Do you ever come in contact with someone and just feel like there was something bigger that put you in touch with one another? That’s what happened to me when I met Amanda Valentine. She is one of those electric personalities and is so passionate that she oozes charism and charm. From the moment you meet her you know that she’s been through things and come out the other side a bigger and better person. You get the sense that she’s persevered. She’s a force to be reckoned with. At the same time, she’s goofy and quirky and utterly relatable. She’s not one of those people whose re-birth intimidates you because their all-knowing and altruistic. She’s a normal, everyday woman.
I met Amanda through the world wide web, have you heard of it? The power of social media, right? She’s a local celebrity and I am just a local PT. But we speak the same language. She’s an educator at heart and that is my primary role too. Amanda has been featured in Women’s Health, The Daily Star and Popsugar, to name a few, talking about how finally kicking the dieting habit transformed her life. I know, you’re wondering how that’s true. One of our favorite people in the world and very good friend, Dr. Ashley Solomon speaks often about the failure rate of diets. She was featured on this blog talking about the proclivity to over-exercise and the negative impact it has on mental health. Amanda knows those things all too well. Amanda, Ashley and I spoke about the burden of keeping up and over-doing during a time of chaos on her podcast Pound This in early April. She’s got tremendous insight that only someone whose experienced it first hand would know. And what’s even better about Amanda is that she constantly yearning to learn more. She’s yet to find her comfort zone, constantly pushing the boundaries on her own existence.
After we recorded together, I knew that I wanted to ask her to write something. How does someone week after week food prep for years? How does someone stay so committed to their journey that they turn it into their career? Amanda took something very personal and has opened it up to the world which has now become her accountability factor. But it’s got to get old?
I am thrilled to have Amanda as a contributor to this blog and even more as a friend and colleague. Please enjoy and share your feedback!
By: Amanda Valentine
When I was asked to contribute this article about motivation and healthy habits, of course I responded with an excited, “Yes!” Then, as days went on, new projects piled up and the stresses of everyday life came into play. I didn’t really feel that motivated to write it.
The note sat on my to-do list. It lingered in my orbit. But the motivation just wasn’t there. Funny, isn’t it? Not being motivated to write about having motivation.
But it brings up such a great point: You’re not always going to be motivated…and that’s okay.
Sometimes you know what’s best for you, but you still do the opposite anyway. You know you should go to the gym, but instead you lay on the bed and stare at the wall. You know you should eat that well-balanced meal, but you woof down that whole box of Girl Scout cookies.
That’s life. The healthy part is recognizing that.
However, having healthy habits and routines in place do make a huge difference. That will help yourself make the better decision for 90% of the time. Or 80% of the time. Or most of the time. You get the picture.
For me personally, I completely changed my life and formed new habits. I was obese my whole life with no real healthy lifestyle habits, which also contributed to me being complacent in other areas of my life as well.
In the past 8 years I’ve lost over 100 pounds, summited mountains, ran marathons, reached great successes in my career, and then quit that career to become an entrepreneur in the health and wellness space. That takes motivation. But it’s a long road, one that can sometimes be filled with wall staring sessions, and cookies.
In the end, it’s the habits and routines that pull you through.
Here’s what I’ve learned:
1. Know your “why.” What do you want to achieve? And more importantly, why do you want it? When you feel like your motivation is gone, this will drive you.
2. Take small steps. Small goals. Like, really small goals. For me, I knew I had to lose a lot of weight, and that was daunting. One of my first small goals was to drink water. That was it. Like, just one cup of water instead of a Red Bull. It wasn’t going to change me overnight. But over time, it did.
3. Keep track of progress. Whether it’s losing pounds, running extra miles, gaining more followers, or making more money. Track it. You can journal, use an app, or whatever. Just track it. This is a great motivator because you can see how far you’ve come.
4. Have a plan. It’s good to have a long term plan. But I’m talking about a day-to-day plan. For me, I know what I’m going to eat the day before I eat it. That’s not to say I don’t swerve off course at times. But, in general, I have a food plan every day. I also have a plan for my exercise. I keep healthy snacks in my purse, my glovebox, my lunchbox at all times. So always try to be as prepared as you can.
5. Practice self-awareness and avoid the comparison game. Don’t do something you don’t really enjoy because you “have” to. Spoiler alert, you’ll never stick to it. If you see people online that are all about taking barre classes, but you’ve tried it and hate it, don’t keep forcing yourself to go. It doesn’t mean you suck at fitness. It means that’s not for you. If you have to shove broccoli down your throat because it’s “healthy,” don’t eat it. There are plenty of other choices out there that are healthy for you.
Also, sometimes you just have to start. You just have to force yourself to take that first step, and sometimes it will just start to flow. Like when you need to write an article about motivation.
Sometimes you just have to get that first sentence written. And then, BAM! It’s done 🙂
About the author:
Amanda Valentine has faced a lifetime of obesity and years of yo-yo dieting. But after nearly a decade of getting real results by losing over 100 pounds and finally keeping it off, Amanda is on a mission. She wants to inspire healthier lifestyles through sharing powerful experiences, daily struggles, as well as helpful tips and tricks with nutrition, exercise, and motivation that will provide a new path toward a healthier happier life. Amanda uses her 20+ years of broadcasting and public speaking experience to share her own dramatic weight loss journey as a guide to offer helpful and real-life tips on the ‘Pound This’ podcast. Find the podcast, as well as Amanda’s other products and services at AmandaValentineBites.com