Finding [My] Balance

Ankle

I’ve been struggling with motivation lately – lacking enthusiasm for my workouts and attention to my nutrition. I lost my balance – and here’s my story.

At the end of September, I was rear-ended by a guy going over 50 mph, but I felt lucky to come away from the incident feeling “fine”. In fact, the next day, I came one second away from my summer-long goal of running a 6-minute mile [I ran a 6:01]. Later that week though, perhaps once the shock of the accident started to wear off, I began experiencing pretty severe low back pain and began physical therapy 2x/week. Then a week later, I sprained my right ankle…BAD; like can’t walk at all, bad [nope, not while exercising, but while walking out to my car — I’ll save the explanation for another time. I am still trying to think of a better story of how it “really happened” 🙂 ].

So, because of these two incidents, I essentially didn’t workout for 5 weeks. I went from being in the best shape of my life [no joke], to being extremely limited in what I could do. For someone who moves for a living and thrives on being fit, this was hard to swallow. I lost my sense of well-being and found myself swimming in self-pity. When I finally felt that my body was well enough to begin working out again, I then lacked motivation. I was frustrated that all the progress I’d made over the summer was essentially gone.

And as could be expected, this wallowing led to a lack of attentiveness to what I was putting into my body on a daily basis. In the beginning, it wasn’t a big deal, but as I continued implementing this lazier and mindless approach to my nutrition, eating poorer quality foods than I usually do, I started to notice that my energy was also zapped. I was tired. This, in turn, increased my lack of motivation to do anything. And I found that I was spiraling in a direction of depression that had me constantly questioning my self-value. Suddenly, I wanted to eat out more [because I didn’t feel like cooking]; I felt myself craving junk food and feeling like I always needed a cocktail. I was eating maybe 60-70% clean [not absolutely horrible], but my attitude shift was BIG. I couldn’t seem to get myself out of the funk and even more so, could find no motivation to do so.

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Shape Your World 11.26

The truth is — motivation sucks. It waxes and wanes as frequently as the high school love interest. And often times, I think it can almost serve as a barrier to our success. Why? Because of its flightiness! When I am motivated, decision-making towards my goals is easy. It’s easy to say no to things that will obstruct the path to my goals; and in the same token, it’s also easy to motivate for the challenges I must overcome to reach my goal. But what happens when motivation is lacking? What happens when everything around us is actually zapping our motivation and pushing us in the opposite direction? It’s pretty easy to “fall off the wagon”, right? We don’t need motivation; my friends, we need discipline. I needed discipline. I needed to reconnect with who I was and what was important to me.

Its discipline that helps us walk the walk and not just talk the talk. Motivation may get us started, but we must implement discipline to follow through. Goals vary, and so do the steps required to get us there, but we all know excuses get us nowhere in life and the same holds true with pursuing goals. Be it a goal of obtaining lifelong health or running a marathon, motivation will only ever take you so far.  Discipline, on the other hand, leaves no room for excuses. It doesn’t come & go, doesn’t take “no” for an answer. Instead, it’s a habit pattern that streamlines our goals because you don’t do things “when you feel like it”, you do it because you made a commitment, made a pact – and a promise with yourself to keep it. We might not feel like working out, or feel like preparing nutritious food; we might lack enthusiasm, but discipline makes us do it anyways. Discipline follows through where your mind cannot; it pushes through barriers and breaks down walls of excuses. We don’t break promises or commitments that we make to other people – friends, family or clients, so why do we so easily break commitments to ourselves? That’s the most sacred earthly relationship we hold. We cannot fully love or take care of others unless we truly love and care for ourselves.

We all struggle with this same thing – finding our balance. Finding balance between our social lives and time constraints; between taking time out for ourselves, while doing our jobs and being a “good” partner, parent or friend; and balance between what we define as “being healthy” and “having fun”. But the problem with balancing is that we’re not always “on”. And all the things we juggle in life and the stuff that happens is constantly challenging our equilibrium and taking us out of balance more than helping us find it.

It’s my one true passion in life to help people find their path to living healthfully for a lifetime. Not for the times we’re “motivated”, but forever. To develop a relationship with ourselves where we respect our body and our needs [both physical & psychological]; while caring enough about our well-being to see it as a lifelong pursuit versus obtaining immediate results. It’s something that takes work. We don’t always get it right and often times we lose our balance along the way.

But sometimes, we have to lose our balance to find it.

And there’s no shame in that. It’s the permanence of discipline, the flexibility in pursuing health as a lifestyle and the commitment to our own overall well-being that helps us find our balance again. And when we do, gosh, does it feel good. So, maybe today is the day that you leave motivation at the door and make the commitment to yourself to be patient. To live every day to the fullest, to fill your body with nutritious ingredients because it really does make a difference, to move your body now so that you can keep moving for the lifetime that’s ahead of you. To accept this as a journey, where we stumble, where we maybe even eat s**t pretty hard sometimes– but we get back up, because we made a promise to ourselves and we’ve got the discipline to back it up. And that’s where I found balance again.

