Ester Marsh: How to stay motivated

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 18, 2023

If you know me and see me, I am typically moving around pretty fast. Why walk when I can run/speed walk and be faster getting my work done right? The other day, somebody asked me if I had my energy and motivation for sale! I wish I did! Unfortunately I don’t, and everyone gets motivated differently. For many, it’s because they want to look better and/or lose weight. Others want to get more energy or more strength. Then there are those who had a medical emergency, such as a heart attack or stroke, that got motivated to live a healthier lifestyle by coming close to death. Maybe someone close to you had a medical emergency and it got you motivated.

When I talk to people who are trying to find their way to a healthier lifestyle, I always say that you need to prioritize you are exercising for health, not weight loss. By starting to exercise, you will see immediate benefits for your heart, lungs, blood pressure, muscles, bones, joints and cholesterol. Will you see immediate weight loss results? Probably not. Remember when I asked you previously how long it took you to get where you are today? Will you feel better instantly? Absolutely! Will your body lose weight and inches when you continue your exercise program, eating sensibly and dealing with stress versus “fighting” stress? Yes!

The problem arises when it does not go fast enough. People may feel that it is not working, they are doing it for nothing or it is not worth it. Instead, focus on how much better you feel, how much more energy you have, lower blood pressure, better sleep or improved joints. It is the quality of life you are choosing! Life is too precious not to take care of yourself. And I believe when you finally change your lifestyle for the right reasons, weight loss and inches will come. However, you have to be patient, hang on to all the positive things that have happened since you started to exercise, be proud that you chose to take charge of your life, don’t limit yourself, and say “you can do it!”

And if you need guidance, find a reputable place such as your local YMCA or fitness club with skilled trainers to help you stay motivated on your journey to a better, motivated, more energetic you!

Ester H. Marsh is health and fitness director of the J.F. Hurley Family YMCA.