My Motivation For Fitness
Hello everyone! I know it has been awhile since I blogged. I am excited to write this blog because two very close young friends of mine both asked me the same question within two weeks of each other. The question was, how do you stay motivated to workout? The questions are quite personal to me with these two girls because I hold them very close to my heart. So close I call them both my adopted daughters. I have had long term relationships with them for nearly twenty years. When they take the time to ask me a question like this, I know they really are looking for an answer and they need help! Joyfully I was able to see them both last month in California as I attended a Sozo conference at Bethel. They both strive to take care of themselves through good nutrition, rest, clean water, avoiding as many chemicals as possible, exercising, detoxing and working on their spirituality, These girls are busy being wives, taking care of their children and animals, working, running their households, and enjoying their lives. With little time to spare from all their daily activities, its a no wonder they are grasping and gasping for ideas on how to stay motivated to stay fit!!!
My motivation for staying fit is part of my own personal journey to stay healthy. I can not say it has always been that way though. There were times in my past that I was working out to compete in a sport such as bodybuilding, cycling, CrossFit World Games or even just to loose weight. I think it is important to identify your motivation for fitness first. Keep that motivation on your forefront. Once you have identified your motivation for working out, then you need to make it a priority with long and short term goals planned. I believe choosing a motivating factor that is lifelong is one of the best! So again for me that is part of my quest to stay healthy.
I am sure my age has helped me to recognize how important it is to stay healthy. As I have become older and more informed, it has become very apparent to me that fitness has a huge part in staying healthy both physically and mentally. I have suffered one serious sports injury and had my battles with a few serious health issues. The negative experiences I have gone through with those issues taught me to be a stronger person and turn the negative into something positive and share with others what I learn. The sports injury quickly taught me to be more informed with the clues my own body tells me. Is my body telling me I am over training and need to make some changes in my programming? Is my body too tight and needs more stretching, etc. The health issues led me into a deeper journey of health, in mind, body and spirit and reaffirmed how important fitness is along with good nutrition in staying healthy. I know when I was their age, the idea of great health was not my primary motivation for working out, Today it needs to be. There is far more stress in our world along with a ton of chemicals which can be hard to avoid. Our quality of food has diminished and our air and water are polluted. Rest assured as depressing as those statements may sound, there are ways to deal with these obstacles. Being informed is the first step. Educating yourself is next and becoming responsible for your own health is third. We can not blame others for our state of health. I spend a ton of time on my health and to me it is totally worth it.
So how do I end up in the gym on a regular basis? I have to block out a time in my daily schedule. By blocking this time out ahead and staying consistent with it instills a habit. Others quickly learn your allotted time and tend to start respecting you and your time. My close friends and family will not even attempt to contact me during the early morning cause they know what I am doing! Even when you are sick or injured, if you have a home gym, you can still find something to do such as stretching or meditating. Many times it can make you feel better. After all you blocked out the time, you might as well make use of the time and by being there it can help you stay in the habit. I have said in my book, Through The Eyes Of The Master, by Michelle V. Barnes, if you are injured, you can still go to the gym. If you are not spreading germs, spread some love and encourgament instead. People will look at you and think wow that person really cares about all of us. The time was allotted, make use of it wisely. Investing in others always comes back two fold.
You may be asking yourself well I get it about blocking out the time, but how do I make myself actually get to the workout session. It starts in your head. When the negative thoughts come crashing in you have to know how to fight back. These thoughts happen to me too. Some of my thoughts are, oh I am so tired, I did not sleep well and I am dragging. I don't have enough time today because my phone rang right before I was leaving for the gym and I made the mistake of answering it rather than prioritizing my work out time. When these negative thoughts step into my mind, I resist them with thoughts like this. Even though I may not have gotten my best sleep last night, I know I will feel much better after my work out. I may not have a full hour to work out today because I took that phone call, but I can get 48 minutes in and tomorrow I will not let a distraction throw me off base. You get my drift here peeps? This stuff will always crop up, you just need to get better at fighting it off. The devil is always trying to keep us in his grip, fight the battle and win. Keep putting one foot in front of the other, it will get easier. Now of course, there are the days where we miss a work out for a legitimate reason. Do not worry about it. If you find some extra down time at home, plank for 5 minutes or do a 100 burpees. Yes, a 100 burpees takes me less than 7 minutes and it is an intense full body work out.Then when tomorrow comes, step right back into your current plan. There is no excuse to miss several more days which turns into weeks, etc. Use your mind to encourage and fight your way back into the workout patterns. Just remember tomorrow is a new day! I love that. If you mess up, just start over the next day, no biggie!
