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October 23rd, 2009
12:50 PM ET

Motivation secrets from a fitness expert

Jillian Michaels and Dr. Sanjay Gupta at a Fit Nation event in St. Paul, MN

Jillian Michaels and Dr. Sanjay Gupta at a Fit Nation event in St. Paul, MN

Editor's Note:  Four months ago, Dr. Sanjay Gupta began his “Four months till 40” quest to get in the best shape of his life by his 40th birthday, which is today.  Along the way, he checked in with personal fitness trainer Jillian Michaels, who is our guest blogger today. 

By Jillian Michaels
Guest Blogger

Motivation – "a reason for doing something or behaving in some way”. Motivation, it’s one of the most illusive American traits. Many of us can’t get motivated in the first, place let alone stay motivated.

So many of us go through our lives lost. Slogging away at a job we hate, in a body that is unhealthy, living a life that is unhappy. Some of us putting everyone else’s needs above our own. Meeting our “responsibilities” and doing what society tells us we are supposed to. The reason our motivation wavers like a candle dancing in a squall is because we have forgotten how to dream. You see motivation must come from an authentic internal desire to be and have more and we as Americans either don’t feel worth it or don’t feel capable or don’t feel worth it and capable. Sigh…

The way to get motivated and stay motivated is to identify, define, and emotionally connect to your dreams. Your dreams are your eternal motivation. They inspire us to our greatest heights, comfort us through hard times, and bring about the realization of our destiny. They are the first steps towards happiness and success and although dreaming is as natural as breathing, most of us have forgotten how. We are terrified to hope, paralyzed by thoughts of failure, ashamed of our desires and for absolutely no good reason.

Often, when we do get motivated it is a fleeting moment of bravado based in passion, but not practicality. In that moment of daring to try we are frantic for overnight results that will validate our ability to achieve the goal at hand. For this reason we engage in self-destructive behaviors like fasting, yo-yo diets, archaic surgeries where we remove parts of our internal organs. It would seem that nothing is unthinkable when we are in a place of desperation.

Sadly, these types of behaviors have the opposite effect- in some cases resulting in long term damage to our health and subsequently our morale to an even greater degree. Thus begetting the vicious cycle of hopelessness and helplessness that makes our health and happiness elusive.

Here is the good news: You DO have the power to change anything in your life, in any way you choose, at anytime you choose it.

People come to me on “The Biggest Loser” having hit the end of the road. Having tried “everything” imaginable to get healthy they show up weighing 500 pounds, with one foot in the grave. The reason I am able to help them is because I am able to educate them. You see with the proper information you have the ability to make powerful choices that affect positive change. Then, when contestants see results success begets success. Their self image is redefined as a person who CAN achieve and who IS worthy of all the good things this life has to offer. Instead of saying, “Why me? What makes me special? Why do I deserve health, wealth, love, etc?” They leave saying “why not me?”.

If they can achieve this empowered state of mind so can you. Start by writing down your dreams. Then educate yourself on how to achieve them SAFELY and effectively. Take deliberate action with your goals in mind. Then, take stock of your accomplishments and let them feed your self worth and self esteem for when times get tough. Success is a matter of attrition and when you feel your inspiration leaving you, know this: There is an abundance in this world. There are people who are rich, healthy, happy and in love. WHY NOT YOU?

How do you stay motivated?

Editor's Note: 
Medical news is a popular but sensitive subject rooted in science. We receive many comments on this blog each day; not all are posted. Our hope is that much will be learned from the sharing of useful information and personal experiences based on the medical and health topics of the blog. We encourage you to focus your comments on those medical and health topics and we appreciate your input. Thank you for your participation.
 

 

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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.