I've been thinking a lot over the past week about what motivates me. I've always been the type to need a big goal or event or something along those lines to work toward when it comes to being healthy. For example, many months ago, I had planned to go to Myrtle Beach with some friends the week of July 4th. A beach vacation would involve wearing bathing suits in front of many people all week long, and so I had that date in mind as the end zone for my goal weight. But a couple of months ago, those vacation plans changed and I suddenly was without that motivation, without the pressure of a bathing suit looming over my head. And that's when I fell off the health wagon.
I've realized just how foolish that is. Why do I need a major thing like a trip to motivate me? Why isn't just looking and feeling better enough? It should be. Finding an outfit that I feel good in is an everyday challenge, one that I often fail. Feeling confident and energetic is something I want every day. So why has that not been enough to motivate me? Why is a one-time trip more important than being the best me I can be every single day?
That mindset has got to stop. I need to view this as an ongoing process to help me live life to the fullest every day, not just for a few days on vacation. If I had just kept up with the changes I'd made to my lifestyle even after the Myrtle Beach trip was canceled, I'd be just about at my goal weight by now. I'm not sure where my head was, because it's not as if I live in a place where I don't get summer weather. I still need to wear a bathing suit and still need to wear summer clothing that provides less coverage than the pants and sweaters that I can hide behind in winter. Canceling the beach trip didn't make those realities go away. So, when I stop to think about it, I could kick myself, because we're now in the throes of hot weather, and this body is just not ready for it!
I'm moving past that though. Beating myself up won't do any good. So now my focus won't be on a trip that I'm taking or some other goal down the road. My focus will be on today and tomorrow. It will be about translating how I'm feeling now into daily motivation and short term wins. When I'm tempted to skip a workout or have an extra cupcake, I'll think about how I want to feel good about myself at the cookout tomorrow or at work on Monday, or the baseball game next week. Not about how I'll feel months from now. I deserve to feel and look my best every day, and it's on me to make that happen.