This time of year is a boon for the fitness industry. People decide to take care of their health and in droves join gyms, subscribe to a new eating plan and at some point in the month all enthusiasm is lost.
If you feel stuck or discouraged right now, take a moment to reassess. Find out your Why behind wanting to do it. Understanding the reason behind wanting to be healthy will help you succeed. Write it down, tell a friend. Doing so will help to stay on track.
It’s something I didn’t think through when I began my health journey six years ago. Though I had lost weight and achieved many goals physically I was still searching for my Why. As the years go on it keeps evolving. At the heart of it I want to avoid the health issues that my family tends to have.
But there are other things playing out. I believed that being thin would equal happiness. But instead it lead to an obsession with the amount of calories consumed or freaking out about getting workouts done.
I wasn’t able to enjoy the fruits of my labor. I had believed the lie that being thin would mean acceptance. My Why had been skewed.
What I had missed was that God made it possible for me to be healthy not for my own glory but His. I still miss it. Losing weight was needed, dealing with the compliments and attention was hard to get past. Because then it becomes all about the outside. The pressure I placed on myself then became I need to maintain this weight for acceptance. To not disappoint others.
I had to admit that a lot of my motivation was external. In hopes of being the right kind of person that would be loved. I longed for the compliments about losing weight. When I didn’t hear them as much it meant I had failed somehow.
In this journey I had to confront these motivations. As I did so, the pressure to be perfect began to fall away. My Why today is different from my Why if yesterday. Today I try to workout consistently and eat well not to gain admiration but to care for myself. Plus it’s a habit that keeps me balanced, physically, mentally and spiritually.
The Why is just as important as how one goes about being healthy.
Running has been my best friend and my frienemy. My longenst on again, off again relationship thus far. Becoming a runner was not anything I had ever envisoned for myself over four years ago. It was by far the most convienent and accessable form of exercise for me. I only needed a good pair of shoes and a nearby park to do it. It also helped to have a buddy at the time also running alongside me, pushing me to run one more lap, then another. Running has taught me that so much, which is why it has become the habit I quite can’t quit. I go through phases of going hard at it, not quite the six days a week habit I had four years ago. Today it looks more like three maybe four days a week, but still I’m getting out there.
Other times it looks like ghosting. I ignore the reasons I need to run and end up doing nothing. There have been times when I have used my work schedule as a reason for not doing it, but the truth is I simply did not want to run. But I need it.
Running keeps me physically and mentally healthy. A good morning run not only starts my body off well but my mind. It helps to wake me up and prepare my mind for the day. Running for me can be medidative. In this I mean nothing else is going through my mind is getting through it.( That and the lyrics from the Hamilton musical and Mix tape).
It is cost effective. As I stated above all you really need is a good pair of sneakers to run. No gym membership fee needed. I can run solo or with a group ( something I haven’t been able to do yet but hope to soon) and those are free too.
I enjoy it. Despite how I sometimes dread going, I don’t want to get out of bed. Or after a long day the last thing I want to is go home to run or work out. If I didn’t enjoy it, I wouldn’t do it at all.
I’m also in a different state of mind about being healthy. For a time it became so all encompasing for me that I could think of nothing else. At some point it became too much for me mentally that I had to figure this out again. And again and again as my life has changed over time. I have less time for the intensive six day a week work outs but I can still get in a good run or a short but intense workout.
Tomorrow morning I shall put on my running shoes and clothes, turn on my app, press play on Hamiliton and go!
Setting goals is hard for me, it means I have to plan things ahead. This is skill I am still learning and have not yet mastered. I do know if I ever will in actuality. I’ve learned something crucial about goals and setting them. Here are three things that have stood out to me.
1-We romanticize them. I know I have done this, fantasing about how I would accomplish it or what life would look like once I did. I can tell you that achieving a goal looks entirely different then what I had imagined. Only to end up feeling disappointed or sad that it was or over.
2- Achieving a goals or goals often means working towards smaller goals first. This part is often overlooked, look at what steps or gains you need to achieve before getting to the main goal. When I started running, I had to first run a lap without stopping before I ran a half marathon.
3- Goals can change and that’s ok. Here is the truth, our lives, schedules and dynamics can change. A backburner goal can become your main goal. You may find you have more time for one thing and not another. This may mean pushing back a due date or rethinking your strategy.
And one last thought, January first is not a deadline to start . While it does fit in nicely, it being the first day of the new year and all. But it isn’t necessarily the right day for you to start. Perhaps the next month is better or even later in the year. But by setting January as this arbitrary date allows for us to push back pursuing our dreams and goals. Jumping into your goal can be scary and uncomfortable. Set a date and stick to it, then go for it but be willing to be flexible.
I started posting these mid week motivators because at times getting through the week can be hard. Getting to Wednesday can often seem near impossible, forget about Friday or even the weekend. Or what is your Friday depending on your schedule. My hope is for you to find them helpful and encouraging.
Getting through the week, heck even a day can be rough. Just the realization that it is only ______ can be enough to suck the motivation and intention to do what we want to do right out of us. Maybe it is a packed schedule or waiting to get to a certain day because X is going to happen.
Confession time, I too need these mid week motivators. I need to remind myself to keep going in pursing my goals. No matter have tired I am or lacking confidence in where I am. So these are helpful for me and I hope they are for you too.
After all who could not use a little encouragement during the week?
It is March, those goals, hopes and plans we declared at the start of this year may be waning. Perhaps they petered out by the end of January. Or slowed down during the month of February.
Here we are at the start of March. I admit it has been hit or miss for my goals thus far. Some I have concentrated on more as others fell to the wayside. But it’s not too late.
January first is not the only day for.a fresh start. Make today your day to go after your goals, dreams and hopes.
Maybe yesterday was bad. Perhaps today is not any better thus far.
It can be discouraging,trying and then failing. Setting goals then not doing anything to reach them. Or attempting to begin again.
It can be hard, coming back after failing. After not quite measuring up. But, anything worth going after is worth it.
[Tweet “It can be hard, coming back after failing. After not quite measuring up. But, anything worth going after is worth it. “]
Reevaluate– what went wrong, what went right.
Restructure -your plan be realistic, set smaller goals.
Remind– the very reason why you are pursuing your dream may have been lost over time.
This year marks four years since I lost weight. My body changed so quickly as I lost weight. So much so that it took the rest of me to catch up. When my body began to change once again, it was slower. Noticing only when I needed to go up in sizes in my clothes. Still, as slow as it was, this too has taken me to time to come to terms with.
My lifestyle is different, the amount of time I dedicated to working out is far less. Back then I was doing two work outs nearly six days a week. These days I do about thirty minutes four to five days per week.
The kinds of food I eat then and now are similar. However, these days I am more apt to go through a drive through. Dig into several helpings of ice cream. That tomorrow I will do better or I worked out so it’s alright.
But it’s not. Not because I’m no longer skinny but because I’m setting myself up for failure with each choice. My family has a host of health issues. Many of which can be avoided with good health.
Part of it is being busy. Another part is just wanting to have to not be so careful. Having to count every calorie that I eat. After I initially lost weight, I traded in binge eating for calorie counting. No middle ground from one to the other. In some sense I feared what would happen if I would gain weight.
But I have gained weight.I am a failure. I’ve failed, again and again I have made the bad choice. The lazy choice.
[Tweet “But I have gained weight.I am a failure. I’ve failed, again and again”]
But not the easy choice,it’s never the easy choice. It’s sometimes the convenient one. Or falling back into old coping mechanisms.
But I keep going. I keep trying because I understand the greater reward. Failure happens but it doesn’t mean I need to stay there.