Hint: It ain’t workin’ out and eating healthy, although that helps.
You can find my new recipe for fitness motivation at the end of this post!
This is not going to be about superficial stuff. As much as seeing Michonne in Walking Dead kick some zombie ass is incentive to stay in post apocalyptic, sword-wielding shape, that is not the driving force behind why I stay fit.
A MOTHER’S LOVE
The first thing that made me a fit person is my mother’s example. If you know my mother, you might be scratching your head. My mom is currently quite out of shape and suffering in other ways due to her lack of fitness. She’s not taking care of herself physically. Just a fact.
So, in more than one way, I’m quite thankful for her example. What TO do and how NOT to let myself settle into a state of crippling mediocrity…
When I was a kid, probably around age 5, I remember my mom wearing a black leotard with white polka dots, white leggings, and pink leg warmers. I think she had a belt on, and a headband too.
I remember her exercising in our trailer (we lived in a trailer park) and I remember hanging around with her as she did it. I very distinctly recall laying my head on her abdomen after she had finished a set of floor bridges.
I remember admiring how fit she was, and hoping one day to be just like her. My mom was so beautiful to me. I loved seeing her strong, healthy and fit.
Now, I see that same look reflected back to me as my oldest daughter looks at me every time I exercise or do something particularly athletic like move the furniture. She hugs me tight and tells me how much she loves me.
What is this unexplainable admiration? Whatever it is - I recognize it and I want more of it.
It’s like saying “thank you mom, for loving yourself - because when you love you, it teaches ME to love me, and it opens me up to the opportunities and freedom that this body can bring me… even zombie ass kicking.”
AN OLD LADY
The second thing that made me a fit person was an old lady at a restaurant. It was one of the rare occasions that my lovely late grandfather took us out to eat.
Our family so rarely went out that every excursion such as this was an adventure with indelible memories burned to the inside of my skull.
I remember sitting in this restaurant, looking out the window. I watched as a car pulled up and helped an elderly woman into the car.
In my youthful mind, it took an eternity for the frail, white-haired lady to walk to the passenger door. Somebody had to open it for her. She painstakingly put one leg in as the man (her son?) guided her into the seat. The the other leg - sooo sloooowly.
That moment registered in my brain as many things.
Quality of life. My young self didn’t know that phrase back then, but if I did know it I would have thought about it. I sat there watching the agonizing process of this woman getting into the car and I thought about how difficult it must be for her to do normal things like go to the bathroom.
Being a burden. I wondered how much of that man’s life was now dedicated to taking care of this woman. Did he loathe the job? Did he have better things to do? Was this his normal?
I vowed right then and there to do everything in my power to prevent that outcome, so help me goddess.
Over the years I’ve come up with other reasons that motivate me to continue a fit lifestyle, but these two memories from my childhood were the things that gave me a deep desire to pursue this for my life.
Now I hold in my mind an image of my future self. I’m a sexy grandma with my long grey hair in a braid. My grand babies love to play with my hair and they call me nana! I roll around on the floor with them and take them to all the places.
What is your main motivation for a healthy lifestyle?
A NEW FITNESS MOTIVATION RECIPE TO TRY
From my (vegan) kitchen to yours:
RECIPE FOR: Your Burning Desire To Be Well
PREP TIME: Your Childhood Memories To Now
COOK TIME: Simmer and Sizzle For Life
Think of your earliest memories around health and wellness. What were you taught? Were you given good examples (what to do) or bad examples (what not to do)?
What did you feel as you experienced those memories? Did you feel quietly observant, lovingkindness, unjustness, anger?
Remember, and call on your emotions to give you fuel for the times when you’re unmotivated or questioning why you’re eating another salad or doing another workout program.
Keep your eye on the prize. Great things usually don’t happen by mistake. People who achieve higher levels of living do so because they’re intentional about it.
Use the amazing things all around you to stay inspired to keep on the path of wellness. Your children when you say “yes” you will play tag, the way you can make the subway even when you’re late, the way you feel when you *still* fit into skinny jeans. Furthermore use images of things that remind you of your memories to incite more emotion, more focus, and consistent results.
Have some one, some thing, or some tool to keep you accountable. Whether it’s a reminder, a personal trainer, an app, a sticky note on your mirror.
Create a future memory of what life will look like when you are in the place of your achievement. Maybe you’re walking across a stage in a fitness competition. Maybe you’re bounding up and down the stairs with shopping bags of clothes you feel amazing in. Maybe you’re an old lady playing with her grandkids like me. Whatever it is - imagine it - feel it, and make it your future reality.
Comment with your main motivation for a healthy lifestyle!
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