I get asked this question A LOT by friends, family, and social media followers and I never really know how to answer. The truth is, I don't want to hurt people's feelings. I am not a super articulate gal, and my insides want to go all Kanye (see why I admire him so much now? Like it or not, he speaks his MIND and that's something I lack), but my mouth is like "Durrrrrr" and my brain tells me to bite my tongue and empathize, because anything else might be seen as rude. Welp, I'm channeling my inner Kanye today and I'm just gonna say it. If you don't have any motivation, it's because you don't want to change badly enough. You're never going to just wake up and BE motivated. Virtually EVERYONE has to find ways to motivate themselves (i.e. REASONS TO DO IT); even fitness people who actually ENJOY the process. I LOVE to work out. I really do! Being prone to anxiety, I work out partially to "burn off the crazy" as they say, but also because I really like the way I feel when I push my body. I don't struggle *as much* anymore to get up and exercise because I know now that it's something I like and I've created a habit. I DID NOT start out that way. I started out not being able to jog in place for more than 12 seconds. What motivated me then? I was overweight. I felt horrible. I felt like I looked horrible. I DESPERATELY wanted to be one of those fit girls who didn't have to constantly cover her fat rolls when she sat down. I wanted the seat belt strap to fit flat across my waist instead of bending under my belly. I wanted to go into a store and buy clothes that made me feel good about myself. I didn't want to resign myself to the "over 30" crowd that just guzzles wine and makes excuses for why they don't have the figure they used to. I wanted to wear jeans without a muffin top (I'm not judging here...these are all things that legit went through my mind), and SO many other things that I was tired of dealing with. That's what motivated me when I would push play on Insanity and not get more than 4 minutes without taking a break. That's what got my ass out there in the heat of summer to run as far as I could until I had to walk.
I WANTED to change.
And I love my ladies out there, but there are a lot of women who SAY they want to change, but don't REALLY want it. Whoa...harsh! You mean I don't really want to change because I haven't started yet? I hate to say it, but must likely, yes. DISCLAIMER: I am NOT, I repeat, NOT talking about people with medical conditions or people in society who I am deeming "overweight". This is not an attempt to shame anyone into getting fit. I am talking about the average woman, who says that they want to lose weight, complains about their weight constantly, has literally nothing in their way except for maybe some time constraints, but constantly says they "can't seem to find the right motivation." I say that because I've been there. I told myself I wanted to change for a long time, but I didn't REALLY want it until I saw those wedding photos staring back at me and I started to take stock of what my life had become and all of the things mentioned in the paragraph above. At that time I literally had EVERY excuse in the book available to me. My high stress job left me exhausted at the end of the day. But instead of plopping down and watching TV, I replaced that half hour with something active. I had NO extra money, but I had sneakers and a 6 year old iPod with some even older music, so I got out there and started. I had fat rolls jiggling as I ran down the side of the road in a sports bra (North Carolina gets HOT in August). I'm sure I elicited MANY "Whoa she shouldn't be out in public wearing that" or "Careful, don't hit her, you don't want to dent your car" comments. Did I give a FUCK? Nope. Not one. Because I FINALLY had motivation. The motivation of getting out from the situation that I was in.
Now don't get me wrong, I may make it sound like I had this lightbulb moment where the heavens parted and God himself set this motivation afire inside of me and I went on health and fitness autopilot. It wasn't like that AT ALL. Not only were there plenty of days that my body ACHED from what I was doing and I did not want to get up and do it again, but I HATED...And when I say hated, I mean HAAAAAATED eating healthy. At the time I liked only ONE vegetable and I (still) LOVE nachos, pizza, chicken wing dip, french fries. You name it. I am the PUB GRUB QUEEN. I had a pretty hefty Taco Bell/Olive Garden addiction when I decided I wanted to make changes. And I DO NOT use the word addiction lightly. I am a food addict. I am an emotional eater. I have had to FIGHT for my health and my weight loss every step of the way. Do you think that was easy? Not. At. All. I didn't go cold turkey, and even now, I don't eat great (Thank GOD for Shakeology!). Which is how I know that it's totally possible to change your life without becoming a "health nut" and still allowing yourself treats. But how did I stay motivated to eat healthy? Same way as with exercise. I wanted to change more than I wanted the food. I had a vision for myself and I knew that if I didn't start to substitute the Taco Bell for broccoli and chicken at least most of the time, my body and health wouldn't change. I'd look and feel the exact same way I had for the last few years.
