Just Do It: Doing the Work Even When I Don’t Feel Like It

Ok guys, after months and months of being in a “slump” and feeling like I will never successfully get back on my weight loss journey, I finally feel like I’m about to make a comeback!   It’s all thanks to my Beachbody coach Melanie Watson who reached out to me and introduced me to author/ motivational speaker/ media personality Mel Robbins.  But before I get into that, let me tell the story from the beginning.

Back in early January, like so many others I made the resolution to get back on track with my weight loss journey.  After years of doing Weight Watchers, I decided to shake things up and signed up with Beachbody.  I started using the containers of the 21 Day Fix program and purchased Beachbody On Demand so I could workout whenever I wanted in my basement.  I easily found the Beachbody community online – literally hundreds, maybe even thousands, of other people trying to do the exact same thing I was trying to do.  It was online that I found and “met” my coach Melanie Watson.  Melanie seemed to “get” my struggles right away and had experienced many of them herself!  At the time, I was struggling with the winter blues, mild depression, and a major lack of motivation to do anything.   Despite being a complete stranger, Melanie seemed to know me so well and understood all my goals – plus she had the tools to get me there.   I signed up to her Facebook groups and followed her on Instragram eager to be successful. But after about the first month, things started sliding and I lost my motivation.  The winter blues were overwhelming and nights on the coach won over working out in my basement.  Carb-heavy, comfort food beat out nutritious and heart-healthy meals.  I started to tell myself that all the hard work and sacrifices it took to lose weight weren’t worth it.  Life was too short not to eat sweets. I should just learn to love myself the way I am.  Maybe for the first time in my adult life I could not be on a diet program and actually just learn to accept myself. But something deep inside me, an inner voice (or as Mel Robbins’ would call my inner wisdom) was still there.  No matter how much I tried to convince myself that I could feel satisfied, fulfilled and confident without losing weight, my inner wisdom was telling me differently. But still, nothing changed.  I still consumed calorie-rich foods all day long and snuggled into the couch as soon as humanly possible after work.  Every day I thought about working out but talked myself out of it within seconds.  I knew what I had to do to lose weight (and had all the programs and supports imaginable) but I still wasn’t doing it.

But the inner voice continued to talk.  I considered emailing Melanie.  By this point, I had completely turned my back on the Beachbody program.  I had unfollowed some of the groups online and began to feel resentful towards the cheery messages of success others were sharing in the groups.  I even contemplated unfollowing Melanie’s profile.  I was feeling so overwhelmed by all the messages about what I knew I had to do, but still, did not feel like doing. Then, last week, Melanie reached out to me.  I was shocked but so pleasantly surprised.  Although she had been so good to me previously, I had assumed I was just another “customer” helping to grow her business.  But by reaching out to me after weeks of not hearing from me or seeing my posts in group, Melanie proved that she actually wants me to be successful I immediately responded, openly expressing to her the struggle I had been experiencing.  I wrote about not being in the right “mindset” to get started and how I’d been struggling for months to get there. This is when Melanie gifted me with the invitation to check out Mel Robbins’ work.  As I mentioned earlier, Robbins is a media personality, motivational speaker, and author.  She wrote The Five Second Rule which I am currently devouring and taking copious notes from.  The minute I read Melanie’s email, I started obsessively watching Robbins’ videos on YouTube and spent my two-hour drive yesterday listening to her podcasts. It is like Mel Robbin’s was living inside my head.  So much of what she has to say is exactly what I have been struggling with for months!  And the fact that Melanie knew to suggest her work to me blows my mind even more.  How can a complete stranger know just what I needed?!

So what is this Five-Second Rule and why am I so excited about it?  As I mentioned, I just started reading the book to fully understand the concept but I am so excited by it that I felt I had to write a blog post right now.   Here are some of the main principles I’ve taken from Robbins’ work so far including how they relate to my life.

1. You will never feel like doing it, you have to do it anyway. Robbins speaks about the notion that we all know what we should do.  And we know how to do it.  For example, the Weight Watchers program (which I have been a member of for years), or the Beachbody program tell you exactly how to lose weight.  But yet I don’t do it.  Why not?  Because I don’t feel like it.   Robbins’ says that we’ll never feel like it but that we have to just start doing it anyway.  That’s why she says motivation is garbage.  Because we will never truly feel like doing things in the  moment that we should.

