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How to Grow a Muscle and Other Motivational Tools

So I just finished my workout with Jillian for today, and I’m writing this post while still sitting in a puddle of my own sweat because I’m suddenly, inexplicably motivated.  And these days motivation seems hard to come by, so I grab it when I can.

You know how it is when life just doesn’t seem to be going the direction you want, so you find yourself in a bit of a slump, and it gets harder and harder to pull yourself out of the slump over time?  To use an over-used analogy, it’s like quicksand.  The harder you struggle, the deeper you get, and eventually you just want to give up.  Lethargy becomes second nature.  Even the idea of picking a recipe for dinner and going to the grocery store for the ingredients seems like too much work, because didn’t I just do that two days ago?  And what’s the point if it’s just going to be the same thing, day after day?

If you’ve never known that feeling, then I envy you.  Truly.  But if you have, I’m here to tell you that you can’t let it hold you down.  In fact, all you can do is keep struggling against the quicksand, and eventually you’ll see progress.*

*Actually that’s not true – if you’re literally stuck in quicksand, I’ve heard you shouldn’t struggle because you will get pulled under.  So wow… what a f*cked up analogy.

For the time-being, I’m doing little things that have started improving my opinion of my own self-worth.

1.  This blog.  Sure, it’s mostly just a bunch of introspective rambling and random recipes and an overall log of some (but definitely not all) of my most notable life experiences, but it’s my blog.  It’s my thing that I do when I need an outlet.  Some people journal, some people play guitar, some people paint.  I blog.

Photo source:  Me

2.  Found a job.  Okay, so waiting tables at a bar isn’t exactly the dream job I hoped I might find when I quit the cubicle all those months ago.  But in a way, at least for right now, it fits my personality so much better.  No one looks at me funny when I randomly start singing, because I’m just singing with the night’s performer and everyone else is doing the same thing.  And I’m no longer getting strange looks for taking running leaps down the hallway or pretending I’m on an escalator behind someone’s cubicle glass, because I don’t have excess energy to expend at this job and therefore don’t act quite so entirely nutty.  I’m always moving.

So while I still do aspire to do something more meaningful to me, this definitely works for now.

Photo source

3.  Working out.  This isn’t a New Year’s resolution for me.  In fact, you know my resolution is to be worthy of a holiday letter, so working out really has nothing to do with it.  (Unless I end up saving someone’s life by lifting an SUV off of someone who’s crushed underneath it because I’ve been working out and am now obviously strong enough to walk around town lifting SUVs off of people.  Now that would be letter-worthy.)

I’ve never been one of those people who gets a high from working out.  In fact, it usually leaves me feeling sweaty and exhausted and there’s only one type of scenario I can think of that leaves me in the same condition and I feel really good afterwards instead of tired and disgusting.  And working out with Jillian Michaels ain’t it.

But I do it because I know it’s good for me.  Like flossing and not consuming a diet exclusively comprised of cheese.  And today, after I was finished, I noticed an actual muscle!

And yes, I took a picture.

And yes, I’m about to show it to you.

So don’t laugh.

For me, this is BIG.

Woohoo!  Maybe this is the workout high people are talking about – that point where you finally notice some progress.

So right now I’m feeling pretty good.  I wrote a blog post, I grew a muscle, and I might make a little money tonight.  Motivation is creeping back into my life.  And I wanted you to know, even though my posts have been a bit emo as of late, that I’m not just sitting here, all pitiful and lethargic day after day.  (Well I’m literally sitting here now, in a puddle of my own sweat, no less, but my point is that I’m not just a couch-drooling zombie.)

What I want to know is, what do you do to pull yourself out of it when you’re feeling a little slumpy?


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Jason Sanford

I definitely work out! It doesn’t give me a high either… but it can bring me out of a depression. Especially after a night of drinking… And I agree, once you start seeing results it’s a real boost to continue! (I lost my muffin top! BTW:-))) Oh, and make sure the safety is on those guns!;-)

PS – you should really consider a career in writing of some sorts… you are great at it!



Awww, no more muffin top?? How sad… It’s a good thing I don’t work there anymore – I’d get bored of only being able to make fun of you for the way you say “out”. ;)

And thanks for the compliment! I’ve looked into that actually…. I’m just not sure where/how to get started or what kind of writing I’d want to do. So until I figure that out, I’ll just try to keep going with this…


I go the exercise route too, but more along the cardio level of running (or going on what seems like a marathon-walk). Though, I do get a high from running. Sure, it beats-the-cr** out of me, but surprisingly feel 100 times better after; though I will sometimes crash on the couch to rest for a few hours after.

Congrats on the muscle. I felt the same excitement when I realized I could actually see an ab.


See, I can’t decide if it makes me feel better because of a natural high, or if it just feels good to do something I say I’m going to do. But yeah… mostly I just end up feeling exhausted. :)

Fingers crossed that the abs show up next! (haha)


Exercise, writing, getting out of the house and forcing myself into new (refreshing) social situations. Seems like those are exactly the things you are doing! And sweet muscle. That arm is looking sexy!


Haha, thanks! But you’re not supposed to tell me that you get slumpy – you travel and follow your passions and are basically living the (okay MY) dream. So I don’t want to know if you get slumpy. ;)

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