There is No “Wrong” Motivation

It seems lately that a lot of fitness peeps have been spouting out that you shouldn’t let your physique or appearance be your #1 motivation when trying to get in shape. My question is “why the hell not?” It’s not that I’m particularly a VAIN person, but when someone finds something that motivates them to get in some vigorous exercise and start eating healthier on a regular basis, why are physique goals not good enough? In a country where more than 1/3 of adults are considered obese, I think we have to take what we can get! And if the idea of looking hot in a pair of jeans is what gets someone off their ass, then so be it!

Most trainers will say that overall health and general fitness should be your “primary” goal. And yes, while I wholeheartedly agree with that, someone who is slightly overweight might not see it that way. They might be relatively healthy but they just want to finally see their abs or look cute in shorts because they have a vacation coming up. If that’s what keeps you motivated for the time-being, then that’s fine! It’s no one else’s business what your motivation is, whether it’s completely superficial or 100% honorable.

It’s true that you will never find peace and happiness when your appearance is always your #1 goal, because perfection just doesn’t exist…and it’s hard to achieve something that doesn’t exist. But I would also argue that if it’s strength you’re after, where does that stop? One can become so obsessed with getting stronger that they start accruing life-long injuries… One can become so obsessed with “general health” that they start going off the deep end and become an orthorexic. Extremes can occur anyway you look at it. Just because you started with one motivator, doesn’t mean that it will always be your #1 motivator. When something sparks you in the moment to get up and go for a walk or get in a quickie workout, run with it (literally)! Motivation can be hard to find, so when it comes along, take advantage of it. But remember this, the best motivation is the motivation that comes from within. No one else can truly motivate you. Not your significant other, not your trainer, not your friends. Any motivation that stems from them will be short-lived. And that’s okay! Sometimes we have to seek out motivation every day to keep moving forward.

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For example, I haven’t seen my husband since June of 2014. He’s due to be coming home shortly and you better believe I want to look good for him when he arrives! So right now, that’s guiding my motivation to put in an extra ounce of effort. That’s the one little thing that is pushing me to get in a couple conditioning workouts a week (along with my 4 weight training sessions) and really eyeball the food that I’m putting into my mouth. Thankfully I stay pretty close to my “happy spot” year-round, so I never have far to go when I just want to tighten things up a little bit. But this motivation is going to be short-lived. Eventually my husband will come home, we’ll go on a vacation, and then we’ll get back to normal life. That’s when my motivation will change. Maybe I’ll just want to focus on getting a little stronger or improving my endurance. Who knows? We’ll have to see what sparks me at the moment!

Remember, this is a journey with no end. Your goals and motivators will always be fluctuating depending on your situation in life at that one moment. The key to success though is to pick a goal….seriously go for it…conquer it…and move onto the next goal. Don’t flounder from goal to goal, program to program, and never actually accomplish anything! And always remember what got you started on that goal in the first place…that original motivator.

Since I mentioned that I’ll be putting in a little extra effort over the next month, I thought it might be fun to see what that little extra effort might actually do and share it with you all! This photo was taken this morning and I also weighed myself. I was randomly up 3 lbs., probably retaining some water, so here I weigh 143 lbs. I also took circumference measurements, so I’ll be tracking those as well. Along with my 4 weight training workouts, I’ll be throwing in 2 weekly conditioning workouts. So that might be sprints, a barbell complex, a ladder workout, or something of the sort. I will also actually be tracking my macronutrients and calories. Should be fun to see what happens!

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New Goals

Now that my photo shoot is over and I’m somewhat settling back into life in the United States (although I am currently awaiting yet another big transition in life), I think it’s time I set some new goals for myself.  I think it’s very important for me to continue setting goals so that I can map out a plan for myself to stick to.  I can’t just wander aimlessly through a diet and training program.  I need a solid plan with a final goal.  Unfortunately, I’m horrible at setting concrete and measurable goals in regards to my body.  I don’t care how much I weigh and I don’t know how many inches I want to add or lose in certain places.  I like to just work with what I see in the mirror.  Numbers are irrelevant to me unless they are calories.

So what are my goals?  Well, I’ve decided that I want to build my shoulders and glutes a little bit more.  I really like broad, nicely capped shoulders.  I think they are an immediate signal to strangers that you put extra work into your physique.  And regarding the glutes, who doesn’t want an amazing badunk-a-dunk?  I notice that whenever I diet down my butt gets a little bit flat, so the only cure for that is more muscle!

These goals are going to require a surplus in calories and some extra heavy lifting.  Thus, I’m going to have to say bye-bye to abs for a while.  It’s really hard to willingly give something up that you worked so hard for.  During this mini-bulk/recomp I’ll probably put on a little bit of fat, but that’s the price I’ll have to pay for more muscle.  Once I’m happy with the amount of muscle I’ve put on or I’m fed up with the amount of fat I’ve added, I’ll cut again.  At least I’ll have more calories to work with during the holidays and any extra flub will be hidden under cozy winter clothes.  I plan on taking it slow because I’m a bit paranoid about putting on fat (in case you couldn’t tell).  I’ve never been a “skinny” girl so I want to keep any fat gain under control.  It’s so easy to put on but it’s so hard to strip off.

Wish me luck!  It’s not the training and extra eating that will be difficult.  It’s the psychological response I’ll have to putting on weight and not knowing exactly if it’s muscle, fat, water, or whatnot. Good luck to you all in meeting your goals!  And if you don’t have any you better go ahead and set some!  Otherwise, you’ll just be spinning your wheels forever and ever.  Trust me…I know.