Let’s take it back to high school for a minute, during the days when I could eat 3 delicious, warm, gooey cookies from the caf every day—and it wouldn’t make any difference. Plus, being on the swim team kept me in shape without me having to go out of my way and and find that pesky, annoying gym motivation.
Fitness and health in high school were easy; I never had to think about them. Now, it’s the complete opposite.
Life’s busy no matter who you are or what career goals you’re currently accomplishing. It’s beyond difficult to find a type of fitness you love, but sticking to it is another story in its own. And that’s what I want to talk about today. More specifically, in a society where everything is based on how we feel about things, how can we possibly translate that to fitness?More specifically, in a society where everything is based on how we feel about things, how can we possibly translate that to fitness? Click To Tweet
The answer? We can’t, and we shouldn’t.
FEELINGS VS. FACT
Before I really translate any of this to motivation, I think we need to have a tiny chat about our feelings. You know, those things that everyone tries to avoid at any cost? It’s time we drag them out of the bottom dresser drawer and truly question them for a second.
I always used to think faith was this warm, fuzzy, somehow-glowy feeling. I thought that when I had it, God would make me feel all those things, all the time. And that if I wasn’t, something was missing that I need to search for; I thought I wasn’t good enough for God.
In reality, I think about that now and realize how ridiculous that is. Faith is built on trust, not on feelings. Feelings change daily, and drastically. We might feel confusion and sadness toward God over a situation, but that doesn’t mean we trust Him any less. At the same time, we might feel happiness toward God, but that doesn’t mean we trust Him.
Feelings do not constitute fact.Feelings do not constitute fact. Click To Tweet
In fact, feelings are so flimsy that not even love is truly built on them. Real love, as Bishop Robert Barron commonly mentions, is willing the good of the other. It’s putting others before ourselves. It’s pledging to always take care of someone, without asking anything in return. Nothing in that definition says anything about feeling.
Think about marriage, for example. We get married not based on feelings of infatuation, but because we want to pledge ourselves to another person for the rest of our lives, no matter what happens. And we want this so much that we give ourselves to that person completely, through the sacrament. Thirty years later, we might not have those same feelings of infatuation, but we also know that’s okay because we know that isn’t what defines love at all.
All that marriage and sappy-true-love-stuff being said, let’s bring it back to fitness.
GYM MOTIVATION IS A MYTH
So, if you came here to find some gym motivation, let me start with this: gym motivation is a myth.
I think we can all agree that motivation can be classified as a feeling. And that in order to make it to the gym tomorrow morning, we’ve “got to have that feeling”.
As soon as I took a step back and realized, actually, I didn’t have to have that feeling to make it to the gym, that’s when I completely changed my outlook.
Recently, I’ve been working so much on restructuring everything I’ve built solely based on feelings. I always believed that if motivation didn’t strike, I must not like going to the gym and it must not be my thing. If I kept believing that, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have a burning passion for weightlifting like I do now. And I definitely wouldn’t be finding myself at the gym five or six days a week, after full days of work.I always believed that if motivation didn't strike, I must not like going to the gym and it must not be my thing. Click To Tweet
My point is that motivation is a myth and it is not what should push you to work out.
Instead, create discipline in yourself. The same discipline that gets you up every morning for work. The same discipline that is the reason you brush your teeth every day. The same discipline that keeps you from spending all your money at Target right after pay day. Although the alternative might be nicer, it isn’t going to allow you to grow.
First, find something you enjoy doing fitness-wise, whatever that is, and then push yourself to do it until it becomes a habit. Go work out not because you always want to, but because you know you should. And because you know how many great benefits you’re getting from it. Build it into your routine so often that it just becomes another thing you know you have to check off your list.
Of course, don’t ever get to the point where you’re forcing yourself to do something you hate, but build that discipline into your fitness routine. A great example of someone who perfectly balances this is Whitney Simmons, my all-time fave fitness YouTuber.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sworn up & down that the gym was going to become a constant in my life, and then I just stopped when I didn’t feel like it. As soon as I changed my thinking, I made fitness truly a constant. And judging by the fact that it’s stayed that way since September 2017, I don’t think it’s going anywhere soon.
Have you had a similar experience fitness-wise? Comment below and let’s chat!