My Drive Behind Working Out and Eating Healthy | How Do I Stay Motivated?
Good morning, Y'all! So, when I was writing my resolutions and goals post I vaguely talked about working out and eating healthy, but I wanted to do a more in-depth post about my thoughts on the subject! 99% of us struggle with being disciplined in working out and eating healthy, and we basically all hate the other 1% who doesn't. 😉 I love, love, love bad food. Anything that I'm not supposed to have I typically crave. And when I say "not supposed to have" I'm talking about dairy. I'm super allergic to it. When I eat it I break out, have bad stomach problems, am always fatigued, and it just straight up makes me grumpy! It doesn't ever stop me from eating or drinking it though. I never learn my lesson. EVERYTHING GOOD HAS DAIRY IN IT! (woah, I was just proof reading this and I just realized: much like my belief that "everything good has dairy in it" we believe this lie in our lives that everything "good" or "enjoyable" about life we have to "miss out on" because of our faith. Me eating dairy anyways, even though I know that it will make me sick, is parallel to us looking at sin like it's the good stuff and God's ways as us missing out on life. We HAVE to shift our mindset that removing those things from our lives is for our greater good and for our JOY and happiness. Thanks Jesus 🙌🏼) Not being able to eat something, even for health reasons, wasn't even good enough motivation to take care of my body and what it needs. Even wanting to impress people or to be "admired" for looking good isn't enough of a motivation because, at the end of the day, we all want to be our best selves and that doesn't always look the same for everyone. At the start of this year, I knew I needed a stronger, bigger motivation.
As I started 2018, I thought carefully about what I wanted for the year to come. I thought through my intentions behind every desire and asked myself a lot of "why's." When the typical "work out and eat healthy" resolution came up, I found myself realizing that my past motivations were never enough to fulfill this goal because they were empty and unfulfilling. "Eat healthy because it's good for you. Eat healthy because it will make you look good. Eat healthy so people think you're beautiful."
We do SO many things without even realizing why we do them in the first place. We often don't even realize when these things leave us empty yet, we keep mindlessly doing them. From the beginning, even in my modeling days, I was setting these "body goals" to be accepted and admired and wanted by people. I didn't even care about taking care of myself. I wanted to look good so people would accept me for looking good. How stupid. How unfulfilling. How fleeting.
Let's just play this out. If that's really what you think will make people like you, let's just say you get it. You get that perfect body, whatever that even is. Then what? These people like you because you have a good body? What about who you are? Your dreams? Your struggles? Your personality? What happens if your body doesn't look like that anymore? It's an empty thing to be liked for, it really is. Trust me. What your body looks like is not what makes you lovable, desirable, or worthy.
I wanted to shift my perspective to something I knew wasn't trivial and that was bigger than myself and my sinful desires this year. I wanted to be a good steward of the body that God has given me. Not so people love me, not even so God loves me, but because my body is a gift. Not everyone gets to have legs that can run, or lungs that can breathe deep, or a heart that can withstand even a mile of cardio. When I switched my mindset to think of health and fitness this way, it opened up a MASSIVE door that I've been missing my entire life.
It suddenly has become a joy to me to do these things because it's obedience to God. It's purposeful. It's fulfilling. It's JOYFUL. Suddenly every time I smell a chicken wing or see an ice cream cone it's become a way to fast. Fasting from what I know isn't good for me to honor God. It's not even about doing it to be skinny or fit, but to be healthy, to worship and be grateful to God for what he's given me. Woah. Y'all this is huge. Your drivers are key to your success. This is why you cave into your cravings and skip the gym and before you know it you get winded walking up the stairs and you've gained 15 pounds. (Speaking about myself here.) You're choosing the temporary gratification that temptation offers over a lifetime of the positive effects that obedience promises. The same way your life trajectory is an accumulation of the choices you make every day, big or small, health is an accumulation of hundreds and thousands of small actions that create big effects over time. This can be said in almost every area of sin in our lives.
I'm not saying eating a cupcake is a sin. Please eat the cupcake. Just maybe not every single cupcake.
This journey is different for everyone. We don't all look the same and we shouldn't. You don't have to be a size zero to prove that you're taking care of yourself. Everyone was created differently. You know your body and what it needs and how God has made it. Live into THAT, not what you think you should look like or what you think other people want you to look like, but how God has made you.
I challenge y'all to ask yourself what your motivation for your health and fitness journey is. Why are you doing it? Are you doing it for the right reasons and are those reasons enough to keep you on track? What are your biggest weaknesses when it comes to health and fitness? Do you need to change your perspective? Are your motivations fulfilling or fleeting? Asking yourself all of these hard questions and getting to know yourself is the best way to accomplish a goal.
I was super nervous to share this because I'm not sure how it will be received, but I hope y'all enjoyed this post! Let me know if you want more posts similar to this one!