Someone recently asked me what motivates me to work out on a regular basis. You would think it's a common question I get, but to be honest with you, it caught me off guard, and the first response I came up with was "I don't know."
Truth is, I'm not sure what motivates me anymore. I have been weight training and exercising consistently for 2 years now, and the motivation back then is a little different than it is now.
In the beginning I was motivated by the most beautiful little boy I had ever seen - my son, who was 2 weeks old when I began this journey. The lives of him and his older sister meant absolutely everything to me and I needed to be the best Mommy I could be to both of them. I knew that part of that would include taking control of my health and ensuring I had the energy and positive mental state to always be engaged with their lives in a healthy and thriving way.
I had just given birth to my son. My body amazed me during the process. My labour was 3 hours long, which would have been shorter had the little guy not decided to turn around. I pushed for 8 minutes, didn't need a single stitch, and hopped off that bed feeling amazing, home within 3 hours of having him. I was beyond grateful for such an empowering experience and I was able to get a glimpse of how powerful the mind-body connection could be. For maybe the first time ever, I absolutely appreciated my body, and was motivated to nurture it and see what else it was capable of.
Finally, having lost my Mom in 2004, I had an awareness of how vitally important taking care of your health is. Had she taken care of her health and made different choices, I no doubt believe she would still be here. My kids would know her. I would be provided the opportunity to witness her love for my children, and theirs for her. Her death was such a powerful event in my life. For awhile it crippled me. For awhile I was completely lost without her. After having my own children, I figured a way I could use that pain and loss for positivity - and that happened in the gym, lifting weights heavier than I imagined I could.
For now I don't have any big goals. I have done half marathons, done the Tough Mudder, the Spartan and competed in a bikini competition. It's a lot to pack into a couple years and for now I'm enjoying the freedom of eating what I want and creating my own workout programs. (In another post I will talk about the competition specifically, I have a lot to say about it!) For now, working out gives me peace of mind. I am more patient, less fearful, more confident and have such a sense of accomplishment and pride. The mornings I don't get up to get my workout in I feel off. I'm more tired and way more irritable. I go to bed disappointed (except for my scheduled rest days).
I have come to love and appreciate my body. The way I honor my body is through proper nutrition and exercise. This is my body, it is so important to take care of it and treat it well while I can. A day may come when I no longer have this luxury. I owe it to my Mom, to my husband, to my children and of course, to ME. I deserve my health, and I don't take the topic lightly.
So you see, when someone asks me where my motivation comes from, I have trouble answering that simply. It's a complex, multi-faceted response that is largely personal to me. I wish there was an easy answer that can be translated into your life, but there's so much more to it. You will need to find your own motivation, your own will power, which I expect will be very different from my own. And those answers will be what powers you to get out of bed when your eyes can barely open, or what keeps you moving when you desperately want to sit down for the night.
And when you discover what your motivation is, please come back and share with me, I would love to hear your "why"