Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Holidays and fitness... Or the key to staying motivated

I'm not going to lie to you; I have been meaning to do this post for a while... My summer off from uni is all but over and as well as that 'holiday' I have just spent a week away in Kos (pure bliss by the way). This summer has been a true revelation if I'm honest; both in terms of fitness knowledge and my fitness levels in themselves. I truly expected to lose all motivation over the summer but I have in fact doubled my enthusiasm and motivation for anything even mildly fitness and health related whether that's with regards to a new workout or a new 'mode de vie'.

I'm writing this post today because I believe that there is a difference between 'taking time off' and not having motivation full stop. Before this summer I thought I was motivated; I knew what I wanted and that I wanted it there and then. I went to my circuit classes religiously and did an extra hour at the gym focusing on my whole body. I didn't see the results that I was looking for even though my diet was clean and it stressed me out, it bothered me and made me upset. I would ask my boyfriend for workout advice, which he would give to me, and I would argue, flip it round, find and make excuses for not doing these exercises. Thinking back, how stupid was I? But then again I am also glad that my fitness journey is also part of a broader picture of simply my own personal journey of discovery and growth which has enabled me to become a better person as each day goes on.
Once I was back at home for the summer, not having to worry about exams, uni, or anything majorly important I 're-tuned' with my body. I stopped and I listened to what my body needed and wanted and I did just that. Rather than ask for advice that I would then dismiss for no other reason than laziness (I hate to admit) I researched non stop exercises, routines, and simple facts about the human body that enabled me to make my own decisions about eating and exercising. Now learning about fitness has become a pleasure and I am truly invested in it. I enjoy exercise, I workout when I want to, which is normally as often as I need to, I eat what my body needs and my life is generally better for it. Before this summer I was motivated by pictures of these amazing women on Instagram; they motivated me to do something about my own body but that is as far as it went. Now on the other hand I find my own body my motivation. Sure all these fitness pages do motivate me, and the women featured definitely inspire me, but the true motivation should come within and from paying attention to your own body. This isn't about being self-absorbed, selfish or vain; it is about looking after yourself and being happy in your own skin.

At the end of this summer, I am happy with the subtle changes. I take pride in the subtle achievements. And my own body motivates me to carry on. For me, my own body and my own attitude towards improvement has become my true source of motivation and this, I believe, is where it should originate from if you wish for your motivation to be successful.

On the other hand though, I just went to Kos for a week and went to the gym once, ONCE! Not like me at all as normally I am always exercising. I'm hitting the gym even harder this week because you know what; I took a week off, didn't like it and have come back even stronger than before. But my week off hasn't altered my goals or dramatically altered my body. It has simply enabled me to jump back on the train again just as quickly!

Ellen xo

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