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How To Stay Motivated When You Feel Like Quitting

Anyone who embarks on a healthy path will encounter self doubt.  This can come in the form of excuses.  So how do we resist the temptation to skip the gym, stay at home and eat pizza?  

Like anything that we want for ourselves, we have to accept that the kind of progress we want will take time.  Short term gains are strengthening to our spirit, but shortcomings can be equally disappointing.  The key is to remain focused on the long term benefits.  

For example, when we track the progress over time, we see how much better we feel now than we did months or years ago.  Although we may feel guilty for skipping a workout, long term benefits are still on par.  

I say, go with the temptation and face it.  It is better than resisting and feeling self deprived.  Think of indulgence as a treat, like rewarding all the good work.  Be realistic and tell yourself it is okay if you are not where you would like to be because you feel like indulging.  However, notice when indulgence becomes habitual or patterned.  For example, if every time you go for a walk you get a doughnut, then there is an unhealthy pattern in place.  Also, try and find healthy ways to indulge.  

Winter is naturally a time of hibernation and "couch potato-dom."  This is a natural response to less light, less endorphins and less of a positive outlook.  The sun has many beneficial properties that help keep us feeling energized.  Also, starchy, fatty foods tend to be better for keeping us warm in the winter, as our pre-industrial ancestors will testify.  Recognize that going to the gym will actually help increase your well being and your body temperature, so try not to give in every time you feel like staying home.

Do give yourself rest days when you feel like it will be too much to get out, but don't use that as an excuse to break with good nutrition.  If you're staying in to watch a movie, have air popped corn with nutritional yeast and olive oil.  You can do some light stretching and take a bath with epsom salts so you get the most out of your relaxation.

Don't let cold weather get you down.  Once you are warmed up outside, you will begin to feel like a clear sky.  The fresh air will invigorate your body as the clean air gently clears your respiratory system.  The great thing about winter exercise is you are much less likely to overheat!  Still, being lots of fresh water to keep hydrated.  

One suggestion for keeping things moving while winter season winds down is ginger tea.  It can be made from the fresh root, drunk in the morning as a mild circulatory stimulant and to help heat up the body for a workout.  It can be combined with green tea and that can help increase metabolism, leading to better fat burning.  This may also give you extra energy for your workout.  

Aaron Ander is a holistic health care consultant and educator with a background in nutrition, iridology, reiki, biochemistry, and muscle testing.  With many personal health challenges as a child, Aaron struggled his way to good health and overcame disease using natural means alone.  This success led to a diploma in Applied Holistic Nutrition and a relentless pursuit of the roots of illness.  He has visited and lived on organic farms in an effort to understand what constitutes a truly holistic life.  Aaron currently lives with family in Nelson, British Columbia, Canada, where he writes articles for the holistic health community and has a healing practice. To contact Aaron please visit www.naturalpathhealing.com.

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