100 lb. Club - Where do you find the motivation to workout?

07-10-2009, 01:22 AM
Hi everyone, I'm looking for a little insight into your psyche on what you tell yourself to get yourself motivated to work out on a regular basis. Exercising is something I used to do on a very regular basis but since gaining all this weight I don't find it fun anymore. My heel hurts, my knees hurt, my back hurts, my belly jiggles, my boobs flop. The list goes on and it's not comfortable physically to exercise. I used to love it when I could feel my strength and feel myself getting stronger but it will take a while to get back to that level of fitness again. In the meantime, I need something to do or say to myself to keep me going even when I feel so crumby working out. I do like that soreness I get in my muscles because it makes me feel like I actually HAVE muscles again. It's nice to feel something other than fat. Each day I have the opportunity to get exercise but often talk myself out of it and make excuses for it. My food has been good lately but I know that this is about balance and it needs to be done. I keep telling myself I'll exercise when I get thinner but that's like telling myself I'm going to wait to live my life until I lose X pounds. It's a habit that needs to be formed now, not later.

So, any advice? What do you do? What do you say to yourself when you don't want to do it anymore? What do you do when you are so uncomfortable with your body that it's not fun to move it around?

Thanks in advance for your ideas!

07-10-2009, 01:43 AM
For me I decided to look at it as my part time job. Just something I have to do on a daily basis. Not only does it help with my weight loss, but it also helps with my depression and over all mood. Once I get hooked on what being "fit" feels like that alone is reason enough to keep me going.

I also sign up for things (like my Triathlon races) because nothing is more motivating then spending money on something and being scared you won't be fit enough by the time the event rolls around. Hehe.

I used to hate hate hate exercise. I don't always love it now, but most days I don't mind it, and some days I guess I do enjoy it now.

The important thing I think is to get past the first few months when everything feels impossible or uncomfortable. It DOES get better.

Convince yourself you are worth it.

07-10-2009, 03:17 AM
Exercise gets me motivated to exercise. Getting started is the hard part but once I'm doing it- it's not bad.

I try for positive reinforcement with myself. Instead of focusing on my feet hurting (plantar fasciitis- ouch!), I focus on the blood pumping through my body. I think about how much stronger I feel. I put some good, high energy music on my I-Pod and then enjoy the adrenline rush I get while moving fast to songs like 'Fighter' by Christina Aguilara. Very Rocky-esque!

blue wind
07-10-2009, 03:47 AM
When I haven't exercised in a while, it really helps me to ease back into it. Instead of hitting the gym and feeling intimidated by all the thin, in-shape people on the other treadmills, I watch FitTV (or the equivalent) until I see something that looks really fun, and then I do it - there's this cool belly-dancing show I'm obsessed with. That way, I'm being more active, but it doesn't feeling like a chore I have to do. Once I've started feeling my body wake up, so to speak, I just start craving exercise. I guess what I'm saying is, I wouldn't start out with some huge fitness plan - those are near impossible to keep. Instead, find little things you like doing, and after a while, your body starts noticing how much better it feels when it's active and it will help motivate you.

Also - listen to the Rocky theme. That always helps.

07-10-2009, 04:11 AM
I totally understand. I have always hated exercise, but I decided at the beginning of the year to make it a priority - half an hour a day. I started with the habit: all I required of myself was that everyday I did something that could be classified as exercise. I only pushed myself if I felt like it. As my fitness improved, I felt like pushing myself more. After a few months I was inspired by Jillian Michaels to work at a high intensity, 80-90% of my max heart rate, and I bought a heart rate monitor to measure it.

Six months later I feel fit and capable of doing just about anything. I'm not particularly fast or athletic, but I can exercise at a high intensity for over half an hour at a time. In the past three days I have done 5 hours of exercise, an hour of which was my first ever spin class. And I didn't hate any of it:)

Oh, and you should look into weight lifting. I started going to a gym similar to curves, and it's great. I particularly like it because I'm good at it:) Squatting 200lb isn't that hard considering I lift more than that everytime I pick something up off the ground.

07-10-2009, 04:12 AM
Or "what Blue Wind said":)

07-10-2009, 09:00 AM
I try to do what I think is fun :) Running(yeah I'm weird), weight lifting (DH and I do it together), pilates, yoga, belly dancing and swimming are the main ones I do. Just start experimenting....anything that gets you more active than what you were before counts as exercise in my book!

