Recovering Fit: When Motivation is Lacking

Let’s be real – how many times have you set a weight loss goal, started working out, eating healthy and then quit 1 week in? Or you say “I’m going to workout 5x this week.” You do good on day 1 and 2 but by day 3 you’re sore, tired, and would rather go out for margaritas than hit the gym (not that I’m speaking from personal experience or anything). People always talk about how they can’t stay motivated and use that as an excuse to keep them from reaching their goals.  So let’s talk about what to do when you’re motivation is lacking.

There are tons of articles/blogs/you tube videos on how to stay motivated – go look at those because I’m not about to give you a list of 5 ways to stay motivated.  The truth is, motivation wavers.  No matter how many tips and tricks you know, there will come a time when you are simply unmotivated. You’re not feeling it.  If you’ve really been pushing yourself in the gym, there’s nothing wrong with taking a few days off and giving your body and mind a break from the daily grind.  But if after a few days off, you’re still lacking motivation – you really just have to choose to keeping fighting for your goals despite your feelings.  We do things all the time that we don’t want to do because we have to do them.  So stop waiting for motivation.  Tell yourself you can leave after 30 minutes of activity if you’re still feeling blah and don’t want to do a full 45 min-1hr.  But get yourself to the gym, keep pushing on, and eventually the motivation will strike again.


How I Recovered From Anorexia and Bulimia

When people first found out I was in recovery from an eating disorder, the most common question I got was “how did you do it? How did you get better?” People are desperate for a one line answer, an easy fix. Because all the therapy mumbo jumbo feels too detailed to in depth, too hard for someone in the throws of an eating disorder. And families just want to be able to tell their loved one “do this and you’ll be better.” But unfortunately, I never had an easy answer, and I couldn’t really think of what specifically finally changed in me.  It was learning to be honest, it was doing my counseling homework, following a meal plan, praying, practicing mindfulness – it was a thousand different things.  But today I had somewhat of an epiphany.

I’m reading this book “Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely” by Lysa TerKeurst.  (all the quotes in this post are from that book).  I’m really excited about reading it because I’ve been wrestling with some insecurity that I can boil down to my fear of being unloveable. In one of the first chapters, Lysa talks about how rejection can start to whisper lies to us about who we are and eventually we base our identity on those lies.  That’s exactly what happened to me with Anorexia & Bulimia.  Anorexia told me I was a waste of a person, that there was nothing good about me.  Bulimia told me that I was too much, too fat, too boring, too ugly.  And I started letting those lies shape my identity.  I was trapped in a cycle of self loathing for nearly a decade, and it took several treatment facilities, trips to the ER, recovery programs, broken relationships, countless sermons and prayers until I finally realized what I had to do to break free.  I had to radically redefine my identity.

“It wasn’t just a better feeling that I needed; I needed a completely new way of defining my identity.  I needed truth to inform what I believed about myself.”

I had tried for years to hold onto my identity of “never good enough” while trying to glue on top of that things that I had learned in therapy. The way I lived was “never good enough” but I’m learning to set boundaries. “Never good enough” but appreciate what your body can do. “Never good enough” but serve others and be selfless. “Never good enough” but work hard anyway. And that way of living would legit never be good enough to recover from an eating disorder.

“Old patterns of thought must be torn out, and a new way of looking at the core of who I am using God’s truth has to be put into place.  My identity must be anchored to the truth of who God is & who He is to me.  Only then can I find stability beyond what my feelings will ever allow.”

Trying to glue therapy lessons on top of a false identity wasn’t going to cut it.  I had to completely tear down my identity of “not good enough” and start basing my identity in who God is & who He says I am. A book that was extremely helpful in my recovery was “Lies That Kill” by Rob Randall.  He wrote about common lies people believe about God and about themselves and then he argued those lies with truth about who God really is and who I really am as a child of God – and he used Scripture to back it up which gave me more of a firm foundation to what I was wanting my best to believe and live out of. By taking time to really uncover what lies I was believing and talking and praying through the truth, piece by piece I was able to rebuild my identity on a solid foundation – the foundation of who I am in Christ and who He really is.

“I’m not who that guy says I am…I’m not what social media likes & comments say I am…I’m not who the scale says I am or the sum total of what my flaws say I am.  I’m going to stop flirting with the unstable things of this world so I can fall completely in love with You.  I am loved. I am held. I am Yours. I am forever Yours.”

I pray you live knowing that you are loved today.



Work it Wednesday!

