So it may seem in this first week that I am writing a daily blog, but trust me, I won’t have the stamina to keep up with it for that long, plus I think a little background is in order.  Lets talk a little bit about motivation.  I’ve always been a bit of a self-motivator, meaning I can usually muster up the motivation to get myself to the gym or take that extra walk with my dog, but I know for most people it takes more than an internal psyche.  Even though I am a self-proclaimed internal motivator, I do have some secrets to keep me motivated, for those moments of weakness.  Come on admit it….we all have them!  So that gets me to today’s point.  Pictures do speak a thousand words!  So what do I mean by that?

My blog header picture speaks my thousand words to myself.  Ok, a little vanity never killed any of us and I know vanity is a VERY strong motivator for all of us! I mean, who doesn’t want to look great naked! But all jokes aside, I find pictures of myself to be highly motivational.  Good pictures, bad pictures, they all work in mysterious ways to wake me up and make me take a closer look at how I am taking care of myself.

So the picture above, I look at to remind myself that when I work hard and stay focused I can have the body I want.  Yes, want.  Not everyone is driven by the same goals, like having six-pack abs or thinner thighs, but I think at some level, we all desire something to do with our bodies, whether it’s dropping weight or improving muscle definition.  And I can attest to the fact that if you can keep motivated, you can achieve your goals, however large or small.

When this picture was taken, I was a good two years into a pretty regimented fitness plan.  Was my diet perfect? No way.  I allowed myself plenty of room for error, but the one thing that remained consistent was my fitness.  I was working out a minimum of 5 days a week, doing anything from weight training (my personal favorite and biggest bang for the buck), spinning, yoga, running and hiking.  And doing this I was able to pretty easily drop 10 lbs.  Now, I can’t say I had a huge amount of weight to lose, nor is losing weight ever my primary motivation, I tend to sway more on the side of body composition.  I always harken back to the hilarious scene in Knocked Up, where Katherine Heigl’s bosses are essentially telling her she needs to lose weight to keep her job.  “Tighten!” her bosses tell her!  That is pretty much exactly where I stand.  For me, muscle is far sexier than fat, and I do everything I can to keep my muscle up and my body fat as low as is healthy, which is key for us women.

It is very easy to start becoming obsessive when it comes to our bodies, and I know I have been told a time or two that I border on obsessive, which I do try to keep in check.  To me, if you care about being strong, happy and healthy, you HAVE to get a little obsessive about it!  Not to a degree that what you do is detrimental to your life, but what you do motivates you to live a better life.  So this year that is the promise I make to myself.  To always do my best to stay motivated and put my health and fitness as a high priority in my life.  Learning that if I do that, everything else that is important in my life will be that much better!

To all those out there that need that extra motivation, go back and find a picture of when you thought you looked great.  It could be a picture from right now or a picture from 5 years ago!  Just a picture that reminds you of what you are capable of.  If you do not have a picture of yourself that you can use, because you’ve never been happy about your body, find a picture of someone who’s body inspires you.  For me, I can look at a picture of Jillian Michaels and feel very motivated.  Everyone has a different idea of what is aesthetically pleasing to them, so go with what works for you, because YOU are the only person that really matters when it comes to your health and fitness.

I leave you with one final thought, and something that makes me somewhat uncomfortable, but also something that was powerful in initially motivating me to get up off my ass and move my body and eat food that would nourish my body!  Bad pictures are equally as powerful!

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This was my wake up call!  Taken back in 2009 at the highest weight I had ever been and the last time I weighed this much.  Ugh, looking at it now still bothers me, but even stronger than the disgust I feel for myself is the motivation to know that I can do something to change it….starting right NOW!  5 years and counting and I have not looked back.  I still keep this picture around to remind me how easy it is to slip back into bad habits and to keep motivating myself to move towards a stronger me.

Stay motivated and you can achieve anything!!!

L