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Old 10-12-2012, 05:22 AM   #1
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Default What's your motivation?

As a 25 year old you'd think I would have all the motivation in the world, but I don't, and I find that to be one of the hardest things for me and my journey. I want nothing more than to lose this weight, but every time I start my journey I end up stalling after 1 or 2 weeks! I was on the South Beach diet in grade 11 and rowing every day, so at that point I was the smallest I'd been (with the exception of elementary school, but let's be real lol). I think too negatively sometimes, which might also contribute, and maybe I'm just ultimately afraid that I'll fail again.

So I really need help with my motivation and just making time for this. I'm a student, but I know I have time to exercise more...so why DON'T I?

What are your motivations for your weight loss journey? What helps you get up off the couch and away from your fears, negative feelings, or just plain lazy moments?
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Old 10-12-2012, 06:34 AM   #2
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As we often say on this board, it's not about motivation but about commitment. Make the commitment. On the days when you don't feel motivated (and there will always be those days), the commitment will carry you through. Not that it's easy. It's taken me 55 years to make the commitment to exercise four times a week. But now that I've made the commitment, my previous excuses have fallen away. There are many mornings I don't feel like jogging, but I simply push myself out the door and then it becomes easier. Same with eating. Yesterday I was a lot hungrier than usual (for no particular reason) and had to white-knuckle it a bit, though I did have a couple of snacks. Commitment, not motivation.

Do it while you're young, you won't regret it. Good luck!

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Old 10-12-2012, 06:47 AM   #3
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My biggest motivation is thinking how good I will feel and look as I lose weight and become healthier! Set small goals for yourself such as: this week I am going to the gym 3 times or this month I plan to lose 5lbs. Write your goals down and check them off as you go! Something I do to get me to the gym Monday through Friday is, lay out my workout clothes every night and don't make working out and eating healthy optional,it's a priority. Lastly every now and then allow your self a "treat" so you can stay on track without feeling deprived. I calculate into my daily calories to allow myself a glass of chocolate Milk every night. Most importantly you need to believe in yourself. You can do this!! Even if you do fall off the wagon every now and then don't beat yourself up, just pick yourself up and get back on!
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Old 10-12-2012, 08:15 AM   #4
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Default re:

Good question.

For me, the initial motivation came from pictures of myself. So often we know how much we weigh mentally but are really blind to the reality. Take some pictures of yourself and keep them where you can see them.

I also feel 100% that this board kept me going through those less motivated times.

What people say is true, it's about commitment mostly. Sure, people fall off plan many times throughout their weight loss, but it's the people that get right back to it that succeed.
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Old 10-12-2012, 08:30 AM   #5
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My Motivation is my desire to feel like i did before i had children and put this weight on. Dont get me wrong i love the reasons why i gained weight but i have no baby on board now so why isnt the weight gone? I work out but My Addiction is CARBS. I need to see this as an allergy i suppose. Ive lost 40 pounds so far but im stuck at this weight and the scale wont budge. going on a strict protien diet seems to be my answer but i am a firm believer in not isolating a food group. Ive seen to many fail this way. Its a matter of WHEN to eat the foods and HOW. Ive been trained. and still i fall victim to the CARB attacks. Even i cant say NO. Its like a drug. Anyway, this is my story and i will stay the course forever, if i have to until i lose it.
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Old 10-12-2012, 02:25 PM   #6
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Great answers

I think it's important to remember why we're doing this and I like the idea of keeping pictures of yourself around where you can see them. I love myself shoulders up, but body shots are not fun lol. I had a bit of an eye opener this summer because I went to Italy for a month. While I was there I was walking constantly (we're talking 11 hours a day) and, while it was exhausting, I didn't mind it and I actually started to feel different. I was eating white bread and white pasta and cream sauces and drinking lots of wine every day, but I actually lost weight. In fact when I came home I found out that I had actually gone down 15 pounds that month alone (probably a lot was water weight).

I remember LOVING that feeling of actually having made a change. But now it's October, I feel like some of the weight is back, and I just wish I could get back to that routine of constantly doing something. I think when I was in Italy I didn't have a choice to walk, but now that I'm at home there are a lot of distractions and easy ways out, you know?
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Old 10-12-2012, 02:50 PM   #7
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As Vex mentioned: pictures of myself. Not only overweight pics, but pics of me when I was thin. A few weeks ago I came across old pics of myself and at first I felt bad, but then once I stopped the self pity they became my motivation.

Oh, and for additional motivation I'm looking forward to rewarding myself (in a non-food way) for reaching my mini goals (see sig).
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Old 10-12-2012, 03:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vex View Post
Good question.

