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How to stay motivated?

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Old 06-13-2009, 06:50 PM   #1
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Question How to stay motivated?

Newbie here. I have about 110 lbs. to lose. How is it possible to stay motivated when you have that much weight to lose? So many times I've started to change my lifestyle only to fall off the wagon. I stay motivated for a month, maybe 3 and then boom.......I go back to my old ways. If my insurance covered it, I'd have weight loss surgery in a heartbeat. But, I really don't want to do something that drastic. I'm here for support and encouragement. Will provide for others as well.
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Old 06-13-2009, 07:22 PM   #2
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Well first off, welcome!

I guess the first thing I'd advise you to do is check out the GOAL section, especially the Goal photos. Read the stories of other posters who have lost tremendous amounts of weight and see what a difference it has made in their lives.

Then understand that it's not about "motivation" or "willpower." Those will falter for even the most dedicated, iron-willed person. It's about commitment. Recognizing that you are worth it and committing yourself to a fight for your life, your health, and your happiness.

This is something I have to remind myself of all the time. The other posters here are such an inspiration and when I need to bolster my commitment and remember all the reasons why I want to lose this weight, I come here. I see people who have lost twice what I need to lose under far more difficult circumstances than I have to deal with.

And always remember, you can do this.
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Old 06-13-2009, 07:29 PM   #3
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Hi Stormkitty,

In the past I have felt exactly like you. This time around I am making small changes that I can live with for the rest of my life....and I'm being very patient as it does take a little longer to come off. Some days are easier than others but after nearly nine months I can say it does get easier. Take one day at a time, set small goals and it WILL happen for you.

This is a great place to come for support and motivation when things are getting tough.
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Old 06-13-2009, 07:38 PM   #4
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A pro and con list might help. Why do you want to change? Whenever you're feeling like throwing in the towel it's good to review!

Have you learned from your past efforts? Do you know why you stalled out? Do you know what to do differently, this time for success?

Forgive yourself, first off, for having started and stopped. That's actually perfectly normal. Celebrate your decision to return to health! It is the right thing to do!

And motivation--that's what this place is good for! I look at the Goals and mini goals almost every night before bed...when I'm craving a stupid snack and my food is all gone. And then I realise I'm not hungry for food--I'm hungry for a better body. Corny, but true.

So welcome!
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Old 06-13-2009, 08:54 PM   #5
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I was going to say the identical thing as Lisa. Motivation is certainly a factor in getting started. But it can't be counted on. It comes and goes, peaks and wanes. That's where the COMMITMENT comes in. Once you DECIDE to lose the weight - you make an ironclad commitment to do so.

That being said, for me, continuous, steady, consistent weight loss could not occur for me until the desire to be thin, fit and healthy outweighed my desire for the high quantity/high calorie foods. That came first, and with that came the decision to lose the weight and the ensuing commitment. That commitment keeps me on track - no matter what.

Upon deciding to lose the weight and that commitment, then came the realization and acceptance that this couldn't be some "temporary" diet that I was going on. I knew *this time* that I had to make permanent changes - not for a short period of time - but forever. There could be no starting and no stopping - just continuing.

Just want to mention, I didn't opt to have WLS - like you mention that is quite drastic, but what I did was pretty drastic too and I believe totally necessary - I completely and totally overhauled, transformed and reinvented myself.

Losing weight and lots of it is possible. It's a doable thing. I do believe though you must want it very, very badly and then be willing to do what is necessary for it to occur.

Make that commitment. Do it right this second. Don't waste another second of your precious life settling for second best when first best is well within your reach. It is so very worth the effort. You are so very worth the effort.
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Old 06-13-2009, 09:01 PM   #6
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I had to accept that the big bursts of motivation were just not sustainable for me. I rely on my healthy habits to keep me moving in the right direction. This is not a diet or something I am doing temporarily, this is how I live and I never want to go back to the old me.

