I got an email from a friend today on facebook and he asked me what my motivation was for doing all the activities that I've been doing - is it to fit into "barbie jeans"? did I have health problems? What is it?
I can't remember the last time someone asked me that kind of question. And he really wanted to know, which made it even more thought provoking. I had to think about that because I wanted to give him an answer that matched the quality of the question.
I am so in the habit of working out and participating in events that I don't really think about the motivation behind it. I don't feel like I need motivation to get up in the morning and workout, its so routine that I just do it - no matter what the weather, no matter how I feel or what else is on the schedule.
Motivation...hmmmm...I guess it all started about 7 years ago - I was motivated to train for and run the Portland marathon because I wanted to prove that I could see something through to the end. After that was done, I gained about 15 pounds because I had no motivation to continue.
Then, one night, we were going to our neighbors to watch TV (big night out) and I couldn't find ANYTHING to wear that I felt comfortable in. I realized that I needed to lose some weight and get control of life. So I joined weight watchers and went back to the gym. I lost about 20 pounds and have kept it off for 7 years.
Eating healthy became normal. Then, I had a test done for food intolerances and uncovered a bunch of things that were causing me to feel crappy. So my motivation now for eating well is feeling good. I find that I feel SO much better when I eat a diet full of lean proteins, complex carbs and healthy fat. The more sugar I eat, the shittier I feel.
I also found that I LOVE to workout. I don't have to convince myself to get up and run or lift weights, because I really enjoy it....its....fun. I hear people talk about how they hate to workout, but do it to stay thin. I do it because I enjoy it. I zone out when I am working out and I love that feeling - I really feel my body and I feel my body working. Something about that is so empowering to me.
The combination of the eating well and working out does provide me the ability to fit into a smaller size clothing. However, I try not to get so wrapped up in the size of my clothes, its more just feeling comfortable in whatever size I happen to be wearing.
My weight fluctuates 5-7 pounds all year round depending on how much junk I am eating and what we are training for.
The events we have started to participate in - the marathons, the triathlons - the motivation for that is kind of the same as it was with the first marathon....to prove that I can! I did my first triathlon because I didn't know how to swim and I decided I would learn to swim and go do it. Once I got a taste of that feeling of accomplishment, I couldn't stop.
Now, it seems these events have become a challenge between me and Trevor - who can come up with the next crazy idea. My motivation is being with Trevor. This is something we can enjoy together, we can work hard together and we can both have that feeling of accomplishment. I am motivated by Trevor being proud of me. I am movited by being proud of myself.
Then, there are our friends. We've built this crazy social network of runners and triathletes. They challenge us all the time - they'll say "hey - let's do the turkey trot" and we say "okay" because we don't want to miss out on a good time. I look forward to all the minutes I spend out running, biking, swimming with those friends. Pushing each other further, cheering each other on - that motivates me.
What's my motivation? Its not an easy answer. Its complicated. If I had to come up with a simple answer for what motivates me, I'd have to steal a quote from my friend Karen...I want to live out loud. Every minute that I am out there pushing myself, physically and mentally, I am living out loud. That motivates me.
What motivates you. Maybe no one has asked you in a while. Its a great question. Thanks Brian for asking me.