Thursday, September 27, 2012

Finding the Motivation to Embrace Fitness

Finding the Motivation to Embrace Fitness
Well, the Olympia (the “Olympics” of the fitness industry!) is the event of the weekend, and a great time to find the motivation to continue to work hard toward your fitness goals, or kick-start a new plan! 
Someone asked me a question today that was actually a major “aha” moment.  The question was, “Wendy, I have gotten to the point where I am not happy with my weight, and the way that I look, but feel that I am caring less and less about it.  It worries me, because I used to care so much if I gained weight.  How do I change that?”

I thought about this for a moment, because I have learned from myself and from our clients that staying in shape is a full-time job in itself.  You can’t “take time off” so to speak from caring about your fitness.  You can’t get in the shape you’ve always dreamed of, and then maintain it without continuing to work on it.  But that draws a bit of frustration for people, because then when do we get a break?  Why does it have to be so hard?  At times, it is almost frustrating to witness the bliss of the fitness ignorant – the people who don’t care, and have never cared about being in shape or healthy.

I’m not going to lie, you DO need to think about it always, but it can be very fun and super rewarding.  For example, think about how such a little can go a long way.  If you wake up earlier, and go for a 30 minute jog, skip the latte and opt for a regular coffee, choose an apple instead of a muffin, and eat a chicken breast with rice and veggies instead of a sandwich with ham and cheese…  You can STILL majorly enjoy your life, and you get to enjoy the body you live in.  Extra bonus! 

We had a client one time tell us, “I am so jealous of my friend.  She goes out and drinks when she wants, she eats whatever she wants, and she skips exercise if she wants.  She just does whatever she wants without the strain of thinking about being fit and healthy all the time.  I just feel like I have to think about it constantly, and it is so tiring!”  Do you know what we told her?... We said, “Yes, well it LOOKS like you care, and it LOOKS like your friend doesn’t.”  Just that alone was a reality check for her.  “yes, I guess you’re right!”  See, if you focus on the things you do get to enjoy with a healthy lifestyle, instead of focusing on the things that you must give up to be healthy, you will be so happy!  You get to live in a house – your body – that you cannot step out of!

It is good, in my opinion, to look at the extreme version of fitness to dig for motivation to continue with your fitness program.  This is why I say that following the top athletes at the Olympia this weekend is a great way to get this motivation.  Instead of viewing the extreme as “ridiculous, unhealthy, unattainable, not desirable”, think about where those thoughts stem from.  Are you mentally forcing yourself to remove this level of fitness from your mind as something you want, so that you don’t have to be so strained with thoughts of achieving it?  Many people do this, it is okay!  Heck, I’ve done it before, and then realized that it was because I didn’t want to push myself to get there!  Instead, I think, “How on earth did she get her butt to look like that?” – or – “What do I need to add in my program to achieve that level of conditioning in my legs?”  And NO, this is not shallow.  We decide that it is shallow to desire looking the best we can, because it is hard to do. 

I will tell you that I live fitness every day.  I maintain it every day.  When I was younger, it was easy for people to say, “You are still young, and your metabolism is fast, just wait until you’re older!  It will eventually catch up to you!”  What will catch up to me?  I’m about to turn 31 years old, and I refuse to let it “catch up” to me.  My husband, Matt, is 36 years old – and he refuses to let it catch up to him.  We just made up our minds to stay healthy and fit. 

You can put yourself first on the priority list, and decide to be the best version of yourself TODAY.  No more excuses or reasons to not do this.  At the beginning, you will have more bad days than good days.  But when it becomes your lifestyle, you will have more good days than bad days.  I am telling you it is okay to fight through the bad days – you NEED to fight through those bad days, even if you or someone else tells you that you need to give it a rest and let loose.  Yes, let loose, but the only way to do it in style is by achieving and maintaining the best “you” possible!

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