Discouragement and Lack of motivation, it happens to everyone. Including me. Ignore those who say that they never feel down or that their life is perfect. Everyone at some point in his or her life will face discouragement. Discouragement is a big reason why some people cannot stick to a workout program or stay on track to lose weight especially when they hit a plateau. It’s also hard to change your lifestyle when the people you love are not on board with you. It’s not easy and yes it’s easier for some than others, which seems unfair and discouraging in itself.
So what can you do when you just don’t seem to be reaching those health and fitness goals you are striving for?
- Acknowledge your feelings – you do not have to feel awesome and ready to work out all the time. Hiding it may make you lose what little motivation you do have and leave you feeling even more discouraged. If you are not in the mood for a full body all out workout then just go for a walk. Doing something is better than doing nothing. It’s ok. Sometimes just getting your body to move will help you get out of your slump. If that fails then just accept your feelings and allow yourself a lazy or cheat day. However, remember tomorrow is a new day to try again.
- Sometimes encouraging others will help get you back on track. Seeing the difference you can make in someone else’s life by encouraging them may encourage you to get back on track.
- People get discourage because they have such a huge goal and they get overwhelmed. Break the goal up into smaller goals. Instead of trying to lose 50 lbs in two months, try doing something simpler like cutting out one bad food a week instead. It’s like going up stairs. If you take one step at a time the next thing you know you are at the top. If you try to jump several steps at a time not only will it be harder but you also might get hurt and you most likely will not succeed.
- Talk to someone about your health and fitness goals. There is nothing worse than feeling isolated and alone in your quest for a healthier you. It may help you put things in perspective. The other person may also help remind you how far you have already come.
- Keep a journal of your progress and how it is making you feel. That way when you feel discourage you can go back and read it. It may serve as a reminder of how far you have come and why you want to accomplish your goal.
- Don’t forget to relax – Take rest or cheat days. Choose one day a week that you will not worry or stress about exercise or what you are eating. This way you will not burn yourself out stressing over it all the time. Stressing yourself out about your workout and diet may make you depressed and discouraged
- When there seems to be an exercise you cannot do or there is a part of your diet you are not succeeding in, remember the only thing that guarantees failure is not trying. So continue to try. If you are not successful one day try again another day and just keep trying over and over again. One day you will surprise yourself and as you lay in your bed one night you are going to realize that you finally went the whole day without drinking that soda.
“The body achieves what the mind believes” – such a simple quote but so true! If you don’t believe you can then you wont! There are so many stories of people who were told by doctors that they would never be able to do something only to prove the doctor wrong. Those that succeed and beat the odds are the ones that fight and believe. They never give up and never stop trying. If something doesn’t work or help them achieve a goal they try something else. Stop wasting time thinking you’re not capable or deserving – everyone is more than capable and deserving.
Some people let their age stop them. It has nothing to do with age. I have seen lots of older people out perform the younger ones. Their secret is not a secret at all. They just keep at it and keep trying. In the realm of fitness it’s not about age it’s about inactivity and not pushing yourself to exceed your limits.
You can be anyone and do anything as long as you believe it’s possible and you work hard to get it and don’t give up. Don’t let anyone’s words discourage you. It will not be easy and nothing happens overnight. You have to take one step at a time. Some days it may seem like you are not making any progress. Remember no progress is still progress as long as you tried and gave it your best effort. You can do it!
The only thing stopping you is fear. It’s the fear of how difficult it will be and the fear to accept the challenge and hard work. If it is something you want it will be worth all the hard work and commitment.
Even after all these years, I still struggle and hit stumps along the way. There are still days I may skip my usual workout or eat chocolate candy bars all day. Usually the next day I feel like crap and realize why I push myself to eat better and exercise. I use those times as a reminder of why I do what I do. I slip up too and so will you. I don’t stress about it. I just start over the next day and so can you.
By: Pamela Evans