Sound nutrition also pushes me into the work out scene. Eating healthy and working out really go hand and hand. If I eat something out of protocol, it usually unfortunately shows up in my work out. I recently had a birthday and we had a wonderful organic carrot cake made. The cake did have sugar in it as well as flour. The cake was also large, after several days of eating a piece each day, I could feel the inflammation in my body as I was working out. This really pushed me to get back on track with healthy eating. My body did not feel normal when I was working out. That cake along with a few meals eaten out certainly took its toll on me. I had been traveling the week before, so it all piled up on me and I straightened myself out quick with food and two work outs later and a sauna, I was back to normal. So for me, good nutrition definatly can either get me into the gym or get me out, You pick! I also believe when you are eating healthy you crave the exercise.
Rest is a huge factor in my life and always has been. I have to use discipline at night and get to sleep at a reasonable time. Staying on the internet, reading or watching TV too late into the evening will effect my rest time and I just can not afford that. I have a goal of waking up early and feeling refreshed and ready to take on my day. If I do not get my proper rest prior to my work out regimen, chances are my work out will not be up to par. If I am going to take time out of my busy schedule to work out, I am going to make sure I am fully benefiting from my workout routine. I am best at 8-10 hours of sleep. When I was preparing for the games in CrossFit, I was sleeping a full 12 consistently. I was obviously training full time. Rest is super important in our health regimen. Don't let meaningless internet time such as facebook rob your health.
For most of my athletic life I have keep a journal in regards to my training. This was taught to me by previous coaches, What my journal currently contains is my programming, notes, and short and long term goals. I am not recording my food in this journal due to being retired from competition. If I was seeking to loose body fat or build muscle, I would be recording food too as I have in the past. This journal has valuable information in it. I thumb through it everyday and sometimes several times a day. These journals I keep even as I fill them as they have some great ideas in them. My coaches in the past have also asked to look through them. It is a great way to keep track of your fitness rather than by memory. It helps me to be more exact in my daily work out plan with no guess work. That is how I can meet my programming goals.
Finding a tribe to be accountable too or work out with is very helpful in getting to your workout. We have a couple that works out with us four days a week. It helps me stay on time and on track because three other people including hubby are depending on me. If there is a morning I would rather sleep in, that is nixed immediately because they are arriving and I have to be willing and ready. I like this sort of pressure. It actually pumps me up for the most part. Now, don't get me wrong, there are days where hubby and I work out alone together and do just fine getting there, but I feel far more excited when I know my peeps are coming too. Of course those of you who know that I went to the games know that the much of the games training was alone. That went fine. My motivating factor was I had qualified for the games and I wanted to be the best I could be at the games. That pushed me to those double work outs easily. So find your tribe if that helps motivate you to train.
Vary your work out! I happen to train CrossFit because I love the variety. It has yet to bore me after five years. CrossFit head quarters keeps coming out with new exercises and Rogue keeps developing new equipment. The CrossFit arsenal is huge and I never run out of variety. If you do not care for CrossFit, no problem, there is so much out there to do. Just mix it up and keep it fun. Even power walking is a great way to get and stay fit! Please don't get stuck in the rut of doing the same thing each work out. Your body will get use to that and rather than getting fitter and better at something, you will be stuck in that rut. You will also become bored and eventually quit! If you are training in cycling for example, train one day on sprints. Train another day on long distance. Ride a different road and take on the scenery. Mix it up and bike, run and swim once a month too. There is so many different ways of exercise, a whole book could be written on all the different activities we could do for exercise. One thing I have been dying to try is Barre Ballet. It is on my bucket list.
Testing is another way I stay motivated. I check my fitness levels through previous times and prs. Every 16-24 weeks depending on my progression I am testing my lifts. These tests really help me stay on task because I want to reach my goals and prs. If I don't make my pr, its ok. I regroup and go after it again in time. To me this is like signing up for a contest. I am done competing as I have mentioned already, but maybe you might be interested in signing up for a race or competition of some sort. Another way to keep yourself motivated.
The last thing I want to mention is a reward system. This tends to work really well with people. An example would be allowing yourself a spa day after you have steadily worked out for a quarter(3 months). I like purchasing myself new exercise equipment as a reward. The equipment once it arrives motivates me again!
Thank you for reading my blog today! I am very grateful I could find the time to blog and hopefully help my girls with an idea or two and even you! Have a beautiful April month! I love April because its my horses birthday month along with mine and the month we celebrate Christ Has Risen.
Love and Peace,