Sunday, March 21, 2010


I shared at the beginning of this blog that I was starting a challenge at my gym. My motivation for starting the blog was that particular event. I was recently asked about my motivation for working out and losing weight. This question has me scratching my head. I've been looking for the 'right' motivation for working out and losing weight for over twenty years. Something seems to be working right now, but can I pinpoint what it is? I'm not sure...but I'll try.

The journey I am on right now is one that encompasses so much more than just losing weight. Yeah, my initial journey started because we were taking a trip to Hawaii. Oh, and there was my husband's high school reunion in 2009. Sometimes, events like these are enough to get me going. I did not enjoy my own high school reunion in 2008 as much as I would have liked because I wasn't feeling good about myself. I felt like I was completely socially awkward. I had a hard time engaging in conversations that weekend. I had a hard time walking up to people. I kinda stood back and waited for people to come to me. about a wake-up call. I usually thrive on interaction with people. I had a 6 month old baby at home, and was glad to use this as an excuse for why I looked the way I did. I'd been using that same old excuse for nearly 20 years! Never mind the highest weight I had been (prior to these last two babies), was 4 years AFTER I had my 3rd son. That's a little hard to excuse as 'baby weight'. That weekend of my reunion helped me to start on my quest because I didn't recognize the girl I was INSIDE anymore. The outside of me was now making the inside of me in to someone I didn't know....or like.

There was the motivation of an event, or events...the trip and the reunion. There is the motivation of trying to recognize myself again. But what I think is the hardest thing to figure out is the motivation each and every day when I am in the thick of my struggles, the stresses of life, and the 'busy'ness of life. I do know the feeling of sitting down in my kitchen, trying to draw up a plan of what to eat for the week, getting completely overwhelmed and saying 'to heck with it all' and grabbing a container of ice cream out of the freezer. I know the feeling of not knowing where to start. I know the feeling of being embarrassed to step in to a gym. I know the feeling of aching joints that seem to want to keep me from exercising. So how do I break free of those things and get up and go to the gym or for a walk? Honestly, in the beginning, I did have to pay for it. I paid for a personal trainer for several weeks. Since I was investing some money, I knew I had to make it to those training sessions. Since he gave me a sample meal plan to follow and had me keep a food diary, I had to make an effort to follow that plan so I could show him I was trying. Now, 'exercise' is just something I have to do every day. In some form or another, I know I need to be active. I'm not always successful at it every day, and I do give myself at least one day off a week. Especially after I get out of the routine for a vacation or something, it seems very easy to get back in the habit of doing nothing. I have to fight with the urge to be lazy....because I am very definitely lazy. I only have to remind myself how much more energy I have after I actually exert some energy! I also realize this is something I need to do for the rest of my life, not just in this time of 'losing weight'.

My day to day motivation is also dictated by the scale. It is a huge rush to me to see the number on the scale going down. I know there are all kinds of opinions about this...and I've said before that it may not work for everyone. But it does work for me. I step on it and it's like hitting a jackpot or something. If I have gone down even a half a pound, I have an extra pep in my step.

I mentioned how the trainer had me start keeping a food diary...he just wanted to see what I was eating and when. I add a bit more to that...often I am writing just how I'm feeling that day, that moment....I guess you see some of that in my blog. And oh, yes, the blog. At first, this blog was a huge motivator to stay on track. I didn't want to have to report my failures to everyone! I think I am still looking for the right motivation to eat better. I know I feel better when I eat the right things. I know I felt pretty yucky yesterday after eating a few too many cookies. I guess I just need to remind myself of how the different foods have an effect on me. Having to be accountable to someone or something (my food diary or my blog) is something that helps to motivate me.

I have no idea if this little post will be helpful to anyone. I continue to try and fail on a daily basis. I have good days and I have bad days. One thing that has been hugely motivating is just the encouragement I get from so many people. It makes me glad that I put this struggle out there for everyone to see, because almost every day I get an email, or comment from someone sharing their struggles, giving some advice, complimenting me, or even ASKING my advice. ALL of those things are motivating to me. Who doesn't want to know that they aren't going through this alone? That people care enough about them to advise or compliment ? That they have made enough of a difference that people ask their advice? All of that makes me feel absolutely wonderful...and I can't thank everyone enough!

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