming discouraged and frustrated with seeing slow results.

I know that I’m so much healthier now that I’m exercising, but I have to admit that I occasionally look in the mirror and feel like I’ve put in more effort than I can see evidence of in my reflection.

That discouragement is not an excuse to give up on a lifestyle change. The more time I take off and the more unhealthy decisions I make, the harder it will be to pick back up.

Just because I’m craving peanut butter and honey doesn’t mean that is what I should have for dinner. Just because my couch is comfortable on a drizzly Sunday afternoon doesn’t mean I shouldn’t at least make a quick trip to the gym.

It is okay to be hungry, within reason. It is going to hurt because it is hard work to get healthy! But every time I run or workout makes the next time feel better. I HAVE seen success. I ran an 8k! I have lost 12lbs so far! It takes time, effort, sweat, pain and patience… but it is worth it.

Here are some of the things I reason through when I’m struggling with temptations:

For food – What does eating this do for my body? Is the temporary enjoyment worth it? How much time would I have to spend on the treadmill to burn this off? How much healthy, filling food could I eat instead of this for the same number of calories (and probably less fat)? When I see pictures I don’t like, am I going to regret eating this?

For exercise – Why don’t I want to go to the gym? Am I afraid that it will hurt? Am I worried that I won’t be able to do as much as last time? Or do I just not know what I’m going to do at the gym? (Often, lack of motivation just means I don’t have a plan!) When I see pictures of myself I don’t like, am I going to regret skipping the gym today?

This week, the food choices haven’t been the best. I’ve fallen prey to peanut butter and dark chocolate sorbet. The exercise has been great, though. Here is a quick recap:

Monday – Kickboxing class. High intensity. Aerobic. Toning. Perfect.

Tuesday – 15 minutes running on the treadmill + 15 minutes biking with 10 resistance + 15 minutes on the elliptical at incline 6, resistance 10. Then a 20 minute cool down on the elliptical. Some abs (workout ball, plank, side plank) and arms (curls, tricep kickbacks, side lifts).

Wednesday – 2.55 miles running on the treadmill + 1.5 power walking on a 7.5 incline + 1 mile walk cool down. Arms and abs like Tuesday, box steps and lunges.

I’m taking it one day at a time, and making healthy a habit, a lifestyle.

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2 thoughts on “Motivation: Sometimes You Got It, Sometimes You Don’t

  1. Woohooo…12 lbs?! That’s awesome! I often struggled with being motivated for a few weeks and then I’d take a break for a week because I lacked the motivation. Once I recognized this vicious cycle, I challenged myself to workout 5 days a week for 8 weeks. I didn’t specify what the workouts would be, but I just said as long as I worked out 5 times whether it was just 20 easy minutes on the elliptical or 1 hour kicking butt…it counted. Now I’m at week 8 and extending it to 12 weeks! Sometimes if I’m dreading running or doing any cardio, I’ll tell myself to do just 20 minutes and if I want to do more than that I can if I feel like it. Usually I always do more once I get in the groove! One of my food weaknesses is snacking! I recommend counting your calories with the My Fitness Pal app for a week. It helped me recognize how much my healthy snacking was adding up and now I ask myself if I’m hungry or if I’m really just thirsty. Remember to remind yourself how awesome you are and be proud of the small lifestyle changes your making! Love you!

    1. You are the best! Thanks for being so encouraging 🙂 Motivation totally ebbs and flows, and its hard to not beat yourself up when it is lacking. Taking a “challenge” sounds like a great idea – I may do that! I always do better with accountability and goals, rather than just keeping things casual, and it takes the pressure off if you allow yourself to count the 20 minute circuit training OR the hour long intense run as a workout. I get overwhelmed by putting pressure on myself to do more and more each time, but that is unrealistic.

      Thanks for the words of wisdom 🙂

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