Archive | September 2014

What Motivates You?

I am always looking for sources of inspiration and motivation to help keep me on track. We all know the positive health benefits, and the mirror is usually another good source of motivation, but some days I need a reminder. There are times when it just seems like an awful lot of effort. I guess it comes down to why it is that you are doing this.

I have taken to watching infomercials for exercise products or weight loss programs and listening to the stories of the people they interview. Many have medical reasons for getting into shape, others just want to look and feel better, but something in every one of their stories inspires me, and reminds me of my reasons for wanting to succeed. I absolutely do not want to wind up as one of the medical stories, and I definitely want to look and feel better.

I recently spent a lazy Sunday afternoon watching a program called My 600lb Life. I was fascinated by the stories of how these people got to be in such an incredible and sad situation. I am not criticizing, as I have been well over the 200 mark myself. I just don’t know how we let ourselves get that far. I heard some of them making excuses for their gaining weight over the months they were being monitored and I was frustrated with them, but quickly realized that I have (and still do) made the same excuses to justify my weight. I also noticed that one of them was eating the allotted 1200 calories a day, but was choosing to eat 2 Tater Tots and one fish stick as part of what comprised that 1200 calories. It may add up to the right number, but it’s definitely not conducive to weight loss or good health! This was definitely something I would try to justify, but really, who am I hurting??

There was one woman who was trying to lose it all for her daughter. She wanted to be able to play with her and do things with her because she felt her daughter was embarrassed by her, and that her daughter would eventually be teased or bullied because of her mother’s appearance. Although I loved that this gave her the inspiration to start, I was relieved when she began losing the weight and started to include herself as part of the reason she was determined to reach her goal.

It is my personal opinion that everything you do in life can be inspired by someone else, but ultimately you have to be doing it for yourself before you will succeed.

Goals

Setting goals is not as easy as it might sound.  As we flip through magazines, we are led to believe we are supposed to look like the 102 pound models with the perfect abs and tight tushies. The reality is that very few people are meant to be or are physically capable of being that size and shape.

The first step to setting goals is to be realistic.  There are many factors that we must take into consideration including body type, whether or not we have had children, and age.  At 46, having had 2 children (ok, 21 years ago but the effects never went away!) and being a solid 5 foot 2.5 inches, I am never going to look like the 24 year old,  5 foot 9 inch fashion model who has never been pregnant and who spends her days in the gym!  It’s just not feasible.  Instead, I choose to look at myself in the mirror and envision me, but in smaller jeans or a cute little black dress. Then I decide, using the mathematical calculations as a guildeline (but not the gospel) where I would like to set my FIRST goal.

In my case, the math says I should be between approximately 120 – 125 pounds.  Although that sounds fantastic, and maybe someday I will get there, I am going to add 10 pounds to that and make 135 my starting goal.  When I achieve this level I will look in the mirror, try on my jeans and try on some little black dresses.  If I like what I see and I am feeling fit, then I will be happy and work to maintain this level.

If I still feel there are some trouble spots I will set my goal down another 5 pounds to 130. I will adjust my workouts to focus a little more on the “problem areas”, and continue with a healthy eating plan until I reach my second goal. I will repeat the assessment at 130 and decide whether to continue on at that point.

I find that taking the last 10 – 15 pounds in increments reduces the chance of being frustrated and discouraged in the final stretch.  It’s all a mindset.  If you feel like you have already achieved your goal, then you are less likely to give up.

 

Remember – dieting is one of the few things in life where being a LOSER means you are successful!