For me, the initial motivation came from pictures of myself. So often we know how much we weigh mentally but are really blind to the reality. Take some pictures of yourself and keep them where you can see them.

I also feel 100% that this board kept me going through those less motivated times.

What people say is true, it's about commitment mostly. Sure, people fall off plan many times throughout their weight loss, but it's the people that get right back to it that succeed.
I've done this rather recently and it really is an eye opener. Further more I love the concept of you guys referencing the journey as a commitment. I've honestly never heard it put that way or considered it in that light. It's left me with something to think about. I like it!
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Old 10-12-2012, 05:17 PM   #9
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I agree! Calling it a commitment rather than just something to do does make you think. I mean, really, I sometimes wonder that if I can't commit to going the distance and working hard to make myself healthier, what can I commit to? The things I currently commit to are schoolwork and relaxing when work is done. Lol.
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Old 10-12-2012, 05:27 PM   #10
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I was sick of being miserable in my own body and decided since I have full control over that I was going to change it. I decided that day that I would put up with no more excuses from myself, and that I would commit to this, long term. I am certainly not motivated all the time -- maybe like only 10% of the time; the rest is following through with the commitment I made to myself. I try to look at it the same way as I look at my marriage. I don't just give my all in the relationship when it's fun and great and lovey-dovey, it's all the time, every day, and it takes work, and it is definitely NOT always easy. I owe myself that same amount of effort!
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Old 10-12-2012, 06:18 PM   #11
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clothes and being comfortable in everything I wear and being able to fit into my old wardrobe <3
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Old 10-12-2012, 07:59 PM   #12
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In this order:

1) My mental stability depends on it. I have to do cardio, period.
2) I have high cholesterol so physical health factors in.
3) Vanity and bikinis.
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Old 10-12-2012, 08:27 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by freelancemomma View Post
As we often say on this board, it's not about motivation but about commitment. Make the commitment. On the days when you don't feel motivated (and there will always be those days), the commitment will carry you through. Not that it's easy. It's taken me 55 years to make the commitment to exercise four times a week. But now that I've made the commitment, my previous excuses have fallen away. There are many mornings I don't feel like jogging, but I simply push myself out the door and then it becomes easier. Same with eating. Yesterday I was a lot hungrier than usual (for no particular reason) and had to white-knuckle it a bit, though I did have a couple of snacks. Commitment, not motivation.

Do it while you're young, you won't regret it. Good luck!

F.
^This. A solution-finding mentality helps too.

You want to lose weight, so you're already motivated.
Are you committed?

If you are, what are you committing yourself to?
Making better eating choices? If so, what specifically will you do to start out?
Being more active? Okay, what can you fit into your schedule right now?
Breaking the negative thought cycle? Great - what methods will you use?

You've still got to commit to actually doing those things and follow through, but it's a lot easier to make changes once you've identified specific things to work on.
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Old 10-12-2012, 09:34 PM   #14
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I have less motivation than I've ever had in my life-long struggle with my weight, and yet my successes have also surpased any previous successes.

For me, it wasn't about motivation, it was about redefining success. In the past, I set the bar WAY too high (though in fairness, I hadn't set the bars, I was just using the bars that I was taught to use, the one's social pressure taught me was the appropriate ones).

I had to redefine success, because I was seeing failure where I was actually experiencing success, I just didn't know that what I was taught and encouraged to believe was absolutely wrong.

I wasn't "failing" when my weight loss slowed and stalled, I was losing successfully, I just didn't realize I was succeeding because I defined anything less than a significant loss (of 2 or more lbs per week) each and every week as dismal failure. I defined anything less than absolute deviation-free, perfectly on-plan eating as failing.

For me, the motivation and commitment came easy when I stopped defining 99% of my efforts as failure.

"This time" for me started with accidental weight loss (or rather incidental weight loss - I lost about 20 lbs as a result of sleep apnea treatment, with no conscious effort on my part). More than three decades of failed weight loss attempts had convinced me that dieting only caused weight gain, so I was terrified that I would regain the 20 lbs if I "tried" to lose weight, so I didn't. Instead, I focused on keeping off the 20 lbs I had lost, and making changes I could live with whether or not weight loss resulted. I decided that my goal was to improve my strength, stamina, overall health and well-being, while keeping off those 20 lbs, and trying to maybe lose "just one more."

I only made changes I was willing to commit to forever, without making them contingent on weight loss. So if I didn't lose weight immediately as a result of a healthy behavior change, it wasn't reason to give up the healthy behavior just because it didn't yeild rapid-enough or drastic-enough benefits. I trusted that the benefits WOULD eventually come.