So I guess what I'm trying to say is this. We all have to get to a point where we want to change more than we want to stay the same, and then actually DOING what you're supposed to do to make that change (which is the hard part, but if you want it bad enough you're willing to put in the effort). That's really the ONLY factor in motivation. No one can "find" it for you. No one can "inspire" you to stick with it. It all has to be internal and it's all on YOU, regardless of what your goals are or how far you have to go. Let me put it to you this way...if you have JUST have 5 pounds left to lose to get to your goal or within your healthy weight range, are you going to loosen up or keep pushing? It depends on HOW much you want that goal and HOW much you want to keep changing. I'm 10 pounds from my "ultimate goal" right now and have been for the past year....you know where my motivation to PUSH for that loss is? In the toilet. Because I am SO happy with myself. I'm fit and I LOVE my body, so I've loosened my grip on that arbitrary number I set for myself way back when I was in the 200's...I also know that those last 10 pounds are STRICTLY VANITY and not going to be a factor in my health. So my DESIRE to tighten up my diet (because when you're trying to lose just that last 5 or so pounds, diet is likely going to be your biggest factor) is NOT greater than that goal, and until that shifts in my mindset, it's probably not going to happen.
"So Andrea, you're basically shitting on me here and telling me I'm not doing enough to lose weight, even though I say I want it. Deep down I already know that, but what can I DO to get motivated?"
I encourage you to think long and hard about it. Think about your goal. WHY do you want to achieve it? Is it some arbitrary number that you have plucked out of the sky that makes you think you'll be happy when you get there? Think about WHY you'll be happy. What in your life will change when you reach that goal? If not much will change, then you're probably not going to be uber motivated, and you've got to reconcile how bad you really want that goal or if you want it at all (and if you decide you don't want it...THAT'S OK! This is your body, your health, your life! You shouldn't feel like you have to make a disclaimer statement in line at Starbucks if you want a Venti Caramel Frappucino. If you don't WANT to lose weight, stop telling everyone around you how "bad" you are for eating the things you like, and just fucking enjoy them guilt free). If you CAN imagine totally new possibilities for your life when you reach that goal, and that makes you happy, then you will start to feel that motivation creep up inside you. Think of that...THAT FEELING...every day. Write it on a post it note and stick it to your alarm clock or your fridge. Make it the screen saver on your computer or phone. Think about it EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Then put in the work. That's the last thing I'll leave you with...Once you have that "why power," you've GOT to put in the work. You are the only one who can do that part and you have to be rational. Quick fixes never work. If you don't put in REAL work, things will never change. Start small if you have to. Up your water intake and lower your juices and sodas. Start walking a mile a day, and increase it until you can jog a bit. You don't NEED fancy organic foods or a gym membership. There are so many resources out there. You just have to DO SOMETHING if you want to make a change.
There you have it folks, the key to motivation. Figuring out why you want it, then setting out to do it.
If thinking about your why power has inspired you, reach out. Contact me via the contact tab and let's get started!
Hi! I'm Andrea Cummings. I am passionate about living a healthy lifestyle that I can MAINTAIN and that still lets me feel like I'm not being deprived. I like to exercise, but I also love to eat (nachos!). My main focus is to be healthy, not skinny, and to help others do the same! I love Jesus, but I also say fuck a lot, so if you're offended, I may not be the gal for you.