Push! Push! Push!
Today I was thinking about motivation. So much has been written and said about people loosing and gaining motivation to do this or that. Since most of my stories are devoted to fitness I guess it would be fair if I speculate about fitness motivation. Before I get into this rather philosophical issue I want to point out that the meaning of the word “fitness” is not only being healthy and fit but also able to fit into … whatever you struggling or succeeding to fit in. This made me think whether we use “fitness” in a correct way!
While studying (for my university exams) I heard “Biggest Loser” starting on TV. It is a show about obese people trying to lose weight. Very strict trainers train them and lead to the success through tough exercising and … what I hate the most, screaming at them and humiliating. My naturally skinny-shaped partner mentioned that this is exactly what those people need – being pushed, pushed & pushed.
Pushing is something I always hated! When I went to participate in a 4 hour work out organised by Spartan Race, so known W.O.D., I left it on the third hour into it, partly because I used all the energy I had so even walking back to my car was a challenge; but also because everyone was so harshly pushed that I personally wanted to vomit. Not my usual desire to vomit when lifting to heavy in the gym but I felt like I was treated like I do not fit and have to go harder every time. Is it fitness or fitless?
Well, anywho, I lost the motivation there… I must admit I liked the training. It was very tough, probably one of the toughest I had in years but Commando Steve (one of the event’s trainers) and couple of other freaks (sorry but this is the only word that I can describe them with at this stage) made me want to run away and never come back. So I left! I felt like I did not fit. I had fun, took what I wanted to get from this training and went home.
I am aware of “Biggest Loser” being a TV show hence it needs to be dramatic, entertaining and “humiliating” for the rest of obese population enjoy it at home with a bucket of pop-corn. BUT I truly hate being pushed and yelled at and think no one has to be! During Spartan W.O.D. I did not have a chance to hang out with Commando and take million of pix with him like other hundreds of people did… so I must admit he might be an okay guy… but I will judge based on what I saw, unfortunately as I do not possess more info. Michelle Bridges, Commando Steve and other fitness / actors / cheap TV shows hosts are not someone I would want to train with, no offence, nothing personal, folks. Don’t get me wrong, I would do another W.O.D. with great pleasure and will try to last the entire 4 hour session! Love challenge! But as soon as I am yelled at, I am out. Simple as that! 🙂
I know many people who in fact need to be yelled at to stay motivated. I am not sure if this is some childhood issues or giant lack of motivation on its own but I personally strive from my inside world. I do not mind extra kick of course. It is challenging and fun (note: extra kick and “hurry up fat c*nt” is different).
Personally I follow people I find inspiration. Although I might not fully understand them or like them I “chose” them to be my motivational / inspiration people due to their hard work and amazing results which I (!) find fascinating. One of those people is of course Jamie Eason which I mentioned previously on multiple occasions. Recently I have been mesmerized by Katia Callegari, a very young female bodybuilder. Since I am absolutely fascinated by body-sculpturing (Anna’s word for bodybuilding), she appears to be one of the biggest inspirations of mine at this stage.
Now, I don’t know what’s her every day like like. I know though that she has a team of trainers helping her which is great. However I find it harder (& more challenging) to achieve what she’s achieved without professional help. BUT I am not saying it is my excuse or anyone’s. What I am trying to say is that I train 6 days a week trying to avoid bulking on its own, mixing it with shredding (which is according to many professionals is a bad idea) while trying to study full time and work part time. Let me put it this way, I physically do not have any time whatsoever for anything else at all.
Weights training (or resistance training) steals all your energy even after training (hence you are meant to eat that much) so meeting friends on the weekends is becoming more and more difficult. I must admit that as an introvert I don’t really mind that but say I was not like that and required some social interaction…. what do you do? how do you stay motivated to simply live? how do you stay in love with fitness? Well, those questions almost vanished after meeting Carie (OMG hope I did not misspell your name sorry), or This Fit Chick who recently mentioned in her blog being involved in working & studying while training for a bikini competition. I am not even trying to go that far and allow myself to whinge! WTF… i thought at first.
We all push differently!
And then I recalled what I always say: “We All Are Very Different” 🙂 We cope with stress and struggle differently. Some of us need more motivations than others. Some of us need different motivation. Commando and Michelle (earlier mentioned PTs and TV show hosts) are so known fitness freaks … but this is what they are and they are good at it and they love it and I have no right (I mean of course I have all the rights LOL) to judge them.
