Week Two – My struggles with motivation and how I overcame them.
I started out this week feeling motivated and focused. My first training session of the week went well and I was under the impression that I was making progress. As the week progressed, I started noticing that my motivation for working out was on a downward sloping path. I no longer had that determined will power I needed to push me through the challenges that come along with working out and sticking to a plan.
Life got in the way. I was sidetracked. Although my plan seemed as if it was going to be easy to follow, it turns out it wasn’t. The combination of work, my unhealthy eating tendencies, lack of sleep and stress made me want to curl up into a ball and give up on the goals I had set.
Maybe I set the bar a little too high for myself. Going 0 to 100 is much easier said than done. When I made the choice to make a change in my life I didn’t take into account how big this change actually was. I thought that going from working out once every two weeks and eating basically whatever I wanted, to working out three to four times per week combined with a healthy diet was totally doable. Turns out it isn’t.
So, instead of attempting to take one giant leap, I realized that I needed to start small and set myself up with a more realistic goal. Even if I can’t get myself to go to the gym four times a week, there are other small and easy things I can do to stay active and healthy. I started walking more and taking the train less. I worked in a bowl of fruit with breakfast and a bowl of vegetables with lunch. I started reading food labels before purchasing anything. All of these choices, although minor, were still easy wins in my book.
Changing your lifestyle and getting in shape takes time. I rushed into this whole process without taking into account the struggles that such a lifestyle change can come with. The pressure I put on myself to get in shape ended up pulling me down and pushing me further away from my goal. Going all in right away isn’t realistic. I realized it’s okay to have cheat days sometimes. With time, those small wins will eventually turn into major successes. This week, I took the pressure off and took minor initiatives to change my daily routine. Each day I challenged myself to go even further by eating a bit healthier and being more active. Now that I’m no longer putting so much pressure on myself, I feel like I can achieve the goal I initially set for myself with time. I may have just made it to the gym twice this week, but in turn I ate healthier and was generally more active than I normally am.
1. Try your best to incorporate healthy foods into your diet.
My diet usually has a lot of carbs built into it. I have been trying to replace some of my carb-loaded meals with more healthy alternatives. Just because something is healthy doesn’t mean it won’t taste as good, or even better than say your favorite pasta dish. This week I have been experimenting with different healthy salad recipes. This chicken avocado salad is my favorite one so far.
2. Be as active as possible.
After a long day at work on Thursday afternoon I wasn’t up for an intense work out, but I still wanted to get some exercise in. Instead of going to the gym, I went on an hour-long walk in the woods.
3. Changing your lifestyle doesn’t happen over night. Give yourself time to adjust to your new routine.
I have a sweet tooth. I can only go so many days without having dessert before my cravings get out of control. Cutting sugar out of your life can be hard at first and will take time. Remember, it’s okay to let yourself indulge once in awhile. I discovered a healthier alternative called WheyHey protein ice cream. It may not be as sweet tasting as what I’m used to, but it never fails to satisfy my cravings.