The key is to find what motivates you.

June 23, 2019

Two weeks after radiation I joined the Wodapalooza Transformation Challenge. It was an 8-week challenge to transform your body through exercise and nutrition. For $20 you could enter with a before picture. I was hesitant because I was still weak and didn’t know exactly what I was capable of. Over the past years I have found I need good motivation or a goal to push myself to accomplish anything. Knowing there was no way I’d win, but knew it would push me to not waste the $20 I spent if signed up. Eight weeks later, here I am, the grand prize winner. I can’t believe what I have accomplished. I had no expectations of the outcome, just pushed myself the best of my ability. I trained daily and changed my diet. And I won.

Before and after images from the 2019 Wodapalooza 8- Week Transformation Challenge.

Motivation is something I struggle with. I am perfectly content with sitting on the couch. Gaining weight to me isn’t the end of the world. I survived for years on daily sonic for breakfast, a Bertolli frozen meal for lunch and a beer or two for dinner. And there was no exercise in sight. But that slowly changed when I met my husband. He loved fitness and ate healthy. I didn’t even own a pair of sneakers. Slowly we started going for walks and bike rides. When he proposed my dress motivated me to join a gym with him. I ran my first mile ever without walking. I remember being at the gym, on a treadmill, so stinking proud of myself. 

Our minds all run on different motivations. Do you know what yours is? Are you motivated by your family and children? An example being, I really want to be healthy for my spouse or child so I can spend quality time with them without struggling. Are you motivated by appearance? Do you look in the mirror and workout extra to fit in that cute dress you saw? Does mental peace motivate you? An example would be feeling anxious and overwhelmed but taking a step back and going for a run to clear your mind. Or even just as simple as a treat motivation. If I do this one exercise everyday for a week I will treat myself to a Starbucks coffee. Or like me, I am motivated by competition, even just against myself. I want to run 32 miles just to say and prove to myself that I did it. There are many motivations but the key is finding what makes you go. 

I have received many emails since I have started this blog. One recently prompted me to share. The email was from someone who had a family member with cancer asking how they could help them. I had been asked this question multiple times. “What can I do or give to someone who has cancer?” My answer has evolved over the years. Currently, I would recommend just your time. Especially now with the isolation from Covid, human contact is missing from our lives. Instead of sending a package full of stuff, just a phone call about the latest gossip or a tv series you both watch will do. I encourage you to find out what they have as a goal for the next few months, not necessarily fitness related but just something to look forward to. What are some ways you could help them achieve it? Just asking the question may be the motivation/realization they need to put something into action. Ask them about somewhere they would like to visit in the next year. What is something they have always dreamed about learning how to do? This will help give insight on what you could help them achieve or even just let their mind escape from the everyday fears of cancer. But please, don’t talk about cancer, unless they bring it up. And even then, don’t dwell on it. Focus on the happy, we think about the bad enough.

My list of 3 things to do for someone who has cancer:

  1. Call them and chat about anything but cancer. Find out a goal they have and help them achieve it.
  2. Food gift cards are always nice.
  3. Once they have finished treatment don’t forget about them. During chemo everyone always wants to help but getting back to normal is hard. Make a point to check in on them multiple times to at least 6 months to a year. 

Today I will get up off the couch and go for a run. Today I will call a friend and talk about goals. Today I will work toward my goal of running 32-miles.

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