What motivates you to keep up the regiment of healthy living? I tell myself and validate the reality, but sometimes its just this funk I get into that seems like its not possible, or worse, that the end goal is not likely to occur.
This past week I didn’t live up to my physical hour of power and pain plan. I allowed the initial disappointment to let me get into a funk about how I am not serious about this 70 day challenge. Its only day 6!!!
Then I did my weight check in- which resulted in a finding that I gained a pound rather lost one!!! To which I reminded myself that there are all sorts of body process that might have resulted in that 1 pound gain and that the weight is really a plus/minus 1.5 pound situation.
This whole process is a larger journey, so I tell myself that there will be all sorts of loses and wins, that for every loss as long as I was making some movement forward, it would be all the worthwhile because its better then where I was a year ago. So that is what I tell myself.
Besides these self motivational conversations, I thought I would share the top five things that I do to keep myself motivated on this 70 day challenge and further more on the whole living healthy process; but in return it would be awesome to get some feedback on other things that you might think might help me.
- The Healthy Eating: I keep myself from eating what my heart desires six days out of the week, but on one day, I give myself that day to eat one to two meals without thinking about how or what it will do to my body. I won’t eat lasagna and bread and salad drenched with Ranch dressing and a bowl of ice cream topped with all sorts of goodies all throughout the week, but one day, as a treat to myself, I will sit down and eat it to my hearts desire. Or chicken wings, fries, bread sticks and ranch dressing along with a pazookie- you name the delightful treat and the thousands of calories that go with it, I won’t keep myself from it because I know my body, spirit and heart crave it, so rather than abstinence, I approach with moderation and measured indulgence.
- Exercise: I go out of my way to tell myself not to construct obstructions to going and doing my physical hour of power and pain. I always feel like I need a specific mind frame to go work out. I need my clothes and I need my special running shoes. I need my iPod along with my favorite headphones. All these obstructionist items that make it easy to skip out on the hour or make the hour go by smoothly. But the thing is I don’t need the gym- the world is my gym. So the two days I didn’t do my hour, I spent time doing sit ups and push ups along with stretches. Another day I didn’t feel like going to the gym so I went for a run around the block and then did lunges and other “calisthenics” (do people still use this term?). The point is that I am freeing myself of the notion that I need these things to have a meaningful workout. I realize I don’t so I just DO IT- most of the time.
- See the Results– There used to be a time where I would weigh myself everyday. That has to be one of the most depressing things I experienced. Not seeing the results on a day-to-day basis was not a pleasant thought. I wanted to see results and not seeing the results undermined my resolve, but far worse from that feeling was the feeling that I gained weight… So now I don’t emphasize on the “weight”- I look at body fat, I look at waist-to-hip ratio, I use waist size along with the “weight” part in conjunction with my time running a mile, or swimming the mile. I look at other measures over the course of the week. Each one I do once a week so that way I see results of some sort. I think numbers are important but when its not coupled with some positive change, we feel disappointment because we like to see progress and immediate reward for our efforts. So to keep myself out of the funk I approach the metrics aspect from this angle. (The fact that I can fit into certain pants I bought five years ago, or my wetsuit…how exciting is that? I feel like its the Progresso soup commercial and you all just don’t get it!)
- Eyes on the Prize– When you have statistics, you obviously need milestones and goals. I ran a mile in 10 minutes and 45 seconds- WONDERFUL, especially since the earlier time was 12 minutes and 55 seconds. My goal is to get to running a mile at 8 minutes and 35 seconds by Day 30- hypothetically. I will feel like I have a sense of direction and an end goal to get to, and by accomplishing a milestone I am catapulted toward the goal and when I get to my goal I have a great sense of empowerment that hopefully will push me to do better. In that way I am motivated to keep my eyes on the prize! So set goals and realistic milestones, no matter how slow they might be, you never know you might end up surprising yourself!
- The Company You Keep– I am in law school, so the company I keep is quite limited. I try to follow folks on social media that will drop good vibes on working out. The picture is from tubmlr and stuff like that keeps things in perspective for me. There are a whole bunch of people who will help keep you motivated, I guess that’s why you are reading this blog, I hope I can support you toward your goal as you read about my progress toward mine. Also, I keep a subscription to Men’s Health, they have some great stories of guys who got their lives together and shed loads of pounds. They also have visuals to keep you motivated and little nifty facts that tell you why staying in shape will not only make you look good but do some “other” wonders in your life. Also, if you go to a gym find a partner who is more motivated then you are, not someone less motivated because you might end up supporting each others bad tendencies and not promoting good ones.
So those are my 5 tips on things I do to keep myself motivated. I would add that another thing I do is I don’t limit my physical hour of power and pain to just your traditional regimented exercises. I spice it up by going on hikes or going and playing my with kid cousins a game of hide-and-go-seek. Stuff that varies from the monotonous gym experience keeps me motivated as well!