How Do You Stay Motivated When You’re Just Not Feeling It?
Normally when I do a bodybuilding competition I am fully absorbed in the 12 week show prep process. This time around, my 4th competition, I’m just not feelin’ it. What I HAVE been feeling is tired, sugar cravings, jealous of normal people who eat at restaurants without a care in the world, and frustrated trying to balance work, family, fitness, food prep, cleaning, and learning a 2 minute dance routine. Plus do a flexibility workout five times a week. This morning I asked myself, “Why the hell am I doing this stupid competition?”
Then I realized something. Oh, it’s week 5. Everyone hates week 5! Because week 5 has that tragic cocktail of feeling like you don’t have enough time to be ready for the stage simultaneously blended with the feeling that show prep will NEVER end.
But even if you haven’t done a show, I’m sure you’ve reached a point in your training before where you just are hating life. Maybe you’re doing long runs for marathon training and realize that your Saturday mornings are sucked away. Or maybe you’re trying to lose weight for the July 4th picnic and damnit you just want to eat cupcakes! But you’re already more than halfway there, so how do you stick with it and reach your goals?
5 Motivation Tips
- Remind yourself why you’re doing this in the first place. I’m doing this competition because I wanted to do some crazy fitness goals for my 40th birthday, just to push my limits and see what this middle aged bod is capable of. And honestly, it is a lot of fun training for it. Why are you doing your goal? For fun? To feel better? Because the doctor told you to lose some weight?
- Take progress pictures.
Unless you’re one of those people who takes selfies all day (you know who you are) chances are you aren’t aware of how you look from different angles and you really aren’t noticing how much progress you’ve already made. Take a start picture and then take another one a week or two later. Note how far you have come since that point. Seeing your results helps you to keep up the hard work.
- Reward yourself. I forgot how great this motivational tip is. When I was losing weight I would treat myself when I reached milestones: 20 pounds lost: get a manicure, 35 pounds lost: re-pierce my belly button (sort of regret that one), 50 pounds lost: get a photo shoot as evidence (in case this whole bodybuilding thing is a fluke.) Right now if I can make it through week 5 in one piece I will schedule a massage with the spa gift card I got for Christmas. Yay!
- Read books and blogs or look at Instagram pics of people who inspire you.
It helps to see other people face and conquer challenges, usually with a lot more obstacles than what you are facing now. It gives you the sense, “If they can do it, I can too!”
- Focus on the now. Sometimes the thought of eating 6-7 times a day, even just the thought of it, makes my stomach upset. So I just focus on the meal in front of me. If I’m staring down a Tupperware full of tilapia and asparagus, sometimes I just have to eat it as quickly as possible and follow it with a chaser of sugar free gum. (The gum sort of goes back to #3 – reward yourself. Aren’t rewards great?)
How about you? How do you stay motivated when you’re just not feeling it?
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