People attribute my success in changing my life and becoming healthy to my ability to motivate myself. They posit that this has to be a military thing, something I learned in the Marines. While it’s true that I grew up in the Corps, in many ways, the fact of the matter is that for over 20 years, I didn’t use any of that motivation to be healthy. In fact, I did pretty much everything in my life on whims based on which direction the winds of my life was blowing.
I have written in the past about finding motivation, but I think people inferred that somehow, you will find the motivation in external sources. This is very wrong. Motivation comes from one place alone: inside. Sure, there are things that can bolster or support your motivation, but ultimately, it’s something you have to dig deep down inside for, find, and nurture. Like anything else, you have to use it to grow it.
Can a scary diagnosis or admonitions from your doctor or health care professional scare you into eating better? Sure. But ultimately, it’s your own motivation that drives you. Can something like being unable to tie your own shoes push you to make better decisions with your health? Yes, but again, it’s your own motivation that makes this happen.
We all have motivation. It’s that drive behind what we do. Some people don’t recognize their motivation, or worse, they dismiss their having any. These are the people who think they can’t live without certain foods (Spoiler: yes you can!). These very same people have no problem getting up on time, getting to work on time, paying their bills, getting their kids to school on time, making swim practice on time five days a week, getting the desserts together for that pot luck at work, and many other things. These all take motivation, yet people dismiss it because these are all things that “Need to be done.” Well guess what: eating right, being healthy, and losing weight all need to be done, too. Heck, I’ll be bold enough to say that focusing on your health, weight, and fitness should be everyone’s primary concern. Staying healthy, within our control, should be something we all strive to do. It’s what allows us to be mobile, to work, to play, and to live longer to love longer.
Motivation is within you. It’s within me. It’s within all of us. You have to harness that power and use it. Think of all the things you get done on a daily basis. Think of those things you hate doing, but you do them anyway. Make a list. Seriously; take out a pen/pencil and a piece of paper (or for you tech-savvy people, grab your phone and make a list in the Notes app) of all the things you do that you don’t like but you get done anyway because you have to. Look at that list. Do you see how long it is? That’s your motivation getting you through!!! You can use that very same superpower and eat right. You can avoid the high-sugar foods. You can avoid the grains and the carbs. You can make progress and get healthy again.
But, as always, it’s up to you. Without you making the effort, nobody can get it done for you. This rests solely on your shoulders. Good thing you have that motivation to rely on!