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 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.
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!