What motivates people to have healthy habits when it comes to eating well and exercising? For me, it is all about taking care of myself by working out and eating well, so that I can feel great inside and out. I want to feel strong and capable, so I can be the best “me” possible in all areas of my life. I have not always had this healthy mindset. I used to focus way too much on the aesthetic benefits of diet and exercise. I cared mostly about being a certain weight, trying to be a certain body type. I ignored how my body felt and focused too much on how it looked. Don’t get me wrong, the aesthetic benefits of a healthy lifestyle are great, but they shouldn’t be the main source of motivation! Then, it all changed. I decided I didn’t want to stress over the numbers on the scale and the calories I ate in a day anymore. My focus on these numbers were holding me back, and I wanted freedom. Through my experience with the Whole 30, I changed my relationship with food and my body. That was a little over year ago, and I haven’t looked back! Follow me, here, on the blog as I take on another Whole 30 along with a group of my family members in Taos, NM…..
Today, I have an inspiring guest post to share with you that ties fitness, goals, and motivation all together. I want to introduce you to Mark Shipman. He is a lead instructor at Flywheel Sports, a certified personal trainer at SWEAT gym, and he also teaches Jillian Michaels BODYSHRED classes all over Dallas! Mark and I met through Flywheel. I love taking his classes, and we have become good friends. The photo above was taken after a Flywheel class he co-taught with Jillian Michaels…such a fun, unique experience! He is a master instructor, teacher, and motivator! He will be sharing his thoughts and experience with fitness and motivation here, on the blog. He is truly an inspiration to me, and many others!
Fitness, Motivation, and Your “WHY”
I can’t tell you how many times a day I hear these statements: “I want to lose weight.” “I want to get rid of this fat.” “I want to eat better.” Literally 50-100 times a day I will hear these statements and my reply is always the same…”Tell me why.” 99% of the time it is for a reason of vanity. Either the person wants to look like someone else, become a size that is almost physically impossible without “supplements” I wouldn’t recommend, or to get the approval of someone else. The problem with all of these reasons is they lack real internal motivation. All are based on something outside of the person desiring the change. I can tell you this from experience. The decision to get fit for someone else’s approval, or for any of the other reasons stated will last about 30 days IF you are lucky!
I am 5’4” and weigh 153lbs. I am healthy and what most would consider physically fit. This was not always the case. A few years ago, still 5’4”, but weighing 195lbs I was miserable. Yep, that’s correct. I believe I actually topped out at 200lbs. I remember wanting to cover my body and never be in photos. During this time I would thumb through magazines with pictures of bodies I totally wanted to look like, read the workouts and food plans attempting them as best as I could, but nothing lasted. I was a miserable person until one day I made the decision I had to change or die. Literally, I was losing my energetic personality and I knew my life would never get better unless I made a change immediately. The motivation and the process changed at that instant. It became about becoming fully alive and being the person I knew I could be. It no longer was just about not being fat or looking a certain way. That was external. My full life, my physical health, and my well being became the real motivators.
If you decide you want something different in your life, this doesn’t just apply to fitness; you have to ask yourself why. If your answer is based on an external factor, I can almost promise you failure. The motivation has got to be about you, and what you want for yourself. Sure, you can read quotes, look at pictures and have talks that inspire, but if the “why” isn’t truly about something inside, consider any plan you make to be flawed. Once you know your “why” the difficulty factor of the action required becomes irrelevant….And, action must be taken at this point!
The day after realizing why I really wanted a different life, I met with a trainer, told him my exact goals, and showed up everyday when scheduled. When he told me to jump, run, lift, pull, push, etc.…I DID IT! You see, what had happened was my “why” became more important than any obstacle that could be thrown my way.
To finish this up, I’ll tell you what has happened since discovering the gift of asking myself “why.” I have the career in fitness that I had always dreamed about. I am healthier than I have ever been. I have self esteem like never before, and most importantly, I love my life and the person I have become.
Ok, I don’t know about you, but I am feeling very motivated after reading that! Thanks, Mark, for a wonderful, personal post.
Follow him on social media as well, for a daily dose of Markspiration! Facebook: Shredded by Mark, Instagram: @markspration, and Twitter: @markspiration. You can also contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on personal training and small group training.