100 lb. Club - Can't stay motivated




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LindsayW
10-20-2010, 12:54 PM
I will start a diet, stick with it for about a week or two, then go back to my old bad eating habits. I don't know why I can't stay motivated :( I think maybe part of it is because I want to see results right away (lord knows that's not possible) and it doesn't happen, so I fall back to bad habits. Then a few weeks later I will start up the diet again, then stop a week or two later. Such a bad cycle :(
How can I keep myself motivated?? Sometimes it just seems like a lost cause...


calluna
10-20-2010, 12:57 PM
A lot of people here will tell you that it isn't about motivation. If we relied on motivation, we'd all be sunk.

Perhaps thinking of it from a different angle would help you. What are your problem areas? Are there foods that set you off? Times of day when you shouldn't eat? Do exercise? Spend a bit of time recording your food and activity and analyze your habits.

Then, set up a plan. Make sure you know what you're going to eat and how you'll exercise on a day to day basis and figure out how you can incorporate that with the least disruption to your day to day life. This is about changing the way we think about and behave, and as such it takes time and small steps.

Weight is only one part of it. :)

Terre
10-20-2010, 01:09 PM
I put a before photo on the fridge...anytime I go there to munch I have to see it and it stears me away :)


ORSewmama
10-20-2010, 02:00 PM
When I started, I set out a pretty specific goal/reward system for myself, and I printed it and put it on the fridge. My first goal was 5 pounds, which isn't a lot - but it was my first goal. And my list only included the first 15 pounds. Still, when I think about the fact that I have 50ish pounds to go, it gives me a panic attack. I have to keep thinking small chunks. My current goal is to be around 215 by the end of the year, and out of the 230s this month. If I get into the 220s, I get new scents for my scentsy (My addiction :)). Not a high $ reward, but I can't wait to see that number and place an order!!

LindsayW
10-20-2010, 05:41 PM
Yeah, I need to set smaller goals for myself. And I try that but still don't stick to it. Then again, I have never given myself any rewards for reaching a goal. That is something I will have to try.

kaplods
10-20-2010, 06:06 PM
I also have trouble with motivation. If I had more motivation, I'd have lost more than 85 lbs in six years (the weight loss is snowballing, increasing each year, but it's still slow going).

For me, it took not looking at maintenance as a failure. Weight loss didn't seem possible, so I just vowed not to regain. Every pound I lost, I vowed to keep off. I look at only one pound at a time, and when I weigh myself and I haven't lost, I don't see that as a failure. Just staying the same is worthy of celebration.

Failure feels like punishment, and if you step on the scale expecting and only celebrating the losses, you get a lot more punishment than reward. And when you receive punishment (even from yourself) you want to avoid the source of the punishment (dieting).

I vowed to make diet and exercise as rewarding as possible - so that it wasn't something I would want to avoid.

Making the process fun is a bit of a challenge, because we're almost taught that dieting has to be unpleasant to be effective. It can feel like it must be wrong if it's any fun at all.

Looking for ways to move that were fun was really hard when I could barely move at all. My first "game" was doing housework (that hubby had been doing, because I wasn't able) during television commercials. At first I couldn't even make it through one commercial before having to sit down and rest.

I think "gung-ho" motivation is over-rated, because it's hard to keep that level of motivation. I think a more subtle motivation is more effective - the confidence that what you're doing today matters for tomorrow.

When I started all this, I didn't imagine that I'd lose 85 lbs. I had never lost more than 70 lbs in my life (and the 70 lbs was with prescription diet pills in my teens). I was only confident that I could keep from gaining and could "maybe" lose one more pound.

There are health benefits in just not gaining. There are health benefits in moving just a little more than you do now. For me, I had to focus on the little benefits, because I couldn't even imagine the large benefits. I never really thought about my ultimate goal, because I didn't even consider the possibility that I would ever reach it. I'm still not sure I can reach even my modest goal of 250 (my ultimate goal, 150), but I know for certain that I can lose one more pound - so that's all I put on my plate.

