Posted on January 30 2018
Motivation is Fleeting
This month, we highlight Brand Ambassador, Tatyana. Her Instagram posts are honest, real, and raw, and the same attitude comes through in her approach to her health. Learn about her journey through weight loss and what it takes to stay motivated disciplined.
“I’m not one of those people where fitness is constantly on my mind all the time. That’s not how most of the world works.” - Tatyana
Before your fitness journey began, tell us about your lifestyle.
As a kid, I was pretty active, but I also was not a typical little girl. I had some beef to me always. And it never really bothered me. I did sports growing up. I did swim team. Tried out soccer. I did gymnastics for a summer. And then in high school, I got more into the arts realm. I was doing more music theatre. I was in choir all the time. And schoolwork took over my day time, so I didn’t do any sports. I also felt like I wasn’t good enough to continue doing sports.
From 9th grade to July of 2017, I didn’t do much physical activity. Except for the occasional gym session, where I thought I was going to get healthy again. I’d go to the gym during the times when I was like, “Oh, I feel super motivated.” But every time I’d go to the gym, I’d think, “I don’t know what I’m doing, but everybody says, “Just do cardio and you’ll be fine.” So that’s what I did.
I had athletically induced asthma every since I was little, so for me cardio was hard to do. Anytime I’d get up in the anaerobic area I was out for the count. It scared me, and I was uncomfortable. Because of this, I often shied away from any kind of physical activity. And it just continued on.
Then what happened? How long ago did you start your transformation?
In July of 2016, I said “Well, I finally should just do something physical.” I was dating someone at the time, and he was active. I was seeing him be active, and I decided I should be active too. So I joined a kickboxing gym called 9Round. I got really excited after the first workout. For me, it was finally something that stuck. I joined 9Round for the full year package after that day. I started going three to four times, sometimes 5 times a week.
In October, 9Round did a fitness weight loss challenge. I had done things like Weight Watchers before. I knew the nutrition side. I had just never fully committed to it. I told myself, “It is five weeks. I can suck it up and really try for once.”
With that first five week challenge, I lost 16 pounds. I was amazed. When I did Weight Watchers years before, I had lost 12 pounds, but I felt like I was starving myself instead of changing anything. After this challenge, I realized how easy it was to change things. Cooking meals and meal prepping and going to the gym. That's it. After that I started making my own food. I started cooking instead of having pizzas and mac and cheese. I found recipes on Pinterest. It felt like I had freedom to do things myself.
From there on out, I met my current boyfriend. He was a trainer at 9Round. He had done the weight loss thing before too, so he helped me out. He showed me physical weight training exercises at 9Round and convinced me to pursue weight training more. Ever since then, I’ve been keeping at it. Once I found weight lifting, that was a huge game changer. Weight training has helped me a crazy amount to lose weight and gain muscle. Losing weight isn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I can’t believe I lost 60 lbs. It is all such a surreal dream.
What made you decide to change your eating or workout habits? Was there a particular moment in time when you said, “This is what I want. This is what I need.”
There was never an aha moment to change. I just decided this is going to happen. When people want to do a major change, they’re looking for that perfect moment, for that one day to change. In an article I read, the author described this experience as a really nice bottle of champagne. You want to wait for the perfect moment to open it and share it. But you keep waiting and waiting. It never seems like the perfect enough moment to open it, so it goes to waste. Instead of waiting, just bring out the champagne. That makes the moment perfect. When you start, that makes it the right moment.
Our war cry here at arc_ten is BORN FROM FIRE. What obstacles or challenges have you had along the way and how have they helped you in the long run?
Getting the confidence to be wrong and be corrected. I still struggle with going to the gym and not having someone to spot me when I bench, so I won’t go as heavy as I could go. Having the confidence to go up to someone to say, “Hey, will you spot me?” Asking people, “Is this what I’m supposed to be doing?” I’m from Minnesota, so we’re all very polite, but we also don’t want to be in anyone's business. Approaching someone and asking for help has been really hard.
Another thing. When you get out of your routine, it’s really hard to get back in or find ways to adjust it. I have been sick a lot this winter, so I’ve been off the gym four or five days and eating bad. It’s so hard sometimes to jump back on it. It is a matter of committing myself. I’ll start tracking my food again to help me. My mom and I hold each other accountable too. It’s a team effort. There’s a bunch of challenges. But at the same time, I’ve been through those before and they get easier every time.
So it sounds like your mom was a part of your motivation and so was your boyfriend. When you’re in that rut or in that moment of “Oh, I’ve been sick. I need to get back on it” are there certain things like calling your mom up and checking in with her that motivate you along your journey?
There would definitely be times when I was like, “I don’t wanna go to the gym.” Then my boyfriend would say, “Go.” Then I’d say, “I don’t wanna” Then he'd say, “Just fucking do it.” I’m one of those people that likes to complain to people, but I’m really not relying on them for motivation. So for me, when there’s a day when I know I’m able to go to the gym, I will get up, and I will pack my gym bag and put it in my car. I’ll still go even if a part of me doesn’t want to.
I don't like to rely on others for motivation. If they don't want to go to the gym, you won't go. Pack your gym bag. Just go there. If you go and have a crappy work out, it's still a workout.
What’s next for you?
It’s hard, because there’s a part of me that wants to get that ideal figure that every person, especially every woman, seeks out. I have to sometimes remind myself, “It’s not about losing weight. It’s not about how you look. It’s about how you feel.” I’m trying to find that balance right now of focusing on goals that are non-weight based or non-physical based.
Words you live by? Personal mantra?
I really like the clip of Shia LaBeauf saying,“Just Do It.” I know it's harsh to say, but that's what you gotta do. You do have time. You can go to the gym for 45 minutes. You just gotta commit. That’s all it is.
Motivation is fleeting. If you wait for motivation, you’re not going to do nearly as much. That’s not gonna keep you going. That’s what working out before was like for me. I was always waiting to be motivated. When I wasn't motivated, I wouldn’t go. Now it is a habit. If I miss the gym for five days, I emotionally miss it. I feel physically uncomfortable not going to the gym.
Other thoughts? Is there anything else I've left out?
For my Instagram, I want to reach other people and let them know it is possible. Like many people, I've tried and tried and tried and it never stuck, and then one day it did. You don’t get that “one day it did” unless you keep trying. I want people to know it’s going to be hard, but I also want people to know that it’s going to be possible. You won’t get what you want unless you keep trying.
I’m not committed every single day, and that’s okay. Over the holidays, I’ve gained 8 lbs. Yesterday, my boyfriend and I ate an entire package of cookies. But that okay, I’ll jump back on and restart things. You’ll have to restart things and it might take a while, but I find this more realistic for me versus being on top of things every single day. I’m about making it as realistic as possible.
I'm trying to get myself to try new activities as one of my long-term goals. I've recently started doing Pole Fitness two times a week (oh man, what a workout!), and it's inspiring me to try more activities that I didn't think I was able to do or didn't have the confidence to try before! It's been really awesome! I love, love, love pole!
- Motivation is great, but it is not as great as discipline.
- Prepare yourself. Pack your bag. Make your food. Remove decision fatigue.
- “Healthy eating is not about deprivation. It’s about compromise.”
- Connect with Tatyana on her Instagram.
- “You don’t have to fit into a predetermined ways of doing things. Do the way that works best for you.”