Why Can't I Just Stay Motivated?

You've been there before. You sat down in front of the tv and saw an infomercial of a gorgeous fitness model showing off how to use an exercise ball, and couple thoughts cross your mind: "Gosh, I really shouldn't be eating this ice cream."
followed by: "How come I just can't get motivated to get fit like her?!"
And then, perhaps you try to make yourself feel better by thinking, "Ha, that poor fit girl can't enjoy ice cream like me."

In any case, whether you bought the exercise ball or not, you have made a pact with yourself to start exercising tomorrow because you know, you want to look hot, too.

And then, day 2 or 3 comes and "life" happens, preventing you from doing the workout you loosely planned, and then eventually you forget all about that fitness model---until the next one pops up on another tv commercial for fat blasters and you start this routine all over again.

All throughout my yoyo dieting, I was that girl (not the fitness model, mind you, I was the girl on the couch with the ice cream). And you know what? I did put in the effort many times over-I worked out hard, I tried many times to cut out the carbs. I was really good at starting diets and pumping myself up for them, but my downfall each time was finding something sustainable.

And if I think back about it now, I can say that my desire to treat myself became stronger than the desire to stick to any plan. It was like I couldn't find a way out of eating unpleasurable food and constant muscle fatigue. I felt like I deserved treats for all my hard work, and that the treats I ate couldn't possible sabotage my results because I felt like the workouts would cancel out any moments of pleasure.

What I know now that I wish I knew back then is that treating myself well really was the best way to lose weight and come to peace with my body. It meant eating what I wanted but finding better ingredients---like having that ice cream but maybe not made with dairy or refined sugar. It also meant not stressing myself out with the exercise, but doing calming exercise.

I wish I had known to think about cause and effect --- when you create stress, you create cravings. Exercise is great for your body, but vigorous workouts with the intention of "getting that fat off" creates both physical and emotional stress. As a result, a craving for acceptance of how your body already is becomes a source of anxiety.

So, if you're in that place where you are sitting on the couch eating ice cream, I would say to you: enjoy it! Focus on each bite like it is a love affair you don't want to end. And the next time you want ice cream, consider trying one made with better ingredients -- you might be pleasantly surprised in your heart and in your tummy!

What's you're experience with motivation? Let me know in the comments!