#AskSCB: How do you stay motivated with healthy eating and fitness?

Hi from the DMs of my Twitter. In an effort to cover a bunch of ground and set some jumping off points for topics I plan to cover in more detail – I’m going to be answering some of the questions I’ve been asked recently. I get a range of personal/health/beauty questions… pretty much anything is fair game for me.

#AskSCB: How do you stay motivated with healthy eating and fitness?

This one is easy because it’s been on my mind as I’m suffering miserably on my cuddler throne chair from three straight days of a Crossfit strength and conditioning program after taking two fucking years off. I feel like a brittle grandma and deodorant literally hurts to apply. The fact I’m tremendously sore from three straight days of working out motivates me, though…

It took me months or possibly years to figure this out, but I finally did and it’s so simple. I learned, to choose to view my struggle/pain/any obstacle in my way in a way that would motivate me rather than deter me from continuing the grind. It’s all about your perspective. Isn’t everything? The “how” to how do I stay motivated is completely irrelevant and futile for me to tell you if you aren’t exactly as I am. You have to view working out, healthy eating, a sober lifestyle, whatever it is… as something you want in your life. It deserves your respect, not your unwanted attention or energy because it’s some necessary evil. I’m being poetic or whatever, but you know it’s true.

Stop thinking about your workouts like, “oh my god, I am so fucking sore. Today was that hard and I only did arms,” or “ugh, I need to go to the gym and run on the treadmill until I burn 500 calories because I went out last night.” Don’t tell me you don’t think like that either, because I used to, I know other girls do, I made a fitness Twitter account before I ever made SCB that was DEDICATED TO ME WHINING ABOUT WORKING OUT: @CrossfitProblms. And let’s be honest, the literal activity of working out isn’t really that fun. It’s actually pretty terrible, especially when you have the coach I do. But what that fucking terrible activity gives me makes all of that painful work SO worth it. I welcome the pain and my soreness because it means I’m getting better. Physically, mentally, emotionally and more.

Why are you working out? What can you get out of a workout? It doesn’t have to be – it shouldn’t have to – something physical that you’re hoping to “achieve” by working out. Stop expecting that you’re going to get anything in return for something you don’t want to do. I did Crossfit for years without changing my diet and continued to gain weight and deny that it was my diet because I wasn’t motivated to diet for the right reasons. I saw a number on the scale, and I denied it was because of how I was fueling myself and justified it with my power on the court and the fact I was just a girl, the token big strong girl. I settled into that identity and that idea of myself.

When I was slapped in the face of this cute idea I had when I finally saw myself weigh 190 pounds, I didn’t give a fuck what I had to do or why I had to do it. There were things I could NOT do, and superficially to me at the time, the most horrific of all would be weigh 200 pounds. I was motivated, sure, but for the worst reasons of all – I was scared of what I would think of myself if I became “someone who weighed 200 pounds” and I hate remembering this now and thinking how vain I must have been, to belittle myself down to reflect my entire worth to the flashing red numbers on a scale. For shame. I’m going off on a tangent which I want to talk about more later, so pause that thought.

In the year that this first happened (January 2011, the winter of the year I graduated from college) my gym put on the LAB Leanout (health “competition”) which I’ve talked about before. It was the primary catalyst that shifted my perspective on food and diet forever. Over the course of the competition and the changes I’ve made in my life since then over the last three years – my relationship to food has changed entirely. I can see now that I tied food and the activity of eating – to pleasure, and emotion.

And we see working out and being healthy as something that’s hard, often frustrating, time consuming and essentially a deprivation of pleasure. Wondering why you can’t stick with a diet? Probably because you’re seeing  “diet” and “workout” as something as enjoyable as going to the dentist, and a delicious meal out with your friends or family some of your happiest hours. This is a true statement that is never going to change, so stop expecting that one day you’re magically going to love prepping your own meals and waking up before it’s light to train (which means you skipped a happy hour the night before). It’s unlikely. It sucks, but it’s not really a choice if you want to (insert your health or fitness goal here).

Instead of getting annoyed your healthful choices are cutting into the “fun” parts of your life, you can pat yourself on the back and give a mental gold star for getting up when it’s still so sleepy and peaceful, and give yourself an undivided hour or so of your time working on yourself by moving your body… and that you’re honoring that time by not putting a bunch of toxins via alcohol, fried shit or a ton of added sugar the night before.

You can enjoy the meticulous part of chopping veggies if you’re a type A psycho like myself, or planning which one or two delicious cheats you’ll have in a week, and then make sure you earn that shit. That’s real motivation, the kind that will yield you results because it will keep you honest and those results will in turn keep you motivated to keep making results. Positive reinforcement. It’s so so so so corny, I know it’s so cheesy, but it’s the only way I survive. You have to find what kind of self-motivation works for you, and often that means failing with a lot of different methods or diets first. You have to figure it out. Once that happens, trust in the process and know that time will reward your good choices.

Do I make sense? It’s all about your perspective. Basically, suck it up and stop whining and just do it and then let your results prove to you that your work is worth it. Just get started now, work hard for a while and soon you’ll be your own motivation.

I’m writing complete stream of consciousness here and moving right into my next question so literally TTFN. Leave me a comment if you have further questions or whatever. If you’re going to be rude, don’t even bother. The internet has been annoying me today and I’m FUCKING SORE, so consider this one big complaint about that. If it motivates one single person to start getting their shit together in any way (see: me in college), then my job here is done.

xx

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