Is The Question Really About Motivation? (Old Post Retrieval)

“Pigeon Pose” in yoga almost killed me. I still may not have it  “correct” by some standards but it’s where I was “determined” to get it (before I hurt my knee, of course.  If you have knee injury like mine, you may not find the pose works with your body. That’s my disclaimer.) At one time, it became more important than my personal yoga practice, more important than learning about who I was internally or anything else. I didn’t need “motivation”. Once I got the pose, I stopped doing it. I had reached my goal. I do not do the pose anymore not just because I have bad knees but because the stakes just aren’t high enough. There is nothing pulling me to “reach for it”.

Same with changing your life.

I have been talking to people all week about “motivation”. Let it be known to all who were wondering…I DO NOT jump out of bed in the morning thinking about exercise. Ever. Well, unless I am thinking about how much I do not want to go into work. My knees hurt. My stomach hurts. I have a headache. I have bad days as well. Cute workout clothes are only temporary fixes. New music on the IPod are only temporary fixes. What is going to drive you to get out of bed when you REALLY don’t want to in order to change what you need to change in order to have a healthier lifestyle? What has to click in order for you to put the cookies down and pick up a piece of fruit?
You have to value one more than the other. It’s just as simple as that.

Value changes over time. I can remember I was determined to lose weight. There was nothing that could make me go out to lunch with my co-workers and make me miss my Pilates class. That was determination. However, when my then boyfriend came into town on the weekends, I would drink and eat like nobody’s business. I valued hanging out and kicking it with him and not setting boundaries (which I could have) more than I valued my health. When we eventually got married, I valued the newlywed time more than I did my exercise regimen and put on 15 pounds in 3 months. I enjoyed eating cookies and Doritos with him because what I thought I was doing was investing in love. What I really did was invest in a size 16 and gestational diabetes because when I decided I valued my health (and the newlywed bliss wore off), I was pregnant with a set of bad habits and gained another 46 pounds. Not fun.

Determination and value do not mean deprivation. To me, it’s the other way around. I can use my money on other things instead of co-pays and prescriptions. Being healthy gives me the freedom to do things that being unhealthy wouldn’t allow me to do like BREATHE when I walk up the stairs. I value that very much. And I know there are a lot of articles about how to get motivated in 10 steps or 5 steps but consider this an article on how to get real. You have one life. If you are waiting on that magical moment for all exercise to be enjoyable, you are going to be lying in the bed every morning disappointed. If you don’t like fruit, try something different. Try eating it different. Learn new recipes. Try different ethnic cuisines.

If you are fed up (and that’s usually the place from which change occurs), you will be determined to find a way. Or you will continue to wait to be motivated. Be proactive or be reactive.

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