People need direction. People need goals. It is just human nature to wander and lose focus without consistent effort and daily focus of the tasks ahead of us. A pageant can be an incredible motivator. Getting on stage and being judged is definitely scary and places girls in a position where they have a definitive goal to aim to be their best. They have daily purpose and focus to eat right and get the exercise in as a priority. At least we hope they are. You don’t want to get to the competition and regret not putting the time and effort in for the pageant. You want to have no regrets. You can’t look at the world or most of your friends for motivation. The U.S. has over 65% of its population overweight. You have to choose to set yourself apart from the crowd.
Pageants represent measuring yourself in many areas of life. They represent being your best and seeing how you stack up in different areas. Fitness and health goals are no different. Most of us are quite lazy. Isn’t it natural to want to resist putting forth effort? Isn’t it more common to crave a cheeseburger than a chicken breast on a salad? I love cheeseburgers but I choose the chicken breast sandwiches most often. The pageant is one thing but the bigger picture is your health for life. Your health is a choice that is like a daily battle of fighting against our tendency towards the path of being lazy and the immediate gratification of fast foods etc. How do we stay focused past preparing for a pageant event? How do we stay focused past the first few weeks, months and years of starting this fitness journey?
People have asked me many times how I stay focused on fitness. They make the assumption that it “must be easy since you own a gym.” WRONG! When you are done with work, do you want to stick around for a couple more hours at your work place? I am human just like anyone. I want to go eat that cheeseburger and sit on the couch too. I fight those mental battles every day. Instead of focusing on those temptations, I focus on what I want to look like and how I want to feel. I focus on telling myself, “it will be over in an hour and you will be glad you did it.” I focus on the fact that because I worked out, I can OCCASIONALLY eat that burger and sit on the couch.
Cardiovascular/aerobic activity is boring for many. I understand that but to burn the fat and build up that heart and lungs, you must do your cardio exercise. I have quit focusing on the “boring” aspect and have found ways to make it about “me” time. There are shows and shopping my wife and kids don’t want to watch or do with me. I was blessed with a Tablet for Christmas this past year and I use it while doing my cardio to watch movies and television series off of it. I will also look up articles on the internet and watch “how to videos” on YouTube as well. I look at it as “me time” and now my focus is not doing the cardio but getting some time to myself and to do the “selfish” things I need to recharge my own battery.
When it comes to weights, think about the fact that you must use those muscles or lose them. Those muscles not only keep your strong and keep your core strong but they also help your metabolism burn fat 24/7. It is normal to run out of ideas. Hire a trainer to either be accountable on a weekly basis or at minimum, hire a trainer once a month to design you a program and do it on your own. I have clients nationwide that do online programs just to get my expertise on what they need to do. It keeps them excited about new exercise programs each month and not as likely to get bored. There are experts in all fields and we should never hesitate to use them. How much is your health worth?
I wish I could give you a one sentence answer to solve the challenge of staying motivated but I simply can’t. Everyone is motivated by different things. Most of us need several factors to motivate us and even those factors can change week to week and year to year. Surround yourself with motivational articles, healthy foods, pictures that inspire and honest assessments of where you are in your current physical status. Don’t put absolutes on your fitness either. You will have days you don’t feel like breaking world records either. Something is better than nothing. The primary purpose is to think about the big picture. If you fall off the wagon then get back on it. Find a new goal. Start a new program. You don’t want people to wonder if you are a pageant queen. You want them to KNOW you are by how you take care of yourself year ‘round and throughout life.
(Brian Attebery is Miss Rodeo America Lauren Heaton’s Trainer. He is an Exercise Science Degree from O.U. and is a Certified Trainer. He owns and operates Results Fitness & Nutrition Center in Oklahoma. He has had 18 years of Pageant Winners and directs clients all over the Nation via his personalized online fitness and nutrition programs. http://www.resultsfitnessusa.com)