Inspiration and info for midlife women who lift—or want to start

Tag: motivation

Older woman holding smartphone in the gym, smiling because she knew how to get motivated and stay consistent.

How do I get motivated and stay consistent?

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I’ve been going to the gym on and off for five years. I go from fully committed, getting great results, great diet, etc. to falling off and starting again. I can’t figure out how to get motivated and stay consistent.

If this is a priority for you, stop allowing training and good nutrition to be a choice based on how you feel, or on motivation. 

Build habits. 

Thief with flashlight as a metaphor for comparison is the thief of joy.

Outsmarting the Thief of Joy

You know those days when you wake up feeling like a champion? Like you could eat the world for breakfast and in fact you just might? Those days when you feel strong and powerful and capable and you know in your bones that nothing’s gonna stop you?

I fucking love days like that.

Unfortunately, they’ve been rather few and far between these last few months.

Lately I’ve been waking up quite often feeling small and weak and scared and full of doubts. Doubts that I will be able to get past this back injury to put up decent numbers at Nationals. Which leads to questioning why I shouldn’t just say screw it and drop out, because I’m not going to win. Which reminds me of the videos I keep seeing of my friends PRing their 300-plus-pound deadlifts, when pulling 300 is just an elusive dream for me right now.

And on and on, down the rabbit hole of comparison and self-doubt.

These days happen to me more often than I’d care to admit. I share them occasionally, but mostly I keep them to myself and do what I can to hack my brain and endure the negativity until it passes. Talking about it feels self-indulgent and whiny.

But I decided to write about it because I figure I’m not the only one who has feelings like this sometimes. Maybe talking about them, and what I do to deal with them, might resonate and help someone else.

Unmotivated woman sleeping on bed instead of morning training

How to Train When You Don’t Feel Motivated

This morning, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Daily Pump Club email mentioned something I often share with people:

Smiling makes you feel better.

(By the way, Arnold’s newsletter is terrific. Great value for a small time investment. Ten out of ten would recommend.)

People tend to assume they need to be happy to smile—that the feeling should precede the action. After all, isn’t smiling a signifier of our mental and emotional state? If we feel miserable, why in God’s name would we grin?

Lifting in the Middle

Australian powerlifting great Liz Craven posted something on Instagram recently that hit me, as the young folks these days say, “in the feels.”

She recalled breaking some IPF All-time World Records back in 2017, just before a forced six-year hiatus from World competition due to powerlifting politics and Covid (during which time she also overcame some incredibly challenging health problems).

Liz is finally heading back to IPF Worlds this year, and at 48 will be competing against lifters half her age. She writes:

there is a whole new generation up there.

Very few of the old guard (my friends) will be there, I will be around the middle these days and sometimes it is hard to find the drive to work that hard to be in the middle.

Everything hurts more, everything is harder. Will I even get to weight?

I have been trying to change my perspective though.

It is a privilege to still be able to get there, one other people would love.

So I’ll keep working hard and we will see what I can do after all this time.

Working hard to be in the middle

Working hard to be in the middle is what I do literally every time I train. That’s why this caption resonated so much.

5 Podcasts to Improve Your Mindset and Build Resilience

During the more than seven years that I’ve been strength training, I’ve discovered and become a devoted fan of a small handful of podcasts that are designed to help build resilience and improve your mindset. These have become important resources for me and I even credit some of them with helping me perform tangibly better in competitions.

Sunrise over the trees in Vermont

A Single Step

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I got up early this morning.

This is, for me, quite an accomplishment.

I am NOT naturally a morning person. I’ve been a night owl as long as I can remember. If left to my own devices with no clocks and no responsibilities, I’d be one of those vampires (along with teenagers) who goes to bed at 4 a.m. and wakes up at 11.

In fact, I DID that my freshman year of college. I purposely never had a class before 11:30 a.m, and I routinely stayed up until 4 a.m. doing my work.

I love the quiet of the night; it makes me feel creative and full of possibilities.

Or it used to. That kind of life hasn’t been viable for a long, long time, thanks to kids and day jobs.

But I digress.

There’s a reason I’m telling you about my sleep habits.

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