At first the benefits weren't weight loss (in fact, for two years I struggled just to maintain that 20 lb loss, and gradually become more functional in my life - when I started I was virtually bedbound, and I'm still too disabled to return to work, but at least I'm not spending 90 percent of my day in bed anymore, and I can get dressed without having to stop to rest before finishing and can shower without the aid of my husband and a shower chair).

Just being able to shower and dress without pain and without using every bit of my energy for the day is a gift I no longer take for granted. I remember when just taking a shower would be so difficult, painful and energy-consuming that I'd have to take extra pain medicine to gear up to it, have my husband help me into and out of the shower, and when it was over I'd be so wiped out that I'd sleep for three or four hours afterward.

Some people have told me that I had to hit rock bottom to be motivated to change, but I actually disagree. I believe I had to learn to redefine and recognize success so that I stopped seeing myself as a failure, and if I hadn't been able to do that, my bottom would have gotten much, much lower.

We're essentially taught to set the bar so high when it comes to weight loss, that we insure that virtually no one can feel successful. Some people will continue to do their absolute best in the face of this (despite feeling like failures), while other people collapse under the weight of the failure label.

When I succeeded, I succeeded spectacularly. I taught myself to read before kindergarten. I was in honors classes, graduated high school and college early. Found graduate school almost effortless, always held more than a full-time job or full-time course load. I was an overacheiver in every aspect of my life except for weight loss.

But when I failed, I failed as spectacularly as I succeeded. Or so I thought, but my real problem was defining success and failure and then deciding that success was impossible so the effort was wasted.

If I wasn't losing steadily, I was gaining steadily, because I didn't value weight maintenance ABOVE weight loss. If I couldn't lose, I felt that a gain wasn't any worse than not losing, so if I couldn't lose, I might as well at least get to eat what I wanted.

I thought I was the idiot for feeling this way, but it's really the way most of us are brought up. We're taught that if we've "blown it" for the day, the appropriate response is to binge until we can "start fresh" tomorrow (or next week, or next month, or after the holidays, or after our vacation, or at the new year, or before the next special occasion we want to look good for such as a wedding or class reunion....)

My doctor helped me get started when he admonished me for complaining that I wanted to lose at least two pounds a week like a "normal person" instead of the one pound a month I was accomplishing. My doctor scolded me, telling me that "normal" wasn't 2 lbs a week. Normal was losing nothing. Normal was gaining. Normal was losing a little, getting discouraged, giving up and regaining more. He told me I wasn't normal, I was extraordinary, I just didn't know it because I thought normal was something that it wasn't.

It made me realize that weight loss is like a big city marathon, and we think we're virtually in last place because we see 1,000 people ahead of us, unaware of the 20,000 people behind us. We assume we're lagging behind, when we're actually doing damned well for ourselves. We drop out of the race because we think we can't win, even as we're doing better than most.

Any attempt to educate us on the "reality" of weight loss is seen in a discouraging light rather than a positive light. Tell most morbidly obese folks that 98% of weight loss attempts for morbidly obese dieters, will fail, and the statistic is seen as stating that "weight loss is virtually impossible."

Maybe it's because we define success in a way that most people can't accomplish - and because we're defining success as failure. We don't congratulate the person who has lost 12 lbs in a year (unless they were only 12 lbs overweight to begin with). Instead, we give them condolences. We view them as failures.

And shows like the Biggest Loser and Extreme Makeover weight loss edition are making it worse, where "personal trainers" scream and yell and berate a person for being uncooperative and lazy if they "only" lose 20 lbs in a month.

They're essentially saying to these people, "You've accomplished what most overweight Americans, even those one third your size never accomplish in a lifetime of effort, but you're a pitiful, useless, failure because you should have lost more in order to entertain the people at home watching - and we're telling those people at home they're failures too for not accomplishing even this much."

It doesn't surprise me that weight loss is so difficult, it surprises me that anyone ever acheives it, given how we define success and failure. It's a wonder that anyone accomplishes it, especially if their pattern of weight loss doesn't match the cultural definition of success. Succeeding despite everyone telling you that you're a failure, now that's a real accomplishment (just wish I'd known and believed that 30 years ago).
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Old 10-12-2012, 09:50 PM   #15
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I want a better life that confidence (not neccesarily a smaller waist) will afford me. I want to have a relationship, socialize, have children someday, make some changes in my career. These things can happen but they start with me.

My confidence/self esteem was at an all time low. As I lose weight I am regaining who I was. My personality has blossomed again. I see me having those things I want in my future. It wasn't the world's view of me but my view of myself. I love who I am becoming (who I always was)!
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