We live in a world of social media. We live vicariously through our many idols and community peers – Instagram posts flagged with #fitspo of men and women posing attractively in exotic locations all around the world, showcasing amazing physiques we could only wish for as we wonder how the hell they get time off work and the money to travel. But one thing I have learnt by following along is that these photos tell great lies. Many stars of Facebook, Instagram and even YouTube have often been open and honest with what life is really like and the effort that is required to get that perfect photo.
Recently a post by someone I have enjoyed following, Michelle Bridges, put up a post about how motivation has got the best of her on this particular day. She began her tweet getting real with her followers:
“Today I hurt. Today my head almost got to me. Today I started doubting myself”
I know for a fact, that I have had these days and they can come regularly. Waking up, mixing up some breakfast and supplements while still yawning and contemplating if today is worth going to the gym is something I know many people ponder and suffer. I’ve even managed to convince myself that I simply wouldn’t even be able to put in 100% so therefore it’s not worth going. Looking back I often feel silly for thinking such things but some days just aren’t the day for motivation and you know what? That’s OK. Sometimes you’re not going to feel your fit and beautiful self and that is ok.
Some days I can wake up jittery and excited to go for a hard session at the gym and usually on those days I’ll go harder, longer and feel amazing afterwards. Some days I will feel motivated to go and get through a workout and other days I’ll feel so average I speculate as to why I even bothered going. This is a fluctuation that is experienced by many fit people. What’s important is how one deals with motivating oneself when these days occur.
I recently had one of those days. I had a big shift at work the day before, I was dehydrated and tired, sunburnt and felt that on this particular day the world was against me. I knew I had work that afternoon and it was going to be busy and I struggled to even get dressed into my gym attire. I stumbled into the kitchen and prepared a shake and pre-workout and could barely measure out the water let alone expel the energy required to shake the shaker. I had to snap out of it, this isn’t how to start a day.
I have a folder on my computer for days like this. I often open it up and look at photos of myself. 20KG heavier and looking sad. I remember the moment I decided to make a change and it’s a memory I use to motivate me. I was tying my shoelaces, sitting on a chair hunched over and while I was tying them I remember being out of breath, literally struggling to breathe tying my shoelaces. Memories like that coupled with the photos constantly motivate me when I feel like crap. There are even interviews conducted here on FTGR where amazing people have transformed themselves and if that’s not motivating I don’t know what is.
Michelle went on say:
“My fitness and strength is exactly where it should be given what I have and haven’t been doing. My training has been inconsistent. Period. And that’s ok. I’m here. I’m pushing. It might not be pretty, but that’s ok too! I wanted to share this to let you know that all of us have these moments. And they are beautiful, because they remind us that it’s in the struggle that we grow, we become humble, we build and we must be gentle to ourselves.”
Even in a recent interview with PopSugar*, Kayla Itsines discussed how being unmotivated can even affect her:
“Normally my lack of motivation happens around ‘that time of the month’. But you can not think “I lost motivation and it’s the end”. I’ve lost motivation, it’s temporary, and in a few days, when I’m feeling better and rested, I’ll get back into it. Take that time for yourself.“
It’s important to know that feeling unmotivated is something you will experience. It’s important to know that it’s not something you should let define you. Motivation can come in many forms so don’t latch onto a feeling of being unmotivated and assume that’s how it’s going to be. You need to positively influence your fitness and wellbeing so it’s reinforced as a positive experience. Don’t get stuck in a negative mindset otherwise you could throw in the towel.
Feeling unmotivated could also be your body trying to tell you something. I have found that even going hard at the gym can often exhaust my body. I find that I’m most unmotivated towards the end of the week when my body hasn’t had and adequate rest. I tend to believe that it’s my body telling me to take it easy. This is why rest days are so important to your lifestyle. Remember why you got into fitness and use that to motivate you. If you find yourself still unmotivated, look at other aspects of your life that could be impacting that and make some changes.
* Kayla Itsines interview with PopSugar: https://www.popsugar.com.au/fitness/Kayla-Itsines-Motivational-Tips-41793884