I’ve been struggling with motivation lately.  Call it a Slump (or “Living in Slump-ville”)  Call it burn out.  Call it laziness.  It’s mix of both and more — but those are just excuses.  This struggle with running motivation — has lead to several morning when I get up, lace up, but don’t make it out the door.  Frustrated with this, I decided to write this post and confess my sins — I’ve been missing runs!

Not only that, I’ve been skipping stretch/pre-hab days, eating poorly, and being all around lame!!

Domino Effect?

I read an article recently by NerdFitness – a great resource and blog that I’ve followed for a while now.  The article was about “gateway change” — basically one little change that ends up leading to several more changes.  Or one decision that ends up being the catalyst for big change along the way.  Like the domino effect — one small changes causes a ripple of changes that adds up to something big.

This article perfectly summarized how my life has been lately — only in a negative sense.

One small decision, to skip a run, made first thing in the morning leads to more and more “bad” decisions.  When I say “bad”, I’m not trying to villanize certain choices or to say in a dogmatic way that running is somehow “right” and sleeping in is somehow “wrong” because by-golly they are both amazing things!!! Sleep ROCKS and we need it as a part of good health.  Running ROCKS and is also a part of good health.

What I mean is, being slack about running leads to me being slack about nutrition and productivity, etc… Overall, this means I’m actively working against my goals instead of towards them.

What goals?

My main goal:  be healthy and happy

Smaller goals that’ll move me in the direction of main goal:

  • Run a full marathon
  • Reach my goal weight/size
  • Find a balance in my eating
  • Feel Grateful everyday
  • Be mindful and present

Why these goals?

Just typing out my goals led me to reflect back on why I decided to move in this direction in the first place… The year I got married.  It was 2011 and was living a mostly sedentary life.  Binge eating was my norm.  Whatever I felt like, I ate — and would eat often mindlessly.  The friends I surrounded myself with lived this same way — so our gatherings were usually food and TV based.  Far too much food.  Far too little movement.

I wasn’t one of those brides that starved themselves to look a certain way — in fact the day I bought my wedding dress (which fit perfectly, was one sale, and I tried on and left with the same day) I enjoyed IHOP for supper.  Mmmm…  I was happy with my husband and my little life.

So what triggered a change?

One photo — not one of my wedding photos… but a photo from a wedding I went to 6 months later.  In my head, I looked great!  I had a fabulous dress, fantastic shoes, spot on makeup, and a new hair-do!  But whenever I see the photos from that day, all I can look at is how BIG my stomach was!!  I look HUGE!

Now, I realize that all pictures from that time were pretty much showing me the same thing — I just wasn’t looking.   I was huge.  As the waves of realization hit me, I knew instantly enough was enough.  I did my research and knew that in the past, fat diets and things like meal replacement shakes didn’t work.  Instead, I opted to do Weight Watchers and had great success.  In a little less than a year, I had lost over 50 pounds (going from 225 to 172).  I was beyond happy and well on my way to my goal weight of 150.

Then, in 2013, my husband was hospitalized for his heart.  My entire life changed.  I realized that I had started down this road of weight loss and left him behind.  I felt responsible… maybe if I had included him in my weight loss plans then he wouldn’t be in this situation?  My husband is 100+ pounds overweight, but it never mattered to me… until now.  His health matters to me because his life matters to me.

Since the incident in 2013, my weight has crept up and up and up.  My dogmatic approach to fitness and weight loss hasn’t been nearly what it was.  I’ve tried switching it up (with 21 day fix and weight watchers online/meetings, clean eating,… etc…) but I’m still in this rut — I’m living in Slump-ville.

Looking around and assessing my situation — I realize that my life is very similar to what it was in 2011 — I’m mostly sedentary (when I’m skipping runs), I eat whatever I want whenever I feel like it (see intuitive eating minus the mindfulness!), and am unhappy with the way I look in photos.  One small decision led to another which led to another and now I feel like I’m back at the beginning.

Starting over?

I’m not really starting over though — I have to remember, when I’m lacking motivation, that I don’t have to start at the beginning — I just have to start SOMETHING!  I mean, at the beginning:

  • I couldn’t walk for 30 seconds without feeling like I was dying — now I can run a half marathon without stopping
  • I didn’t take stock of how my body felt after meals — now I can connect with my body and feel the fullness
  • I wasn’t knowledgeable about running or fitness — now I can design a running training plan and incorporate stretching, yoga, pre-hab, and foam rolling to keep my legs happy

I’ve come a long way — and even though the scale has crept back up — (I’m currently around 190-195) — It’s only temporary and I WILL reach my goal weight.

I just have to make one small imperfect decision — towards one of my goals — and go from there.

Is anyone else out there in slump-ville with me?  

What do you do to get out of these slumps?  

How do you stay motivated and on track?

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