Welcome to another installment of Fitness Friday! Grab your bottled water and a juicy piece of fruit…let’s jump right in.
Motivation is key to any successful fitness and nutrition lifestyle. It is the “why” that makes you do the “what” in your life. I think motivation in fitness falls into two main categories:
Initial Motivation–Why make healthy changes to begin with?
Continued Motivation–How do I keep going when it gets hard?
Today, let’s focus on Initial Motivation.
I love lists. I wish life were just a series of little lists I could follow and check off. With a cute pen and a legal pad. I love cute pens and legal pads. So nothing would warm my heart more on this Fitness Friday than to give you a fool-proof, one-size-fits-all list of motivators.
But, alas, that isn’t how life works. See, what motivates me, may not resonate with you in the least. We are all so uniquely crafted, this is one area you really need to examine and discover for yourself.
For some of you, it may be the death of a loved one.
For others, it may be a medical scare of your own.
Or perhaps you see a photo of yourself and can’t believe you really look that big.
Or someone calls you “fat”
Maybe you’ve got a closet full of clothes that you love but can’t fit into…again.
Or you get a glimpse of your chart during a physical, and the doctor has the word “obese” on your list of diagnoses
Some of you may, as the saying goes, just be sick and tired of feeling sick and tired
Honestly, I don’t really think I had one moment in time that shifted me from an unhealthy lifestyle to a healthy one. From as far back as I can remember, I’ve cared about my health and my weight.
However, I have had a few major motivators over the years that propelled me into more serious fitness routines and more disciplined eating. Here are the highlights. Maybe you’ll find something in there that also propels you to action:
1. Age 14: My mom has a heart attack at the age of 54…the first of many heart-related ailments that would eventually take her life at age 70.
Result: I realize genetics are not in my favor. I vow to take care of my body so that I will live to enjoy my children and my grandchildren.
2. Age 24–At an annual physical, I discuss my 5-pound weight gain with my doctor. This is the first time I ever pay attention to the words “age” and “metabolism” in the same sentence. I do some quick mathematics in my bride-to-be head, and figure
A. I have only gained less than a half a pound a month this year–that’s not too bad, right?
B. If I continue at that rate, by age 34, I’ll be 50 pounds overweight! By age 44, I’ll be 100 pounds overweight. YIKES!
2. Age 31–After 2 c-sections in 18 months, I struggle to get to my pre-pregnancy weight.
3. Age 36–Watch the movie Supersize Me
Movie Plug: I cannot recommend this movie enough. Not only is it highly entertaining, but it is so full of information…I think I’ve watched it 4 times just to catch all the stats.
Please rent this movie and watch it. You won’t regret it.
Make sure you watch the special features, too.
Result: Buy and read the books written by the experts interviewed in the special features. Buy and read a whole slew of books on nutrition, natural diets and health. Switch to an almost all-organic and almost all-vegetarian diet, for my entire family.
And vow never to order McDonald’s french fries again. (And I haven’t).
4. Annual trips to Holiday World–a giant water park in very rural Santa Claus, Indiana.
Dude, I’ve never seen so many tattoos on large, hairy bellies in my LIFE! No offense against these people. I’m sure they are all swell folks. But put a shirt on already!
Water slides and family fun aside, it’s like the Midwest Mecca for obese, unhealthy and inappropriately clothed families. I’m not kidding, every single year, I come home and recommit my life to health–and remind my children why we do what we do around here.
Yes, some people renew their wedding vows.
Some recommit to Christ.
But I…I have a weepy annual ceremony, pledging allegiance to my veggies.
5. Any day, every day, reading stats like these all over the news:
Obesity is responsible for as many as 300,000 deaths annually.
Just writing all of this makes me want to hop on the elliptical and drink a Go LEAN protein shake.
That’s my story…what’s yours?