So here I sit on my new best friend (the gym ball). Suffering with an injury to my hip (****and no I didn't do it lifting weights- ironically I was walking very slowly, wearing Ugg boots, on an icy ground, and did a rather spectacular banana skin, Mr Bean stylee fall, carrying a stupidly heavy bag on my back.
Feeling grateful I had not landed on my bump, and of course being more concerned that any member of the public, may have seen me falling on the floor, I scuttled off, embarrassed, and ignored the nagging discomfort of where I landed, which has now bit me royally in the ass!
(** Note for future learning point- Don’t ignore pain after a fall, its probably trying to tell you something)
Present situation? sitting, standing, walking, lying, for any period of time is uncomfortable. For someone who is used to being very active, I cannot lie, I have struggled trying to adapt with my current situation. How long this will last I don’t know. But I can honestly say I feel ‘unmotivated’ to do anything!
Now, I am always banging on about resilience, strength and the importance of this predominantly coming from the mind. So, before the violins come out- here we have the perfect time to practice what I preach!
I have naturally researched every resource available for rehab, and have taken advice from a number of health professionals (some helpful, some not so). Some have left me less motivated following consultation, than before I saw them ironically, with a doom and gloom outlook, and difference of opinion.
So with January part way through, and a lot of gym goers, health kicks, and new years resolution breakers, probably feeling not too dissimilar- what can i offer as my best advice to cope with a drop in motivation?
I say forget the concept of motivation.
I’ve always said motivation is a word banded about too easily by the fitness industry and highly overrated. Most motivational quotes I see on social media usually focus on some kind of negative anyway, and tapping into guilt, or an underlying fear, which I say is exactly the opposite of how we should work). I favour routine and a plan over motivation, any day of the week.
For example, I am entirely unmotivated to go to the gym and sit on a gym ball moving my hips so slowly that paint could actually dry as I do it. I don’t enjoy it at all. But I do it as I now have a routine and a plan to follow, and I am currently having to ‘test’ my abilities and limitations for feedback. Same sorts of reasons we are ‘motivated to clean our teeth’, I say routine is the biggest driver.
MAKE A PLAN
Make a plan to drive your routine (a plan in any kind of training whether this be strength based or rehab based is paramount to success), and by embracing the ‘things I can do’ (as opposed to looking at what I cant), and testing the plan, little and often. I can see if I am making progress even when my mood may be telling me otherwise. I have had to accept a change in my normal routine. Yet still I create a new routine as part of my plan which I can stick to- this may just be something simple by ensuring you do x, y x, at the same time of day. Either way habits and routine = action.
Within the PLAN-
Create a plan with a positive meaning
Pregnancy plus an injury = a time of challenge, doom and gloom
it can also be a time to ‘rehab’, or ‘pre-hab’, all those areas that lets be fair I probably would have stuck into my training as a token ‘five minutes’ to tick a box.
I am now spending a full hour each day working on hip stability, glute activation work, TVA, and Pelvic Floor Activation. If you aren't familiar with what that stuff is- I can tell you it is slow, repetitive, and boring.
It shows no visible results.
It also gives you no endorphins, does not make you sweat and does not get your heart rate up.
Engaging in work like this is certainly not an ego led Instagram post. But for now. Its part of my plan to rehab.
MINDSET- My mindset has had to focus on ‘what I can do- not what I cant’. Don’t think about motivation dipping because you cant do something you may have set out to achieve.
FOCUSing on the THINGS you CAN do and not the THINGS you CANT.
I CANT train my lower body in the way I am used to right now, I CAN however maintain an upper body training plan with adaptations. I am also testing out ways which I can keep some level of conditioning. In focusing on things I can do, I am engaging in a more positive mindset. I see people in my gym doing pull ups who sadly have no use of their legs. This is an example of focusing on what you can and not what you cant do.
This takes guts. It also takes testing the water a little. So many of the professionals I have sought advice from have focused on ‘limitation’s and ‘do nots’ with very little real input about what I should and can do. One has told me not to sit, stand, walk, or ideally lie, in the same position, for more than ten minutes at a time. Equally she has told me to ‘rest’?
In exactly what position am I to rest If I am not to do ALL of the above?!!! The mind boggles.
This has struck me as a huge gap in how we deal with people who may be hindered in their movement, or low in motivation. It is also something I feel very strongly about when I deal with my own client base in future. Telling someone who has any kind of doubt, worry and fear, all the negatives and no positives is lets face it, not going to lift anyones motivation. Whilst I would always advise listening to professionals you trust, I would favour the advice of those who give you balanced opinions and alternatives (ie you may not be able to do this- but try doing this instead)- Not only does this help keep your chin up, it also helps give you new ways to explore reaching the goal you want to achieve.
So- What can I do? To help rebuild’, and invoke a positive change in my situation. This is a question I am asking myself each day to help keep me focused.
Nutrition- And finally- whatever your goal- motivation or lack of - and while we look at the things you can control (and forget about the things you cant).
Nutrition is a fundamental for me , as this is something I can control- to try and help my body reduce inflammation, and rebuild the tissue it needs to. I need to make sure I am eating enough fats, protein, fibre and micronutrients (so yes thats ALOT of #SUPERSLAW), to grow a baby as healthily as i can- No mean feat!
Look at areas of your eating plan which help- or hinder your motivation. Try not to think about ‘good or bad’- rather does a particular food make you feel sluggish- does another give you more energy ? Control the areas you can (this may mean a packed lunch for work- or prepping breakfast in advance)- and get over the things you can't (a staff buffet, which maybe wasn't what you would have chosen, but was the only option at the time- who cares if it wasn't in line with a #diet -it wont kill you- ditch the guilt and move onto the next thing you can control).
If you struggle on this one- revert to the first point- MAKE A PLAN!
Let me know If you find this helps
Best of Luck!
If you need any help with motivation for online training or nutrition - get in touch- !