Finding the motivation to get fit and alter your dietary habits is hard, trust me I know. I’ve only just figured it out after two years of trying. Though saying that, those two years certainly weren’t wasted. Although I didn’t reach my ultimate goals, I actually achieved more than I realised, and it’s about time we started praising ourselves for all of those achievements. Look at it this way, it’s better to take one small step forwards as opposed to two large steps backwards.
I’m going to praise myself for the fact that despite not being my desired weight, I’ve lost over a stone since the beginning of last year and I’ve kept it off (though excuse the pancake bum above, I’m working on that…). Not only that, but I’ve trained my body to enjoy eating reasonable sized portions of healthy food, instead of the share bag of Doritos and sour cream dip that used to be my pre-bed snack. Don’t ask. Every time you make progression, whether it be in fitness or anything in life, give yourself a pat on the back… we all deserve at least that.
So, motivation. What is it? All I really know is that it’s different for everyone. Some people have copious amounts of it, and some people will never discover it. It doesn’t matter if your goal is to lose five lbs or one hundred lbs, or perhaps simply wanting to tone up a little, it all comes down to the motivation. From my experience, the best place to begin is to think of three valid reasons of why you want to become healthier.
What is it about your body that you want to change for the better?
Are you unhappy in your own skin? Is there a medical issue that only a healthier lifestyle can solve? Do you simply want to be healthier? Whatever it is, choose one reason and stick by it. For me, it’s the desire to feel good in my own skin. I want to feel comfortable wearing shorts on a British summer’s day, and I want to feel confident about wearing a bikini on a beach or around a swimming pool abroad.
Is there an occasion you want to look and feel better for?
This is a big one for most people. A holiday is a huge contender, and it’s my motivation for sure. For others, it might be a wedding or even a casual family event. Picking an occasion is a good option as it gives you something to focus on. If you don’t have one, make one. For example, arrange a beach trip for the summer. It’ll give you the motivation to make some positive changes.
When can you realistically achieve what you want?
I made the mistake of saying ‘in six months times I’ll be a stone and a half lighter, with a toned butt and legs… oh and maybe some abs too’. Sadly, it doesn’t work like that. For some it might, but based on my research (aka asking everyone I know), it’s not likely it’ll happen in the timeframe you want it to. Give yourself between six months and two years depending on how extensive your goals are. For me, I’ve chosen one year. I’m halfway to my goal already having worked my ass off all of last year, but I know that only giving myself another six months will not be long enough to sort my main insecurities. Be realistic, because when the pressure is off it’s far easier to gain results.
With your three ‘reasons’ in mind, nothing can stop you. The best decision you can make after reading this is choosing to start today rather than tomorrow. Putting it off doesn’t get results, putting the work in does. I hope you’re able to join me in this!