This is a question that I have received a LOT recently, particularly after we released my last blog post, “You don’t eat meat? Why?!” Everyone wants to know how I stay motivated. People are questioning how I could possibly keep eating so healthy and making it to the gym every morning. So, I have decided to break my motivation down into a couple of different categories. In short, I am motivated by how great I feel, my individual progress, setting an example and helping others, and knowing I will live a longer, healthier, and happier life.
Feeling good is important, right? No one wants to feel sluggish, tired, and as if one is lacking motivation to go about day-to-day activities. These are familiar feelings to me. This is exactly how I felt before I made this drastic change. I was actually extremely depressed. I was so depressed that I did not get out of bed for days at one point. I was beyond sad, and I had no idea why.
I am not saying the cure to everyone’s depression is simply to eat better and exercise, but it was for me. My anxiety attacks have gone. I have times of sadness, as does everyone. But my depression has passed. Now, I feel great after I eat. That is something many people do not experience. Often, we eat highly processed, heavy foods that leave us feeling tired and uncomfortably full after a meal. I no longer have these feelings because I am filling myself with nutritious fruits, vegetables and unprocessed foods.
I have so much energy because of the food I am eating. How do I get my motivation? My energy! My food is not making me sick; it is not killing me. Rather, it is fueling me to get up, live life, and enjoy my day. Better yet, I feel great knowing that I harmed no animal in getting my fuel. I now have an ethical, delicious fuel to give me the energy I need to work on my homework, body, and personal goals. I sleep better at night now, and I cannot believe I have become a morning person… something I never thought would happen.
Keeping track of my progress has been essential for me. I took before and after pictures (see below), but this is more of a long-term way to see progress. There are other ways I have kept myself motivated and accountable. I take measurements of my body, I weigh myself, but more importantly, I pay attention to how my body is changing, both internally and externally.
I do this at the gym especially. I have never been a runner, but now I can run a mile easily. I am moving up in weight as I lift. I have had to push myself harder in my workouts because what was once extremely difficult for me has become my warmup. I am learning more about my body and what it is capable of! This learning experience only motivates me to educate myself more about nutrition and exercise.
I take helping others very seriously in my life. Honestly, it makes me happier than anything. I love that I am able to set an example and help my friends and family, and I enjoy meeting new friends online as well. Speaking out about my new lifestyle choices has allowed me the opportunity to do all of these things. Nothing makes me more excited than receiving a message that says, “Hey! I think you look great and I want to change too. Would you help me?” This is my motivation. Helping others and setting good examples for my friends, family, future children, and anyone else makes me happy and motivated.
It is not always easy
There are days that are not easy for me. I have bad days just like everyone else, but they are not often anymore. I find comfort in all of these things I have listed above. I remind myself of them everyday. I also journal. This blog is only one outlet I have, and I think that is important for anyone who wants to make a lifestyle change. Talk to others who have done it! Follow blogs, people on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat. Following vegans and fitness experts has been a tremendous help to me (I’ll post some of my favorite down at the bottom)!
My advice is to just find what makes you happy and do it. Feeling great, my progress, and helping others makes me happy. I am lucky I get to experience all of these. Find what makes you happy and use that to motivate you. I promise you will never dread anything you know is making a difference in the world and making you a better person. It seems cliche, but it really is true. Do not compare yourself to anyone besides you, and get out there and stand for something. This is what I have chosen to stand for, and it is my motivation.
December 2016——>March 2017
My Favorite Blogs/Pages!