Most people can agree that they want to “rock their health” whether it’s losing weight, toning up, or eating clean.
We want to feel good. We want the benefits of health.
Too often fear and hesitancy are associated with such a task. We are afraid to fail. Or we feel it is difficult. We have a hard time getting started. We may feel overwhelm: “I don’t have the time…the energy…the motivation.”
Changing your body is not always easy. We live in a society that overeats, indulges in processed foods, spends hours in front of screens, distracts us at every angle, and keeps us from the simplicity of movement and healthy living.
Perhaps you can relate to my story: every new year – for the past 15 years – losing weight has been my goal.
Perhaps you’re like, “No. I gave that up long ago!”
Or maybe your health is something you are newly interested in. As the quality of life has gone down with each decade, more and more are becoming aware that change is needed. More and more, we hear of terms such as “organic”, “paleo”, and “gluten free” as natural options for food and products are becoming more available nationwide in stores and restaurants.
Whatever the case, my point is this: we know we want to gain health but we are having a hard time doing it.
Creating a healthy lifestyle has its challenges. I have experienced this myself. As a Health & Wellness Coach who is in her own pursuit of well-being, I’d like to share my thoughts on how we can address some of these challenges, as well as the solutions I have found for them. Today, I am going to be focusing on one particular challenge – the one I hear the most about.
How To Find The Motivation To Exercise & Eat Well
This is a biggie. Almost every week I have people tell me, “I wish I had the motivation you have, Lindsey.”
Listen up: I have battled my weight for 16 years now. I was depressed at my wedding because I was ten pounds overweight. Now, my goal is my wedding weight!
I have started and stopped diets – all kinds of diets! – over and over and over and over again. I have joined Weight Watchers more times than I can even remember. I have tried low-carb diets over and over, only to fail that same week. I have told myself, “I’m starting on Monday” for dozens upon dozens of weeks in a row.
I have also given up. I have gotten to that point where I go ahead and just get a whole new wardrobe in my largest size and eat whatever I want and tell myself, “I’ll get myself together one day.”
Finding the motivation was not easy.
So, I’ll be honest with you and skip to my number one piece of advice for motivation. It may not be what you want to hear but it is reality. (Then, we’ll talk about other simpler things you can do to propel you forward, too.)
Here goes: the number one thing that motivates me is actually doing it and feeling that high, reaping the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.
Now, I’m not talking about doing it for a long time, but yes, you may have to force yourself through it for a couple times. But here’s the thing: when you do this you are going to reap immediate results because you’ll feel the high and the endorphins that you get.
When you eat clean and healthy, your brain will automatically recognize, “Hey, this feels good!” Drink your 8-12 glasses of water a day and tell me: doesn’t that feel good? You feel cleaner. Lighter. Refreshed.
Take a walk outside – a nice brisk walk – and tell me: don’t you feel incredible? So much better than sitting at the computer, table, or couch and feeling your back ache, your blood slowing down, sluggish and tired.
The best motivation for me is the immediate feeling you get from sweating, moving, and fueling your body with the best nutrition out there. So yes, one day you need to “just do it”. After a couple times, it does become addicting. And you keep going. You don’t give up. If you have an off day, you start back up again the next day. You make it a lifestyle.
If you are truly having a hard of a time making that first move, let’s talk about other things you can do to find motivation as well.
Follow Inspirational Success Stories
Whether it’s following weight loss stories on Instagram or searching for “before and afters”, it really helps to constantly put your eyes in front of success.
When you surround yourself with inspirational stories, you remind yourself that it’s possible. This is important. We sometimes sabotage ourselves or feel defeated before it even happens. We must maintain hope and remind ourselves that it’s completely possible.
One of my favorite quotes says: “Deep down inside you know the truth. The truth is that you can do this. The truth is that if you gave it 100%, you’d get 100%. The truth is it’s up to you.”
And I’m here to tell you that even if you gave 60%, it would move you forward in the right direction.
It’s been done. You can do this.
Look Through Your Closet (or Make It Over)
Do you have “goal” outfits? That pair of jeans from before you had your first baby? Or that dress you wore to your sister’s wedding? Or maybe you purchased an outfit last year in hope that you’d be in it by December 31st? It’s time to bring that stuff out.
I go through my drawers and closet regularly and it helps me to get excited about fitting into these clothes again.
I remember when I had my daughter ten years ago and I went shopping for a bunch of clothes. I was certain I’d lose the baby weight in just months. Here she was this time last year – 9 years old – and I still couldn’t fit into these items.
Then I lost 25 pounds and was amazed to find out that I could fit a lot of them. I have a whole new wardrobe now and it feels fantastic! But I’m only halfway to goal so I keep a special drawer for the clothes I still have to fit into. At times, I will choose to hang up a dress where I can wake up and see it in my room.
Touch it. Feel it. How would that feel to fit into these again?
Or maybe you don’t have weight loss as a goal. You want to be able to run. Maybe it’s a new pair of running shoes and you are imagining yourself running…how they would feel with every step. I get excited about fitness gear and how it feels as my body moves in it. This can be just as motivating.
Envision What Success Would Look Like For Your Health
You could do this as a mental exercise. You could make a list. Or you could even take it a step forward and create a vision board. Either way, it’s important to be clear on why and how this would be good for you.
You need to taste it. You need to want it.
Those aches you have. The pain. Or the moods. Or the side effects. Whatever it is that needs improvement or change in your life, envision that change!
