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Old 07-02-2008, 09:51 AM   #1
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Default Trouble staying motivated

Having SERIOUS motivation issues recently. I don't know if it's that I'm sick of my routine or what. This morning I got to thinking, and I kind of believe it's more of an issue of not having a goal anymore. Does that make any sense?

When I started last year, I had a goal of 160 pounds in mind. Every day I got up and worked out and ate right, with that goal in the front of my memory. It pushed me and made me work hard even on the days I didn't want to, and made me NOT reach for that cookie when every fiber of my being was craving it.

Well, I reached that goal then set another for 150. Pretty much there now (fluctuating from 150 to 151), and I'm happy with the way I look and feel. And even though I like how I look and feel, it's getting harder and harder to get up and get on a bike or elliptical trainer, or the weight machine. I know the purpose behind continuing is to remain at this weight, and to stay healthy from here on out. But the motivation level isn't there.

I've tried telling myself that I need to increase my muscle tone and strength...but I don't want to push it too far and look too muscular. And the extra skin that I have around my middle and under my arms is too depressing....can't tone loose skin. Right now I'm trying to tell myself that I need to stay healthy so one day, when we decide to have kids, I'll be healthy while I'm pregnant, and have healthy habits to pass on to the baby. But that's so far off it may never happen.

Maybe I'm just whining too much today. Maybe it's just vacation anticipation making me all blah and unmotivated. Maybe it's confusion over transitioning from loss to maintenance, and the worry that's coming along with increasing my calorie intake. Maybe I just need to change my routine and throw in a workout video one or two days a week.

anyone else have these issues before? How did you get past them?
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Old 07-02-2008, 10:26 AM   #2
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Hi MindiV,
I don't (yet) belong to this particular board, but I hope to one day soon! I hope you don't mind me posting a reply. The reason I wanted to post is because I could have been on this board, since I've lost and gained the same 50 pounds at least 4 times! I am so frustrated with myself, because every time I get to goal (or very close to it), I lose my motivation or something happens in my life that is so difficult, that I justify going back to my old habits. I really hope and pray that THIS time, I will not do that. I plan to make my workouts like any appointment, or like brushing my teeth. I don't stop brushing my teeth just because I'm not motivated to do it...I do it because I know I have to to keep myself healthy. The same goes for working out.

As far as treats, I still allow them even now, as I lose weight. I let myself have a treat once a week (frozen yogurt) and once a month, I have something decadent...but only a little. I went to a friend's house for dinner with my family and there were some pastries and wine and I had about half a glass of wine and a few bites of the desert. You know what? I still lost weight. I get very nervous when I do those types of things, but I also know that if I deprive myself too much, I'll lose it and binge (which has happened as well, but I jumped back on track the very next day).

Maybe you need to give yourself one week off "dieting?" I'm not saying you should eat as much as you want and eat nothing but junk. No, I'm saying that you try to really listen to your body.

What I want to really get across to you is that I hope you don't do what I did. It's SO hard to get started all over again and it's not good for the body. Just set yourself some guidlines that you know you can live with such as: I will do X amt. of cardio per week and X amount of weights. I will eat a little bit of desert every Saturday, or whatever you think.

Finally, we reward ourselves when we reach goal weights, but are you rewarding yourself with non-food items for maintaining? You should celebrate your success! I really think maintanance is harder than weight loss because it can seem so easy, but it can be such a mental challenge to stay on track.

I hope you can really get through this...you obviously are very strong and very good at this...but just about everyone feels like you at SOME point, or none of us would be here!
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Old 07-02-2008, 11:45 AM   #3
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Hey Luckymommy! Thanks for the comment!

I haven't fallen off the wagon yet, but I'm sure slipping. I'll allow a treat every once in a while, so I'm not going overboard at this point. After thinking some more, I kind of think it's just boredom with the same routine that's causing my issues.

