Monday Motivation: What motivates you to exercise and eat well?

Perhaps one of the most common questions that I get asked by group fitness participants and personal training clients is about motivation.

Where do you find the motivation to get up every morning, pack your cooler and head to the gym?

When you didn’t sleep well the night before? When your husband is away for work? When your children are sick? When your legs are sore from yesterday’s workout? When your girlfriends invite you for coffee? When you’d rather go shoe shopping? When your workout clothes are all in the laundry?

When you just don’t feel like it?

Given the prevalence of challenges with motivation, I thought I’d start a weekly feature on the blog to help you all stay motivated with your exercise and healthy eating goals.

Welcome to the first instalment of Monday Motivation!

Each week, I’ll offer you a motivational tip. A photo, a quote, perhaps just a question for you to think about. A success story or a the results of a new study. There may be a recipe or a workout involved. And of course, I’d love to hear what motivates you! If you’d like to contribute a guest post, please contact me via Twitter (@fitknitchick_1) and we can set something up!

Now I know it may sound trite, but my primary motivation comes from my children.

My children motivate me to keep fit and fuel my body with healthy food. Why?

  • So I can keep up with them! I waited until I was in my 30′s to start a family. While that decision afforded me lots of time to travel and pursue my career, it meant that I would never be the youngest mom at the playground. My kids are active and I need to be active with them. Exercising gives me the energy to be a mom who moves!
  • To show them that exercise is a normal part of a healthy lifestyle. I don’t want my children to start exercising as adults. I don’t want them to think of it as a chore. I want them to revel in movement.
  • To ensure that they get the nourishment their growing muscles and brains need. Preparing healthy meals and snacks made primarily from whole foods teaches them that good nutrition doesn’t come out of a box. I want them to go off to university knowing how to feed themselves well and avoid the ‘freshman fifteen’.

Of course, my kids like treats too. But I avoid buying pre-packaged cookies and instead, make my own, from regular cookbooks, but subbing in healthier ingredients where possible.

Try these yummy sunflower seed butter and chocolate chip cookies. We did! (Recipe adapted from an old Canadian Living Desserts cookbook my grandmother gave me before I started to eat clean).

Sunbutter and chocolate chip cookies

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sunflower butter (any unsweetened nut butter can be substituted; I use sunflower seed butter because we have a ‘no nuts’ policy at our school)
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup wheat bran
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seed
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (the darker the better!)
  1. Cream butters, sugar, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl.
  2. Beat in dry ingredients.
  3. Stir in chocolate chips.
  4. Drop by tablespoon onto lightly greased or parchment lined cookie sheet.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes (or just underdone looking) at 375 degrees.
  6. Allow to cool for 5-10 min on cookie sheet before removing to wire cooling rack.

Although it slows down the process ;) I invite my kids to bake with me as often as possible. It gives me the opportunity to talk to them about the ingredients we’re using and how those ingredients benefit their growing bodies!

Tell me what motivates you to maintain a healthy lifestyle?

Comments

  1. Great post! I agree, my kids are my motivating factor, but also knowing that breaking a sweat regardless of distractions usually has the best payoff, Knowing that consistency is key, keeps me going!

  2. Wow Tamara, your motivations are the same as mine – I am an older mom too, and I really want to make sure that I am around to see my kids growing up. I love it when my four year old asks “mommy, are you going to spin class?” My going to the gym is something that they see me do most mornings (although the snow is a bit of a de-motivator LOL), and a healthy lifestyle is something I really want them to embrace. Great post!

    • Laugh! Yes, there are lots of us ‘old’ moms out there, aren’t they? I shudder to think how old I’ll be when the last one finally leaves the house for university… A great reason to keep fit for the long haul!

  3. Great post! And I don’t think kids are a cheesy motivation at all! We don’t have any kids (yet?), but I’m for sure motivated to stay healthy for the future – for my husband and for living life well! I’m pretty internally motivated to work out (almost there on the eating – that’s harder for me!), and I love the feeling after a workout’s done! :D Plus, this is not just for the moment – it’s for the rest of my life! …thanks for sharing.

  4. I find that there are times when I need going to the gym or eating a healthy meal is like second nature and then there are times I needed motivation by the minute! The winter months tend to be tough. My biggest motivation is actually a feeling…I love the way I feel after a workout, the feeling of feeling great in new clothes, the feeling of strength from within. Great post! can’t wait to read next week’s motivational tip.

  5. I’m a big fan of healthy baked goods. Thanks for the fun recipe!

    Emotional well-being is probably my biggest motivation for leading a healthy lifestyle…though, in a round-about way, weight and physical health problems led me to it. (I’m running a beauty and body image-themed BlogFest in Feb., FYI.)

    • Welcome and thanks for commenting!
      Emotional health is often the forgotten part of the wellness equation. I’m curious about your BlogFest. Running to check out your blog for info!

  6. Being healthy as i can be motivates me – and i really need to try this recipe!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Monday Motivation is a 10-minute circuit. You’ll need a set of weights, a mat, a bench (or chair), a ball, an [...]

  2. [...] My children are my motivation to eat well and exercise daily [...]

  3. [...] the things that motivate me personally to get to the gym and make healthy choices in the kitchen (family, health, aging well, and aesthetics, to name a [...]

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