Demotivation Does Not Define You
I work out when I want to work out, and I sleep in when I want to sleep in. I run because I love to run, no longer because I have to run.
Words Eleana Davidson
We all do it, it gets to about 10 am and we mindlessly open the infamous Instagram app and before we know it we’re deep into the online world - gawking and drooling over complete strangers, questioning why our lives can’t be as put together as theirs. I’m guilty of it, I am sure you are too. There’s a plethora of girls and boys that have already kicked off the day with a gym session, 10k run and a completed check list of all their daily errands before they’ve even stepped foot into their office. Me? I’ve done the sniff test on my t-shirt from a few days ago, with a confirmed yes it is okay to wear it to work again. I’ve checked out my hair in a toothpaste splashed bathroom mirror and decided that I can get away with another dry shampoo cover up operation. And... I’ve already burnt my toast. Oh, and I’ve spilt coffee on said t-shirt.
There is a stark comparison between these Instagram lives and mine and this fairly often get me down. Why am I a lazy piece of cow pat that can’t get out of bed for a 6am bootcamp like she did? Why are my Sundays spent eating cold takeaway pizza instead of mediating in the swiss alps? The internet is a great place, it really is, but it is also a very real gateway for self-loathing. It has taken me some time however, and I am slowly but surely becoming more aware of this, that it is not these instagram superhumans who are making me feel awful or that their lives are ruining mine. No, not at all. Instead it’s actually a very serious case of self sabotage and with all this draining comparison, I am dragging my life all by myself.
We’re all suckers for sweating the small stuff whilst also on the flip side of that, not celebrating the small wins either. It’s madness really, if the small things are too small to celebrate then why the hell do we beat ourselves up over the same size setbacks?
My relationship with exercise hasn’t always been the healthiest, and to be honest, it still isn’t where I’d like it to be, but it’s getting there and I’m sure in today’s world it’s pretty rare for guilt-free, viable relationships with exercising and eating. It’s a skill to be mastered and I’m learning not to bind one with the other, to not compare myself to the instagram superheros and the absolute gym babes, and being okay with doing things at my own pace and in my own way.
Recently my exercising game has be otracious. I either don’t do it at all, get bored at the 2 mile mark of a run and jog back home, or potter around the gym not really having a clue or the effort level to do anything. In the last few months I felt even more demotivated once leaving the gym than before, as I have just wasted an hour of my life, simply put, absolutely faffing. It’s tough. The motivation has well and truly left the building, but I’m trying to figure out how to be okay with that because I think I know why it has disappeared on me. For a long time, my exercising routine was heavily driven by my need to look a certain way or my desire to escape certain situations in day-to-day life. I love the way my stomach looks with abs or how a thigh gap looks in photographs. I love the way my mind clears on a run or the way my mood picks up after sweating it out on the gym floor. All those things are still true to this day, however my circumstances have changed. I have completely smashed university, I have my own home, I’m doing a job that I’m genuinely interested in, and I’m in an ever-stablising relationship, so I’ve got far less things to run away from.
Another big thing, I’ve learnt to not be afraid of food - take last night for example, I devoured a big bowl of spaghetti just because I fancied it. I think it’s less important for me to have said abs, or kill myself in the gym each day because I’m happier. I work out when I want to work out, and I sleep in when I want to sleep in. I run because I love to run, no longer because I have to run Every. Single. Damn. Day. I bloody well eat whenever I want to eat. I’m still a health freak don’t get me wrong, but the pressure (from myself) is definitely lifting and of course my goals, routines and attitudes are shifting with that.
I think the main thing to focus on, whoever you are, whenever you’ve hit that wall of demotivation, is to not beat yourself about it but instead, figure out what is actually demotivating you. Then become accustomed to the fact that you might not be as motivated as you once were, but your life has changed and you’re more motivated to do other things. A bout of demotivation isn’t always a bad thing and it certainly doesn’t define you. You might just not care about rock hard abs all that much anymore.
Learn to be okay with seeing the Instagram bosses who work out at 5am every single morning, knowing their one hell of a human, but at the same time champion your record for the world’s longest lie in on a Sunday morning. As long as you’re always growing and moving forward as yourself, then it really doesn’t matter what route you’re taking or what you’re moving towards. Things change, priorities re-prioritise, and sometimes holding onto that extra belly fluff means you can have a whale of a time out eating carbs with your friends. Do what makes you happy, not what you think should make you happy. There’s a difference, and I think I’m starting to understand that.