However I must admit I honestly believe that lifestyle is a personal choice. I truly believe that whether you chose cupcakes and obesity or carrots and skinny legs is entirely up to you. But I also believe that before making that decision (which most likely will fluctuate throughout life span) you gotta see them all, or at least observe or learn about some of them. Therefore if you went on a drama queen style TV show (aka Biggest Loser) be prepared to be treated as a piece of shit and try to enjoy it … especially if you weight over 200kg and not very determined to lose some weight. They will make you cry! lol
Trying lives on!
Now, I tried being slightly obese, I tried fairly skinny and I tried muscle sculptured version of life. I loved muscles and although I have never fully achieved my goal I have gone far enough to feel what I needed to feel to be forever motivated. I know many people write and say that exercising makes them feel great and hence they love it. It’s been mentioned so many times that the meaning faded, many people no longer feel it when hear it, they might go “yeah whatever”.
Well I am still going to say exercising makes me feel great! When blood is rushing and heart is beating harder I feel more alive! It is physical and mental and it is beautiful. Although while many people were impressed by the fitness’ power, many of them still experienced difficulties with keeping up with the routine. So I went on a search of how people get motivation back and stay on track for longer.
I talked to many people I found highly inspiring including Lisa. She as well as myself followed Jamie Eason’s fitness formula (LifeFIT) which I stopped at the finish line but she took all the way to the end and kept repeating again and again (which she is still sticking to). Lisa is a mother and also has a training significant other. I reckon that training couples is the best combination! My partner finds exercising a waste of time and energy which never really bothered me; however I would definitely love him to be interested in what I love. On other hand, we cycle together every week and this is something very big for me!
After I completed my first mud run (or obstacle race) I also found more examples of motivations. Many racers are absolutely obsessed with those races and many of them used to be obese or unhealthy. As a result, obstacle racing has become something like a symbol to many of them, a symbol of a new life, success, strength and happiness. For some it is all about results and being the best in the field, for others it is enjoying the ability to go through 10km of mud and obstacles. Everyone find their own “drug”.
Motivate your living!
Now, obesity I think is more advertised rather than actually exists. I was once calculating my height, age and size coordinates to see if the numbers add up in “obesity” or “normal” type of me. While I was within 70kg I was “normal”, as soon as I hit 75kg (even when it was mostly muscles) I was written off as “obese”.
I do agree that obesity kills. I mean all this fat making our heart stop is not a religion you chose to have faith in but a medically proven fact. However I think we need to re-evaluate what obese is. AND(!) stop advertising McDonalds, ice cream, chips and the rest of hand-made shit products, just so we can gem weight loss drugs in between. AGAIN, I am gonna go with “WTF?!”
With nowadays’ obsession to be skinny, hot and Barbie beautiful, we forget what we actually love and how we want to live. I think many people are bombard with the images of “perfect” looks which only demotivate most of them. Although I absolutely love going through blogs, stories and images of these crazy fit and strong people, I still believe it is not healthy and not for everyone to do. I know people who admire stronger and fitter than them enthusiasts which often makes them feel miserable. Is it what we want our society to be like?
My main point is LOVE what you do! If you feel like lifting heavy metal is not for you enjoy yoga or swimming or cycling or reading books, cooking, teaching… I can go forever!
I love body-sculpturing; and although my peers find it stupid I am not going to stop enjoying doing what I love. Why am I even mentioning someone else not liking what I do? why to even bother about what others think? Well, I think I am not discovering a wheel here by saying that in our society most of us care a lot about what others think. This is why we dress up pretty when gong out, this is why we shred extra kilos before attending school re-union, that’s why we achieve what we achieve. If you ever studies economics you would know that competition strives progress. We love competing (in a way), we want to do better, run faster, dive deeper, jump higher, get better grades in school, earn more money at work… but we also want to love what we do!
Loving what you do is the biggest motivation. I get shakes when on the way to the gym. I am excited about the work out and feel of being released and truly happy when completed the planned fitness routine. I love rush home and share my excitement with my partner or put a funny comment on Facebook. Many of us who enjoy fitness will understand me now. Others though who are not that much into exercising or who find gyms dirty or buff guys annoying or talking on the phone while running in the gym girls silly, I am sure love something else and get similar excitement when participate in a favorite activity. Well, if you love cooking as much as I love training, or if you love puppies as much as I love training, or if you love music as much as I love training, or if you love programming computers as much as I love training …. you will understand 🙂 This is where you do not really need motivation – you just do it because this is what you do, isn’t it. Can’t make time for friends while being fully absorbed by your passion? Hmm I guess friends will come to you if they are really friends 🙂 So, getting back to my previous question about how to stay in touch with life when absorbed by passion… Well, maybe this is life you are living right now so stop worrying about some other one.