Motivation is a huge factor in success. It takes long term motivation to get through the tough days where we just want to gnaw the doors of the kitchen cabinets in an attempt to get to the food. Motivation is what will drive us to get up before the sun comes up in order to get in a good workout. Motivation is the tow-bar that pulls us along toward our final destination which is our goal weight and our fitness goals!
Over the years I have been motivated to lose this weight by so many different things. Some of them, I am actually ashamed to admit.....but I'm sure I'm not alone out there! So I thought that it would be interesting to make a list of different things that have motivated me over the years. This is by no means comprehensive....it is just what I can think of and remember at the moment.
Years ago at my highest weight I had a friend that wanted to lose weight. I was fine where I was at weight wise (315 pounds ....but I was fine with myself) but when she challenged me to a weight loss challenge....where the winner would have to buy the loser a pair of jeans....well GAME ON! (Huge motivator...not so much to win...but to avoid losing...if money was going out of my pocket for clothes, they were going to be clothes that went onto MY body!)
2. Peer pressure and social acceptance.
While at a job years back, I had some friends that were always dieting and trying to lose weight. We walked on breaks and talked about food and through the social aspect of the friendship, I tried to lose weight. (Not very effective....but it is a start!)
I sadly at one point had to say goodbye to a good friend. I decided that I wanted to lose weight. I wanted to see her walking down the road and have her look at my awesomely thin body. I wanted to be able to hold my head high and in my head stick my tongue out at her as she walked by still overweight! (Childish but strangely effective!)
My marriage started to fall apart years before I actually ended it. My husband withdrew emotionally, physically and sexually. I was living with a roommate, not a marital partner and for many many years, I took the blame upon myself. (Thanks to idiotic people...including a marriage counselor that we saw who actually told me that the problem was obviously mine because what man wouldn't want to touch their wife!) In taking the blame upon myself, I tried to change myself to be 'more desirable', 'more lovable', more useful' and yes, "more attractive". I decided that I needed to lose weight...because if I wasn't overweight, he would obviously love me....right??? I completely overlooked the fact that he married me as an overweight woman so obviously it didn't bother him!!! This was a HUGE motivator for me! (Highly effective....but when I found out that my greatly reduced weight didn't make a hill of beans different, I fell and I fell hard.....gaining some of the weight back in defeat!)
A. Clothes shopping at a smaller size is so much more fun! I hate clothes shopping when I am limited to the 'fat womens stores and departments'. But when I was in 'regular sizes'....I LOVED IT! So clothes are a motivator....cool clothes....any clothes!!! (I've never been a clothes horse so this isn't particularly effective for me all that often....on occasion, yes!)
B. I love vintage style dresses. I have always said that when I am at my 'long term' size in clothes that I will then sink the money into lots of vintage style clothes. (I hate to buy clothes in my current size because I want them to be temporary...so I tend to spend as little as possible on my clothes.) Years ago when I was close to my lowest weight I was at a yard sale and found a vintage (style at least) dress for an excellent price....I bought it! I hung that dress on the door of my bedroom and looked at the dress everyday as a reminder of how badly I wanted to be thin. (This was effective, but only short term as I soon got used to seeing the dress hanging there and it lost it's potency as a motivator.)
C. It doesn't have to be a vintage dress. Way back when I was a size 24 I saw a cute dress on sale for $2.....in a size 12. For $2 why not! It sat in my closet for a long time while I lost weight...but eventually I did fit into that size 12! I called it my 'goal dress' when I wore it on March 20, 2008.
A wedding? A meeting with a friend you haven't seen in ages? A high school/college reunion? Anniversary party? We want to put our best foot foward and that sometimes means trying to lose weight for that event! What wonderful motivation! (Short term motivation usually, but it gives us the focus needed!) (I may be motivated right now about an event that may or may not happen....who knows....but if it happens I want to be ready!)
Obesity kills! It is an 'illness' that can affect so many aspects of our health. And some of those ways are quite deadly! This is a peripheal motivator for me. I know that my health is important....I know that I have been lucky to have escaped thus far with very minor health issues! (I will call high cholesterol and arthritis in my knees minor.)
A. This running thing.......running with fat is more difficult. (Notice I didn't say impossible...it is DEFINITELY possible!!!) I have seen reports that every pound you lose is seconds off of your mile. I've heard 2 seconds....I've heard 4 seconds. There is no way to prove it...but I know that running without the fat is easier!!!!!
B. Hiking up mountains has GOT to be easier without the excess pounds! Nuff said on that one! (Once again....totally possible to do at any weight!!!)
Jason and I currently have achallenge going. It's a fitness challenge where the person that runs the most miles each week is the winner and can procure a 'reward' from the other one of us. It is so hugely motivating for BOTH of us as we are both highly competative. The rewards are secondary (and usually something that benefits both of us!). The smack talk and the competition talk are what motivates me! This is HIGHLY effective for me!
10. Side affect Benefits.
There are so many wonderful side affects of losing weight that are their own motivators.
A. Ride any ride at an amusement park. (Last year I fit into the rides....barely. So barely that the next day I had some bruising on my shoulders where the shoulder harnesses had bruised me because they were so tight!)
B. More Energy! At my lowest weight I was a bundle of energy! I want that back!
C. Sexual positivity. Hey....less weight...more flexibility....and all that. Plus, I have never personally used this one (and quite the contrary....I am almost afraid to lose weight to invoke this little side affect)....but I have heard a lot of people say that they lost the weight to get pregnant....they struggled while overweight but it happened easily when they lost.
D. Towels.....to wrap a normal sized bath towel around my body! (This was a HUGE thing for me when I first discovered that I could do it way back when in 2007/2008)
E. Crossing my legs....like a lady and not have my leg sticking out like a broken disjointed appendage!
Sooooo many more positive side affects....I could go on for DAYS about how fabulous the side affects of weight loss are!
Motivation.....ever changing.....ever shifting....utterly important!
So it's back to work today. We had a nice relaxing weekend. Jason's knee is still bothering him a bit. He claimed he could have hiked, but I didn't want to push it. He was still a bit achy and I knew that it would be better in the long run for him to rest it. We did get a little walking in...very minimal....and mostly flat even surfaces. Mostly we hung out.....talked....laughed.....and yes, we geocached!
This week saw us finding some interesting things in our geocaching....
We didn't expect to find a Beaver on the side of the road in Hagerstown ...not in the country...in town! Yeah, sadly it was dead....
And a carcass right near ground zero of one cache... (we didn't get that cache!)
At one cache...the coordinates were off...so I found myself standing in an ant pile proud of myself for avoiding the poison! OUCH! We couldn't find the cache, so I looked through the old logs and found a set of different coordinates and voila!
Later, we saw a very interesting building that was made in the 1930's for the local residents to gather water from a spring high on the hill behind.
We even got to pick some berries at one cache!!!