2. The Five Second Rule In a nutshell, the five second rule is a theory that you can train your brain to listen to your inner wisdom and do what you know you have to do, rather than hold yourself back from doing it.  It’s kind of like the Nike slogan Just Do It (which Robbins also refers to in the book).  Robbin’s tells of her personal struggles and how she discovered that by simply counting down 5-4-3-2-1 you can distract your brain and refocus on doing what you need to do.

3. Get out of your own head. Robbins says that our inner wisdom is constantly telling us what we should do to lead a healthier, happier, fulfilled, and satisfying life but that we have the habit of talking ourselves out of following through on these ideas.  As soon as we start thinking about the idea too much, we easily and effortlessly talk ourselves out of it.  The magic of the Five Second Rule is that we can change that!

4. Your have to parent yourself. I love where Robbins talks about how no one tells us when we become an adult that now we are going to have to parent ourselves.  When we are kids, our parents are there to tell us no.  They are there to make sure we do the things we are supposed to do.  As adults, there is no one to do that, so we have to do it ourselves.  We have to learn to tell ourselves no and to do the work even when we don’t want to.

All this being said, I want to recognize that I probably just did a terrible job of summarizing some of Robbins’ main ideas.  Also, please take into consideration my other disclaimer – I just started reading the book.  I know I have just scraped the surface of some of this woman’s amazing ideas!  I can’t wait to learn more.

But more importantly, I feel like I have been given a tool that is finally going to get me out of this slump that I’ve been in.  I’ve spent all winter making excuses for myself, talking myself out of doing the work, holding myself back, trying to convince myself that I could be happy without losing weight. Now I see that I need to get out of my own head.  I always overthink everything and I’ve been overthinking my weight loss journey for years.  What I am starting to see now is that I will never truly be ready so why am I still waiting?  Just last week, I wrote to Melanie that I needed to be in the right “mindset” before I could get started!  What I see now is that by just doing it, by just getting started, the actions I need to take will put me in the right mindset! Most importantly, what I see now is that making change is hard work and our brain is pre-wired to protect ourselves from hard work.  Our brain doesn’t want us to be uncomfortable.  Therefore, it will try to talk me out of everything that I need to do in order to lose weight successfully.  Also, I am never going to feel like doing the things I know I should do (eat healthfully, plan meals, go for a run, workout) but I just have to put on my big girl panties and do it anyway.  After all without hard work, there is no reward. So instead of thinking about things, I have to just start doing.  And the best way to do that (according to both Robbins’ and coach Melanie), is to do it one day at a time.  Every time my instinct kicks in to do something healthy, I have to get my ass in gear and do it before my mind takes over and talks me out of it!  I have to parent myself, tell myself no, and just do what needs to be done. The best part of all this is if I do the actions that I need to do, the positive, happy, self-loving mindset that I thought I needed to get started, will develop all on it’s own!  Wow!

One last thing about all this.  I couldn’t help but think of a Weight Watchers leader I had years ago.  At the time, I knew I loved her approach, I just didn’t understand why.  Every week at our regular meeting, she would tell us what we had to do.  “Eat your fruit and vegetables.” “Drink your water”.  “Move every day”.  Now I realize that her no-nonsense approach is what helped me to be so successful.  She didn’t give us a choice. She didn’t give us time to think about things, she simply told us to Just Do It.  

A Long and Slow Journey Forward

Just a friendly reminder that you CAN reach your goals, but it takes time and persistence.  I can’t tell you how many times people expect to see drastic changes in a week or a month or even 6 months. Stop focussing on the end result and start focusing on the lifestyle.  The people you see online, including myself, have been at this for years.  Remember that.”  ~ @bskyfitness (Instagram)

It’s one of the things I love most about social media – aimlessly scrolling through posts, when suddenly you find something that really hits home.  Well, this afternoon, the quote stated above did just that.  It spoke to me, giving me a reminder that I really needed today – that the super fit people I see on social media are not overnight sensations – they’ve been working hard for a long time to get where they are at.

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My motivation has taken a nosedive lately.  I have an internal battle each day with myself.  I know I should be eating better and exercising a lot harder, but I just can’t bring myself to do it.  I’ve been eating quite badly, not tracking in my food journal, and doing the bare minimum as far as workouts go.  Yet, every day I look in the mirror, and want to lose weight.  I want to be smaller again – to look good, and to wear, smaller and cuter clothes (especially now that it’s summer).  I want to be fit and strong and ripped.  I want others to see me as an inspiration.  I want to feel healthier and have more energy and know I am giving my body the best that I can.  But for some reason, I just can’t bring myself to do it.

