INSPIRATION & MOTIVATION

I’m gonna be real for a minute. And I have a confession: I do NOT always have it all together. Not even close. Just ask CFBF. He has witnessed some ugly days. Bless his heart.

While I love for my Internet personality to appear like I’m some sort of fitness queen, who drinks lots of beer and eats donuts all the time and loves every minute of it, it’s not the whole story. I. WORK. MY. ASS. OFF. And it is NOT easy.

But that being said, I do think it’s totally worth it. Do I hate being the one in the office that everybody thinks it totally insane forget ting up at 5am every day to workout? Absolutely not. I actually freaking love it. And people ask me a lot how I bring myself to do it. So I’ll share here, for all to enjoy.

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1. Find and follow people who inspire you. It’s no secret that I LOOOOOOVE Instagram. And scrolling through photos of seriously badass and smokin’ hot athletes totally inspires me to get my ass in gear. Also, sometimes it just deepens my regret following a chips and guacamole binge. Hard to watch some ripped crossfit girl lift 3x as much as I can in a sports bra and tiny shorts when I’m sprawled out on the couch with a third trimester food baby. It still happens. I’m not perfect, but I’m working on it.

Some of my favorite Instagrammers:

2. Find some accountability. Making new habits is not easy. For me, managing daily workouts isn’t usually a challenge. Actually, it’s often one of my favorite parts of the day (as long as it’s in the morning, please; evening workouts are not my friend). My biggest challenges come from maintaining my diet. You know me, I love food and beer with all my heart. And I don’t really love moderation. I like to do all things in excess.

But anyway, accountability – do whatever you have to do to force yourself to stick to your plan. I’ll be completely honest, the only thing that I’ve found that works for me is monetary consequences. I have a very lengthy list of diet deal breakers that I’ve been able to give up ONLY because I would have to pay Lesley $5 every time I screwed up. These include, but are not limited to: work treats (they’re everywhere! all the time! stress eating disasters!), eating nut butters from the jar (guilty pleasure), snacking on chocolate chips every time I walk into the pantry and thinking that my portions are small enough that it’s OK (HA, don’t buy them anymore), inhaling my afternoon snack at 10am (and consequently buying more food from the vending machine later).

So whether your challenges are diet or exercise oriented or both, try putting $5 on it and see what happens. I am willing and able to be anybody’s debt collector if you need one. 😉

3. Make it a competition. Nobody likes to lose. And listen, other people don’t even need to know that you’re competing with them. Is that cheating? Maybe, but whatever. We all want to look good. So why are you going to let your friends (or enemies) upstage you? Know somebody else is trying to stick to a diet plan? Don’t be the one diving face first into the cupcakes while they other guy stays strong. Other people around you trying to lose weight? Do NOT let them see you popping those peanut m&m’s. Yes, this is vain. I should only care about myself. I can’t compare myself to other people. I’m my own biggest competition. Yada, yada, yada. I know. I’m just saying, envy is a big motivator.

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4. Envision who you want to be. OK, so this one is a little more hippy dippy, but I’ll admit to doing it. When I’m having a really rough time on a run and I’m just NOT into it, I try to remind myself of who I want to be and how I want to be perceived. When people see me, I want them to think I look like a strong and fit, badass runner. I want to look the part! I want to be small and quick and light and run like the wind (even if I feel like my legs are made of lead and my feet are bricks and I’m struggling through every block). It goes back to all those amazing athletes that I follow on Instagram. If I want to look like them, I better darn well train like it.

5. PRACTICE. Honestly, this is a big one. Most of the time when people ask me how I stay so diligent with my workout routine the first response out of my mouth is something along the lines of “it’s a habit now” or “I’m just used to it.” And I mean it. I started exercising in the mornings in college. I’ve been doing this for years. Of course it’s a habit now. That does not mean that I bounce out of bed every day at 5am. It’s still not easy all the time, but it’s what I do. It’s what I LIKE to do. And it’s just become a part of my life now.

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Whew, that was a long one. I won’t keep going. You talk to me now. What do you do to stay inspired and motivated? Who else do I need to add to my Instagram feed? Because that’s really all I want to talk about anyway.

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