I'll stay strong....and you should too! You'll be here one day!!
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Old 07-02-2008, 11:48 AM   #4
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Mindi, one of the things that has helped me stay motivated after hitting goal weight is setting fitness goals. Something like signing up for a 5K, trying to do 10 push-ups, aiming for 45 minutes on the stairmaster at level 6. Whatever it is you do for your workout, you can change it up and set a goal for yourself. I find that things like that help me a lot!
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Old 07-02-2008, 12:02 PM   #5
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Paperclippy, the idea of running is gaining appeal with me. I tried a week ago, and I didn't overdo it at all. But I was SO sore for three days I could barely move! Maybe too much too soon....

But changing my actual workout goals may be a good start. I've been thinking in lengths of time, rather than intensity or resistance. Good ideas!
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Old 07-02-2008, 12:54 PM   #6
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I agree with Paperclippy. Fitness goals rock! Maybe try a belly dancing class or a martial arts program. I love running and I hope you do try it again. But I do think you have hit upon some of the challenges of maintaining. We don't always get that scale reward. Our goals change once we get there.....sort of. But maintaining is a goal. Focusing on behaviors is a goal. Rethinking nutrition and getting to a point where we have health habits established can be very helpful---I'm not saying there will never be missteps, but it is what we do most of the time that matters.

I'm actually a little worried for you! Like Luckymommy, I have lost and regained in the past....and some of what started me on the regain path is feeling a little like you are now. Cling to your new behaviors with everything you've got until these feelings pass. Try to set some new goals. Refuse to go back.

Screw motivation. Grab on to discipline and make it happen!
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Old 07-02-2008, 01:12 PM   #7
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It's highly unlikely that you would ever be able to push it too far and look too muscular. It's really difficult for women to build muscle like that. I know some women do, but those women are working out far more than most of us have time for; lifting far heavier than most of us are able to; and also eat special, super clean, high protein diets (and quite possibly take dietary supplements). Look at Meg, Mel, and some of the other women in the lifting forum--they all do pretty intense weight lifting exercises and, while they look fabulous, they don't look too muscular. The fact is that it's very hard for women to build muscle because they don't have enough testosterone. It's hard even for men to build muscle.

It's true that you can't tone skin, but firming up the muscle below the skin would make your loose skin look quite a bit better. So I think you might want to consider strength training.

I also think setting a red line for yourself might be a good idea. Your red line weight is the weight that you don't ever want to weight more than. When the scale hits that number, alarm bells go off and you start trying to lose weight until you are below your red line again. I've been struggling with motivation lately too and having a red line has helped quite a bit.
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Old 07-02-2008, 02:27 PM   #8
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Mindi - I so know where you are, having regained myself in the past. Setting different goals does help, as does just having a habit/routine. You just cannot count of sustaining motivation at a high level day-to-day. It's a "just do it" kind of thing we, well, just have to do.

I agree that strength training will help a lot. If you go here you'll see Mel and Lydia - two women who lift A LOT and they don't look "too muscular" until they actually lift something - as in the first photo. They just look great walking around in everyday life as you can see by scrolling down a few posts!
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Old 07-02-2008, 03:57 PM   #9
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I've been doing some strength training, but was worried about increasing the weight too much. I won't worry so much about it now, though!

I think the "Just DO it!" attitude will help me a lot. I don't want to EVER go back to where I was again! I think the thought of doing that is pretty scary...maintenance may be easier than losing all the weight again.

If you could see me, you'd be seeing my determined face. I'm on track again!!
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Old 07-02-2008, 08:11 PM   #10
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The other thing about building muscle is that the more muscle you have, the easier it is to maintain your weight because muscle burns more calories than fat, even when you are just sitting on the sofa doing nothing. And not just a few more calories--a lot more calories. I think the book You on a Diet said that a lb of muscle burns like 40 to 120 calories per day whereas a lb of fat burns only 1 or 2 calories per day--and that's if you just sit on your butt and do nothing all day.