Imagine your life healthier. How would it feel to get enough rest? To wake up and take a walk outside, or complete a 30-minute workout? Imagine your day with more energy. How it would feel to be satisfied but not stuffed? Nourished and not sick.
How I do this:
I go back into my past. I’ve been thin. I’ve been strong. I’ve been fast. I remember this one moment when I was still living in Alaska and had this incredible gym called The Alaska Club. Oh man, that was my place!
Every day, I’d get off work and go to the gym. I had this whole routine. 30 minutes on the treadmill listening to my favorite playlist. (Cassette tape! Lol.) I’d do 15 minutes of leg exercises on machines (though I had no idea what I was doing) and then maybe 10 minutes on the Stairmaster. I’d sit in the steam sauna and sweat, sweat, sweat. It felt soooooo good! Finally, I’d head to the cafeteria (yes, it was that awesome of a gym) and order a healthy garden burger. It was my whole routine and it was an incredible way to love myself every day.
I go back to this one moment when I was on a treadmill next to the mirrored wall and I was watching myself walk. I was watching my body – how my legs moved, how my abs were held in tight and my core was firm and contracted. I remember so clearly how I was thinking to myself, “Wow. I feel so healthy and strong right now.” I remember, my waist was inches tinier than even my children’s right now.
The thing is I may never be that small again. (I’m almost 40 and I have two kids. C’mon.) And I may never have two to three hours a night to myself. (I was single back then.) But that feeling…that feeling I absolutely have felt again. It is incredible.
Close your eyes. Envision this. You are “fearfully and wonderfully made”. It doesn’t take long to see results. Don’t overwhelm yourself and think about your final goal. For example, I only lost 25 pounds this year and it very well could take me another year to lose another 25. It could be discouraging for those in a rush.
But I know this: I’m only one workout away from a good mood. I can have instantaneous results when it comes to mood, movement, and flexibility, endurance, stamina, etc.
So can you. Now let it manifest.
Surround Yourself With Supportive & Healthy People
“I’m addicted to what you have.”
I smile every time I think of that. One of the best compliments of my life came from one of the girls that joined one of my monthly fitness groups.
Have you ever heard that saying that “you become like the five people you are mostly around”? So much truth to that.
When you spend time around people who are like-minded or have the same goals as you, the chance of you being put on a path to that end increases.
Just the same, hang around a donut shop and you’ll eat more donuts. Haha, I mean that literally. I’m within walking distance to one of the best donut shops in California (in my humble opinion, lol) and it’s embarrassing how often I’d hop, skip, and jump on over there. I could never work there. I mean, perish the thought!
You get my point right?
Do you have friends that also want to create healthier lifestyles for themselves? Why not collaborate with them? Get together and discuss some goals. Become “success partners” for accountability.
This is not always easy. And it’s even harder when the members of your family are not on the same plane.
Well, I have good news: just yesterday I created a group on Facebook so that we can encourage and inspire one another. It’s the next best thing to being in each other’s living rooms. 😉
It’s a tribe. We are a tribe of women, motivating each other to move more, eat clean, love ourselves, feed our brains, and reach our goals in health and happiness. You are welcome to join us! We’d love nothing more. Find us at Love, Peace & Smoothies.
Keep in mind, it’s not just a page – it’s a group. I want all of us to participate and share our struggles and strengths. Favorite healthy recipe? Share it. Non-scale victory? Share it! Want to show off your new FitBit? I want to see that!
We will also be running mini-challenges for those who want to participate. 14-day fitness challenges…10 day “Love Yourself” challenges. Little ways you can be motivated to start making self-care and fitness a part of your daily life.
One more thing…Beware Of Poisonous Mentalities
Now that I’ve written a few ways we can motivate ourselves to commit to this lifestyle change, I want to address one thing that can really inhibit our desire and progress.
Drop the extreme mentalities. I’m specifically talking about perfectionism. It can disguise itself as the “all-or-nothing” mentality, or the idea that we must look like “her” or have a certain size or weight.
The “all-or-nothing” mentality says you have to have the supplements, equipment, clothes, perfect schedule, and diet to start. It also says starting happens on Monday.
For so many years, I did this. I’d start over every Monday and when I messed up, I’d throw the towel in and binge. I’d tell myself that I would start over on Monday anyhow and that I would soon reach my goal. It would be okay to go “hogwild” for a few days. No doubt, my overeating led to even more weight gain.
I spent tons of money on fitness magazines, supplements, groceries, workout clothes, thinking that these supplies alone would help me. “If only I had…” became a common thought.
Perfectionism got me as well. Like I said, I couldn’t mess up or I’d feel I had to start over. And I’d make unreasonable goals, like “I’m going to lose 2 pounds every week until June for a total of…” Not how it works ladies. Sounds nice, though.
Now listen up ladies:
I am happy to announce that I have beat this mentality. It is doable! I have created a healthy lifestyle where I no longer crave sweets but prefer healthy options. I haven’t been to a McDonald’s in half a year. I enjoy working out and crave the sweat. I don’t like sitting around all day or bingeing.
That mental shift took place.
I’ll tell you this: if I gave up, it wouldn’t have happened. It’s taken six months of constant trying and moving forward but, the time is going to pass anyway, right? Had you started with me six months ago, you’d be right there with me.
So start with me now.
Join us at Love, Peace & Smoothies and let’s give each other the motivation we need to be the healthiest, happiest versions of ourselves!
Don’t miss the other posts in this series!
Part 1~ Rock Your Health: Know Your Why
Part 3~ Rock Your Health: The Game Plan