Motivation is the name of the game

On my PT course this weekend someone asked me what my motivation is when I’m working out to keep going and not stop when it gets tough, and it got me thinking. 

Why is it that this time, for the first time in probably 15 years, I have committed to a fit and healthy lifestyle? Motivation. It’s an incredibly powerful tool if you can figure out what yours is. 

The interesting thing about motivation is that it can change all the time, whether it’s what gets you out on that very first run, or what gets you up out of a lovely warm bed on leg day, or even what makes you sign up for a fitness challenge. It can change day to day, week to week and it depends on your goals.

If you don’t know where to start on finding your motivation, these are mine, they might get you thinking. 

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I’ve always been a bit of a girl power advocate because I don’t want to ever have to rely on someone else for my own happiness and success. I’m capable of making my own life amazing and the people that I choose to be in it are very special to me. 

Getting in shape and being the best version of me that I can be physically has helped me to become stronger mentally. Being strong physically and mentally puts me in the independent position that I want to be in and knowing that it will only get better from here keeps me going back to the gym, lifting the weights and exploring the optimum way of eating for me.

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I know I’ve talked about ‘fitspiration’ or ‘fitspo’ before  but it really helped me to move on from the ‘skinny = good’ mindset into ‘strong & healthy = good’. By following some beautiful and strong young women on Instagram, it kept me going before I could start seeing changes in my own body. By aiming for an athletic body type that I’ve never had before and working out a programme to get me there, the small steps of progress have kept me going. I’ve become my own personal fitspo!  

What motivates you when it’s cold outside and you’re tired? 

The Not-So-Pretty Parts of Fitness

I love Instagram and health/fitness blogs as much as the next girl but there’s something that I need to get off my chest…. 

Fitness isn’t pretty. Eating healthily can be pretty but isn’t always. Meal prep definitely isn’t pretty. 

So what’s with all of these people pretending that it is?! 

This is a beautiful bowl of vegan deliciousness from Deliciously Ella, a healthy eating blog that I take a lot of inspiration from. And yes, I am aware that this blog is one of the ways that she gets paid and she therefore has to spend time making things look good but the bar is being set very high! 

My meals (particularly if I’ve just worked out) look something more like this…

Also, who looks good when they’re working out? Anyone? Nope, I’m not seeing any hands… That’s because no one looks good if they’re really working out properly. Sweaty red faces, sweaty hair, sweaty clothes is more like it. 

This is Kayla Itsines, an Australian blogger that I started following recently who is clearly very strong and fit but how does she ACTUALLY work out with her hair like that? It would drive me insane! Let’s face it, you can’t do burpees with hair like that… 

This is more like it (look away now if you’re eating):

My final rant is about mason jars. Who has the time in the morning to make their smoothie, put it in a mason jar, take a whimsical photo, carry that jar to work and then sit down and drink their smug smoothie?! 

My smoothies are carried in plastic tubs because they’re light and easy to drink from:

And breathe. 

The point of this rant was to tell you that however inspiring all of these Instagram and Blog babes are, the reality is that hard work, commitment and a whole load of red sweaty faces and ugly (but healthy) food is going to get you to your goals. So don’t compare yourself to anyone else, stick to your own process and you’ll see the results.

Be inspired but be real. 

Thank you

I started this blog as a place to keep myself accountable to my fitness and health journey and to start writing again. 

Suddenly, it’s become so much more than that.

At a close friend’s wedding yesterday, 6 different people came up to me and said that they’d been reading my blog and had been motivated to make a small change. 

I didn’t realise that:

a) People actually read my blog

b) I was inspiring anyone

c) Anyone else was finding it hard as I was

So this is just a quick post to say thank you to all of those people who took the time to let me know that they enjoy my blog. You’ve all inspired me to keep plugging away, keep trying new things and keep writing about it. We can get there together! 

Sometimes it feels like you’re running backwards

I’ve been flying pretty high for the past few weeks because I feel like I’m getting stronger, my 30 day paleo challenge has been going well and my body shape is noticeably changing.

But even with all of that, I suffered a bit of a setback yesterday.

I went back to Dean’s Boot Camp at London Fields Fitness Studio last night which I’d been loving before I went to India. There’s a lot of running and cardio involved in this class which takes place outside in London Fields. 

Now, as you all know, I’m not the strongest runner, but I am getting better. That said, mixing burpees and push ups with laps around the park was a real struggle. 

I was getting back to base last on every single run, often quite a way behind everyone else. As much as I wanted to run faster, I realised that I couldn’t have completed the reps at that tempo so I stuck to my slow and steady plod. 

However, shuffling along by myself started to get to me. Everyone else seemed so much fitter, faster and stronger. I started to feel like a failure which I haven’t felt for a while. I’ve come such a long way already but the huge distance that I still have to go suddenly seemed like a step too far.

The only thing that picked me up was a massive high five from Dean at the end of the circuit and some encouraging words from him to tell me to maintain my tempo and that I was doing well. 

Following that class I’ve added a new aim for 2014: to not come last in every running circuit. 

It’s something to aim for and I’m going to start getting there by going back to Dean’s class on Saturday morning and running my little legs off. 

Photo credit: http://www.motivationblog.org/running-inspirational-posters/#.Uyxpnz9_sVA

Goals. No, not the football kind

When I started on my fitness journey, I wanted to look like this:

That’s it. That was my goal.

I soon ran into problems though because:

a)      My genetics will probably never allow me to look like that

b)      It’s discouraging when you don’t look like that within 1 month

So I realised that I needed to set more realistic step-by-step goals and learn to notice each small change, whether anyone else can see it or not.

Having already lost 10lbs and run my first non-stop 5km, I’m feeling incredibly proud of how far I’ve come in terms of taking control of my weight but also of building my fitness and changing my lifestyle.

So proud in fact that I’m going to do something that I never thought I’d do. I’m going to post a ‘before and during’ photo of myself. Here goes…

Making comparisons like this help me to remember how far I’ve come and to motivate me to go the distance.

My 2014 goals are:

1)      Lose 10lbs by June

2)      Run 5km in 30 minutes by September

3)      Build my upper body strength

4)      Try a new exercise class every other week

5)      Stick to the 80:20 rule (eat clean 80% of the time but have fun the other 20%!)

I’m determined to stay motivated, even if the scale is giving me a number I don’t like, or the mirror isn’t showing me any progress. True dedication is not seeing any progress and putting your trainers on and going for a run anyway.

Let’s do this!