How do you approach your fitness motivation? Have you ever truly looked at why you are you into fitness? Examine what you want and who you want to be and the whole experience can be way more rewarding.
Are You A Material Girl?
In our modern, material world everything seems to be based on what we own and what we look like. Just take a walk through a bookstore and take a look at the fitness aisle. You will notice that the covers look very similar to each other, as just about every magazine and book cover has a gorgeous, almost naked model smiling back at you. Every headline reads something like “How To Look Good Naked” or “Get Your Sexy Abs Fast” or “10 Moves To A Beach Body” etc.
I get it, it’s marketing, but what message does it send? And is it really motivational?
When I was younger, I looked at fitness as a way to look hot and sexy and I worked out because I wanted to have a bikini body. I used to come to my training thinking “oh gosh, here we go again, now let me just get this over with so I can be sexy and skinny and accepted by society”. I actually hated working out and dreaded it. I was focused only on looking good without any substance underneath or deeper reasons why I was doing what I did.
Do You Dread Working Out?
Now, why am I telling you all this? About a week ago, I was asked a question by one of my readers. I made a short video with an answer to the question but had to write an article about this as well, because the message is very powerful. The question that she asked me was: “how do I stick to the fitness thing? I always start, get to my goals, feel great and then I stop, eat whatever I want, gain the weight back and it goes in cycle over and over again. How do I stop the cycle?”
I was able to relate to this question, precisely because I had been confronted with this cycle myself all those years ago.
As I mentioned earlier, the media has turned fitness and health into a spectacle. What they promote is that if you diet and exercise you will be beautiful and look like a model. Ultimately, the message seems to be that this will gain you acceptance by society. Their basic premise is always focused on the physical aspects of health and fitness. Of course there are exceptions and not every single magazine simplifies it as much, but the majority of them does.
We might ask if these magazines create it or if they just cater to an existing mindset, but that is beside the point. People who buy and read magazines with these simple solutions focus only on these aspects, without some substantial understanding on a deeper level.
You, Your Mind And Your Body
This becomes crucial when we look at what happens to them after they have become fit: often they lose motivation very fast. They are fit, but do they feel accepted? If not, then what? Does it make sense to them to stay on the fitness course if it doesn’t do what was promised?
Without deeper goals and understanding we lose our motivation, because we are more than just physical beings. Once I came to realize this and examined every aspect of myself and what I wanted, I began to enjoy working out like I’d never done before.
To me, working out is now just one shade of what is necessary to feel complete. It is not just a part-time activity that I like to do to keep myself from being bored. Ask yourself how fitness fits into what you want, beyond a prettier outer shell. If it’s more acceptance, why do you feel unaccepted? Could being fit make you more comfortable in your own body or are you just trying to fit into society’s expectancies of you? Would fulfilling those make you really happier? Or could fitness allow you to set goals for yourself?
When we look at a professional athletes, we usually notice that what they are doing has little to do with physical appearance. They got into their chosen sport because they love it. They get their kick from achieving a greater level of performance. For them, it is not just going to a training session, jumping around for 20 minutes in bad form and be done. For them it’s a way of life and a way to evolve.
What Do You Really Want?
This is how I approach my training. Whatever form of working out you do, look at it as a way to evolve as well and understand the reasons why you are doing it.
Fitness is more than just looking sexy in your bikini, it enhances our life by strengthening our will power, strengthening our health, joints and improving the quality of our way of living in general. Looking good comes as a package, but the true motivation comes from substance underneath.