Let’s Talk Motivation

2015/04/img_2125.jpgdoing arm fart noises

I am in the middle of texting with my friend Keely, who is on day 8 of Whole30. She said she feels good (“damn good”), and I am a little jealous of that feeling.

Not jealous enough to do another Whole30, but maybe jealous enough to clear the junk out of our house and go sugar-free for a while. I feel the effects of Easter sugarfest and am ready to recalibrate my eating a little bit. And exercise- gah. Exercise. Exercise would feel great- and does feel great- but I just can’t rally for it.

Before anyone graciously reminds me that I have four kids and no time- that’s just not true. I have 20 minutes a day to jump around my living room or do leg lifts or something. I just choose not to. I mentally write off the 20 minute opportunity to exercise because if I can’t commit to doing it every day, 20 minutes here and there seems like a waste of a clean sports bra. And I cannot commit to doing it every day. Because…I’m not motivated enough. See that repetitive loop?

2015/04/pict0537.jpgbefore the start of his race, at some ungodly early hour.

My husband stays on track with his exercise by signing up for races. He has another ultramarathon coming up in a few weeks, and that gets him out the door to run. He cranks out 17 or 21 mile training runs with a friend, knowing the race is getting closer. He has figured out that he does better by committing to a race and by training with someone else. Two motivators, to keep himself on track.

2015/04/pict0539.jpgthere are people who started the 50K the evening before so they could run all night and rejoin this crew to DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN. i mean…

I haven’t exactly figured my motivators out yet. I did Whole30, and learned a lot from that. I did a dietbet at the beginning of the year. That was helpful because it motivated me to track my food, which is always enlightening. (I like tracking things to learn more about myself). I was recently gifted a FitBit, which I love for the aforementioned tracking– but I am not competitive enough to make sure I get my recommended 10,000 steps a day. My husband always encourages me to sign up for a race, but my last experience didn’t exactly leave me feeling triumphant and ready for more.

So I hear about Keely… and see my husband trot out his 21 mile training runs… and sort of have this third-person curiosity about what will (finally) get me moving and help me focus well on my eating CONSISTENTLY. Not in little spurts- but over the long haul.

2015/04/pict0572.jpgabout 8 miles to go. i think this was the one where he had pretty much lost all the skin on the back of his heels at this point, coming up the mountain.

I suppose it is just like anything else. Good stretches and hard stretches. Lots of motivation and no motivation. Seasons.

I am curious- if anyone wants to chime in, I would love to know what motivates you and keeps you working toward good health. Does it feel like fits and starts for other people (like it often does for me)? For the more consistent exercisers out there- how did that even happen? I’m sort of in awe of people who just…exercise. Consistently. Just like that.

2015/04/pict0587.jpgdonesies

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What Worked in 2014

I’m following the lead of Modern Mrs. Darcy and my friend Anna Kate to reflect on what worked in 2014.

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1. Whole30. My husband and I finally took the plunge and did a Whole30 in January. I never arrived at the blissful state of boundless energy, clear skin, and bathrooms that clean themselves (Whole30 fixes everything, right?). Rather, I finished feeling cranky, tired, and perpetually hungry. My take away? Listen to your body.

My body wanted carbs. Whole30 reinforced the idea that if you are attentive and responsive to your body and what it needs, it will take pretty good care of you. That even includes carbs and totally nutritionless junk, on occasion. I felt better once I reintroduced some carbs in my diet. It seems that is what my body wanted.

(I’m not anti-Whole30, however. Cutting out sugar in all forms was eye-opening, to say the least. I didn’t realize that sugar is everywhere. And getting to a sugarless blank slate and sort of restarting my taste buds and cravings was nice.)

2. Getting out of the house. A couple of years ago I read a book that asked the questions “When is your family at its best? At its worst?”. Great questions as we consider where to direct our time, energy, and money, right? Our family does really well when we get out of the house and, even better, when we take a trip somewhere.

This year we spent a long weekend at Shrinemont, I took two of the kids to the beach with friends over Labor Day, and my husband just got back from a week with the three big kids at his parents’ farm outside of Asheville. There were a bunch of other day or weekend trips this year, too. These trips are worth the packing and laundry and missed naps because we just enjoy being away together. No multitasking, less screens and media, and a slower pace- all good things.

(My husband will also tell you that these trips are sanity-savers for him. If he is home with our kids for an entire day he starts climbing the walls. An entire week off between Christmas and New Years necessitated a trip, lest he harm someone. Know thyself, friends.)

3. Date nights. We started prioritizing this in 2013 but carried it over into 2014. It costs a lot to do on a regular basis but we think this is a good area to throw money at.

We pay our sitter to do the evening stuff that we are weary of by Saturday night- dinner, clean-up, AND bedtime. (Our sitters love us. Swearsies.) We usually get back shortly after the kids are down for the night. We used to go out later, like after the kids were down for the night, but realized we were too tired to get excited about going out at that point. What can I say? We’re old. And, as my friend Erin says, “Going to bed early is the new sleeping in.” I agree.

I have a few more thoughts about what worked in 2014, but three is a nice odd number to quit on.

What worked for anyone else in 2014?

Nothing Has Changed. Swearsies.

IMG_1495.JPGThe paparazzi will NOT leave me alone. I have to wear big glasses now, in hopes I won’t be recognized.

No seriously.

I know that I was just cited as a “guru” in Fast Company. And, like, I was quoted and stuff. So- yeah- that means that I was interviewed by Laura Vanderkam. Because I know stuff about things- like Whole30, or getting rid of 5 things a day, or whatever else.

Yes.

All this is true.

But- you guys- really. I’m still the SAME PERSON.

I still put my pants on one leg at a time. (Which is getting increasingly difficult, what with the pregnant belly and all).

So please don’t treat me any different. I’m still the same person inside. Just with one more email subscriber to my blog. And seven extra clicks today.

No really.

It is not a big deal.