Rant About Lacking The Motivation To Work Out | Mindset Change
This blog is going to be completely unplanned, unstructured and unedited, just me putting my thoughts into words. Attempting to explain something I’ve been struggling with for 3 years…
I’ve been lacking the motivation to work out. For years.
It’s not that I don’t go to the gym, because I still do. But if I’m totally honest, my workouts haven’t been as fun, intense or passionate like they used to be. As a coach, my job is to push and motivate my clients to show up and train hard at every single session. I am their commitment to improving themselves, and I go a very good job!
But something that’s been lacking since I moved to Dubai and started coaching full time, is my own motivation to show up and work hard in the gym. It used to be so easy for me to commit to working out daily and pushing myself every single time. Even on days, I didn’t feel like it, I would still go to the gym and kill my workouts.
I remember when I started training consistently around 8 years ago.
I worked an office job doing customer service and was spending 8 hours a day in the office, in front of a screen. Because of that, the gym was my getaway. A place to go and just switch off from work. When I started competing while studying physiotherapy, it remained that way. I would sit in class all day, and the gym was my “me time” where I could switch off and do something that made me feel good.
Fast forward to when I moved to Dubai and started working full time as a personal trainer. The amount of stress from that move is something I mention from time to time, but I gotta admit, despite everything else that I’ve been through, I’ve never been so stressed in my entire life. Everything was new and different and I was completely on my own in a place that’ll literally eat you alive if you let it. I was trying to handle everything and settle into a new life while I worked crazy, ever-changing hours between 5:30 AM – 10 PM, 6 days a week. During this time I tried to eat right and exercise, but the stress got to me and I would comfort eat and binge eat. Every time I tried to work hard in the gym to get back in shape, I would get sick. My body was at its limit and my brain got obsessed with food, restricting and binging. That’s when I decided to go “all-in”, reduce my workouts significantly and eat intuitively. This is all something I’ve talked about before, but what I haven’t mentioned as often, is how my workout motivation never came back. I still work those crazy hours most of the time, and I spend most of my day going from gym to gym training y clients (which is a lifestyle I LOVE, and I’m so blessed to be able to do this for a living) but it makes me want to be anywhere else but in the gym when I’m not working.
I used to LOVE working out.
When I lived in Denmark, I used to literally workout 3 hours per day, 6 days per week. Sometimes twice a day. And 90% of the time, I loved it. Right before moving to Dubai, I was in my best shape ever doing 1,5-hour Olympic weightlifting sessions 3 times per week and 1-2 hour bodybuilding style workouts + 40 min. of cardio 5 times per week. A total of 8 sessions every week, consistently.
After I moved to Dubai, I would cut it down to maybe 4 times per week and rarely more than 45 min per workout. Usually, because I didn’t have time for more, which is fine, but even when I did have time, I just wouldn’t feel like being in the gym. As I said, I would get sick a d drained if I went too hard and especially the compound lifts that I used to love, just completely drained me and I would always feel weak. I would say that my workouts have chronically been at 60-70% of the intensity I know I’m capable of since I moved here.
I tried everything: I hired coaches, I tried different workout styles, I took breaks, I pushed harder… But the result was always the same: I would become exhausted and take a few days or even a week off.
I feel like I’ve tried so hard, but nothing worked. My motivation was gone, and only once in a while I would feel a little bit like my old self and actually enjoy a workout. This has been going on since I moved here in July 2016 all the way up until now. 3 years of being demotivated.
Where has my motivation gone, and how do I get it back? How am I capable of motivating my clients and of being a very successful personal trainer in Dubai for over 3 years, but not capable of motivating myself and enjoy working out?
Then a few days ago, I read a quote that really resonated with me. It was targeted at personal trainers and went something like this:
“After a long day of training your clients and helping them reach their goals, it’s finally time to train your most important client: Yourself!”
I’ve honestly never thought of it like that, but the minute I read that, my mindset shifted and I think I finally got it. I am very committed to giving my personal clients the best service I can probably give them, I want them to succeed and I always show up for them and push them through their sessions, even if I’m not feeling great that day. But then, when I’m done training clients, I feel like I’m drained and I won’t do the same for myself. Even though I know I would be able to push through another hour for a client, I decide not to if that “client” is myself. At that moment, I realized that I need to treat myself like I’m just as important as my clients. Because I am!
If you’re like me (and I know many of you are) and you just love helping people, it’s so easy to focus all your energy on helping others and improving life for everyone else around you. Whether that’s your clients, your job, your family, friends or whatever it is that you feel committed to. If it’s something outside of yourself that relies on you, it’s somehow easier to find the energy to push through and do whatever it takes to make sure it gets done.
But how come it’s so much harder to utilize that same energy to push ourselves? The truth is, if I had to spend one more hour motivating and supporting a client, I would be able to find the energy. But when it’s myself, I’ve been too complaisant. Saying that I’m drained and that I can’t do the same for myself is simply not true. It’s a matter of mindset. In the future, I really do need to always see myself as your most important client and PUSH THROUGH. If I don’t take care of myself and do what I need to do for me, one day I won’t be able to be there for anyone else, either.
I had this on my mind today during my workout. Despite having trained 6 clients between 6am-4pm and having one more session in the evening, I had my pre-workout and pushed myself through a leg day. Put more weight on the squats than I really felt like, took shorter breaks, did a few supersets to increase the intensity. And it may not have been the best workout of my life, but given the circumstances, it was a better workout than I would’ve otherwise had. And from now on, that’s going to be my goal. To push as hard as I can on that day, motivating myself to give it my all, even if I don’t feel like it.
I don’t know if this makes sense to anyone, but I just had to write down my thoughts. And since I did that, I might as well share them here with you guys.
Maybe I’m not the only one feeling like this?