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Getting Motivated When You Don’t Feel Like It

For me, nutrition and exercise have very little to do with how I will look in a bathing suit. I’ve circled the sun enough times to know rock hard abs don’t equal happiness. (I know this because I spent my 20s with a stomach you could bounce a quarter off of and I was MISERABLE.) I’m motivated to eat well and move my body because it’s like medicine for me. 

If I don’t sweat and eat right, my day spirals into a soupy mess of brain fog. 

Keeping Myself Accountable

Recently, I took to Instagram stories and confessed I didn’t have my normal morning workout motivation. I knew I would feel better if I sucked it up and started my workout, so I checked in with the community on Instagram and promised I would post updates. I asked my friends there to be my accountabili-buddies. 

So I did it. I did 20(-ish) minutes of functional strength movements and then a 30-minute Peloton ride. I didn’t set records, I didn’t even come close. But I got my heart rate up and I felt 1000% better for doing it. My day was productive, I ate a giant salad with lean protein for lunch and drank a ton of water throughout the day. It wasn’t perfect, but it was progress. 

Get Your Mind Right

Half the battle is overcoming the voice in my head. Once I overcome that, I am so happy I did. Here are the mind tricks I play to get moving, especially when I just want to pull the covers over my head:

  1. Give it seven minutes.
    I have this seven minute rule with exercise. I start a run, walk, or strength workout. And if I’m not feeling it after seven minutes, I give myself permission to stop. Most days, seven minutes is enough to get in the groove and keep going.
  2. Aim for progress not perfection.
    This phrase is my mantra for life. I am one that can get hung up on details. “I shouldn’t start ________ because I don’t have time to get it right today.” Guess what? You’ll never have time to get it right. Just start, just get to work. On this particular day, I knew I wasn’t going to have a personal best, but it was enough to turn my day around.
  3. Find an accountabili-buddy.
    It helped me knowing that I had made a public goal and that if I didn’t post an update, I would have to confess to going back to bed. Find a friend you trust to text with goals and motivation boosts when you need. (By the way, your partner may not be the best person for this. Penn will say, “You work so hard baby, take the day off!” That does NOT help me.)

Let me know if you’re interested in my at home workouts or the meals I’m throwing together. If you’d like to see that sort of thing from a middle-aged mom, I am happy to share. Also, I’m here to be your accountabili-buddy if you promise to be mine. 

Now, go drink some water. 

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