Last week I talked about the most common excuses truck drivers use to avoid working out. So, this week I’m going to talk about mind over matter and how to work past the excuses.
What drives you to keep going when you’re tired? How do you find motivation when you’re not seeing results? I feel that once you’ve identified what drives you, what motivates you, and reflect on the progress you’ve made thus far, it changes your thinking process which is half the battle when making life-changing, healthier choices.
I think I can speak for the majority of people when I say we’ve all had an “a-ha” moment. The moment the light went on and you realized you had to make major changes or the outcome wasn’t going to be good. For me it was when I saw a picture of myself and I didn’t recognize the person looking back at me. That moment sparked the motivation to start my journey to a healthier me, then a little further down the road gall bladder problems pushed me to become an even better, healthier me. So whatever your wake-up call was, whatever motivates you, focus on that when it gets tough. Remember the reasons you started when you feel like skipping a workout. Look back at how far you’ve come whether it’s a 5lb. or a 50 lb. loss, the next time you want to reach for a donut instead of an apple.
I struggle with the mental battles of exercising vs. relaxing, eating a sweet treat vs. a healthy option EVERY SINGLE DAY so I know what it’s like. It’s a continual thought process of choices, but I find that the more I make the right choice, it does get easier and become more of a subconscious action instead of a chore. I think what is important is that you find that thing that pushes, motivates and drives you personally. Some of the tools you can use are to set short term goals, pick a reward that you can work towards, tape up a picture of how you want to look or your goal weight, think of your family and how you want to be there for them for a long, long time.
Finding a Short Term Goal
When I first started getting serious about weight loss and a healthy lifestyle out here on the road, my mental motivation was my daughter’s high school graduation. Something simple and small I know, but for a short term goal it worked. I would be seeing a lot of people that I hadn’t seen in a long time and well, honestly, I wanted to look good. As I would push myself through each workout, I would mentally repeat “size 10 jeans,” “white linen pants,” “short dress” over and over…I know it sounds silly, but it worked for me. It helped me push through the soreness, tiredness and laziness during that stage of my journey.
Now that it’s been awhile, I’m at a different stage in my workouts and fitness and as that changed so did my focus and the ways I motivate and push myself. Now that I am getting so close to my goal that I can taste it, I think back at how I used to feel, how I had no energy, how unhealthy I was and that was shortening my life. I focus on how far I’ve come and how easily I could go back to that place if I don’t stay on track. I didn’t reach 250 lbs. overnight, it happened over a span of years and it could happen again. It’s not about losing weight quickly, trying fad diets, it’s about changing your outlook, perspective and lifestyle permanently. So, dig deep, find what drives you personally. Remember, your motivation can be anything you want it to be. It could be an upcoming special event, participating in a 5K or marathon, improved test results at your next doctor’s visit. Find what motivates and encourages you and focus on that to push you on days when excuses are buzzing loudly in your head. I guarantee the more you move forward and improve the quieter those voices will become.
Until next time keep the shiny side up, the rubber side down and make healthy choices!