Today, I am feeling a sense of motivation coming back though.  My husband has been eating extremely healthy this week (tons of raw fruits and veggies and cutting back drastically on sugar).  He said after a few days, he is already feeling better (plus, he’s down 8 lbs – it’s so unfair how quickly men can lose weight!).   The fact that my husband is eating better has also inspired my 12-year-old stepson who struggles with his own junk food and sugar addiction (poor child is just like me!) And now, as I see my son want to eat better, my motivation increases too – after all, what’s more motivating than being a healthy role model for your children?

But one of the struggles I often face is the challenge of not seeing results fast enough.  I scroll through social media admiring the tight, fit bodies of others and want the same results.  It’s not necessarily that I compare myself to these girls, but I certainly want what they have. But too often I forget to think of the extremely hard work, persistence, and dedication it takes to get those bodies.  I forget to think of the type of lifestyles people with those bodies have (and it certainly doesn’t involve very much ice cream, French fries, or long afternoons on the couch!)

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Most importantly, I have to remind myself that it takes time to get there.  Losing weight is a long journey.  New, healthier habits aren’t established over night.  It takes trial and error to figure out what works for you and it takes persistence and time to turn those things into an overall lifestyle.  It takes conscious decision-making each and every day.  It takes learning to pick yourself up when you fall and get right back on the wagon.  The weight loss journey is certainly not an easy one but it is a possible one.  With time, effort, persistence, and a hell of a lot of hard work.  With learning not to compare yourselves to where others are on their journey but to honour yourself where you’re at and to keep pushing forward.

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I need to remember that, not just today, but every day.  I need to know that reaching goals may not be easy, but it’s certainly possible.  More importantly, I need to lay off the ice cream, lace up my Nikes, and start pushing myself further in the right direction!

 

 

 

Huge Results!

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It’s been a little while now since I’ve been back to the gym and working out on a pretty regular basis.  About 3-4 times a week, I’m attending Body Pump classes at our local Goodlife and once a week I’m doing yoga.  I have noticed that my flexibility is already improving and that I can lift slightly heavier weights than when I first started.  But on the outside, there hasn’t been any major changes.  I’m down about 4 lbs. total and my pants may be fitting a touch looser, but overall there’s been no significant change.

While this may seem disheartening and like it would make me want to quit altogether,  I am thrilled to say that, in fact, it’s just the opposite.  And that’s because the inner transformation I have experienced in such a short time is truly incredible.

After just a few weeks of consistently going to the gym (and making a few small changes to my diet), my motivation is soaring, my energy levels are up drastically, and my overall confidence has improved.  I’ve always known that exercise has significant effects on the mind (not just the body), but I somehow had forgotten just how quickly those effects take place.  I have such a positive outlook now and really feel like I can achieve my goals.  And the more I work out, the more motivated I feel, and the higher I set those goals for myself!  So take it from me, a girl who’s spent countless hours buried under blankets on the couch, feeling miserable, tired, and lazy – if you can somehow find the willpower to do that first workout, you’ll be taking a step in a direction towards better confidence, better energy, better motivation, and most importantly, better self love!

My Top 15 Reasons for Getting Healthy

In light of my family’s new plan to “get back on track” and starting eating better and being more active, I have compiled my personal list of reasons to lose weight and get healthy.  If, like me, you are looking for some motivation, maybe some of these will help! DSC00971

1. To feel better about my body again

2. To have more energy and motivation

3. To feel better physically (less aches, pains, and stiffness!)

4. To be a good role model for my children (less preaching, and more practicing!)

5. To improve my future health (family history of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, mental illness)

6. For better mental health

7. To feel proud of myself

8. To wear cuter clothes (especially all those ones packed away in my basement that no longer fit!)

9. Because it’s easier to shop for smaller sizes

10. To like what I see in pictures and in the mirror

11. To wear my wedding gown again (rock the dress session!)

12. So my wedding rings will fit better and I can actually take them off again

13. To be strong and fit

14. To set and meet new goals

15. To be an inspiration for myself and others

Check out some of my past pictures that I currently use for motivation!

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