If you’ve ever woken up on January first motivated to finally lose the weight, get fit and become best buddies with the scale only to fall off the wagon by February please know this. You are NOT alone!
Statistically, only 8% of people that set a goal to lose weight on New Year’s Day reach it. I don’t say that to depress you. I say that because I want you to know that YOU can be part of that 8%.
Look, I’ve been part of the 92% most of my adult life (I turn 52 this fall). I have two kids. It took me until my youngest was in grade school before I lost the baby weight. Not once did I ever reach the coveted weight-watchers status. Lifetime member. But in 2013 I went from size 16/18 to size 4/6! With the help of my personal trainer turned friend, I finally lost the weight and got in the best shape of my life. I ran three marathons, which blew my mind. I was never a runner.
Fast forward to 2019. A job change and nine months later I found myself gaining weight. A lot of it, and really fast. Why? I let my new job consume me. And, it’s not the first time. I wrote about it in a blog titled “Is Your Job Making You Fat?” You can read it here: https://medium.com/thrive-global/three-signs-your-job-is-making-you-fat-6af26c267254
It took me nine months to gain about thirty pounds. No, I wasn’t pregnant! On a five foot three-ish frame, that’s a lot of weight. I quickly stopped exercising because I had to be at the office by 6 a.m. then came the fast-food lunches. Ultimately I had to buy new clothes in a bigger size. The worst feeling.
I signed up for my fourth marathon. I thought the training would help me lose weight. I sincerely missed my “wake up and workout” routine. Unfortunately, I skipped more runs than I completed. I had to drop out of the marathon due to hip pain. I was devastated. I let myself down. Again. But, rather than giving up, I got curious about why I was letting my health go to the back burner.
It came down to one thing in my mind. My job. I took on more responsibilities than I could handle in a forty-hour week. So I quit. Once I started my new job I resumed my healthy habits. It was because I made those habits part of my new identity that I was able to decide I wasn’t willing to give up my personal time for my work anymore. You can’t run your life on empty!
That’s the beauty of making healthy habits routine. You actually begin to crave exercise and healthy food because of how it makes you feel. I missed my old self and that gave me the courage to say I’m done putting my job over my life. I am grateful that it only took me nine months to figure this out! Last time it took me five years! That’s progress.
Whether you’re trying to lose weight, increase happiness or change jobs there will be times when motivation tanks. It’s those moments that you’ve got to dig deep to remember why you want to attain your goal in the first place. Then decide to show up for the workout even if you’re not in the mood. Show up for yourself by spending time on Sunday planning for healthy meals all week. Find an accountability partner who will help stay consistent. Consistency is the key to weight loss.
“The willingness to show up changes us, it makes us a little braver each time.”
I love that quote by one of my favorite authors. It’s true too! I showed up in ways I never dreamed of before. I’ve run three marathons, taught group exercise classes, blogged, and even began my own coaching business helping women lose weight. I can tell you that motivation is overrated! Don’t get me wrong. I love the feeling of being fired up and life should be filled with those moments. However, it’s that willingness to do the things that will get us to our goals even when we don’t have the motivation that is the secret sauce.
I am slowly losing the weight I gained last year. I feel so much better now that I’ve started back on my healthy habits. I can’t say I always feel motivated and the scale goes up and down, but if I put aside my lack of motivation and focus on cementing new healthy habits I feel empowered and more self-confident. I am learning to embrace menopause and listening to my body.
I see it with my coaching clients too. The ones who keep doing the hard stuff even on the days they don’t feel like are the ones that get results. Showing up, for so many women I know, is easier to do for our kids, spouse, friends, parents….the list goes on and on. But, where and when are you showing up for YOU?
You ARE worth it.
It’s called self-care.
Here’s what I know now, I can support and show up for others in a much more powerful, authentic way and with less bitterness and resentment.
So, show up for yourself.
Every damn day.
Even when you don’t feel like it.
Because AFTER you show up for yourself on a consistent basis you will feel MORE motivated!