Imagine this scenario.
You’ve finally made the brave, bold, enthusiastic decision to COMMIT to your health and fitness. This is going to be it. This is going to finally be the time you join the gym/start running/lose the last 10 pounds/lose the first 10 pounds/start putting your health first!
For a few days, weeks, maybe even months you are on FIYAHHH and on top of your game!
You’re pushing your body, reveling in the soreness of your worked muscles, you're victoriously learning how to kick the diet coke, artificial sweetener, and junk food habits and are replacing them with water, veggies, delicious whole foods. You’re learning how amazing your body feels when you stop treating it like a garbage disposal. You’ve never felt more alive, more strong, more powerful and confident and beautiful. You’re on a roll! You’re doing it! You’re finally living up to the woman you were born to be! YOU FEEL AMAZING!
You hit a wall. Maybe the scale isn't budging, or it's raining, or work gets crazy. Your motivation goes out the window and you can’t remember why you started. The couch and pizza are calling your name, you’re thrown off, you can’t motivate yourself to get up in the morning to workout, you just don’t care anymore. Maybe something happened to throw you off, or maybe it’s unexplainable.
What do you do? Are you just not good enough? Maybe you convince yourself you’ll never reach your goals and give up.
Have you ever experienced this story?
If you're a woman, there's a good chance you know exactly what I'm talking about.
Sometimes we call it the yo-yo cycle, the sabotage, the plateau. It’s easy to give up when your motivation goes away, easy to revert to your old habits, gain back the weight, and fall into the pity party trap of self loathing and low self esteem.
Let me tell you that YOU ARE NORMAL.
And I want you to know that losing motivation on your health and fitness journey (even back-sliding a bit) is SUPER EXTRA NORMAL. Life is full of ups and downs, it’s not a straight line. Sometimes we have energy, sometimes we don’t. Sometimes our priorities shift and we have other things to think about.
It’s all good!
Here’s my truth. Even though I’m now a full time health and fitness coach and it’s my JOB and my joy to work out, treat my body right, and inspire other women to do the same, I've been struggling a lot lately with lack of energy and motivation myself!! And it seems like a lot of women I talk to have been struggling lately too, either with motivation, craziness at home or work, body image, and general lack of mojo.
YOU GUYS! Let’s stop beating ourselves up and just embrace the fact that we all deal with this rollercoaster of energy.
Have you ever seen a heart monitor? What does it look like? A healthy heart looks like a series of peaks and valleys. A straight line means you’re dead. Soooo why do we expect life to look like a straight line? Why do we let the downs throw us off? Let’s talk about this!
What to do when you’re lacking motivation on your health and fitness journey
1. LAY OFF THE PRESSURE!
Sometimes we get too caught up in the “should's,” in believing what the media and fitness professionals are throwing at us.
“I should work out”
“I need to eat cleaner”
“I shouldn’t have eaten those cookies”
“I should lose 5 pounds”
“I need to get back on track”
"I am a failure if I mess up"
"I should just give up, I can't do this"
Can we please help each other cut ourselves some slack? There is SO much information out there, but only YOU have the power to decide what’s ultimately best for you and your goals. Listen to your body and it will tell you exactly what you need. Stop letting the little voice inside your head convince you that you’re not good enough, that you need to change or improve to be better. The truth is, you’re good enough right now! You already have everything you need to live up to your full potential and be happy. Sometimes being happy means giving ourselves a break!
2. GIVE YOUR BODY A FEW REST DAYS.
There’s nothing wrong with taking a few days off your workouts. In fact, giving your muscles a chance to repair themselves and grow is essential to getting stronger and boosting your metabolism safely and without injury. This tip is especially for you if you’re the type of girl who considers a “rest day” to mean a power walk and hot yoga class. (Yup that’s me).
Go be lazy for a few days! You won’t gain weight, you won’t ruin your progress, trust me.
3. FOCUS ON NUTRITION.
It's ok to give your body a rest, but it's never ok to treat your body like a garbage disposal. Make sure you're staying hydrated and nourishing your body with healthy foods that will energize you! I'm talking giant salads for lunch, add some spinach into your Shakeology, and complex carbs like sweet potatoes and whole grains. They say that 80% of your results come from what you eat, not your workouts! You will still see and feel progress as long as you're eating right.