For me it was the fun factor (my motivation at first) and scheduling it in my day then doing it like any other responsibility that I have. When you form the habit it's a bit easier to keep doing it.

07-10-2009, 09:21 AM
My rule is that i have go to the gym and get on the machine for at least five minutes. If i still feel terrible at that point i can always go home. That gets me there. Usually after i've done 5 minutes i convince myself to do another 5 minutes, etc. It is the getting there that is the hard part, once i am there i usually manage to exercise.

This usually works well for me. There is only 1 time that i have actually gone home after 5 minutes and i really did feel unwell.

07-10-2009, 09:46 AM
While I am waiting on exercise to become fun, I just have to make myself do it.

Like blue wind, I have had to ease myself into it. My primary exercise is walking. Wearing a pedometer helps because I make it a competition with myself. I keep track of the number of steps that I have walked and keep pushing myself to up it. This really encourages me to walk around the building when leaving work or parking at the back of the parking lot. Those seemingly little things really add up.

07-10-2009, 09:49 AM
1. I make a promise to myself that I will do it, if I can't keep promises to myself who can I keep a promise to? I also don't beat myself up if the weather or some unforeseen force prevents it, like a kid needing to go to a doctor or a friend in crisis.

2. I keep it fresh and the ladies above me have lots of suggestions for that. I never really saw myself as a biker. I love my bike, the progress I have made. I currently fantasize about day long rides and overnight trips where I am sore and tired and getting there at 22 mph ;)

3. If you are having trouble getting started, start small.

4. HAVE FUN AND SMILE (even when you don't mean it, this is called the fake it till you make it!)

07-10-2009, 12:08 PM
You have part of the answer yourself when you were talking about how you used to feel. You can focus on that.

Are you competitive? My YMCA has a program called Fitlinxx in which you keep track of your weight-lifting and cardio minutes and it assigns points. Then you can compare the points for the month against what you did last month or against everyone at your facility in your age group and for your gender.

I have a point goal for the month and if I'm up to date with what I did last month I know I'm on target. But I also try to stay in the top 10% of women in my age bracket. Sometimes the only thing that gets my walking shoes on at 5:45am is the desire to stay in that top 10%.

07-10-2009, 12:17 PM
I tell myself that I pay $36 a month for the gym and I better get my money's worth. Also, I recently bought a new ipod when my old one fried and it's the same logic - you spent $$$, you better use it. I think about cost per use a lot, and if I don't go, cost per use becomes enormous.

I also have a huge desire to be muscular and powerful like I was when I worked out a lot as a teenager, but the money thing is (strangely) the most powerful motivation.

07-10-2009, 12:34 PM
I totally agree, start small, and make it fun, those freebies {on-demand for me on my local cable} is a great place to start. The secret for me is to just make it part of you day, like brushing teeth, showering etc......no excuses to not do something daily. Start small, but just plan it into your day.

07-10-2009, 01:22 PM
Seriously, I pull up my sleeves, flex my arms and there's the motivation right there. I have SERIOUS arm muscle definition and as soon as I finish burning off all this flab I am going to give Linda Hamilton in T2 a run for her money. Also my upper stomach looks HOT (wish the lower stomach would catch up to it!) with major muscle definition. Finally, I weigh around 250 lbs and can almost fit into a size 14. If that's not motivation I don't know what is. BELIEVE IT AND YOU CAN ACHIEVE IT. Seriously.

07-10-2009, 08:00 PM
Thank you all for your ideas and support. Reading this thread was enough to get me up off my butt and outside for a bike ride today. It was hard, it hurt, I thought I might die, yet I enjoyed it in a weird way. I could feel my muscles and that felt good. So thank you! I hope to keep up this motivation and start slow and build from there.

07-10-2009, 09:00 PM
Exercise for me is no different than any other task I do around my house daily, other than the fact that I really enjoy exercise. But that is simply how I look at it. You have to do laundry if you want clean clothes. You have to wash the dishes if you want clean dishes to eat from. Well, you have to exercise to maintain a healthy body. So for me, it is just another task, that I enjoy, that is integrated into my daily activities.;)

07-11-2009, 12:21 AM
I started out H-A-T-I-N-G exercise. Now I don't necessarily like it, but I really miss it if I miss it. When I first started I made a commitment to do it the very first thing in the morning. No debates, no coffee, no nuthin. Just put on my shoes and went. I put a sign by my alarm clock which said:


That worked.

