If you've ever felt sooooo on with your fitness and nutrition routine, only to have it disintegrate out of nowhere, this is for you.
I hadn’t worked out in 2 weeks.
The first week was fine because I know my body appreciates a physical break from all the heavy lifting, often when I come back after a week off, I see great strength gains, but…the week was over and it was time to get back on track with working out
I had said I was going to workout on the weekend, but that came and went. I’d also lost motivation for healthy eating. I was eating for taste and not willing to pay attention to the appropriate portion size,
“I knew I was eating too much but “fuck it” was my attitude.”
Goals? Yeah, I had goals. To make a ridiculously good grilled cheese!.
The kind where there’s so much cheese it melts outside the sandwich, and essentially deep frys itself on the pan, mmmm fried cheese. Let’s not forget the perfect accompaniment to a grilled cheese, chocolate milk!
I bet I ate 2 or 3 of those grilled cheeses over the week, and it wasn’t just grilled cheese I was eating in overkill amounts. The bigger problem was my plan to drop a few pounds for summer had gone completely the other way.
“I was avoiding workouts and eating healthy but I couldn’t figure out why. Then I remembered the one question I had asked a client earlier that day.”
I asked my client “What are the greatest stressors in your life right now? get a pen and paper, make a list of them and we’ll deal with them one at a time”.
So, I took my own advice and did just that. As I started writing, the list got longer and longer. I started to feel completely overwhelmed, and I could feel my chest tightening with anxiety.
I took a breath and a voice came in “Heather, this is just a list, it’s not threatening you; you can decide what to do with it later.” I carried on until I had all the things in my head down on paper.
I looked at the list, “Huh, this list is big…so it’s not the workouts that are the problem, it’s everything else.
“So it’s not the workouts that are the problem, it’s everything else.”
I mean, I knew this, with 20+ years of my own fitness journey, and being a nutrition and lifestyle coach, I knew it was rarely about the workouts and nutrition plan, but it sure AF gets disguised as such connnntinnoussssly, and I still get tricked by it, and that's okay.
As I looked at my list, I noticed 3 categories:
1. Simple things I could do within minutes.
2. Things that required more thought, but doable.
3. Long term stressors – there was nothing I could do to change these things, but I could adjust how I was perceiving them, and at the moment, they weren’t actually bothering me that much, and that was nice to notice.
"I decided to start with the things I could do immediately. I fired off emails, text messages and made a couple of phone calls, wow I was feeling good already!"
I was ready to move on the second category, I chose the item that seemed simplest, but I still didn’t know how to work through it. When I find myself confused or stuck, I start tapping, so that’s what I did, and in just 10 minutes my mind was relaxed enough for the answers to come.
I felt so much better having knocked off some things that were bothering me. So much better in fact, that the overwhelmed feeling had lifted, and the inspiration and motivation to go for a run had appeared. I grabbed a hold of that motivation, changed into my running clothes, headed out the door and had the best run I’d had in a long time.
When I got home, my mind was even clearer, I looked for some healthy recipes and started eating healthier that day.
For the next few days, I continued to list the stressors that came up and remove them one by one, by doing so my desire for workouts and better nutrition continued, until of course the next time my motivation will dwindle, which I will say is completely normal!
“You will never be 100% motivated 100% of the time”
Motivation will come and go, as it does with everything else in your life.
The best thing you can do to get better at being motivated, is to develop your awareness of it. The more you are aware of what you need and don’t need to be motivated, the quicker you can get back on track with diet and exercise.
“Most of the time a lack of motivation for workouts and healthy eating has nothing to do with the workouts and nutrition plan”
It has to do with being pulled, challenged or unsatisfied in other areas of your life (work, partner, kids, other family relationships or friendships, even a lack of fun and hobbies etc.)
Understanding your own motivation is a skill, it requires awareness to when, and why you’re losing motivation. There’s lots of things you can do to start to develop this skill.
“Next time you feel like you can’t get your head back into working out and eating healthy, do these 5 things:”
1. Ask yourself “What are the greatest stressors in my life right now” and write down whatever comes to mind.
2. Notice any trends or categories
3. Decide what would be most motivating to deal with first, sometimes it’s the easy stuff, sometimes it’s the hard stuff, it doesn’t matter as long as you start.
4. If you feel a spark of any kind for a workout or healthy eating, jump on it!
5. If you still find yourself not motivated, then ask yourself this next question: “What am I willing to do?” and be sure to listen to that honest answer, even if you think it seems ridiculous.
Heather Layton – Fitness and nutrition coach
Get Fit Eat Cupcakes