I have been planning on writing more for a long time. Every time I decided it was time to sit down and finally put pen to paper, something else would come up and I would put it on the back burner. It’s not like that something else was always something important unless one considers catching up on The Crown really important. It was just at that moment I lost the motivation to write.
The truth is that motivation is fleeting and we often use the lack of “motivation” or its cousin “will-power” as excuses for not doing something. This is especially true when it comes to nutrition and exercise. To put it simply, motivation is great, but it’s not always enough. Sometimes it just takes discipline. I’m sure what you expect to follow is a list of tips and tricks to help keep you motivated hit the weights, treadmill, pavement….whatever. Nope. There are already enough of those out there; you don’t need me to repeat them. What I am offering are the things to remember when all those tips and tricks have failed.
You Have to Exercise
Exercise is not a luxury; it is a necessity. That’s it, plain and simple. If you aren’t into the habit of exercising regularly, then you really cannot afford to skip a day or two of your routine. It is too easy for two days to become three and three to become four. Unfortunately, there is no realistic formula to determine how long it takes for a habit to form (too many variables). You have to get so regular at exercise that your body tells you when you have missed too many days. The good news is that changes happen while you’re getting yourself into your new habit. The more changes you experience, the less you have to fight yourself to get going.
Your Future Health Depends on It
This is why you have to exercise. While an admirable goal, looking good in your shorty shorts just doesn’t cut it as a motivator sometimes. I was there a few years ago. I searched through racks of clothes for something that would hide my slowly growing muffin-top because I decided to accept the way I looked. What really, really got to me was the fact that at 38 years old, I could not physically handle my two-hour daily commute. I begin considering how I felt then and how the coming years would compound those feelings if I did nothing. It scared the bejeezus out of me.
Think about it. Think about the days off of work to deal with illness related to inactivity and poor nutrition instead of being used for vacation or family time. Think about all of the money that will be spent to pay for medications to deal with those same illnesses instead of being spent on the things that you want. Think about not being able to pick up or play with your future grandchildren. Think about the constant fear of falling and breaking a hip. I’m not trying to be a downer here but think about. Is this what you want your future to look like?
You Deserve It
When all else fails, this is the final absolute truth. You deserve the benefits of exercise and proper nutrition. You deserve a stronger heart, sturdier bones, and a more clever brain. You deserve muscles that will power you through the rest of your life with confidence. You deserve to be steady on your feet and have the flexibility to bend over and tie your shoes. You have earned the right to feel as good as possible at this moment with the body that you have.
When you feel weak, keep in mind that even people who exercise regularly aren’t always motivated to do it. I have had to talk myself into and through workouts on more occasions than I care to admit, BUT I have never been disappointed that I did. In fact, those are the times when I am most proud of myself. Just remember you have to do it because your future depends on it and you deserve it. Good Luck!
By: Amy Rauch CPT, CSPS