Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Self Motivation

I've always prided myself on self-motivation. I was the one pushing myself to get good grades in high school (though making my parents proud was another good motivator), to be a better athlete when I was in team sports, to be a better musician, and now in my life, to be a better wife. I rarely needed an incentive to do well, and I am grateful for that.

Over the summer, I found myself lacking in the self-motivation department. Once Spring semester was over, I guess I just stopped caring because there wasn't anything to motivate myself about. I was wrong.

I may not be severely or any kind of overweight, but weight is something that weighs heavily on my mind, metaphorically speaking of course, and pun kind of intended. I may have posted something like this before in a previous blog entry, and I know I talked about it in my short personal documentary I made for my documentary class last semester. Well, I hit my highest weight after the two trips Ryan and I took this summer, and it did not feel great. For the next week or so while we settled down, I was a mess. So I decided to buy myself another work out DVD and, well, get to work.

I chose Jillian Michaels' 30-Day Shred, which guarantees fairly good results after 30 days. I had a month before school started, so I figured this was a great way to kickstart my fitness and then I'd continue doing something else once school started. Only trouble was...when was I going to do these workouts once school started? At the time, I was looking for a job to fit the 8-noon slot I had cleared away in my schedule (I have since found it), and then that left little time after all that to work out, and would I even have the energy?

Ryan gave me the solution: Just wake up earlier.

Huh. I hadn't woken up early to work out since PT when I was in the Army ROTC. And even then I had questionable attendance. Would this really work? So that's what I did all of August to prep me for the rest of the year: woke up at 5:30 in the morning to do a 20-30 minute workout with Jillian Michaels so that I could have plenty of time to shower, eat breakfast, and do all the other morning chores I'd been doing since I first got married.

I was nervous at first, wondering if my self-motivation would be enough. It was tough at times when it seemed like I wasn't getting any results on the scale. I could feel a change in my endurance but I couldn't SEE my body getting thinner or my weight getting lighter. During week 3 of this experiment, it was very discouraging. But then week 4 happened, and suddenly, I was seeing results! That was a nice boost and motivation to keep going.

I have now gotten up early for 6 weeks and have since changed DVDs (I'm now doing the Ripped in 30 workout, similar to 30-Day Shred, but better in certain ways). It hasn't even been a problem. I love the way I feel after working out and I love that I actually feel more awake than if I slept in (which I've done 2-3 times).

I no longer have a "goal weight", or at least not a goal weight in the sense that I want to be so-and-so pounds by so-and-so time. Yeah, I'd love to be back to my pre-wedding weight or even my ROTC days weight. But I'm finally realizing that working out is so much more than looking good. It's about feeling good, and though I'm still a little jiggly in areas I'd rather not be jiggly, I love that I feel so much better about myself. I go throughout the day and KNOW that I have done something to combat this weight issue that often crosses my mind.

As a side note, it's nice that I get it done right off the bat: that way I'm not dreading a workout after my long days (Monday-Wednesday has me going from 8am to around 7pm without significant breaks). And it's nice that my body is still slightly asleep so it doesn't quite know what I'm doing to it. Yet.

I guess this is a self-gratifying post about how pleased I am with my self-motivation so far this semester. Work-outs aside, I have set up a homework system where I do my assignments 2-3 days before they are due, so as to free up my weekends and make my nights a little more manageable, especially on my long days. The days get long, but I am so glad that I have this self-motivation within me that keeps me on track, and I hope, I HOPE, it never leaves.