Motivation..or lack thereof

I’ve been perusing blogs pretty much all day while at work. I’ve noticed a “theme” if you would. It seems many people have lost their motivation to continue their journey towards healthy living (whatever definition that holds for each individual).

As this is really my first attempt at changing a lifestyle and not just relying on whatever weight loss fad is out there (including but not limited too Atkins, Weight loss pills, purging, pre-bariatric surgery restrictions) I’m wondering if this is pretty common when you start out on this long journey?

Is it the 8 week blues?

It is the New Year’s resolution dissolution?

Granted I’ve had a few minor emotional setbacks. Emotional setbacks due to being angry with myself for getting to this weight, frustrated because I couldn’t run 60 seconds without stopping, or just plain old “holy hell, I’m cranky today”. I’m still moving everyday and in that see the emotional setbacks getting fewer and farther in between.

Today I don’t lack in motivation.


But what about tomorrow? Or 3 weeks from now? I turn to those who have had substantial weight loss (50+ pounds) and wonder what they did to keep motivated? What did they do when they weren’t feeling motivated? Did they persevere? Did they hang their heads and wonder if this was going to be another unsuccessful try? Did they look in the mirror and point a finger at the person staring back and firmly say “You will lose this weight. You will get healthy. You will not give up”

Did they cry one night in a bowl of ice-cream and then get up the next morning and climb 100 stairs? Was is one conscious decision after another until habits formed?

I am surrounded by people just starting out on this journey. Maybe to them it isn’t a journey? Maybe it’s just a passing thought. For me this is a journey. I do not want to be 100 pounds overweight any longer. Period. I do not want to wear a size 24 pants. I do not want to be winded after climbing a set of stairs. I do not want to be ashamed of who I have become physically at the age of 40. I see other newly commitment people dropping like flies (and by dropping I mean, not posting on their blogs or over at calorieking) and I fear I will be one of them eventually.

Tell me what motivates you and how did you get over those motivational hurdles? Tell me what to look out for so that I can be prepared if I see that hurdle up ahead. Share your wisdom with me. I want to cross that threshold of being high numbered weight loss success story.

Help me write a chapter!

17 comments to Motivation..or lack thereof

  • If you read my blog from day one..I journaled daily.
    YOu can see how my mind went. what I would say to myself to keep me going…the times I nearly fell back.
    It has been ten months.
    I have lost 90 pounds and I started at 262.4 lbs.
    My challenges aren’t finished though.
    As you can read tonight.
    But I have to work through them to get to where I want to be.
    You can do this…it’s a combination of all of those things.

  • I’m one of those strange people that things that motivation is overrated. It comes and goes depending on moods, weight loss, love (or lack thereof) in our lives, a sunshiny day etc. Motivation is too fickle to rely on for long term weight loss. Truly, if I waited until I was motivated to do anything related to weight loss I would either a) not do it or b) flail like a fish out of water when the times get hard.

    What I’ve found that works for me is to forget about motivation and do it anyway. Eventually, if I keep logging, exercising and staying within my calorie limits I’m going to lose. And if I’m lucky, motivation will show up eventually.

    And if it doesn’t, who cares I lost weight anyway. 🙂

    • I don’t think it’s as strange as you think. I’m hearing more and more people say this journey as nothing to do with motivation. I’m starting to think that’s the right frame of mind.

      Motivation can keep you from getting up and moving if it’s not there and that’s not what I want. I want to move regardless of what’s going on. I think if I get rid of it and not rely on it anymore then I’ll be okay!

  • Great post! For me, staying ‘present’ is huge. I hate to sound cliche, but worry about the future and/or the past is a recipe for disaster. Getting healthy and bettering one’s life is a huge undertaking that requires many positive steps in many different areas. The trick is to focus on today. On right now. Make good, positive decisions in the moment. Make good decisions because you’re a responsible adult that gives a shit about yourself. Make good decisions because it’s easier not to and well, sometimes easier isn’t as rewarding!! Make good decisions because you strive to be the best possible you. Make them because you forgive yourself for not making them for so long.

    Motivation comes and goes, but standard-size chairs never lie. 🙂 Don’t worry about tomorrow. Worry about right now!

  • Sometimes all it takes is clothes not fitting the way I’d like them to, or seeing myself in a photo and being surprised by that double-chinned girl who’s smiling back at me. So, I guess vanity motivates me. 🙂 And just wanting to finally, FINALLY get ahead on this journey that I’ve been on so long.

    • I totally understand. I have this picture of me and my husband from December 09 (1 week before I started this journey) and it is awful. I look like a damn sausage with a smile. All puffed up and no where to float off too.

      it’s sad.

  • Love the image. 🙂 What currently motivates me is living a healthy life with Tina. Seriously; I want to be here with her for a long time. And I won’t lie – the tux I need for the wedding in seven months helps, too.

    As far as day to day, that’s the tougher one for me. It would be SO easy right now to just say, “I’m sick, I’ll do this tomorrow,” and eat some Doritos. Instead, I have to remember that even if I’m sick, food still has calories and I gotta hang in there.

    Thanks for the post. Both I and the small bag of Doritos that were about to be sacrificed to my hunger thank you. 🙂

  • Hi – ironically I am new to the blogging world and relatively new on my weight loss journey and just posted about this very topic! (interestingly also used the very same motivation photo for my post – we were meant to connect!)
    I hope its helpful for you as reading your blog has been for me!

  • seattlerunnergirl

    Great post! And great questions. I, too, think motivation is overrated. Not because it’s not great – because who doesn’t LOVE feeling that way? But because it’s an emotion, and just like every other emotion, it’s influenced by every little thing in life and it comes and goes.

    My favorite word these days? DETERMINATION. You see, I can be determined whether I am having a good day or a bad day. I can be determined whether I’m happy or sad, up or down on the scale, and pretty much no matter what else. Determination is a CHOICE and a MINDSET rather than an emotion.

    So for me, I keep reminding myself why I am doing what I’m doing. I keep my goals in front of me on a daily basis. I reaffirm my commitment to those goals and write out the reasons WHY I want to accomplish them. All these things, and more, help me stay determined. Even if I’m struggling, which I have been lately. I know this, too, shall pass and then? My determination will be right there, waiting to kick a few more pounds to the curb.

  • I agree with a lot of the above comments, I think motivation is what gets you going, but as Seattle Runner Girl pointed out, what takes you the rest of the way is determination. It really becomes a job, this is what I HAVE to do to get to where I HAVE to be. I post on a regular schedule, unless life gets in the way (ex now I am sick…really sick :() but once I get to feeling better, I’ll be back to my regular posting. I know when I am blogging regularly I do SO much better when it comes to my health, it’s a daily reminder of the work I must do.

    • I’m finding this way of thinking is much more useful than relying on motivation alone or at all. I’m going to start using Seattle runner girl’s word: Determination! That I have plenty of no matter what my motivation level is.

  • […] discovered each others blogs. We should have known our connection ran deep when we blogged on the same motivation topic, using the same […]

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