Over the last 3 years, but more specifically the last two years, many people have told me things like this:
“Kim, I wish I had your level of motivation”
“Wow, I can’t believe you haven’t quit!”
“I don’t know how you do it!”
“Your perseverance inspires me!”
I could go on, but the sentiments are the same. Many people want to change but are waiting for the motivation to hit them upside the head and suddenly they will WANT to get up each day to work out. They will WANT to give up all sorts of yummy foods in the name of health. They want these things, but I often feel like they are waiting for it to be easy. Sometimes I feel like people watch me and think it is easy for me.
Let me set the record straight.
IT IS NOT EASY.
This journey has been one of the hardest journey’s I have had to face. It is not and has not been all about weight loss for me. It has been an ongoing search for overall health and balance and healing in my life. It has required facing myself in all of my ugliness and wrestling with my demons…again and again. The thing about demons though, is they are relentless. They may back off for a time, giving me a reprieve, but they come back with a vengeance and I have to fight the same battles again, sometimes on a daily basis. No, this journey is not easy.
I WOULD NOT CALL MYSELF MOTIVATED.
Let me explain. 10 years ago I DECIDED I did not want to be fat anymore and that I did not want my history to determine my future. It took until 3 years ago to realize that knowing what I DIDN’T want was not enough. I needed to know what I DID want. I wanted health. I wanted to be happy. I wanted to run. I wanted to be able to ride a roller coaster again. I wanted to be able to keep up with my nieces and nephews as they moved from infancy to crawling to running. I wanted to feel beautiful. I wanted to wear a sexy as sin dress. I wanted to go hiking without fear of not being able to keep up. I want to kayak. Do you get the picture? I had to replace the thoughts of what I DIDN’T want and replace it with what I DID want. It is that vision of doing those things that has carried me through the last two years of intense struggle with what appeared to be no numerical results.
I feel like motivation is an ever elusive feel good feeling that comes and goes with no rhyme or reason. My journey began with a CHOICE. Every day, I make choices all day long, regardless of motivation, that either line up with my vision for health or it doesn’t . When my alarm goes off at 4:45 AM, believe me, the only thing I am motivated to do is chuck the rooster crowing device across the room and cuddle back down into the warmth of my bed. As I lay there, I wrestle with the things I want. I WANT to be warm and cozy for another two hours…but what I want MORE is a lifestyle of good health. Staying in bed (most days) does not promote good health. It will not produce the results that will then produce that motivated feeling that will make me want to do it all again. Results provide motivation. The last two years has been choices. Daily choices.
I am not perfect. My nutritional plan for life is a Paleo diet. My workout plan is Crossfit 5 days a week and living an active life that includes running, swimming, biking, and anything else I decide to try. DO I still eat poorly from time to time? Yep you betcha! Some days I eat so unbalanced. All meat and no fruits or veggies. Sometimes I choose to eat pasta or sugar which is so NOT Paleo in nature. And I am so far from perfect that sometimes I even eat McDonalds. GASP!!! See now you can take me off the pedestal some of you have me on. 🙂 When I do those things, while I am learning to not beat myself up about it, my body lets me know quickly that it does NOT like these things in my body nor does it like to eat Paleo approved foods in unbalanced proportions. The occurrences happen less and less as in the moment that my mind wants something it remembers as being oh so delicious, I am able to remember how awful I felt after the last time I ate poorly. I am getting better at this…one day at a time.
I COULD NOT DO THIS ALONE.
I could not do this without community. I am not talking about the friend who will cheer me on when I am doing well and say nothing when I slack off. I am talking about people like Coach and Aaron, who are willing to call my butt on the carpet when I am slacking off . People who are willing to press in when I am struggling to find out the root of the struggle so I can deal with that. Not everyone in my life has permission to question my food choices or my exercise schedule. They and a couple of others do. They have earned that place in my life and I know that when they question me, they have my goals at the forefront of their minds…and that they love me, regardless of my weight or size.
I also have Daniel, guiding my nutrition and monitoring my progress and for the first time in 2 years I would say I am FEELING motivated, because I am finally seeing results. I don’t expect that I will always feel this way. However, my choices for health will not change.
So, to those who look at me and wonder if you can do it too or look at me in wonder and awe and think there must be some kind of magic involved in my ability to stick with it, trying new program after new program with little to no results, there is no magic. It’s a choice.That’s it.
What choice will you make, what is it you want and are you willing to set aside those things that get in your way. Perhaps it will mean going to bed earlier so you can wake up before your kids? Perhaps it will mean a conversation with your husband asking him to get up and work out with you or perhaps he can get up with the kids while you go to the gym. I don’t know what it is you want. I just know what I want, and come hell or high water, I will get there.
My encouragement to you would be this. If you look at me in wonder and are waiting for motivation to strike. Quit waiting. You might as well be waiting to get struck by lightning. Chances are slim. Instead, decide what you want and make the necessary choices that would support that desire. Find a friend who is willing to do whatever it takes to help you. Fellow overweight friends are great to have and can be a great support, but my greatest support has come from people who already live the kind of life I want to live. They are not in the struggle themselves so they have a different perspective. A fellow fatty may just be waiting for you to slack a bit so they too can get a reprieve. Just being honest folks.