You might automatically think that the hardest part about doing a workout is putting the work in, right?
More often than not, it is the exercise part that is the easiest. There’s that old saying – “Your body can do anything, it’s your mind you have to convince.”
It doesn’t matter how badly we want to feel and look better, whether you are a fitness fanatic, a fitness-phobe or even the class instructor (yes, I’m talking about me) we all lose motivation from time to time.
Let me tell you why and what we can do about it…
Life takes over
I will hold my hands up and admit that I haven’t done any weight workouts at home this month. I’ve been too tired to even contemplate doing them. I’ve been so busy with work I’ve found myself run down. I’ve had not one but two colds during May!
Sometimes it feels like everything around us is saying “NO!” when it comes to exercise. It might be long working hours, a hectic family life schedule or a crazy social life. Not only do these things take up your time, they also sap your energy.
All of these things also have a big impact on your diet. If you are super busy and feeling low on energy you will no doubt turn to quick and easy comfort food. Not to mention it tastes really yummy and I know I for one will use the excuse of “I deserve a treat” after a long day. Of course, if you find your social calendar is busy too, you can really find yourself in the flow of over eating and binge-drinking.
Eating and drinking the wrong stuff only saps our energy even more leaving us feeling even less motivated when it comes to exercise!
The time of year
There’s a lot of talk about how hard it is to get motivated in the winter but we often forget about the struggle of motivating ourselves during summer. The evenings are no longer cold and dark but warm and light. So, what’s the problem then?!
The problem is we want to be outside enjoying the summer evenings not stuck inside, least of all at a sweaty gym or fitness class!
Whilst summer bodies may not be made in summer (so they say) they can be ruined in summer! Summer spells self-indulgence with lazy days spent sunbathing, cocktails by the jug load and barbecue food on tap.
The honeymoon period is over
I have often heard the first 3-4 weeks of any new health and fitness regime being described as ‘the honeymoon period.’ This is where the changes you make to your exercise and eating habits see immediate results and you start to feel better.
After this period things start to get a little harder and maintaining impressive results week after week becomes unsustainable. When we start looking at a few months down the line it can feel like progress really slows down. Not to mention the novelty of your new regime wears off.
Everyone hits plateaus; your body eventually becomes used to the intensity of your workout. As you lose weight your body requires fewer calories so to maintain weight loss you need to decrease calorie intake again.
It is at this point when the excitement of getting fitter and healthier starts to wear off. When results get harder, motivation to keep pushing definitely takes a hit.
SO HOW THE HECK DO WE GET MOTIVATED?
For starters we need to always remember that we find getting motivated to workout harder than working out and that the workout bit isn’t actually that bad. In fact, I think we can all agree we enjoy that bit (if you don’t enjoy the workout itself you need to find a new workout/class or sport)
We know that when we aren’t exercising and eating rubbish, we feel sluggish, lethargic, tired and low on energy. When we are exercising, we have more confidence, feel more energetic and happier and healthier. Everyone feels proud after a workout; we feel good about ourselves.
It’s hard to get back into exercise after a slump but think of the rewards, they are your motivation. When you hit a plateau instead of giving up focus on the getting fitter part. Think what you can do now that you couldn’t before.
Keep exercising for fitness and everything else like weight, body shape and tone should slowly fall into place. We are all busy but a workout only takes up to an hour of your day. Think about the benefits and remember why you enjoy eating well and exercising.