Reenergized and Motivated

After eating really healthy and working out for over two months I felt so frustrated that I had hit a complete plateau. I was saying to myself, “How much less can I possibly eat?”. I already felt like I was barely eating anything, especially since my schedule means that I often don’t eat lunch at all. So once I had finished my last semester and went on a small vacation I started off good, but by the end of it I was so fed up and feeling burnt out that I started eating poorly. I have to admit there are times in my weight loss journey where I wonder what the difference is in eating clean and eating junk, because either way I wasn’t losing any weight! But after eating poorly for about two weeks now, I have the answer to that question. There is a huge difference. Since I have been eating complete rubbish again I have noticed that I feel foggy, unable to concentrate and more than anything, I just feel lazy and disappointed in myself. Even though I wasn’t losing weight as fast as I wanted to, I should have reevaluated my goals and readjusted what wasn’t working. That’s what you do with any plan. You observe your progress along the way, and anything that isn’t working you have to go in and figure out why. Then you implement a better approach to produce real results. When I look back there are a lot of things I could have improved upon. I recently found a really inspiring blogger called The DMMD Lifestyle Revolution http://dmmddiet.wordpress.com/2013/08/12/weekly-photo-update-week-7/ and he conducted an SWOT analysis on himself. I thought it was a really useful tool in analyzing the efficiency and progress of your goals. So I’m going to try it here myself and I actually found that some of my answers were the same as his.

Strengths

  • Past success with losing weight.
  • Determination to succeed.
  • Available resources to aid in exercise and a healthy diet (free gym, beautiful suburb to walk in, my juicer, steamer, e.t.c….)
  • A partner that often helps support me to succeed.

Weaknesses

  • Not having a set schedule.
  • Having a dog that doesn’t walk well.
  • Anxiety.

Opportunities

  • Make time to eat small, frequent meals throughout the day.
  • Make exercise a priority.
  • Lead by example.
  • Eat lighter meals for dinner.

Threats

  • Living with someone who also has their own vices.
  • Anxiety
  • Work overload with school and work.

When I look at this I really realize that I have all the resources to achieve my goal, but I let little things hold me back. I don’t want to say that not living in a completely supportive environment is holding me back. The first time I lost the weight I absolutely did not have a supportive environment. My family and friends weren’t into fitness or healthy food and I actually lost a lot of my friends because they didn’t like that I was losing weight. But I was so dedicated that I focused on my goal and just did it. My mum actually said to me afterwards that she was really inspired by my dedication because I would not let anything get in my way. And now even though my husband isn’t totally into health and fitness like me, I shouldn’t let that hold me back. I think when you’re married or even living with your partner it’s easy to engage in mutually destructive behavior. You justify each other’s actions, and it becomes difficult to separate yourself from them and do your own thing. But I am the only one responsible for my actions and I need to do what I have to do. Even though life would be so much easier with a life coach and a fitness coach 24/7 that is not the reality for most people. We have to be our own life and fitness coach.

My brother shared this video on Facebook today and it really got me motivated to get back into this and turn it up. I must admit that I feel kind of lame for not being able to come on here and say, hey I lost all the weight now, and I’ve arrived. I think the reality with most goals and journey’s is that, it takes time, persistence and dedication. I like other bloggers and people losing weight have made significant progress. Katie Foley from Bringing my Sexy Back did her 5K marathon in Boston which was awesome (http://katiefoley11.wordpress.com/2013/07/31/5k-success/), Rebecca from Healthy Intentions is significantly building up her stamina (http://healthywithintent.wordpress.com/2013/08/13/still-trucking-along/), The DMMD Lifestyle Revolution continues to see weight loss and fitness progress (http://dmmddiet.wordpress.com/2013/08/14/day-52-sub-15-minute-mile/), and even I am able to do more weights and more squats than I ever have and lost 20lbs. ┬áSo I may not be where i wan’t to be yet, but I haven’t given up.

This is a short video about the beauty of hard work and dedication.

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Staying motivated

At the beginning of this week I was feeling very frustrated with all the goals I’m working on. When you’re in the middle of your journey/progress I think it’s just natural to have those times where you’re just over it. I was just feeling very unmotivated and more so I was just wishing that I could just skip ahead to the finish line. I was thinking that, I don’t want to be in the “working-in-progress” stage, I want to be in the “I’ve-Arrived” stage. Maybe it’s the age we’re in, where we are so used to getting everything instantly. Hard work honestly isn’t as emphasized anymore, and in fact a problem I have living here is the entitled attitude. Why are we rewarding the “underdog”? Why are we rewarding the person who didn’t really try that hard, or who doesn’t really have the skill or talent, but has the saddest back story? Maybe I just sound like an awful, cynical person, but I always thought the one who tried the hardest, who had the most talent, the most skill, the most strength usually won.

I have just met so many people at work who roll their eyes at me going to school, and say there’s no point in wasting money on an education because they’re going to be famous one day. I don’t blame them. Why work hard and devote 4+ years to school, with all those student loans when you could become a reality star, or a musician? The reality is, no matter how hard I work at school or my job, Snooki and Kim Kardashian will always be making 10x more than me.

But back to the point, I am half way to many of my goals and yet I was still looking up how to stay motivated and deal with frustration online. I honestly didn’t read anything that helped me. Being an ex-psych major reading about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs did nothing for me. I’m sorry but a lot of those well-packaged descriptions of ALL people don’t explain the complexity of both individuals and a constant state of flux.

I realized on my own that my frustration was from comparing myself to others. This is one of the worst things you can do to yourself, period.

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I was comparing myself to people who are already living their best life; people who are traveling all around the world and having fun with friends and family. I was comparing myself to people who have lost 2x more weight than me and whats more, looking at fitness models on Pinterest. I swear women look at half-naked women more than men. My husband probably thinks I’m a lesbian that will run off with another women pretty soon. I was also comparing myself with people who have already graduated and working in good jobs and those people who always seem to fall into dream jobs with no degrees. But the quote I have above sums it up perfectly. Comparison is a killer of motivation and happiness.

If you stop and think about where you are now, compared to where you were 6 months ago, or even 1 month ago, how far have you come? How different is your life now? You may not be at your goal, but could you imagine if you never started your journey and were still living the way you used to? Feeling unsatisfied, tired, depressed, anxious, even hopeless. When I compare myself to myself, I see that my lifestyle is very different. Exercise is a priority to me that I really enjoy. I don’t eat all the crap I used to eat. I can’t believe how I used to eat. Now I see food as fuel, not therapy. I see food as natural medicine. I’m pretty sure my body now has choirs singing in celebration. I also can do more physically, carry heavier weights, walk longer, and now I’m trying to build up resistance to running longer. And having lost about 14lbs now I am halfway to my goal. If I hadn’t started, I’d be 14lbs heavier.

If I hadn’t committed to school a year and half ago, I wouldn’t be about to graduate from my Associates degree in 4 months. I wouldn’t be halfway to getting my Bachelors and being able to return to Australia to start my new career. I am a lot more productive now because I don’t waste time on useless things. When people around me are eating poorly I don’t participate anymore. I’ve even gotten to a stage where I finally don’t care what they think. I’m not going to let people bring me down because they are unhappy in themselves. My martyr days are over. And even though I threw out my back this week (probably from over-exertion doing weights), and I have to take a break from working out, I still feel reenergized to keep going.

So, don’t ever compare yourself to anybody else. There is absolutely no point in it. Comparing yourself to your own progress is the best ┬ásource of motivation to be persistent and dedicated to your goals.