Motivation

February 6, 2010 at 5:33 am Leave a comment

I get asked a lot about how I manage to stay motivated to exercise daily and eat well, I thought I’d address this now in a blog post πŸ™‚

When I started running, it wasn’t a decision that I mulled over for a long time, it was practically a random, instantaneous decision when I was having a bad day months and months ago. I was feeling really bad about myself with my self-esteem in the dirt, and suddenly something in me clicked and I decided to stop whining and do something about it, so right there and then I went for a run.

This should’ve set me up for failure really, because normally decisions like that don’t last. However, from that day forth I made a promise to myself that I would get in shape and STAY in shape. There were many times when I’d gone a health kick and it would have lasted a maximum of one month and then I’d go back to my old habits.
Motivation had been the only thing standing in my way, there would always be a point where I’d lose my motivation and the point of going for an evening walk would seem less and less important.

To be perfectly honest with you, and this is something I don’t think I’ve actually ever told anybody, in the beginning something that kept me going more than anything was to get back at an ex-boyfriend for making me feel so worthless. I wanted to prove to him that I was fit and able and I WOULD lose the excess weight he’d so carelessly pointed out to me. Anybody close to me knows that once I set my sights on something, I’m practically unstoppable.

That was the motivation in the beginning, but after about a month I started to feel better about myself, it wasn’t about the ex-boyfriend anymore, in fact I’d forgotten about him completely. It was just about me and my health. Running was the only thing I’d ever been able to find that truly helped me relieve stress, I’ve always had issues with stress and running helped me manage and deal with it in a healthy, productive way. Β I was reaching that ever-famous “hump” I guess you could call it… It’s the time in a new change you’ve made where you either get bored, give up and go back to your old habits, or reach the “tipping point”, in which the want for change and new habits becomes unstoppable, you overcome the barrier and are set into a new routine.

It got to that point, and I totally surprised myself by continuing on with my routines. They say it takes 15 times to start a new habit and 20 times to break one.

I loved the feeling of being healthy and in control of my body, I was beginning to see physical changes and that was the best motivator of all.

Fast forward a few months and here I am, still working up a sweat at least 4 times a week. Although I’m currently not running, I do other forms of exercise such as biking, swimming, rowing (on the rowing machine), elliptical, strength training and anything else new, fresh, and exciting that I’m capable of.

The truth is this: it’s simply become a routine to me, a habit, it’s programmed into me now to exercise and I’m one of those weirdos that love it. I love routine’s also, and I tend to find that when I don’t exercise (unless it’s a rest day), I feel lazy, “blobbish”, unhealthy and guilty for not doing something good for my body. Also, I don’t know what to do with myself! On a regular day, exercise can take up to 2 and a half hours for me, that’s a lot! When I’m not doing that when I should be, I wander around like a zombie, bored stiff, wondering what to do with myself.

A good tip for maintaining motivation is to set a challenge for yourself. A proper race or event is a good one because if you enter and pay the entry fee, you’re less likely to drop out. Knowing that you have a race hanging over your head is an excellent was to get out there and get your booty moving. The possible embarrassment of coming last is sure enough to get me out the door!

For example, today I needed to go for a swim because I have a triathlon on the 12th and because school swimming sports is fast-approaching. I HATE swimming, no kidding, it’s probably my least favourite form of exercise, and I’m sure everyone understands how hard it is to muster up some motivation to do exercise you don’t enjoy. I did go for my swim and it was actually a great swim and I’m thankful I did. It took a lot to convince myself to go though, I knew I had to go because I haven’t swum in a couple of weeks. I started by getting myself ready, even though I didn’t want to, and I ate my high-calorie pre-workout meal because I hate eating it and then not having the chance to use the protein/carb/fat stores it gives me.

Then, I just left. I didn’t want to, but I did because simply, YOU GOTTA DO WHAT YOU GOTTA DO! And this is what I needed to do.

(I’d just like to clarify exactly what it is about swimming that I dislike so much: I need to wear earplugs because otherwise the water hurts my ears and I get bad ear ache. When I’m swimming I constantly need to stop to readjust them to prevent the water getting through, which is real annoying 😦 Also, I put oil on my skin before hand because the chlorine dries out my skin horribly, it’s very very time consuming and feels disgusting. My goggles always fog up and then when I take them off to clear them, from that point onwards water always manages to get through. That’s pretty much it.)

But I’m just going to repeat this, it’s purely a matter of getting yourself into a routine. If you can do that, then it always get easier. It just becomes a part of who you are. Healthy eating seems to go hand in hand with exercise too. I found that when I started exercising regularly, the food sorta just fell into place.

Getting over the tipping point is hard too, for help with that I suggest you read these blogs: Healthy Tipping Point, Graduate Meghann, Chic Runner, MegaNerd Runs, Oh She Glows.

These girls know what is up with healthy living! Reading their blogs (particularly race recaps) are great motivation and hugely inspiring.

Hope that helps! πŸ™‚

Have a great night πŸ˜€

xoxo

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Entry filed under: Body Confidence, Fitness, Health, running. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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Introducing…

Hey there, my name's Jenny. I have a huge passion for cooking/baking, writing, yoga and photography. I love nature and my favourite thing to do is spend an entire day outside, breathing in crisp, fresh air. Even better if I have a pen and paper with me. I started out running in March 2009 but sustained an injury in October 2009 which has unfortunately prevented me from running. I've been experimenting with other kinds of exercise to find another one that clicks. Follow me on my journey to maintaining good health + surviving high school and pursuing a career in Journalism. I Hope you enjoy reading my blog!

Questions? Comments? Email me at jennyeatliverun@hotmail.com

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