07-12-2009, 05:05 PM
I used to HATE exercise. HATE HATE HATE it. I could barely get off the couch nevermind get out the door to exert myself.

So I just made myself do it. I started slow... and now I'm down 132 lbs and can walk 4 miles in an hour. I CRAVE exercise now. I NEED to go for my walks, just like I NEED healthy food and enough sleep and enough water.

Just do it. Because you have to. Because your body depends on YOU to keep it healthy. I know you can :)

07-12-2009, 05:24 PM
My big motivation is the dog I adopted last December. We live in a small apartment and she NEEDS a daily brisk walk. It started with walking, but as I got lighter, I began running. My little beagle is the BEST running buddy around.

I've also started signing up for one 5k race each month. Knowing that I've gotta be ready on race day is really helping get me out there 3 times a week.

I'm having a harder time staying motivated on my weight training workouts. I love how my muscles feel after working out, but really don't enjoy the actual workouts. I've made a goal to do 8 WT workouts each month. It's hard and last month I ended up doing something like 4 workouts in the last 8 days of the month. But I met my goal and that felt great!

07-12-2009, 05:31 PM
I took a walk last night, probably the first time I took a walk specifically for exercise in about six months or so.

I didn't last too long though, it stays hot here even after the sun goes down. I can't wait until fall arrives and the weather cools off.

07-12-2009, 05:31 PM
Exercise for me is no different than any other task I do around my house daily, other than the fact that I really enjoy exercise. But that is simply how I look at it. You have to do laundry if you want clean clothes. You have to wash the dishes if you want clean dishes to eat from. Well, you have to exercise to maintain a healthy body. So for me, it is just another task, that I enjoy, that is integrated into my daily activities.;)

what Delphi said :)

you brush your teeth, you shower, you get dressed, maybe you go to work, you pay bills, you do all the things you need to do, all of the things a responsible adult does... exercise is just another one of those things that one does.

I started out H-A-T-I-N-G exercise. Now I don't necessarily like it, but I really miss it if I miss it. When I first started I made a commitment to do it the very first thing in the morning. No debates, no coffee, no nuthin. Just put on my shoes and went. I put a sign by my alarm clock which said:


That worked.

awesome. Agree! My thought is, what is the alternative?

1) Remain fat
2) get fatter
3) have no strength
4) have aches and pains
5) be miserable
6) shorten your life
7) open yourself up to the possibility of diabetes, heart disease, etc
8) die young

I mean, a little exercise every day, building up into something that you love, something that you do because you LOVE YOURSELF can actually wipe out all of those alternatives. How cool is that?

Ever seen this Nike advert? It brings TEARS to my eyes. We HAVE no real excuses!!!


07-12-2009, 05:46 PM
Wow Velveteen, I hadn't seen that before--thanks for sharing! And I really like Thinpossible's little sign by her bedside. I do NOT want to be one of those ladies in Walmart, riding around on a little cart because her poor knees can no longer carry her.

I started exercising because I knew from past experience that I find it very, very difficult to lose weight without increasing my activity. Others may not find this to be true, but it's true for me. So I started on an elliptical that I nicknamed the "b****" and she lives in my dining room. Sometimes she kicks my butt, sometimes I kick hers. Once spring came, I started walking. Between the elliptical, walking, and a little bit of C25K, the fat has pretty much melted off my hips and butt, and my thighs are MUCH less jiggly. I noticed the other day in the shower that my lower legs are looking good, too (she says modestly).

Last time I lost weight, I was doing Yoga and some weight lifting, along with riding my bike. Know what? I was the same weight I am now, but my stomach was smaller and I was much fitter. Anyway, that's how I stay motivated because I do not want to go back to feeling flabby and sad and depressed. I look forward to my walk; it's 3.5 miles of "me" time. I put on my headset and listen to NPR and the time flies by. Once my asthma stops bugging me, I'll go back to learning to run because I want to be a runner. I'm not good at it, I don't love it (yet), but I want to LOOK like the girls who run look. Another motivation!

07-13-2009, 01:18 AM
Velveteen, thanks for the Nike commerical. That about says it all...hard to make excuses after seeing that. At first I was like "THIS makes her cry?" LOL. I totally didn't see the end coming for some reason. But I shouldn't have to. Hearing all those excuses is enough of the mirror being held in front of my face!

