Fitness Friday – What Motivates Me

As I mentioned in this week’s Tasty Tuesday post, last week was a rough one for me. I fell off of my good habits for a couple of days and it really dragged me down. In general I find it pretty easy to bounce back after a day away from working out or a single cheat meal but several days off made things a lot trickier. With this in mind, as I continued to struggle through my workouts this week, I wanted to reflect on what is keeping me going. Sure, slimming down and getting healthy are the obvious goals but what is actually motivating me to keep going?

“The difference between the ordinary and the extraordinary is that little extra.” – Jimmy Johnson

It would be easy to just write that I want to be skinny for the first time since puberty hit but if that was the only reason I would not still be pushing through after three months. I’ve tried to lost weight before with the sole motivation of being skinnier and it has never worked. This time I’ve had to look past that, not to mention I’ve had to come to accept that I may never be skinny (whatever that means these days) but I can be a whole lot healthier and I can learn to love my body a whole lot more.

My motivations this time around really range and I will admit some of them are shallow while others are more meaningful. I think having both is important and realistic, by acknowledging your goals and motivations, no matter what they are, you can really empower yourself to keep going. Some days the external motivations are what I need to get me through the way, and the rest of the time it’s those bigger internal ones that keep me powering through. With that in mind, lets begin.

#1. Feeling Strong – When I was going to the gym last time around I gained a lot of confidence from seeing the amount of weight I could handle increase as the weeks went on. There were some machines where Matt and I were nearly evenly matched and that gave me a huge confidence boost. While I might not be able to track strength quite so easily by working out at home I can feel my body getting stronger. I can do certain strength moves (like pushups) that I couldn’t before, I can handle a HIIT workout without feeling sick or dizzy, and I am becoming much more flexible. All of this is empowering because I feel stronger and I know that that can only increase with more training. It’s the thought that I’m going to get better if I keep going that motivates me to complete those five workouts a week.

#2. Cute (and cheap) Clothing – I have been an XL or a 1XL for as long as I can remember. While sizing is inconsistent and ridiculous in general, being at the top end of most stores has always made shopping difficult and unenjoyable. There’s also the issue that plus sized clothing usually doesn’t do me any favours either because I’m short and most pieces end up being big and long. It’s a real shame too because in the past few years I’ve really grown into my style and become more comfortable in clothing that isn’t just a graphic t-shirt and jeans (still love those though). Slimming down will give me more options in terms of where I can shop and what I can fit into. When losing weight before I tried on new cuts of dresses that I never thought I’d feel comfortable in and was surprised by how good I felt. Being able to update my wardrobe at the end of this all is definitely something that keeps me going. And yes, I am also motivated by the hope that I’ll eventually feel comfortable in a bikini or crop top. Can bigger girls rock these? Of course! It’s funny that I know that and truly support that in others but I just haven’t gained enough body positivity and confidence to be there myself. I truly envy those who have.

#3. My Health – My family doesn’t exactly have the healthiest history and knowing that being overweight has played into that is something that motivates me to make this change for myself. I’m really not a big fan of being a patient and I’m petrified of needles so the more I can avoid these things, the better. Not to mention, working out and eating better improves my daily health and well being. I feel less exhausted, my back and muscles hurt less (except after one hell of a workout) and overall I just feel a lot better. This one motivates me in a unique way: I’m usually reminded of it after I’ve not stayed on track for a bit because I start to feel rough again. I don’t like feeling that way so it motivates me to jump back in and to work hard again.

#3. My Parents – Motivation from my parents comes in two ways: their encouragement and their own success. The support I receive from my parents when struggling with a certain meal plan or a workout usually kicks me in the ass to keep trying, even when it is difficult. They are great reminders that change isn’t going to come overnight and that I just have to keep pushing. My mom remarks on how great I’m looking every time she sees me and even though she’s my mom and she’s supposed to say these things it still empowers me. Secondly, my parents joining Planet Fitness and heading to the gym all the time has kept me on track with my own workouts. If they can go to the gym for an hour or so after working 6 days a week, I can get off my couch and do a home workout.

#7. Food – May as well admit it, the promise of being able to have a treat or a cheat meal is something that gets me through plates of veggies and some sweaty 30 minute workouts. I’ve learned to love a lot of healthier foods but I still love chocolate more than anyone I know, and trying new restaurants usually involves not eating so great. Food is one of those motivations and rewards that could definitely work against me but in careful moderation it’s something that empowers me to keep going.

#6. The Success of Others – Whether it’s my parents, my friends, or those of you who are on journeys yourselves and blogging about it, I have found that this is the motivator that sticks out this time around. On previous attempts to lose weight I have let myself be discouraged by the success of those around me, feeling like I wasn’t losing as much or looking as good. The last time around everyone remarked on how much weight my mom lost (and he deserved that recognition because she kicked ass) and no one ever noticed that there were changes in me as well. I was frustrated and it made it feel like it wasn’t worth it. But my mindset has changed and now when I see others succeeding I see it as a reminder that I can get there too. Everyone is on their own timeline and knowing that has helped keep me on track.

I am finding new motivations almost every day, most are small and are just becoming part of every day life but others have really given me the push I needed to stick with it, even when change is so slow.

What motivates you? Is there something in particular that keeps you focused on your goals? Feel free to share in the comments below! They don’t have to be weight loss related, it could be about something else all entirely. Whatever it is, I hope you stay motivated and stick with it. We can do anything we set our minds to, we just have to keep focused!

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  1. Aww don’t feel bad about falling off the wagon, it happens. The important thing is to always get up and keep going. And it sounds like you’ve been doing a bang up job so far. I myself have been trying to find a way to keep workouts going with my routine that’s been asking me to travel and work 6 days a week. Most of my workouts came from running after my train! No joke, I have to take two trains and during the interchange the platforms happen to be at the far end of each other, and I’m constantly running up a steep hills and stairs to get to them on time. Thanks to my healthy lifestyle I manage to just about jump on mine today before the doors closed behind me!
    Anyway, at that point, if half-hour exercise is hard to cram in it’s still always a good idea to make the right food choices. You’re not losing as much weight but your body is still thankful for keeping it healthy!

    1. Working and travelling 6 days is definitely a struggle but at least that train switch is giving you a bit of activity. I don’t really have any excused not to work out right now, I have more than enough time just not as much motivation as I’d like but I’m working on it. Thanks for reading! x

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