I'm definitely not an expert (and you should check out the lifting forum for better advice), but when lifting weights, you want the weight to heavy enough that you can barely complete the last couple of reps.

I second what WaterRat says about not being able to count on feeling motivated every day. There are lots of days where I don't really feel very motivated. In fact, the last few days I've been wondering why I bother. But I keep exercising and restricting my calories because it's just something I do everyday; it's not something I give myself a choice about. You also might want to join the no excuses thread. Wanting to be able to post another on plan day there (and not wanting to have to admit an off plan day) has been helpful in sustaining me during these periods where I wonder why I bother.
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Old 07-02-2008, 10:46 PM   #11
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I think it's hard to stay excited about the weight loss when you start being used to yourself. When seeing the "new" you in the mirror doesn't make you do a double take. When you pick up a dress off the rack in the right size without trying on the one four sizes too big, three sizes too big, two sizes too big first. When you stop hearing comments about your amazing weight loss.

I think that's when you really begin to understand that you didn't do this for any other reason than to be healthier and to live longer. And that has to become the motivation for keeping the weight off.

I think then than you set those fitness goals - I'm going to do a 5k without walking if it's the last darn thing I ever do - not so much as a tool to keep the weight off but as a tool to remind yourself of how far you've come and how amazing your new life is.
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Old 07-03-2008, 07:30 AM   #12
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At almost 7 years of maintaining, the only way I've been able to do this is to have constant new fitness goals and activities...and clothes!

I lift heavy and often, and while some might not want this much muscle, at my age I'd certainly rather have it than lose it. It does help me with maintenance because I can eat a little more, but muscle is not a license to gobble unless you want to look like a chubby power lifter. But muscle and correct eating makes a body look a whole lot better and healthier, and really minimizes the look of loose skin.

Because I'm strong, I can do all sorts of things I never thought I'd be able to ever do again. I gave up skiing for decades, but bought new ski equipment last winter (at the age of 53) and had a blast all winter beating the 20-somethings down the hills. I just helped my 25 year old daughter move- no, I didn't supervise- I carried at least half the furniture and boxes. These are things I'd never have been able to do eight years ago.

And clothes! I know when I walk in my closet, everything fits. I know that if I need a special occasion outfit, I can walk in ANY store and have choices rather than just take whatever fits.

After then fun of watching the scale numbers go down and after the compliments quit coming, maintenance is about internal strength. You have a new body; you need a new outlook to go along with it. Find ways to use that body. It's no longer enough to be externally motivated by the scale or other people's compliments.

Good luck and keep reading and posting!

Mel
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Old 07-03-2008, 08:56 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mel View Post

....while some might not want this much muscle,
I do!!!! [/hero worship]
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Old 07-03-2008, 01:45 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midwife View Post
I do!!!! [/hero worship]
Me too! Muscle makes everything look so much better!
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Old 07-03-2008, 02:23 PM   #15
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Ya know what I find motivating? My niece got engaged recently. Of course I was thrilled beyond belief for her. But I won't lie, in the past these things were torture for me. Torture. First there would be an engagement party and then the wedding itself. I would anticipate it and dread it for months to come. First major issue - CLOTHING. What would I get around my massive body? Just how horrible would I look standing there? How long could I actually stand there for? Then there would be the socializing and then the physical aspect of me having to dance. Ugghh. And, I don't know the whole thing was a nightmare.

Well, the engagement party was a couple of weeks ago. I didn't even need to go buy an outfit. I had plenty fabulous outfits right there in my closet to choose from. I felt phenomenal the whole night long.

And now the wedding is coming up in November. And I can't wait. I am NOT dreading it. I may just buy a phenomenal new outfit. And I will be so happy to celebrate with my niece and my family. I can dance the whole night away. I can now look forward to these things. What a joy. What a motivator to stick with this new healthy lifestyle. It really can't be beat. The benefits and rewards are priceless.

So yup, the thrill of seeing that scale drop is no longer there. But neither is the need for the scale to drop. Priceless.
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