UNMOTIVATED TO WORK OUT???
One of the most popular questions I get is, “Lisa, are you ever just not motivated to workout?”
The short answer is, yes. And this answer may scare you. I’m going to try to keep this simple and see if you can follow my mindset shift that happened so that I no longer fear NOT being motivated to workout.
1. If you are forcing your workouts, you will likely lose motivation at some point.
2. If your workouts are extrinsically motivated, (weight loss, six pack, goal weight, measurements) you will likely lose motivation at some point.
3. If you are forcing your work out and therefor find yourself “going through the motions,” you are missing out on many of the benefits of working out. Maybe a rest day would have actually served you better than leaving you disappointed with a workout that did not serve you other than to just be able to say, “I worked out.” Mental health is a key part to being healthy and we often overlook that in pursuit of a better body.
4. If you are constantly trying to change your body, you are going to burn out. You are going to lose motivation. You are going to be exhausted. Physically and mentally. In today’s fitness industry, there is so much negativity toward complacency and contentment and even more praise and admiration for improvement and control over your body. I’m here to tell you that you do not have to be in constant pursuit of improvement of your body. Your workouts do not have to be to improve your appearance. They don’t even have to be to improve your 5k time. Sometimes, maybe your workouts are just to sweat. Clear your mind. Feel exhilarated. Maybe they are for pure enjoyment. Maybe we can just appreciate the fact we CAN and choose something we truly enjoy, regardless of which goal it may be chasing down.
Because honestly, my fitness goal is self care. And if I am judging my workouts and their effectiveness based on my body, I am not truly caring for it the best I can. Don’t be afraid to be grateful, content, or proud and satisfied with where you are! TODAY.
5. If you are working out mainly to control your body, you will struggle to see any benefit of working out beyond weight loss or changing your body. That is doing such a disservice to your body and mind because there are so many more benefits to working out than just losing weight and so many more reasons to work out than to just lose weight.
6. If you are motivated by health, a bike ride on a summer day or a walk in a new village will likely be “enough” this time. However, if you are motivated by controlling your body, a bike ride on a summer day or a walk in a new place will likely NOT suffice for you. And that’s sad. Because there is a place for that in our lives. Remember, not every workout has to be moving you toward some special goal. Maybe the ultimate goal is self care. And in fact, I’m going to tell you, SELF CARE IS THE ULTIMATE GOAL.
SO, Unless and until you are getting paid for having your body look a certain way, STOP PUTTING SO MUCH PRESSURE, VALUE AND WORTH on the appearance of your body.
The industry floods us with motivation bullshit. Like we suck if we aren’t motivated to workout. Like fit people are always motivated. No. They aren’t. I’m not. And I will tell you that sometimes, when you don’t FEEL LIKE working out, I would advocate you starting a workout anyway because sometimes, those turn out to be my best and getting started is the hardest part. However, if you really don’t WANT to work out this time, there may be a reason for that and I believe you should explore it.
So when you are feeling unmotivated to move, ask yourself these questions….
1. What is typically motivating my workouts?
2. Why do I workout?
Is it just to keep ur weight in check? To lose weight? To know you did “enough” and you weren’t lazy? Or is it to move. Sweat. Appreciate your abilities. Do your heart some good. Challenge yourself.
3. When was my last rest day?
4. Why don’t I feel like working out?
Am I tired? Sore? Physically run down? Stressed out? Sometimes a workout will help you, sometimes it won’t. This takes some reflection for you, personally.
I want to remind you that while working out has so many benefits, it is not the only thing that “keeps your body in check.” Look, workouts matter, of course they do. But they don’t matter as much as we fear they do so that a day or two, or even several, matter THAT much.
Food. Sleep. Stress. These matter too.
And boredom is a real thing. Don’t be afraid to change up your workout. It’s ok not to go to spinning for a while. Or to take some hikes instead of the gym since it’s summer time.
My motivation may waiver, but here are some things to know about my mindset around it which keeps me consistent still.
1. I workout with a buddy, often but not always! I personally like to have some extra accountability when Dave and I do stuff together but I also enjoy a run alone.
2. I don’t measure my workout by numbers anymore. Calories burned. Minutes worked out. Miles run. I measure it by what my body needs that day. Do I need sweat? Do I need low impact? Do I need mental clarity? Do I need to feel connected with Dave and that’s one way we do so? Do I need to compete? Do I need to recover? Do I need to rest? Again, this comes from self reflection over time.
3. I don’t go to extremes anymore. I’m ok with some workouts taking 20 minutes. Sometimes that’s all I need to feel better. When I was needing to do so much working out, it was like a bar I could never reach. So I’d lose motivation. I know I can do 20-30 minutes so I stay consistent.
4. I workout for reasons other than weight loss and body control. Some of my reasons include sweat, to feel accomplished, to push myself, to take care of myself, to work my heart, to spend time with someone, to listen to a podcast, to enjoy the weather, and to appreciate my ability. There are sooooo many ways to accomplish these things without getting burned out.
So when it comes to motivation, it comes down to the individual. It takes self reflection. Ask yourself why you workout. Why you eat how you do. And ask yourself, is this how I want to take care of myself… mind and body??
You won’t want to workout everyday. And that means your normal. But when your motivation comes from inside of you, from a place of self care and freedom instead of from a place of fear and control, it is much less likely to disappear. It may fluctuate, but learn to trust that you will always take care of yourself. It just may look different at different times of your life. No one does the same workout forever. And no one has the same appearance forever. But we only get one BODY, so it’s best we treat each day as another chance to take care of it. Plain and simple.
So how in the world I am ok with this mentality??Because the alternative of mental anguish over workouts and my body is exhausting and I decided it wasn’t worth it to me anymore.
Liking for support through this journey out of obsession to living a fit but free and wonderful life? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to see if we are a good fit to work together. This journey is worth it and so are you. 💕