Gym 7 times a week, clean eating 100% of the time, raring to go 100% of the time… this is a myth. Something I have learned recently is that it is IMPOSSIBLE to stay on top of your game 100% of the time. We put so much pressure on ourselves to always be so motivated and if we aren’t, we beat ourselves up. Cut yourself some slack, because even the best and fittest of us lose our motivation, so you’re completely normal to a few off days or off weeks.
At my very best – or my motivation peak if you will – I run 5 times a week, do yoga 3 times a week and do 2 weights sessions. I also eat healthily and only have one cheat meal and a few snacks. Me at my very best is NOT me all the time.
We All Have Motivation Troughs
Recently, I got very stuck in a motivation trough, whereby I ran maybe once a week, did one session of yoga, and maybe one weights session. The food I ate wasn’t terrible, but just not very nutritious. The truth: this went on for around 3 weeks. Having had a solid 2 months where I was at the top of my game, one day all this motivation went out the window.
The triggers were poor weather and a change of routine from starting work again following furlough. These were triggers but not excuses. For me, it was easy to be very motivated when the sun was always shining and I had so much time on my hands. I simply had nothing else to do, so I filled my days with exercise. Take away the nice weather and the abundance of time to exercise in the day, then motivation becomes a little harder to reach.
A thing I’ve realised is that it’s pointless beating yourself up over not having the motivation to do something. Although exercise was always on my mind (I think about it a lot), I just didn’t want to do it. Something had changed in my mind where the thought of physically going for a run made me feel dread, whereas previously, it made me excited. I knew the motivation would come back, so rather than indulging in self-loathing, I read a lot and practiced more self care than usual.
Then what happened? My motivation came back! I had gotten into a better routine with sleep and felt inspired by books I had been reading. I had got to the point where I was desperate to just get outside and start running again, even in the morning before work. I looked forward to running and even treated myself to some (beautiful) new running shoes. And as soon as I started running again, I wanted to do more yoga. Then before I knew it, my motivation to exercise and eat well had come back.
Think About What You Don’t See
The problem is, we only see people’s highlight reel. I am guilty myself of showing people the best parts on my health Instagram, rather than showing people a lazy day that I might be having. I try to be very transparent – I’ll always be honest when I’m having takeaway or indulgent snacks as I believe it’s so important. But the truth is that even I am not super super motivated. People might think I am because I can happily pick myself up off the sofa and go for a run, but I’m not like that 100% of the time. Sometimes I pick myself up off the sofa and go to the fridge…
So again, cut yourself some slack. If you’re lacking motivation and can’t get off the sofa, I have felt exactly like that too. Your friends and your family would have felt like that too. Professional athletes have probably felt like that too. It happens. It’s life.
What’s important is how you move forward. Do you consume content that is going to inspire you to get off the sofa? Or are you going to indulge in self-loathing? Read books, listen to podcasts, listen to audiobooks, listen to happy music, there are endless ways to get inspired. Inspiration is the key to motivation and motivation is the key to living a healthy and happy life.
I’m currently reading Good Mornings by Linnea Dunne and I’m honestly obsessed. I’ll be putting together a wellness reading list for you soon so stay tuned.
I hope you enjoyed this post.
Speak soon 💖