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Dear Cassey: I’m unhappy with how I look, but I have no motivation to change

Hi Cassey!
I’m hoping for some advice or maybe just some feedback to help me with understanding my current situation and motivation. I’m overweight, and I always have been. I’m unhappy with how I look, and I hate taking pictures because I’ve totally let myself go (worse than I already was). I’m at my heaviest and know I need to do something about it… but for some reason, I don’t have the motivation. I go to the gym and stop workouts early. I start workout videos and sit on my butt instead of doing the moves. I binge eat even though I know how bad it is for me…. if I’m so unhappy, why am I not more driven to do something about it? Where can I find some motivation? Right now I’m just finding all of the motivational accounts I follow UNmotivating and disheartening, because I see others doing it and putting in the effort, and I’m just not. What’s wrong with me?!
Sincerely, 
Unhappy and Unmotivated 

mirror on wall with plant

Dear Unhappy and Unmotivated,

You know what? I’ve been there. And that’s the beautiful thing about these “Dear Cassey” questions – so many of us can relate, and we can really lean on each other.

Let’s go through this question line by line, because there are lot of important points here.

“I’m unhappy with how I look, and I hate taking pictures”

First of all – if you don’t feel like taking pictures, you don’t have to take pictures. That being said, the bigger issue is your unhappiness with how you look. Reading that makes me so sad, because I know how that feels. Looking in the mirror is hard. Pictures are hard. And you know what? It’s okay to feel a little like that.

However, even if you don’t love the way your body LOOKS, you really need to work on finding things about your body that you do love. Accepting your body is key here. Because your body does sooo much more for you than just how you look! Your body gives you so many skills, talents, and other joys. So go inside and find those little things to appreciate. Take the focus away from the vanity of the way your body looks.

“…for some reason, I don’t have motivation?”

Here you talk about KNOWING you need to change, but the motivation just isn’t there. You go to the gym or start a workout, but don’t actually do the work. Again, I’ve been there. After my bikini competition, I was sooo unmotivated to work out that I would find literally any excuse to procrastinate or skip. I realized I was treating my workouts like punishment.

So if you’re that unmotivated to work out, maybe you’re doing it for the wrong reasons. So, let’s reevaluate your WHY. Forcing yourself to work out solely because you want to look different isn’t going to stick. Your motivation can’t be for anyone else, or because society says your body needs to look different. Your “why” has to be FOR YOU. For me, I know working out just makes me feel good. It gives me energy and makes me happy, which is my “why.” So take some time to dig deep and reallllly think about your why. Write it down and come back to it every time your motivation fades.

“I binge eat even though I know how bad it is for me…”

Okay. Story time.

I remember times when I would stand in the pantry, IN THE DARK, just shoveling cereal and other snacks into my mouth. I was literally in food jail, restricting too much and convincing myself that eating bad foods made me a bad person. That led to bingeing.

It’s an unhealthy cycle and an unhealthy relationship to have with food that we need to break. 

The best thing that helped me was just allowing all foods back into my life, without guilt. I focused on allowing myself to eat things that brought me joy, even if that meant dessert or chips. Over time, I normalized what my body needed. I escaped the cycle of bingeing and now I’m able to eat those foods freely without obsessing or feeling guilty about it. Once you do that, you can really focus on finding what foods make you feel good. That was a big part of my 90 Day Journey! Learning what I enjoyed cooking, how certain foods made me feel, and just how to have fun with food and include the things that bring me joy completely changed my relationship with food.

“I’m just finding all of the motivational accounts I follow UNmotivating…”

If those accounts aren’t serving you, UNFOLLOW.

Seriously. It’s okay! Sometimes seeing people who are absolutely crushing their goals when you’re just not on that level yet is just hard and disheartening. It’s normal to feel jealous about it, and forcing yourself to see it probably isn’t helping. Plus, comparing your own journey to someone else’s isn’t the only way to motivate yourself! So unfollow and come back to those accounts when (or if) you’re ready.

“What’s wrong with me?”

NOTHING. At all.

All of the things you’re going through are normal and your feelings are valid. You need space to try different things. To think. To find your why. TO BREATHE.

For now, focus on:

  • Unfollowing accounts that don’t motivate you
  • Experimenting with food to find what brings you joy and makes you feel good
  • Finding a workout that is FUN for you – try as many as you can!

Once you find your groove, you’re gonna CRUSH IT. I know it!

I hope this advice helps!

If you have any other advice for Unhappy and Unmotivated, leave it in the comments! 

PS – If you have a burning question you want to ask me, I’m taking questions via text at 510-692-4556. Currently this only works for US and Canada. If you’re outside of those countries, you can leave a question below.

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