Seek discipline, not motivation

Motivation. We constantly seek it through positive interactions with others; well-filtered Instagram photos as well as inspirational quotes and memes…to name just a few! When people achieve success in any aspect of their life, they are often questioned about their motivation; what do they recommend to others in order for them to achieve a similar outcome? And, the most common question, ‘how do you stay motivated?’ The inclusion of the word ‘stay’ is key; it implies that motivation is fleeting. Anything, or anyone, can be motivating, and the feeling of being ‘motivated’ undeniably leaves you feeling virtuous.

But what happens when the motivation waivers, or even fades? Maybe the weather is grey and stormy, maybe your favourite celebrity hasn’t posted a selfie recently, or maybe you just simply aren’t feeling it at work today. This is when discipline takes over. Do you still proceed, trying to achieve your goals, or do you justify the lack of motivation and do nothing? The ‘do nothing’ option is easier, as it allows you to fall back onto what you know, and, after all, one day off won’t hurt… But then one day makes taking a second day, a week, or even a month off, so much more acceptable. And then you are left, back where you started, but completely de-motivated with your goal seeming unachievable and out of reach entirely.

So next time you aren’t feeling motivated to study for a test, get out of bed or head to the gym, give yourself an incentive (maybe eat a piece of cake afterwards, get a fresh new manicure or just complete a shorter, lighter intensity workout today) and get on with it. You will feel so much better for it!

Indeed, it is not motivation we should seek, but, instead, we should look to forming habits of discipline. Being disciplined resonates, and being disciplined is empowering – the satisfaction of knowing you gave something your all stays with you far longer than any fleeting burst of motivation. And guess what tends to follow disciplined habits? Success.

-Benchpressingbaubles, x

Why I hashtag IIFYM

IIFYM = If it fits your macros. It seems to be the ‘in’ thing in the health and fitness industry at the moment, and browsing the hashtag on Instagram gives you a very incomplete picture as to what this is all about. Now, I am not a personal trainer, nor a qualified health professional, so this is all based on my reading of articles/blogs and understanding of basic nutrition.

 

If it firs your macros is the concept that there are no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ foods and that provided you stay within your calorie goal, as well as within your protein, carbohydrates and fats (your macronutrients) you can eat whatever you like! Now there are some people who eat highly processed food for all their meals and follow this method to the extreme, but this is actually an incredibly tiny minority of people. Most people who hashtag IIFYM and follow that lifestyle, eat and follow an incredibly balanced lifestyle. Most of what you see on Instagram, as with anything, is heavily glamorised, after all, which would you rather see? Someone eating chicken and broccoli or a magnificent stack of pancakes with peanut butter, chocolate and doughnuts sandwiched inbetween?!

 

This time last year, I followed a diet plan assigned by my personal trainer and I would stick to it for maybe 5 days and then full on binge on all things sweet, devouring anything and everything in sight. Then be racked with guilt, eat egg whites for a day or so and then resume the cycle. When I began prepping for my photoshoot, I thought I would really struggle with the diet. I did get cravings, but actually I stuck to it for almost 21 weeks. My diet was tough, with carbohydrates being eliminated from my diet for the last 3 months. After my photoshoot, I was scared to eat. My body ballooned and I had caused metabolic damage from a combination of low carbohydrates and not reverse dieting. I went to someone for help and began to reverse diet properly. My reverse diet plan was so similar to my prep plan, I couldn’t stick to it with no end goal. So I began binging again. My confidence was non-existent. And then I got introduced to flexible dieting. It has saved me, my sanity and my confidence. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love ‘clean’ food, but I also don’t have the mental strength, nor desire, to deprive myself. The vast majority of my food is nutritious and densely packed with micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), but I also eat chocolate, sweets and bread too! I am still reverse dieting and am now eating more than double the calories that I was on prep, my carbohydrate consumption is pretty high and my weight is the same now as 3 weeks post photoshoot, but my body composition is completely different. I am still lacking in confidence, fearful of exceeding my calorie intake, eating out, eating anything I can’t ‘track’, but then I rememember where I was in December. I have made a tremendous amount of progress and am infinitely happier. So while it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, the 20% of ‘bad foods’ I consume in a week have enabled me to enjoy food again. And isn’t that what it is all about?

Benchpressingbaubles, x