My absolute favorite thing to work is arms & that’s probably the body part I get the most questions about – how to tone & strengthen your arms (well, that along with questions about ab workouts).  I wanted to share with ya’ll an arm workout you can incorporate into your weekly workouts:

Warm up: 5 minutes on the elliptical
Round 1: (Go through each exercise in a round once then repeat 2x for a total of 3x per exercise)
* Standing Bicep curls: 10 reps
* Burpees: 10
* Overhead tricep extensions: 10 reps
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Processed with VSCO with s3 presetRound 2: 
* Lateral shoulder raises (you don’t need heavy weight on this one to feel it): 12
* Mountain climbers: 50 total (each leg is one rep)
* Tricep kick backs (again, lighter weight is fine on this one!) 15
Repeat this round 2 more times
Round 3: 
*Hammer curls (heavier weight on this, challenge yourself): 12
*Med ball slams: 12-15
med-ball-slams-e1412191610891*Shoulder press: 10
Complete this round 3x total

If you have time, finish out with a 10-15 minute incline walk on the treadmill, if not, that’s ok because thrown into each round was an exercise meant to get your heart rate up without needing the additional cardio!

Hope you enjoy, make sure to subscribe & follow along on Instagram @_jillwhite_ so you never miss a workout! Let me know if there’s anything you’d like to see as I continue this 12 week series or if you have any questions!

<3, Jill

All in

I’ve been doing this bible study called “Restless.” This week it’s all about being “all in” wherever you are.  We were each created on purpose for a purpose.  Which means that you are where you are right now for a reason, even if you don’t know what that reason is right now.  You can make an impact throughout your days, even if your days seem mundane.

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In combination with the study, I’ve also been thinking about the phrase “Do hard things.”  It’s a phrase I heard in Indiana, when I was at my first of 6 treatment facilities for help with my eating disorder.  This simple phrase, do hard things, has stuck with me for years now.  It’s so simple, but so challenging.  It’s application in my life has transformed and molded to whatever phase of life I’m in.  When I first heard it, I applied it to my recovery.  Healing from an eating disorder seemed impossible, I thought I might die before it happened.  But I took that phrase and applied it to seemingly simple tasks.  Eat breakfast do hard things. Don’t throw up do hard things. Be real with your therapist do hard things.  And although those things no longer feel “hard” to me, I still apply that task to what is hard for me now.  Work hard do hard things. Initiate time with friends do hard things. Spend time in reading the Bible do hard things. Be honest about my feelings do hard things. 

What’s hard for you may come so easily to someone else.  But rather than using that as something to berate yourself about, just remember we all have hard things. Focus on you and your growth.  Focus on living out your purpose.  Focus on living with all your might at your job, while you’re at school, when you spend time with your family.


Start out this week by being intentional.  Dream big & then when fears of inadequacy or fear of the unknown creep up, remind yourself to do hard things.  We grow exponentially when we challenge ourselves, so don’t be afraid of a challenge. Don’t back down.  You got this!

Recovering Fit: Beginner’s guide

I was talking to a girl at crossfit the other day and she was saying how it was her first time to work out in several months & it was so hard to motivate herself to come because she felt really overwhelmed getting back into it.  If you’re someone that has taken time off due to life’s craziness, an injury, or maybe just someone who’s never consistently worked out – there are things you can do to ease your way into living an active and fit life.

  1. Set realistic goals: If you haven’t worked out consistently ever, don’t set a goal of working out 6 days a week an hour each time.  Maybe try 3 days a week for half an hour each time to start out with.  Once you’ve proved to yourself you can do that consistently, bump it up to 4 days a week.  If you start out telling yourself you’re going to live at the gym, you’re going to burn yourself out, get discouraged when you don’t go as often as you planned, and then you’ll feel less motivated to get there next week.  Along with this – if you can’t run more than 5 minutes – don’t set a goal to run a half marathon in the next 3 months.  Try out the couch to 5k plan instead.  Set short term goals you can achieve, so that before you know it, you WILL be able to run a half marathon or do a triathlon or whatever your goal may be.
  2. Schedule your workouts: Pick 3 days this week that you WILL workout.  Even block out what hour on these 3 days you’ll be working out.  And then keep that gym appointment like you would keep any other commitment you have in your calendar.  Plan out your gym time in advance so when the day gets here, you have no excuses.  You know the saying “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” – don’t do that.
  3. Do a workout you enjoy (at least a little): I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if you hate running, there are a hundred other things you can do for your workout.  When you’re just starting your fitness journey, make it something you look forward to.  Go rock climbing, rollerskating at the park, go kickboxing…
  4. Don’t go balls to the wall at first:  Again, don’t tell yourself you’re going to run 5 miles when you haven’t run more than 1 in a year.  Start slow.  Try out this cycle: jog 1 minute, walk 3 minutes, jog 1 minute, walk 3.  Repeat this for 30-45 minutes.  You’ll still be burning calories, you’ll still be covering distance, but you won’t feel like dying after.
  5. Treat your body right: I’m not gonna sugar coat it – starting a workout program is hard, you’ll be tired, you’ll be sore, but there are things you can do to help cope.  If you can afford it, get a massage (this is my favorite!).  If you can’t afford it, no biggie.  Stretch for 10 minutes at the end of every workout.  Sit in a sauna for a bit after your workout.  Soak in an epsom salt bath.  Foam roll.  Be smart!

Eventually you’ll build up a tolerance to our workout plan and can gradually progress so you can crush your goals.  But you’ve gotta start somewhere – now get out there and do it!!