I firmly believe that most people do not quit diets because they weren't succeeding. The quit either because they felt like they were failing, or because they'd made themselves so miserable that the results weren't worth the effort. Instead of easing up on the effort and moving slower, it felt easier and safer to just give up.

Slow progress is progress. Several years ago I was griping to my doctor that I was only losing 1 lb a month, and that I should be losing at least 2 lbs a week just like everyone else. He told me "where did you hear that garbage" or something to that effect. He reminded me that any loss at all, if it's kept up was better than most people do because most people give up. 2 lbs per week is a myth, because most people don't stick with their weight loss and gain it all back (and often some extra to spare).

Any loss at all is incredible progress in the scheme of things, because it's so easy to give up. And one of the reasons it's so easy to give up is that we set ourselves up for it, by viewing only huge losses as any progress at all.

I think redefining success is one of the secrets to successful weight loss. Getting rid of all-or-nothing thinking. Some people do have the drive, focus and biochemistry to lose weight rapidly. Some people don't. Ultimately success is more a factor of consistency than drive. Losing it fast means nothing if you gain it back just as quickly.

Shmead
10-20-2010, 07:56 PM
You say you have to stick with "it", but what is "it", exactly? I used to say that, and my plan would be something like "make good choices", which really meant "deny yourself anything you like as long as you can". I couldn't stick with that, either.

What is your plan? What makes you quit? Is it hunger? Is it that fattening foods are so tempting? Is it that you don't have healthy foods available and going to get them seems like too much trouble? Or is it something else?

spixiet
10-20-2010, 08:40 PM
Kaplods - I think I may have to print out your response and stick it to my fridge :D I too often have given up because I see myself as a failure because I didn't regularly drop 10 pounds a month. When I first started visiting these boards, I found myself frustrated by the people with rapid losses, and saw my measly progress as a failure in comparison. I regularly have to remind myself that I have found something that works for me; it just works more slowly-

LindsayW, I can't say it any better than Kaplods already did...reward yourself for maintaining, then focus on one pound at a time after that. And I'm a big believer in rewarding yourself very often for making healthier choices in your life :D

SCraver
10-21-2010, 09:10 AM
Sometimes I give myself a six week time limit. I try something for six weeks and give it a whole-hearted effort. (A new exercise, a new food plan, etc.) Can you do that? Can you make a commitment to do this for six weeks? Six measly little weeks?

Then I tell myself, if I don't notice any difference at all, I can totally quit. If there isn't a little more firmness... or a few pounds dropped... or my clothes fitting slightly better.... or my moods feeling more stable... some sort of small change... then I tell myself I can quit. But the thing is, anything that you really try for six weeks is going to show you some sort of result. So, I never have to quit.

HadEnough
10-21-2010, 10:19 AM
Kaplods: Very well put. I even had my husband read it and he agreed.

I don't think it is about motivation at all, but, it is about commitment.

Eliana
10-21-2010, 11:19 AM
You say you have to stick with "it", but what is "it", exactly? I used to say that, and my plan would be something like "make good choices", which really meant "deny yourself anything you like as long as you can". I couldn't stick with that, either.

What is your plan? What makes you quit? Is it hunger? Is it that fattening foods are so tempting? Is it that you don't have healthy foods available and going to get them seems like too much trouble? Or is it something else?
True, so true! I hadn't ever thought about it that way. "Making good choices" has always meant denying myself anything good. It wasn't until I found calorie counting where treats were allowed that I found success.

Motivation for me comes in many forms. Sometimes it's visual. Once I kept a 10 pound bowling ball in my kitchen as a reminder of just how much 10 pounds is. Sometimes it comes in the form of trying on a pair of too small jeans. I took pictures of myself at size 20 trying to get into a pair of size 10 jeans. :D Then I took a picture every month as those jeans inched further up my legs. Now I can wear them! That was motivational.

