This blog is a tad overdue. I've been busy, and sick, so I have an excuse. ;)
So a friend of mine recently asked me how I maintain my motivation. First a quick 'Thank You!' to her and all the others who have thanked me for my blogs and their push for me to continue. It means a lot!
My friend mentioned difficulty in remaining motivated and ignoring the desire to 'crawl in a hole'. And trust me, I have the same desire almost daily.
Most times when I feel that desire I eat ice cream. Skinny Cow though. It's lower calories/points. Total NOM. It fixes my cravings and I don't feel so guilty when I have some.
My hardest time of day, daily, is the evening hours. I am not only an emotional eater but I'm also a mindless eater. Most of the food I stuff my face with is while on the couch, relaxing, playing on the computer and/or watching television.
I recently acquired a stationary bike and getting it is one of the best health conscious decisions I've made in quite some time.
Over the last few days I've found myself hopping on that bike and just 'going' when I start feeling bored. I watch TV and just pedal until my legs start feeling the burn. Then I go a little bit more. I feel so good after.
I suppose my biggest motivator is my son. I want to be here for him in the years to come. I want to see him get married and have babies. At the rate I was going pre health conscious me, I wasn't going to live past 65 years of age according to a comprehensive life expectancy exam I took.
At this very moment this has increased by 18 years! How amazing is that!? This gives me the chance of not only becoming a grandmother, but it also gives me the chance of possibly becoming a great grandmother. It also actually increases my chances of a more peaceful, painfree passing.
My second motivator is finances. Healthcare costs for the obese are approximately $1400/year MORE than those in shape (and healthy). Granted those costs are replaced with the cost of healthier food, you must also keep in mind the fact that ultimately the costs are worth it as they even themselves out AND you will look great, feel great, and you will increase your life expectancy.
I've already seen a dramatic difference in the frequency of heartburn and migraines and some simple headaches. My endurance is increasing, which is exciting. I would love to take part in runs.
Another piece of motivation is seeing pictures of myself prior to starting this journey. When I look at them, I'm disgusted all over again. MyBodyGallery is also a great site to visit to get (or stay) motivated. You can enter a height, weight and body shape and browse a gallery matching your descriptions.
I also remind myself how far I've come. I think of the changes made in the last year and, as conceited as it may seem, I often look at pictures of myself prior to weight loss and recent pictures of myself. As others have told me, I already look like a whole new, and beautiful, person.
To go hand in hand with this, once in a while I do what is commonly referred to as the 'shopping bag cure'. No, I'm not talking about retail therapy, although that's fun too! I'm talking about grabbing a strong bag (canvas is best! Even better is that they're smart for saving on plastic bags too, so having them is win win!). Fill the bag (or more if necessary) with what is equivalent to
a) the first mini goal of what you want to lose
b) the amount you've already lost.
It may not seem like much, but lug that around for a while, and you'll feel the stress placed on your body.
Another thing is meal planning. I find, for myself, that if I don't meal plan, I'm more likely to cheat. I also struggle with coming up with what I want to make, and further more I struggle with shopping. With a meal plan I'm more likely to stay on track and it forces me into making a shopping list. When I go shopping I stick to my shopping list. Everything I need is on that list, so there's no reason to buy other items and thus no reason to go down every isle of the store. Stick to what's on the list and thus only the isles that these items are located.
Last, but certainly not least, I don't deprive myself. Once per week I have what I call 'free day'. I count my points but don't freak out if I go over my point allowance. Granted there are weekly points I can dip into, sometimes I even go over those, and I am OK with that.
I allow myself all the pizza, chocolate and ice cream I want. I keep myself from OVER indulging (ie feeling sick after indulging) but I allow myself to enjoy.
I feel that when depriving myself, I'm more likely to fail. So enjoy those delicacies, just in moderation. It's key!
These are all key motivators for me. Most of them can work for anybody. I understand that it can be difficult to remain motivated, but I believe this is mostly because we tend to lose sight of our causes and focus merely on what is seemingly an impossible goal. When you have a lot on your plate, no pun intended, it's easy to feel defeated by your goals. But don't let those goals defeat you. You are supposed to defeat the goals.