Well hello there, and welcome back to Amezingly You! This is the beginning to my platform of personal growth, development, and wellness. A place I can reach out and touch the lives of those who need my help. My first ever blog post entitled “My Story” received such wonderful feedback – mind blown. Since it was such a hit, I decided, why make the masses wait? So here you are, and I hope you enjoy. 🙂
This post is going to be all about my motivation. I’ve had a few people say: yea great, you’re healthier and fit-ish now… but tell us how. How, as in how in the actual hell did I stay on track for so long, and how did I keep the enthusiasm to stick with it? To be honest, it wasn’t always easy. Some days I felt absolutely fantastic and couldn’t understand why I hadn’t adopted this type of lifestyle earlier on. My energy levels were soaring, I felt on top of the world, and the physical changes I was experiencing during my journey towards a healthier me was enough to make me want to take on anything. I’d walk taller, a perma-grin plastered on my face, and I viewed everything around me with rose colored glasses. The stress and anxiety I dealt with daily seemed a distant nightmare.
Then out of nowhere, a shitty day would rear its ugly head and I would be staring down a path that seemed to go on forever with no twists, or turns, or anything. If you’ve seen the movie The Labyrinth (with the late David Bowie) then you understand where I’m coming from (and if you haven’t seen it, we may not be able to be friends. I’m sorry, it’s me, not you…but really it’s you ;)). These were the days I literally stared at the reflection in the mirror and asked why the hell am I doing this? What is all of this for and why do I want to crawl into a hole and eventually disappear? That’s the stress and anxiety I was talking about.
Life is all about the ups and downs. I’ve always believed that we would have no idea how to appreciate the good if we didn’t also have to endure the bad. This is true for all aspects of life, really.
So what kept me motivated? A few things! First and foremost, the support I had in my corner. Number one was having the faith and the courage to listen to God as he pushed me more and more out of my comfort zone and closer to my goals. He knows your heart, and he knew mine desired a long, fulfilled and healthy life. You may not be a believer, and that’s okay. Whatever spiritual practice or force that empowers you is really what I’m getting at. Listen to that voice inside of your heart – telling you that you got this! This is not impossible! That’s the drive, my friends, and I suggest you listen to it, speak to it, and embrace it.
I am also very lucky to have the support of family and friends. Not everyone was thrilled when I began this lifestyle change. I know I annoyed many people with my posting of food pictures, flexing selfies taken at the gym mid-workout, and constant reminders that I was “healthy AF now”. Those that truly know me, understand that I go all in when I’m excited about something. They forgive my slight obsessions, and encourage me to keep going through reassuring words and actions. Some of these people even joined me from time to time, whether at the gym, or simply starting by cleaning up their own kitchens and getting back to the way of our traditions and cooking real, nutrient dense food. These people will forever be motivational to me, and a treasure, Now, don’t get it twisted, the haters kept me pushing too. That’s my competitive side coming out. If someone doesn’t believe I can do something, I’m driven to prove them wrong astronomically. It’s that metaphorical middle finger to the opposition that fuels the fire.
A huge driving force I had as well was the commitment I had made to myself. Why is it that we can make all kinds of commitments to other people, and keep those promises, but we so easily give up on the ones we make to ourselves? It’s no wonder we think the world treats us like shit, we treat ourselves like we don’t matter. That’s not to say that we need to be selfish and only focus on what we have going on, but to a certain extent we need to. In my experience, I’ve found that the best and most effective way to make the commitment stick was having a financial obligation attached to it.
So, I hired myself a coach. Did I know roughly would I could do to lose weight and incorporate effective workouts to help get me there? Sure. I mean, at the very least I could have figured it out through trial and error, although it would have taken a lot longer. Instead of wasting the time by learning on my own, I decided to hire someone to take the guess work out of it, and show me results much faster. Not only did he tell me what to eat, how much water to drink, or how often to work out, he provided the accountability piece. Once a week I would check-in and send him my current weight and progress pictures. Although I couldn’t always see the daily changes my body was making, he could. If I was frustrated or feeling awesome, I could let him know and he would offer suggestions or give me a virtual high five. I would say it is one of the most important factors to my success. Accountability can be the one thing that either makes us succeed or fail. It’s truly something I recommend everyone have, and I’m not above it. I still employ a coach and knowing that I have that assurance to my success makes me feel like I’m not just going at this alone.
I also found I had to juggle some things around to make time. Something we generally don’t like to do. In an already busy schedule, who wants to make time for more? Instead of cooking and meal prepping every night, I changed it to once or twice a week. I’d spend a few hours bulk cooking meats and roasting veggies so dinner and lunches could be thrown together in minutes. I changed my schedule so I was getting up much earlier and getting my workout done before work instead of taking up time in the evening when I wanted to relax with my family. I also decided to limit the social activities. For some reason the idea of hanging out at the bar every weekend no longer appealed to me. Sure I may have fun now and then, but what makes it special if it’s all of the time? These are just a few examples of things that I found worked well for me. Now that may not sound appealing to you, and that’s totally fine! We are all different and you may have other things that you could implement that would be equally as successful for your journey. Each person has their own priorities and goals; mine just happens to be my health and the desire to be rocking and rolling well into my 90’s.
Motivation also came to me in the form of a tiny human, my daughter. She was pretty young when I really got involved in transforming myself and my life. I realized she was watching my every move, and whether I wanted to believe it or not, I was her whole world. I also began watching many documentaries and reading many studies about the problems children born after the year 2000 will face and it was terrifying to me. Diabetes, obesity, heart disease, just to name a few. I wanted to make sure she was armed with the knowledge to avoid those illness and preventable diseases in the future.
Yes, I am a full-time working single mother and depend largely on other people teaching her and raising her during the day, but I knew I had to make an impact too! I made it fun to talk about food and health with her. We would eat the rainbow of fruits and vegetables on our plates and I’d explain why we needed that in our daily diet. I will forever brag that my daughter’s favorite food as a toddler was broccoli, and how she requests mushrooms on her pizza (yes we still eat pizza!). I can’t tell you the pride that I feel whenever she begins reading the nutritional label on something in the grocery store and immediately puts it back on the shelf because of the amount of sugar, or lack of healthy pronounceable ingredients. Like mother, like daughter. J
See, I grew up listening to the women around me complain about their weight, their bodies, jumping from one fad diet to the next, only to give up when they didn’t see immediate progress. I grew up thinking I had to be thin by eating low-fat everything and not working out too much or else I’d look like a dude (clearly not the case!). I didn’t want that to be the cycle I fell into as an adult. I wanted to not only be happy in my skin, but to love my body for the hard work I’d put in, the amazing things it is capable of doing, and the ability to heal itself when given half a chance. Guess what? I’m finally on my way to that! I can’t begin to tell you how great it feels. It’s my passion for the health and wellness industry that has fueled my desire to do more for others who want to transform as well. No one can do it for you, but someone can help you get on the right track! If you struggle with anything I’ve mentioned and/or would like to chat about how I can help, feel free to comment, email, or direct message me on Facebook or Instagram. Until next time, show yourself some grace, some self-love, and some commitment. You deserve to be happy, and you deserve to do that for yourself!
Xoxo – Ame