Day to day motivation for me comes from the pure joy I find in every day life. So many things! I find joy at every turn! Just now, I rubbed my hands together for warmth and was struck by how prominent my knuckles are and the fact that I am always cold now. I am wearing a bulky sweater to keep me warm and my bulky sweater is comfort clothing now whereas before it was just bulk and I wouldn't wear them. I find little things like that highly motivational. I can name 50 NSV's that I encounter each and every day. Many of them are repeat NSV's, but as long as I find joy in them, they count. :D

carol2208
10-21-2010, 11:27 AM
I agree with the others that itīs about commitment, so you need to do something that is doable in the long run. For me, completely cutting "unhealthy" foods never worked, so now I compromise, I eat it rarely and when I do itīs in smaller amounts. I also agree with SCraver, sometimes to get me to start something, or finish something I compromise, for a limited period of time. And the good (and sometimes bad) thing with our bodies is its adaptability, if we start eating less and healthier, we will eventually need less food to feel satisfied and will also crave certain healthier choices. The same goes for exercise, today my body asks for it if I go too long without doing it...

So maybe, you can try it, really commit, for letīs say a month and take it from there?

Sea
10-22-2010, 11:39 AM
I have yo-yo'ed for decades. Usually I'd fall off a diet on day 4. So I decided to allow myself one meal a week to not worry about. I also am giving myself rewards. At the 1/4 to goal I purchased two dresses that are still too small, with the plan to wear them on my 3/4 to goal reward cruise. I also purchased a swimsuit appropriate for at goal. I hang this in front of my treadmill to stare at to keep myself from quiting too soon.

To me it is motivating to think about how surprised people will be when they see me again, much thinner. It makes me feel sneaky good, lol. When I can feel good about good choices, it is so much easier.

RobinD
10-22-2010, 03:25 PM
My main motivators are:

1. Losing weight will reduce the amount of back pain I deal with, enabling me to...

2. exercise more, although I loathe gyms and prefer walking or exercising at home.

3. Frankly, I want my husband to get 'that look' in his eyes when he looks at me. That had largely disappeared by the time I hit 295, but I'm already seeing a difference in his response to my appearance. This is my second marriage - the ex-hole punished me soundly for gaining weight while pregnant, telling me that getting fat is a "moral failing" and a "weakness" and using it an his excuse for a lot of really hurtful behavior. When I left him I began losing the weight, and was quite slim and fit when I married DH 10 years ago. Seeing my DH gradually lose interest in me physically (he's still my best friend and wonderfully supportive emotionally) over the last few years has not only hurt in the here and now, but awakened all the past hurts from my first marriage. Another thing I am learning to deal with.

4. I'll be 48 on 12/1. Fifty is right around the corner. I do not want to spend the rest of my life obese, dealing with chronic pain, diabetes, COPD etc. like my mother. She got fat in middle age, too. I quit a 28-year 2-pack habit 1.5 years ago, now it's time to deal with the weight.

5. I don't want to have to buy new waders and a new fishing vest. Next summer all my really good fly-fishing gear will fit again, and I won't get tired kicking around in my belly boat all day.

ThinkinThin
10-22-2010, 10:25 PM
So much of what everyone has said sounds like me. It makes me feel better. It gives me motivation just to be on this site because I know I'm not alone!

So now to vent a little. I was doing well all week, then ate too much today after work. I'm feeling bloated and full and gross. If only I could remember that feeling when I go to eat the next time.

I've GOT to lose weight; to regain my life! I want to wear shorts again, go horseback riding, ride a rollercoaster, fly in a plane to see friends/family out of state and much more. 40 is right around the corner and I can't be 40 and fat. I'll be so ashamed. UGH!

OK, I'm done venting now. I'll go back to trying to stay motivated. Good luck to everyone else on their journey. See you around!