Fit Over Fourty

Staying Motivated December 2007

By Nancy Mitchell


Motivation is, without a doubt, one of the primary elements for seeking a positive change in your lifestyle. This is especially true in fitness when it comes to diet and exercise.  Most people begin an exercise program to: lose weight, improve their health, have more toning, definition and to improve their overall physique.   For whatever reason, you desire a permanent change and want to improve yourself.  So, certainly when beginning a fitness program, you are motivated and want to succeed.

Is there such a thing as “too much” motivation or enthusiasm?  Surprisingly, the answer to that question is, YES.  Having “too much” can actually become a problem and end up being self defeating.  Perhaps in the past you have taken on a diet and exercise program and in an effort to “get in shape” your diet turns into a binge or crash diet. Perhaps the workout program and pace that you set is too intense and too strenuous. So, what ends up happening is that you back off or worse, give up entirely.  “This just isn’t going to work! You tell yourself.  Before too long, you’re back doing all of the bad habits that got you “out of shape” in the first place.

So, how do you stay properly motivated for a lifetime?  For most people over 40, such as myself, one of the primary reasons has to be: to stay healthy as we get older.

As we know, there are many books available which will quote statistics on the many benefits of adapting a healthy lifestyle.  Diet and exercise is the only “true fountain of youth”.  As we age, our metabolism begins to slow down and we certainly need a healthy lifestyle to fight the “elements of gravity”.  I daresay, we probably need them even more than our younger counterparts!

Another way to stay motivated is to keep setting goals. Put a goal in front of you, once you achieve it, immediately set another.   Clarence Bass, author and former master bodybuilding champion states, “I’ve found that I’m happiest when I’m working hard to achieve some goal. I enjoy the process of moving closer and closer to the goal of peak condition. The process of losing fat and gaining muscle …is gratifying in and of itself”*    


I have also found this to be true in my workouts. I find that if I “set a realistic goal” and then strive to achieve it, I will be more likely to stay on track with my workouts and diet, long-term.

Personal motivation can sometimes be very complex and over a period of years you may end up redefining your goals and motivations. But that’s OK and it’s very important.  A true understanding of your motivation will help you keep it and maintain it for a…..…..lifetime!!


*The Lean Advantage   by Clarence Bass, Ripped Enterprises