Dear Can't Motivate,
There’s this common misconception that in order to be successful at anything you need to be “that person.”
The person that is hardwired to be motivated every single day.
Motivated to wake up early.
Motivated to have a plan, to move our bodies, to feed ourselves a certain way.
We go through seasons where our motivation comes easy.
We spend our time with intention.
We’re calculated in our decision making, training feels like an escape rather than a chore.
Adherence isn’t even a question because your soul feels so good, why would you want to do anything else?
The first time I lost a significant amount of weight I did so in a way that I would now deem unhealthy. Not necessarily from a physical standpoint either. People admired my commitment, my “healthy eating”, the fact that I trained 6 days a week, sometimes twice in one day.
I made it to my first big goal of hitting 175 and I booked a real vacation.
Because I had solely focused on the physical aspect and hadn’t yet done any heart or brain work, I went N U T S.
I ate with reckless abandon after having restricted so much. I binge drank every day, only to follow it up with excessive amounts of food and then even more booze.
I came home after 12 days and I saw the scale up 11 lbs.
I locked myself in the bathroom that day, abusing myself and telling myself what a failure I was.
Had I known that the majority of it was water weight.
Had I reminded myself that I went from over-exercising to doing half-assed, hungover work a couple times while I was gone.
Had I known what I know today.
I didn’t wake up the next day “motivated” to get back out there and seize the day.
Instead I let my first vacation tell me stories of what a failure I was and I clung to that.
For almost 4 years, actually.
I told myself I wasn’t worth it.
I said I didn’t know how.
“You can’t even go on vacation and keep it together.”
I sat around and waited
And waited to feel that spark.
That Magical Motivation I once had.
I treated it like it was someone that had abandoned me.
It took me 4 years of starting over countless times and the birth of my daughter to understand that motivation doesn’t happen to me. It’s not a Unicorn Feeling that only happens to some people.
Motivation was deciding that I was done allowing my life happen to me.
The first time I turned the tables and motivated myself Scarlett was 3 months old, the worst sleeper in the free-world. I was running on 4 hours of broken sleep, years of negative self-talk and a broken ego. I did end up gaining all of the 50 lbs and then some and I wasn’t exactly excited to step into a gym that felt like alien territory to me after all this time.
But I motivated myself to put Scarlett to bed, laced up my old Reeboks and I did what I could at the gym that night.
Then I went home and I made a plan for the next day.
I physically wrote down my grocery list, what I was going to do at the gym, and I pre-logged all of my meals into my tracking app.
And I took my ass to bed.
After another sleepless night I headed to a job that no loner served me and wasn’t exactly “motivating” to go to if you know what I mean.
But I took my food for the day.
I went to the gym after I put my baby girl to bed.
And I started to gain MOMENTUM.
See, we aren’t chasing that motivated feeling, we just want to be on our proverbial roll.
Sometimes it requires doing EXACTLY what you don’t necessarily want to do.
Hate going to the gym? Find a new one! Find a workout pal! Go outside! Check out a CrossFit gym and create some community and accountability in your life.
Hate meal prepping? Are you eating the same thing tirelessly? Do you only prep once a week so that by Friday you’re eating sad-broccoli? Do you think you don’t have time? Change it up! Find a new recipe. Experiment with some new produce. MAKE the time (I’m talking to you, mass majority, scrolling on social media for several hours a day #NotSayingJustSaying).
My point is that it’s not going to find you, that much I know.
I spent too much time filling my head with bullshit instead of honoring the goals I set for myself years ago. I let my life happen to me, I tried various diets, intermittent fasting, gym programs.
When in reality I just needed to pick myself up and motivate myself.
And in doing so I realized it was the momentum I was craving.
The way my body felt and treated me when I am fueling, hydrating and resting well.
The progress I see physically and mentally.
That fuzzy feeling you get when you tackle your days.
And now I know.
That even when I’m in a rut, that I’m over my gym setting, that when I’m tired of tracking, it’s on me to do something about it.
There may be an intentional amount of time I take to allow myself to recharge but ultimately I know that it’s up to me to lace up my sneaks, commit to myself and create some momentum.
Author: Ava Truckey, Black Iron Nutrition Coach, avatruckey.com