Digging for motivation

    One of the things that motivates my healthy lifestyle is performance. I love feeling like I CAN, I WILL, I JUST FUGGIN DID! It’s what gets me up at 5am most mornings. It’s what reminds me to give it my all. It’s what keeps my mind focused on making healthy choices consistently.

    Cool. Now, that I’ve reminded us all of that which motivates me, let’s check in on my current state…

    The I can, I will, I just fuggin did sensations? They aren’t abundant in my pregnant self at the moment. (Unless of course we’re talking about the frequency in which I pee.) No. My mind sounds something more like this lately:

    I barely can.

    I just might.

    Oh, there’s no fuggin way.

    And so my motivation to push, stay in the game and make healthy decisions wanes. Because it’s easier to find motivation when you’re feeling strong, lean, energized and warrior-esque. But, at five months pregnant I feel none of those things. I repeat NONE.

    So, it is time to dig deep and find my motivation elsewhere. Let’s re-visit some basics here…

    There are two kinds of motivators: constructive and destructive.

    • Constructive motivators affirm our value as individuals. They are sustainable, promote balance, and create healthy habits. Examples include: preparing for experiences we hope to have (hiking, snowboarding, surfing, successful forearm stand), short term goals (triathlon, race, etc), long term goals (running with your grandkids, live to be 100, etc.)
    • Destructive motivators tear down our value. They are unmaintainable and create/promote unhealthy behaviors. Examples include: distorted sense of what’s attainable, competition with others, physical appearance, clothing size, sex appeal, weight.

    I’ve found myself tripping on those destructive motivators lately. I get distracted by my shape, my excess weight (which is needed for a healthy pregnancy) and limitations that accompany pregnancy. Instead of embracing this time by slowing down and trusting my body to do it’s miraculous thing, I’m frustrated by my slower pace and need to modify the normal routine. But really, I think I’m frustrated by my inability to attain any of those pesky destructive motivators. It’s not my miraculous pregnant existence. It’s my warped motivations.

    It’s time to let that shit go and focus on some constructive motivators. Or else I’m sure to spend the next four months beating myself up and missing out on a whole lot of magic that this pregnant stage has to offer.

    This is not new work for me. For the past several years, I have been on a personal journey of letting go of the destructive motivators and choosing to focus on the goals that align with my personal values of improving myself as a wife, mother, friend, and neighbor. It is not easy for me. I find myself easily caught up in the metrics that don’t matter – I have to consciously decide to let go. For instance, at the doctors office, I intentionally turn around on the scale so that I cannot see my weight. That number has held my attention for long enough. That number is a trap. It’s bull shit. It reflects nothing of my value. It is not representative of my fitness. That number is irrelevant. You know what else is irrelevant? Whether or not I have a thigh-gap (we have already talked about that here). Other members of the Irrelevant Club include: the stretch marks on my hips, the back chub around my bra, and the dimples on my buns. Forget about it! It is not relevant.

    As a healthy, pregnant woman, what is relevant?

    • Staying in the game – Sure, I may need to modify nearly everything, but I am not tapping out. I will maintain a routine that keeps me engaged with my fitness community and the people who cheer me on.
    • Fitness is not a wagon – It is not something I fall in and out of. It is my way of life. And while the metrics of fitness may look different while I am growing a human, I am still a fit person.
    • Preparing for the physical challenge of labor and postpartum recovery – I want to go into my delivery as healthy as possible because it has a direct impact on my body’s ability to be flexible, meet the demands and efficiently recover.
    • Living for two – this might be the most motivating of them all. However, it is an easy one to lose sight of in the moment. Whatever I do, I do with my little dude. We’re in it together. And that means my motherhood starts now, with the way I live during pregnancy. And I want these experiences to reflect the values I have for his life – adventure, exploration, movement, enjoyment and love.

    That is what’s motivating me today. It is written on my mind (and bathroom mirror). It will get me out of bed in the morning. It will keep me in the game. And it will be a source of energy when I need it the most.

    Because… I can, I will, I just fuggin did spend five months growing a healthy new life out of my own. I mean, what is more warrior-esque than that?!

    What motivates you, Friend? Are you consumed with the destructive, albeit tempting, motivators? Have you considered the freedom, strength and fitness that could result in you letting go of those ideals? I challenge you to identify what motivates you and for each motivator ask yourself this question:

    Does this goal affirm my value as a friend/daughter/wife/mother/neighbor? If the answer is, “no”, let that shit go!

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