Hey my sweet friends! I wanted to take a few minutes today to share with you some personal answers to your most common questions on motivation. I will be the first to say that I am a work in progress and I have many of the same challenges & frustrations you do!
I absolutely have days when I’m not motivated and I practice new & different strategies to break through those moments instead of feeling like I’m a victim of them. If you have more questions, be sure to let me know and I’ll happily answer! Make today great!
Question: I have a long history of dieting & weight loss failure, like you do. How did you stop focusing on those failures so you could move forward without beating yourself up?
Ah yes, decades of failed attempts. Here’s how I choose to see it: I have a massive backlog of data to help me quickly identify what doesn’t work.
As clichè as it is, think about how many failed attempts Thomas Edison had when inventing the light bulb. Over 1,000! Here’s the beauty of this: every single attempt made him smarter & better while bringing him closer to his goal. Why do we choose to see failed attempts at weight loss as making us weak and hopeless? They are powerful tools if we choose to see them as such, just as failed attempts at inventing the light bulb were!
I’m a bit of an odd-ball – I am super emotional but also a very strategic thinker. Using the strategic part of my brain I’ll ask, “does it help me to focus on how sad it is that it took me so long to get serious about the consistent action towards my goals?” No. It doesn’t help. It’s a distraction. I’ve wasted enough time and I don’t want to waste anymore.
I learn and I move forward. That’s all I’m interested in. I spent decades feeling like crap. I’m not creating that anymore. Onward ever, backward never.
I have a limited amount of energy & attention. I constantly remind myself to put it towards things that move me forward.
Question: Do you ever have bad days? How do you handle them?
Absolutely! I make food choices I don’t feel good about. I worry about my business. I feel sad. I feel lonely. I drop the ball and let myself down.
Part of how I handle them is by reminding myself that it’s just part of the human experience. My goal is not have perfect days. I haven’t failed when I have an imperfect day. This is life. Welcome to it.
So first, I don’t manufacture all sorts of drama with thoughts and words like, “what is wrong with me!? I suck!” When I find myself manufacturing that kind of unproductive drama, I shut it down. I literally tell myself, “Enough, Elizabeth. You’re being dramatic. Move forward.”
Typically, I’ll look at what I need. More often than not, if I’m having a bad day I’m either tired, not organized or I haven’t prioritized the things that make me feel happy & productive. I’ll identify what is “wrong” and then get started looking at what I’m willing to do to fix it.
Question: What do you do when you aren’t feeling motivated?
First, I’ll make a list of all the possible things I could do to move in the direction of my goals. It’s not a list of the things I want to do, just a list of all the options. The list might be 20+ items long.
Then, I’ll circle all the ones I’m capable of doing on that day. The things that are feasible given my schedule.
After that, I’ll highlight the things I’m willing to do and get to work on those things that will move me towards my goals, that I’m capable of and willing to do. It really helps to see all the options, to know that I don’t have to do them all and to be able to choose which ones I can do & am willing to do.
Question: How do you respond when you feel overwhelmed?
One of the most powerful things I remind myself of is that being overwhelmed is not a function of having too much to do – it’s a function of not being focused on what to do now or next.
Yes, I might (and usually do) have 687 things to do. However, they can’t all be done now and they don’t all have to be done now.
What has to happen now or next? Stop planning, stop freaking out, stop complaining and do that next thing now.
Question: Have you always been a morning person? Do you have any tips on how I can become a morning person?
I have never been a night owl but I haven’t always been a morning person. When I was at my heaviest, I wasn’t an any time person! I was pretty miserable and exhausted all day every day!
One of the biggest recommendations I have for folks who want to be more of a morning person is to stop prioritizing TV and internet at night. We get sucked into our electronics and stay up too late.
Put away your devices and pay attention to when you feel tired. The best thing you can do in response to that feeling is go to bed. That’s one of the best ways to become a morning person!
Question: How do you respond to people in your life who don’t support your goals or habits?
I struggled with this one for a long time and I’m glad to say it’s far easier for me now because I remind myself of one critical fact: I am the only one in control of what and how much I put in my mouth.
I don’t need anyone’s approval or permission to take care of myself. I have to do what makes me feel my best and that is 100% in my control – no one else’s.
Question: Do you always feel like you’re getting results? Do you ever feel frustrated that the results aren’t there the way you want them to be?
No, I don’t always feel like I’m getting results and yes it can be frustrating. When I have moments of frustration I’ll ask myself, “What is right for your body? What is right for your health?” I’ll literally write out those answers and then do those things.
Here’s one hard & fast commitment I’ve made to myself – I will be more attached to the process than to the results. I will do the work because the work is right for my body and I will try to do what is right each day.
If I commit to the process, the results will come. I keep my head down and do the work. Period.
Question: How do you break out of a cycle of bad food choices after something like a tough weekend?
I will think about a fat loss friendly meal I’ll absolutely love and take my time in creating & enjoying it. Sometimes I lose touch with how amazing it feels to eat foods I love that love me back.
Maybe I’ll make my spaghetti squash primavera with cashew basil pesto or a beautiful burger with bacon & avocado. Either way, I’ll patiently and presently prepare a fat loss friendly meal and give it my full attention as I enjoy it.
I’ll remind myself how amazing it feels to make amazing choices and how it actually feels a whole lot better than overindulging in foods that don’t make me feel so great!