I’ve written about motivation before. I know I have. I’ve written about being “motivated” into shrinking down to fit into a dress. I’ve written about experiences that have compelled me to get my act together – I know I have – but I can’t help but wonder.
Merriam-Webster defines motivation as:
Main Entry: mo·ti·va·tionPronunciation: \ˌmō-tə-ˈvā-shən\Function: nounDate: 1873
1 a : the act or process of motivating b : the condition of being motivated
2 : a motivating force, stimulus, or influence : incentive, drive
“A positive, motivating force within your life,” right? I guess.
I’m not going to sugar coat this at all. The idea of being “motivated” into some giant whirlwind of fitness… does not work for everyone. Some women are raised in such a vacuum of “focus on being skinny!!!!111!1” that they fall into fitness. Some women are truly raised in such a healthy environment, that proper nutrition and fitness is all they know… and they trust their upbringing enough to not stray too far away from that. Some women can identify that one catalyst in their lives that makes them say “Enough is enough!” and get down to business.
And then… there are women like me. Overweight for all of their adult lives, had all the health risks and reasons to compel me to do what I needed to get on top of my health, and just… couldn’t do it. I don’t know if it was a feeling of helplessness, hopelessness, laziness or flat out “I’m-too-fine-to-focus-on-losing-this-booty”ness… but whatever it was, it wasn’t compelling me to make any changes.
It wasn’t until I had a very heartfelt conversation with the owner of the gym I eventually joined – a conversation about me – that I realized I had every reason in the world to compel me to lose weight and live my healthiest life.
I think about every lull I’ve experienced in my own journey. That point where you slow down and start getting bored, start feeling blah, whatever it may be. “I’m waiting for my muuuuuuuse….. I need to be inspiiiired…. I need motivaaationnn….” as I ate some stuff I had no business eating. I was looking for something outside of myself to solve a problem that could only be solved by looking inside of myself. I wanted something other than me to have the responsibility of compelling me to do what I needed to do for me.
I wanted something to inspire me. Something other than me to tell me what I needed to do for me. I didn’t want the responsibility of telling myself to just pick my behind up off the couch and go, for some reason, as if that would’ve been too much ownership of the situation. I needed to wait on my epiphany. I needed to wait. And while waiting, I was doing nothing. Wasting time. Doing what I knew I shouldn’t be doing… while I waited on the thing that would come tell me to do what I knew I should be doing.
Doesn’t that sound silly?
At the point where I knew I needed to eat better, knew I needed to get in my daily activity… waiting for something to compel me to do right by myself is foolish. If you know you need to do it, no matter how thin or overweight you may be, why shortchange yourself? It’s almost like giving yourself an intentional break with the excuse of waiting on inspiration to behave properly.
I have inspirations. My pole intructor? She’s my inspiration to be stronger. Giada DeLaurentis (of Food Network fame) is my food inspiration. Seriously… that woman cooks her behind off and manages to keep her shape. Deion Sanders’ wife, Pilar? She’s my fit inspiration. Her body is incredible, and she’s had like 40 kids. (More like 3, but good grief. Same difference.) No one can make me get up but me.
No person or thing is more compelling than my health. Nothing – no strength, food or figure – is more important than ensuring that I’m around for as long as possible. I put myself first like that. I am my motivation. I own it.
It’s like a change in language is in order. Something else shouldn’t make you act right. YOU make you act right. Those types of women that I mentioned before? Those women were inspired. An outside source inspires you. Preservation of one’s body and one’s health is the motivation. Always. To me, that’s the most important source of motivation – the most compelling reason to live healthily – that there is.
What do you think? Am I off base here? Is there a difference between motivation and inspiration? Is it just word play and semantics? Let’s hear it!