What is Your Motivation to be Healthy: Discovering your "why".
We live in a culture constantly telling us who they think we should be. We're bombarded by magazine covers, fashion ads, YouTube videos, and even close friends pointing out our flaws and telling us that we're not good enough. We have diet ads telling pointing out our Thanksgiving chub, storefront models who look down on us poor mortal beings letting us know with every swish of their plastic hips that we're no where near perfection. It's no wonder that we struggle to maintain motivation when trying to be healthy, right? We make all these awesome resolutions in January, and by February, we're back on the couch watching reruns of The Office. The madness has to stop, but how?
Find your Reasons
Otherwise known as "discovering your why". Try to come up with some concrete things that you'd like to be able to do, like, climbing a mountain or simply climbing the stairs. Maybe you want to heal your skin or start eating clean. Having these goals written down and placed somewhere that you can actually see it (like the fridge) will help you stay strong during moments of weakness. Our motivation ebbs and flows, but if you stick it out in the moments when you don't "feel" it, wait. It'll come back.
Take Tiny Steps Toward Success
Let's be honest, if you're like me, you want things now and waiting is not in your vocabulary. But being patient and taking small steps toward success is key to achieving and maintaining motivation. Make small goals that will result in achieving a big goal. It can be easy to dismiss the small changes as "not big enough" but as I've said before, any positive change is a
H U G E win! When you increase the amount of change you want to do slowly, it'll seem less impossible and more doable thus making you reach your goals rather than being overwhelmed by them.
Confront the Hurdles
There are a lot of emotions attached to being healthy and I think a big part of it is the culture around weight-loss and fitness. A few weeks ago Nike came out with plus-sized work out clothing and put plus-sized mannequins in their stores. People were outraged. Shocked? Me, too. A lot of people were saying that the plus community shouldn't have a space in a straight sized store, but the ironic part is, those same people are constantly telling pus sized individuals that they need to lose weight - so Nike gives them workout clothes and now they're not supposed to be allowed to work out?
Food is anther barrier in a lot of people's lives. Food has the power to comfort us, ridicule us, make us feel great while we're eating it and then like a balloon an hour later. Honestly it's exhausting. So what do we do? We can take away the power that food has on us and make good decisions for ourselves. When you come to a point when you feel like you're at the end of your rope - keep pushing. Don't let food be your why. Let giving yourself a better life become your motivation.
There is Strength in Numbers
Ever heard of the buddy system? Use it to help you stay motivated. I've found that it's a heck of a lot easier to keep my eye on the ball when I have someone in my corner who's doing it with me. We were created to live in community, surrounded by other people cheering us on. Although this is the ideal and not typically the way the world works, it's still important to acknowledge that we humans do a lot better at life when we have others surrounding us.
Make it Fun!
If you have a hard time going to the gym on a good day, you're definitely not going to go if you don't enjoy it. In order to become the person who eats super clean and works out five days a week, you'll need to start from where you are right now. Instead of trying to stuff down a whole head of kale, knowing that you hate kale, try finding another green that you like. Find the healthy foods that you actually want to be eating and go from there. I love avocados and salad so I eat a bunch of foods with that in mind. You might think that fruit is the bomb, so eat more fruit! When you start incorporating more of the foods that you like into your diet, you won't feel cheated out of that chocolate cake when you have you chocolate snacking hummus (which is SO GOOD!).
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