As a nationally qualified bodybuilding bikini competitor, I get these types of questions every day:
- Why can’t I get myself to the gym?
- Where do you find the motivation to work out?
- I always give up after a while, how do you do it?
I also get a ton of variants regarding these types of questions — all of which I completely understand because I’ve felt like this before as well (I can sincerely say I never thought I would be competing to become an IFBB pro). I realize it wasn’t motivation that got me here — it was dedication. A dedication to change the person I was into a completely different being.
Starting your journey to health and wellness won’t be easy. That’s the truth. If being fit was easy, everyone would be.
But the hard fact of life is that it’s not easy, it’s not quick, and it never will be. It takes mental and physical toughness and persistence to push yourself in the gym and make healthy decisions in your every day life. It’s a very individual and personal experience.
My motivation had to come from within the dedication I found within myself. If you make it about other people, it will create this feeling that fitness is a competition between yourself and the people who did you wrong. And that’s not what it is about. It’s about you. It’s about your health. It took me a while to realize this, but once I did, it made it more possible for me to fully immerse myself in the meaning of why I do this.
I do this because it saved me. Now, that might sound incredibly corny and you’ll probably think I’m just trying to preach clichés.
But I’m just a person. I’m no different than you. I’ve seen my darkest days and I’ve watched flowers grow in the places I thought the sun would never shine again. I am strong. I am worthy of life.
These are things I had never thought before. I can remember the days I couldn’t even bring myself to step out the front door out of hopelessness. Then, something clicked. The day came where I was so sick of being tired, so I got up and did something about it. Acknowledging my inner demons It was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.
I made this journey about my mental health first. You have to learn to be happy about the little things before the physical changes. Even if that’s just realizing you smile more than you usually did. I learned to accept that a tough past does not have to mean a bad future. You, your heart, and your mind are an interwoven form of muscle. In order for a muscle to grow, it must first be torn. You will stand strong again.
Ask yourself why you wanted to change your lifestyle in the first place. Why do you want to be healthy? Is is for the brighter glow of your skin? Good night’s sleep? Stronger hair? Seeing your eyes shine again? The jumbled emotions you may have in your mind will cease. Spending time to focus on yourself will allow you to begin to put the pieces together in the places they were meant to be.
Find comfort in “I”. Being alone and lonely do not have to go hand in hand.
One day I decided I was going to lift the weight of the world rather than let it continue to crush me. And that was enough.