Today I wanted to talk about a subject that gets a decent amount of attention in the weight loss world...motivation.
I've written posts before about how I utilize a variety of tips and tricks to help motivate me to continue to lose weight and fight off the temptations to eat unhealthy things- motivation is a good thing and is soooo helpful, but it must NEVER become necessary.
Did you wash the dishes last night? Did you do any laundry this weekend? Did you get your kids ready for school this morning?
If so, my guess is that you didn't do any of these things because you had this surge of motivation and instantly couldn't wait to do them- and you certainly didn't sit around waiting for the motivation to come to you because if you did...they simply wouldn't get done. It is just common sense that if there are certain results that we want in our life that there are things that we have to do whether we feel motivated or not- and that is called "self- discipline." For example, if I want to be able to have a roof over my head then I had to make a choice to get up and go to work this morning even though I do not feel like it. The idea of being homeless is not more appealing than the amount of effort it takes me to get up and go to work.
How many of us wait around until we feel motivated enough to go to the gym or make a healthy food chocie? And we wonder why we struggle to lose the same 5lbs over and over again? While motivation is a truly wonderful thing when it comes, I'm afraid that we have placed too much emphasis on feeling motivated and too little on being self-disciplined.
Consider some of these bloggers who have lost 100lbs+; there is NO WAY that happened becasue they felt motivated for the entire year- it took them desiring to change more than desiring french fries and that leading to self-discipline.
Not trying to sound preachy- and perhaps this isn't something that many of you may struggle with particularly but I know that there were plenty of days last week that I woke up and thought..."Hmm, I may just want that double cheeseburger more than I want to lose 3lbs this week." And I had to give myself a quick slap in the face and remind myself that it's not about my "wanting" to anymore- it is about the decision I've made and the commitment I have made to myself.
Self-discipline doesn't come easy. Plain and simple. In order to strengthen my self-discipline I've been coming up with various smaller tasks that force me to be disciplined- for example:
This is a picture of some of the goodies that were in my office last week- now I'm really not much of a chocolate person but I found myself all week grabbing a chocolate covered peanut here and there-which clearly isn't a huge deal- but still, I was really just eating them because they were there. So, on Friday I decided that it was time to put my self-discipline into action and I decided that I would not have a single thing from this spread- not because they are all super unhealthy, but just for disciplines sake. And you know what? I didn't eat anything from there all day and although it didn't make much of a difference in my caloric intake for the day- it gave me a huge boost in confidence that I CAN say no and I CAN be disciplined.
Maybe you are feeling a little weak in your ability to discipline yourself? Set up small goals like this that will help build your ability to say no and your confidence!
What about you? Do you find yourself waiting to feel motivated enough to do something?
p.s. This week I will be fasting. I really feel like I need to focus some extra attention on my spiritual life at this point in the new year so some friends from church and I started fasting at dinner time yesterday and will continue through dinner on Saturday. This isn't the first week long fast that I've done and while they are not easy- this is something that I need to do right now. Please know this has nothing to do with losing weight- I'm sure that any weight that I lose during this fast will be gained right back as soon as I begin eating again- it's about re-prioritizing my life to focus on God. Needless to say I'm sure that I'll be learning LOTS about self-discipline this week! :)
Peace out homies!