Other things that helped me:

1. Looking at my before pictures
2. Charting my weight loss in Excel and looking at the loss over time (the line slowly but surely moved down)
3. Checking my measurements once a month
4. Setting 10 lb goals (with no time limit) but rewarding myself lavishly (expensive sandals, great massage at an upscale spa, hair color, etc).
5. Shamelessly bribing myself (work out for 5 days, get x nice reward)
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Old 06-13-2009, 10:21 PM   #7
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Hee, Robin, I have to admit that your posts were the ones that inspired mine. Reading what you have to say about commitment really flipped a switch in my head. So, thank you!
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Old 06-13-2009, 10:24 PM   #8
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Welcome Storm Kitty! Like Glory, I broke my weight loss into smaller goals of 10 lbs at a time. I tend to get easily overwhelmed, so breaking it up that way was really helpful to me.

You can do this!
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Old 06-13-2009, 11:50 PM   #9
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I have a least 100 lbs to lose. God that is a lot of fat that is slowly draining the life out of me. I know what to do and that is the sad part because I haven't done it yet. But, I will not give up!! I want so badly to be where Robin is and I know it has to start with full commitment to myself. Let's all really try to make that happen and to learn we are worth it!
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Old 06-14-2009, 12:50 AM   #10
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These ladies are so right. Motivation is nice, but it does come and go. You can not rely on motivation to get you through this long lifetime change. You must just change your habbits, commit to those changes, and be patient. I decided to change my life 14 months ago, and believe me the motivation has not always been there. As you start to lose weight, you do get motivated by going down in sizes, people commenting about your loss, how much healthier you feel, and definetely looking at before pictures... but when it comes down to it, you just have to change your habits, and realize that this is for life. good luck.. Its totally possible
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Old 06-14-2009, 12:57 AM   #11
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I had 225 lbs to lose... and I've already in 9 months lost 120 of that!!!! Sign my name to RockinRobin's post. She's MY hero
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Old 06-14-2009, 02:40 AM   #12
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Welcome to the club! Pull up a beanbag, make yourself comfortable! I'm sure you're gonna love it here.

I know exactly what you mean about falling off the wagon. My past is a checkerboard of failed diets that lasted a month, tops. Fast desperate races to flee my mistakes. They were pretty much doomed from the start.

As the others have said, it's not really about motivation. For me, it's about patience and awareness. I take it one day at a time, and concentrate on doing right by what's in front of me. I count the calories, measure out the portions, monitor the water intake. Put the right ingredients in and the whole "losing weight" thing seems to take care of itself.

Don't worry, eventually you won't need motivation. Dieting starts off rocky, but it gets easier. The first few months were heck for me, tears and moodswings, but now it's settled down nicely, and I feel more in control. And you have no idea what staying close to plan for months on end can do for your confidence! It's like a shot of happy sugar high! That alone keeps me going on the worst days. Nevermind pizza and ice cream, I need my "5 more lbs lost!" fix!

I can't speak for all weightloss surgery, but from my own experience, I wouldn't recommend it. I have a lap band... didn't do squat except give me chest pains.
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Old 06-14-2009, 02:43 AM   #13
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Just a couple of suggestions to add to this already incredibly well answered question.

1 - I like to read the posts in the maintainer's forum and see posts by Robin, Glory, Meg and others who have really done it. Their lives didn't suddenly become perfect, but they never regret the life-changing commitment they made. It's easier to understand the long-term there.

2 - Plan for the really difficult times. It is not always be easy to stick with established habits when you're traveling, etc., so I'm sure you plan ways to cope with these situations. The same is true for when "motivation" will wane - I know when I'm on deadline for a project, etc., that these are my most challenging times. Planning ahead for ways to deal with it is an effective strategy.

I am starting my journey over again after losing and regaining 80 pounds, and it will be tough, but my life is so much better when I have the energy and the stamina that exercise and healthy food give me. It's certainly a major backslide, but I am willing to make the sacrifices to regain my victory. It's so much better for both my family and me.
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Old 06-14-2009, 02:49 AM   #14
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Make mini goals for yourself! Think of it like a marathon, it helps to look a few feet in front of you rather than 26.2 miles. It's going to get tedious at times, so be prepared to slog through some weeks, but there are bright and happy moments as well, so be sure to stop and celebrate once in a while too! And you may fall down (in fact I think it's better for you in the long run to learn how to recover if you do), so don't give up if it happens.

The key is persistence not perfection.
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Old 06-14-2009, 08:54 AM   #15
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It's like driving on a dark road at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can go the whole way like that.
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