4. DON'T COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS.
I've had to lay off the Instagram lately because my feed is chock full of Tone It Up girls crushing the bikini series and working out for 2 hours a day, fitspo, and unattainable abs. I start feeling like I'm not good enough and comparing myself to other people, even though their goals are NOT my goals! I'm trying to adopt the mentality "good for you, not for me." We are all on different journeys and at different points along the way. That's ok!
You might have heard the quote "don't compare your beginning to someone else's middle."
Well, don't compare your middle to someone else's middle either.
5. MAKE WORKING OUT FUN.
After you've taken a couple days off, it's time to get back on the wagon with a brisk walk or try a fun new workout from Beachbody On Demand! (Hip Hop Abs? Yoga Booty Ballet? Have fun and don't take yourself too seriously!) Or focus on lower intensity workouts like PiYo, pilates, or yoga! Here are my top 5 favorite fitness YouTube channels. Try something new! Remember that working out will give you more energy, so sometimes you just gotta force it!
When you workout because you want to torture your body into losing weight….it takes all the joy out of the process. Just move your body and find a workout that makes you happy! If you hate running, don’t force yourself to run! If the gym intimidates you, work out at home or find a fun beginner class! Do you. Make a date with a friend to go for a walk or try a new class.
p.s. Shaun T is releasing a new hip hop program called CIZE this summer and I got a sneak peek. If you want to watch a video of me making a fool of myself, head over to my Facebook page...
6. FOCUS ON HOW YOU WANT TO FEEL.
Shift your mindset away from the numbers, girl. I know it's easy to get discouraged when the scale isn't budging, but what does "weight" even mean? It's the gravitational force that the center of the earth is exerting on your physical body. Yup. It has NOTHING to do with your self worth as a human being. If it's messing with your emotions and you don't have the willpower to only weigh yourself once a week or every few weeks, trash the damn scale.
Start thinking about how you feel right AFTER you push through a good workout, and use that to motivate you to get started! Remember that it's a privilege to be healthy and have the ability to move and celebrate life.
Workout for the endorphins :)
7. DON'T OVERCOMPLICATE THINGS.
Pick a plan and stick with it. What can you do every day? Think small and simple. Walk 20 minutes during lunch? Something is always better than nothing!
Finally, remember that we only have a certain amount of energy to give every day. Take a peek at your life--is a certain area really busy or draining right now? It might not be physical...maybe you took on more responsibility at work, or you've been dealing with some family stress or a transition. We can't be focused 110% on our fitness allllll the time, because sometimes other areas of life need our energy, and that's ok. Think about your priorities!
Right now, my priority is taking care of myself and keeping myself enthusiastic and happy as I start to level up in my business and create work/life boundaries. At the same time, I know that working out makes me FEEL confident, strong, energized, and happy afterwards, so I've been forcing myself to do it even if I "don't feel like it" or am lazy. Think about your end game!
Success doesn't come for free, it takes patience and consistency.
Just keep moving forward every day, one baby step at a time!
P.S. Want a weekly dose of love and inspiration straight to your inbox? Sign up for my newsletter here!
P.PS. here's a great list of 31 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Exercise!
Over the past fourteen months, I've had the privilege of getting to know over 150 women through my online health and fitness accountability groups. I may be a coach, but I feel like they coach me too. We've shared our stories, our struggles, our victories, our dreams, and our deepest insecurities and fears with each other. We've worked through personal breakthroughs and are discovering what we're truly capable of when we push our limits and comfort zones.
The moment you realize that you're not alone is a life changing wake-up call. That there are dozens of other talented, beautiful, smart, successful women out there who struggle with the EXACT same issues that you do.
Most of the time we feed on each others' energy and are on top of our game, but when you have ups you're guaranteed to have downs too. It's a fact of life! I've learned so much about myself along the way and I'm becoming really passionate about exploring the issues that we struggle with, especially figuring out why we're our own worst critics.
Why do we hold ourselves back from what we really want? What keeps us from embracing and growing into our full potential, our dream bodies, from being HAPPY and confident? Why do we sabotage ourselves when we're on the brink of experiencing a physical or emotional breakthrough?
Over the next few weeks I want to write more about the universal struggles I've faced on my own health and fitness journey, and what I'm learning about how to take back control in the moments when your life seems to be spinning away!
Do you have a question or a topic you'd like me to cover? Let me know!