07-13-2009, 10:32 AM
Add me to the list of people hating exercise when they first started! Oh man, was it rough to get to the gym in the mornings! But now, like so many others have said, it's just something I automatically do. Turn off my alarm, throw on my work-out clothes, let the dogs out, eat breakfast, hit the gym. And repeat 6 days a week (and on Sunday, she rested, haha). Often on the drive there I'll think "Man, I really don't want to do this" but then once I'm on the elliptical/treadmill/lifting weights, the time really does go by faster than I thought it would.

I do a lot of self-talk when I'm working out. Telling myself that I can do this and it's helping me achieve my goals really helps me to stay focused. And, if you're a Grey's Anatomy watcher, there's a quote from Meredith that I apply to exercise because it's so true! It goes:

"Maybe we like the pain. Maybe we're wired that way. Because without it, I don't know; maybe we just wouldn't feel real. What's that saying? Why do I keep hitting myself with a hammer? Because it feels so good when I stop."

Where do I find the motivation to exercise and why do I keep working out? Because it feels so good when I stop and I love that feeling of being healthy...and being able to check "work out" off my to-do list for the day, haha!

07-14-2009, 09:11 AM
I too hated exercise.

I had to do something though. I went and picked up Power 90. It was a 90 day commitment -- I told myself I could do anything for 90 days. So far I'm on day 45 without missing even once! I discovered I like the feeling of having muscles (even though they are under my fat). I like the feeling of doing cardio without waiting for a heart attack.

I need to have time limits I guess. I could get to the end of the 90 days and go back to doing nothing,,,but I like the way I feel so I'll probably do the Power 90 Master Series for 90 days with Jillian 30 day shred in between. This way I can tell myself only 90 days or only 30 days LOL

The other thing that got me moving was doing a google on "fat people in airplanes". I do alot of business travel all over the world and United and everybody else is starting to look at extra charges for obese people. I wanted to know what people thought of sitting next to me and how many people are being forced to buy two seats. It is very cruel what people say on the internet -- but it was enough to convince me I never want to be that fat person they bash on those forums. I never want to go on business travel and tell my employer they need to shell out more money for a ticket because I'm too fat for a single seat. I never want to have people give me that "look" when they see me coming down that aisle to sit next to them.

Whenever I lose motivation, I google something on fat people. The mean comments are enough to get me moving again. It's funny, 60% of the US is overweight or obese, but the way the internet is filled with fat-hate-speech you would think that everyone on the internet is super thin.

07-14-2009, 09:21 AM
Thin hit the nail on the head for me, not only why I started exercising, but why I started on this entire weight loss journey. I started seeing one of those rascal scooters in my not too distant future.

Thighs Be Gone
07-14-2009, 10:03 AM
I hated exercise before. When I first began I felt like everyone was looking at me when I went out in my neighborhood. I "told" myself I didn't care back then but I actually really did. Now, I can honestly say I don't care even if they are.

I crave exercise when I don't stay active now. I guess the best way I can describe it is the feeling you get when you first stretch out after being in bed all night--my body just longs for it.

The times I don't want to do it I might shake things up a bit and do something different than normal for my activity.

Making the commitment to get off the couch was hard for me. The "mood" to get active never struck me. I waited and waited and got fatter and fatter until I finally decided to just do it.

07-14-2009, 10:47 AM
Exercise for me has become a commitment and a routine. I get up in the morning, put on my workout clothes, and drive to the gym. Once I'm there and moving it's great.

It wasn't always so great. In the beginning I despised exercise. I got a membership to Curves, and at least two days a week I would lie about going while I sat in the parking lot of the mall and ate Burger King and hated on myself. I did finally get over that and actually embraced the Curves workout to the point where I would spend a full hour doing the circuit. Once that got too easy I got the membership to the gym I'm at now.

I've had a lot of issues with one of my feet being in constant pain. Finally, a foot doctor and really expensive New Balance shoes have all but cured me. Still have issues but they are bearable. I then pulled my groin muscle in my left leg and that has been a nightmare. Yesterday, I had to finally realize that I can't use the treadmill until it heals. I will stick to the elliptical and bike until this stupid injury heals once and for all.

In the past I would have definitely used these injuries as reasons to stay out of the gym. Heck I would have used a hang nail as an excuse. These days, pain makes me mad and I will do whatever it takes to get my workouts in so that I can feel better and get this hideous fat off me!