garbanzopalooza

A blog by ordinary people about living an extraordinary life

One Choice at a Time

One Choice at a Time by Meghan Champagne

There are times when I’ve worked a full day, gone directly to school for 6 hours and come home just before 11pm to crash in bed… only to make getting up the next morning nearly impossible.  Today is that day.  I woke up this morning feeling as though I never went to bed and wishing I could have my coffee via IV instead of sipping from my travel mug.  Each file I wrote at work today felt like an impossible task.  I would rather go home after work and have a glass of wine instead of taking care of my body by working out.  But I didn’t count every calorie (or point), learn to run a 5K and lose 30 pounds just to throw it all away because of one tired day.  So when you’re over-worked, over-tired or just plain down and out, where does the motivation to be good to your body come from?

I have a quote posted in my cube at work that says “Dreams become reality one choice at a time.”  This means that there is no magic wand or one-step-process for obtaining the best things in life.  Rather, incremental changes in behavior create lifelong transformations.  For me, my dream is to live a long, healthy and balanced life – working out and eating mindfully are keys to all three of those aspects.  It would be easy to just skip a workout, but what would I gain from that?  Instead, on the days when I feel less motivated, I follow these steps to help me get my body moving:

  • Change into my workout clothes as soon as I get home.  This prevents me from becoming distracted by other obligations.
  • Don’t sit down and relax.  I save this for after my workout, it’s a little something to look forward to.
  • Remind myself that if I’m still feeling exhausted after 10-20 minutes of working out that my body probably needs a rest and it’s OK to go home/stop.  As always, 20 minutes of cardio is better than nothing.
  • Don’t contemplate not following through on workout plans.
  • Remind myself why I workout out and repeat it in my head “Live healthy, Live happy.”  A positive mantra can help you through difficult times.

***Disclaimer: These are just ideas that help me and not necessarily the opinions of professionals.

Usually the hardest part of the battle is getting my feet to the pavement, so once I start running (or doing whatever other workout is on tap for the day) my mood changes and I feel invigorated.  Physical activity actually stimulates brain chemicals that leave you feeling happier and more relaxed and delivers oxygen and nutrients to your heart and lungs.  (www.mayoclinic.com/health/exercise)  And, you always feel good when you have completed a workout and say to yourself that you’ve made a good choice today and you are following your dreams.  So next time you’re feeling unmotivated to be physically active, think about what matters to you and what are the real reasons that you workout.

 

How you stay motivated to eat mindfully and stay physically fit?  Please post your thoughts.

“Dreams become reality one choice at a time.” 

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2 comments on “One Choice at a Time

  1. Dianne
    October 7, 2011

    Very inspirational!!!!

  2. Jenn
    October 8, 2011

    My overall motivation is health and it works well for me only because I have felt the opposite. My eating and exercise habits are almost entirely geared towards boosting my immune system and alleviating pain, but any and all other benefits are certainly appreciated 🙂

    The tips that work for me, based on my current lifestyle, are:
    1). Exercise at least a little bit in the morning. Then, whatever happens throughout the day, you’ve done that much. (When I had a job that required me to arrive at 6:30AM, this was more of a challenge.)
    2). Take the stairs! Take the scenic route whenever you’re walking or biking. Those little choices add up to a lot of steps.
    3). Always exercise on a Monday. It sets the tone for the week.
    4). Keep it interesting, mix it up frequently.
    5). Little things like keeping water bottles, socks and sneakers in easily accessible spots, streamlines the process of getting to a workout. For example, I keep my workout clothes next to my bed (because I exercise in the morning) and my socks and running shoes by the front door. It takes me three minutes to get dressed and out the door, and that is half the battle won 🙂

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This entry was posted on October 7, 2011 by in Meghan Champagne's posts.
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