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About Whitney Mack of Macks Mo

Whitney Mack is a holistic nutrition health coach, fitness + movement specialist, feel good fanatic and founder of Macks Mo - a healthy living business that empowers busy women and mommas to connect to their desires and they want to feel daily in order to macks-imize joy, freedom, vibrancy, energy and ease. Through her programs + services, she uses real food, movement and signature health coaching strategies to guide clients in creating a more meaningful and fulfilled life (soulful, joyful, healthful) through nourishment and love. And turns out, as their love grows (for their life, themselves, their spirit), their body intuitively sheds the mental + physical weight holding them back from a life and body they're excited about.

11 responses to “Finding [My] Balance”

  1. Stacey Jenkins says :

    Wow – I can really relate to this Whitney. While my career is not dependent on fitness, it was hard for me to give up my volunteer park class this fall after I got a job, then hear from my PT that my meniscus was really damaged and in order to heal, I couldn’t run or do boot camp for at least 5-6 weeks. I just felt like I was going down the fitness ladder one rung at a time. But you know what kept me motivated? You did. Your posts, workouts and attitude made me look at alternatives and stay positive. I am now swimming twice a week, doing daily push ups, weights, core exercises and strengthening my legs muscles. I’m also still adhering to your diet principles. Yes, it’s not as intense as it used to be, and I feel “damaged” and old, but the foundation you laid down makes it easier to accept ups and downs and stay motivated and disciplined – thank you!

    • macksmo says :

      Stac — I was thinking about you as I wrote various parts of this, as I know you can relate! I think I’ve been given a new appreciation for my body & its abilities, which makes me even more determined to take care of it now so that I CAN keep moving forever.
      I LOVE your tenacity & spirit, Stac — in everything you do. Thank you for sharing your journey with me. Your energy is contagious and you are so talented in so many ways. Continue to be patient with the process you’re in, it’s worth it! xoxo.

  2. KristaU says :

    I had no idea, Whitney…but you know what, we can’t all be “perfect” all of the time. It’s ok. I so admire your drive to push others, even if you may not be feeling it inside. You continue to inspire!

    • macksmo says :

      Thanks Krista, you rock! 🙂 Thank you for continually inspiring me for the past 2.5 years. I can’t really even put into words how incredible it is to watch you continue to transform & grow — it’s so wonderful to watch. Both on a fitness & personal level. Love you girl, xo.

  3. Ruby Somera says :

    Whitney, this is an incredibly inspiring & moving post. I’m so thankful you put all of this into words – I have definitely been lacking self discipline & only yesterday decided that that isn’t who I am. I worked out yesterday for the first time in a couple of months & the whole time I kept saying to myself “whoa! I am so out of shape!”. Everything that once felt easy to me was INCREDIBLY difficult to get through. I was ashamed that I had let it get that bad. I, too, was recently in the best shape of my life & I really have no idea what happened. Laziness, I suppose. This post is exactly what I needed to read today. Thank you for this!!! xoxo

    • macksmo says :

      So glad, Rub! Especially from people like you & I who expect a lot of ourselves [I know I place ridiculous expectations on myself a lot!], it’s so easy to be frustrated when we find ourselves in the midst of a “setback”. BUT I believe responding to those setbacks in a way that generates positive energy is the only way to climb back out. You are an amazing woman and it’s okay to take a step back once in awhile. I am so happy to be on this journey with you! 🙂

  4. Christina Bosley says :

    I just wanted to say ~* THANK YOU*~ for sharing this with everyone.. This has helped me realize, I can do what I put my mind to, its only natural to have up and downs in our goal. Sense September I have been going through a great amount of health issues, surgery, hospital stays and now weekly doctor visits, it hangs heavily on ones self esteem, confidence, motivation and basic over all health. Reading everything this morning help put a new refresh feeling of I can and I will get healthy again.. Thank you for your words of inspiration, I hope you the best of luck, and Happy Holidays!

    • macksmo says :

      Hey Christina, I am SO glad that this post resonated with you – and that you could find inspiration from it. I’m finding more & more that if I am transparent about my struggles & successes, that not only is there are there so many people out there going through the same thing, but that’s so nice to share in it together, right? So often, we’re impatient with ourselves – and expect immediate results, but it’s in our journey where all the memorable moments & character building are made. The journey is the juicy part. 🙂 Wishing YOU the best and please stay in touch — thanks for sharing your struggles as well, xo.

  5. Carl Peterson says :

    Whitney:

    Wait until you are almost ready to turn 65, but the good news(I think) is I am already on Medicare and our insurance premium went down and we are ahead of the game a little bit. Your posts are motivation for me, and we try and do things on a regular basis. Here’s one I have trouble with, but so far so good. Flossing, how come it is right up there with breathing right after you go to the the dentist, but then … Dianne is working with a personal trainer and doing great, and I am getting back into shape. It is on ongoing process, but you guys look like you are having a great time. Keep up the good work, and hope your business continues to grow.

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