Motivation is a difficult thing. For most people, it changes over time and can wane some as well. I think we have to set some big long term goals which should be along the lines of being fit, active, having energy, being able to live a quality life, etc. But, in the short-term we need help regualrly and I think that's where we can use tools such as spark points, support from friends, visual motivators, etc. We likely will find that from time to time we have to employ new motivators. This is a journey that probably really never ends. We may reach our long term goals but that is the most dangerous time because of the possibility of letting our guards down. We constantly need to be aware of the chance to get involved or dream of new things both now and when we "arrive".
Personally, my girlfriend started on here a day before I did, and it's really helpful (so far) to have her as my weight loss buddy. We work different hours, so it is a good motivator to have her reminding me to go walk or do our strength exercises. I'm also trying to collect SparkPoints, which is helping to motivate me.
8/20/10 5:58 P
I wasn't saying that being motivated is a bad thing, I was just trying to say that if we are looking for motivation to do something, it's possible that the motivation will never come and sometimes we have to do things that we aren't particularly motivated to do.
My motivation is trying to get in the best possible shape I can get in, not only for me but for my wife and child. I also let pictures of myself when I was at my biggest motivate me to keep going so that I never get back to where I was.
You'll find that as you start losing weight and people notice you'll get a lot of compliments, those also motivate you to keep going because it lets you know that your hard work is paying off.
Don't let motivation alone be the only thing that drive whether or not you'll reach your goal. There are going to be days where you're not motivated and you just have to do it anyway to keep making progress.
8/20/10 5:24 P
I agree with DLCJ21 as well. It's more about having a healthy lifestyle and having the discipline to stick with it. It is nice to have motivation to achieve special goals though. For example, I broke my leg in April, and I am motivated to get back to full strength, and also to lose the weight that I put on as a result of being immobile for a period of time. However, I have always been in good shape and into being healthy, so once I reach my goal, I will still maintain being healthy.
It also helps to have a girlfriend who has the same lifestyle I do, especially when it comes to meals. :)
Fitness Minutes: (12,713)
4,114 8/20/10 8:35 A
I kind of agree with DLCJ on the motivator bit. If your motivator is short term (like I see so many gals who want to look good for their wedding), it's likely that it will not carry forward after that. For me, it was a healthy level of disgust and disdain and I had a "never again!" moment. Now my long term motivator is a bit of a carrot and stick. I want to get better at everything I do. It's a bit whimsical, yes, but with that overriding idea in my head, I tailor short term goals that align with being a better athlete, runner, lifter, whatever.
Also like others have said, start making small substitutions now. Become "aware". Create this awareness by tracking. You'll soon learn, as SCHAMRICK demonstrated, that there are certain calories you'll easily want to let go of. Before long, the deficit becomes routine. And since 80% or more of this is diet, the pounds will come off over time. Once that happens, you'll want to test out your new body with some exercise. This is where I got bit by the exercise bug and haven't turned back.
None of this happens overnight, but if you keep the overriding principles of better decisions and working to gain awareness of what "better decisions" actually entail, you will get there.
8/19/10 3:50 P
Honestly the concept of motivation is overrated. Sure you need something to drive you to get to your goal but you have to make the decision daily to eat right and exercise. There are going to be days you're not going to want to do it, but do it any way.
When I first started out, I approached it as living a healthy lifestyle for the rest of my life. First you have to identify what areas you're having problems in that have lead you to where you are today. If it's your eating habits for example, if you're a sucker for candy bars, replace them with healthier alternatives like fruit. I used to eat 2 king size snickers bars a day...I have replaced them with 2 servings (1/2 cup) of trail mix. The trail mix has several different types of nuts, fruit, and a few m&ms for a lot less calories. Same great taste, a lot less calories.
That's a difference of 736 cal, 24g fat, 122g carbs, 10 protein. Just by choosing a healthier option.
That's just one example of something I changed in my life. If you find something similar in your eating habits, if you only change 1 thing and keep everything else the same, look how big of a deficit you're creating by a simple change like this. Make a few more changes like this and over time, you're not only going to lose weight, you've just found something that you like so you're going to be able to stick to it going forward.
If you're lacking motivation to work out, try this for a month. Put your workout clothes on. If you have a gym membership, drive to the gym, get out of your car and walk in. If you're still not motivated to workout, turn around, get back in your car and go home. I'd be willing to bet that 95% of the time that once you're there, you're going to put in the work. I've had the same thoughts but once I get to the gym, I'm ready to get after it. Or once I throw in that workout dvd, I'm ready to do the work. Don't let your thoughts hinder you from your goal. There are going to be times when you'll be working out and just don't have it and that's ok, stop...at least you gave it a go and did something rather than letting your thoughts stop you before you even tried.
I've had times were after 10 or 15 minutes of lifting or cardio, I just didn't have the focus I needed to get it done so I went home, that's normal, but those days are few and far between.
Anyway, those are just a few examples. Sure motivation is nice, but you've got to treat living a healthy lifestyle just like you would anything else. How many times do you wake up in the morning and aren't motivated to go to work? Do you call in to work and tell them you're not motivated to be there so you're staying home? Heh I think not...do you "have" to work? No, but the benefits of working are you make money to provide for yourself and/or family. So you drag yourself out of bed and go to work. Living a healthy lifestyle is no different. Do you have to live a healthy lifestyle? No, it's a choice but the benefits far out weigh not living a healthy lifestyle.
I too started and then had to re-start. For me, I have to make it a habit by first making myself exercise for at least 6 days a week for a month. THis seems to lead to a desire to eat more healthy and eventually into just doing it regularly. One thing I strongly recommend is that you "spark" daily and garner strength from those around you. Make Spark friends and lean on them for support and encouragement. It is really a great program!
Make the My Nutrition page work for you. Create food groupings for common meals, save common foods to your favorites, and just try to keep a login streak going.
Even if you cave, enter in what you ate or drank. It helps me to pick apart the good from the bad in my meals, even dinners out. I got a fried buffalo chicken sandwich with bleu cheese a few weeks ago and realized that the bleu cheese was as much of a sin as the "fried" was. I can lose the bleu cheese as long as I get to keep my deep fried buffalo chicken! And then I realized that the grilled version was just as good. I've made a permanent change for the grilled. It's little steps like that.
Fitness Minutes: (20)
38 8/19/10 12:32 A
well i just came back after 3 years and started again. The problem i had last time was once i rationalized skipping recording my food, water, excersise then it was easy to do it over and over again till the point i never logged in.I have a better support network this time and they remind me to log the food so in about 6 weeks, or sooner, i know this will become a habit to log. so i think having a good support network to keep you going will help and i to am trying to change my mindset that this will take time and wont happen over night and to talk to someone about my failures and success. Good luck to you and never give up.
8/19/10 12:02 A
so i've been on here for a few months now and have periodically tracked my food, weight, and exercise but I haven't really been able to make it stick. In the beginning of 2010 I was doing pretty good on my own before even joining here (joined because my parents are on and have been getting HUGE results)
Suffice to say, things haven't been going very well. I'm back up to to the point I was weight wise from January after loosing about fifteen-twenty from Jan - April (April - late July I was about the same all the times with maybe a little bit of fluctuation.
Basically I'm looking to see where people get their motivation and keep it....I mean, I've got my motivation and my reasons for wanting to lose the weight I just can't get started because I'm so focused on the fact that I'm not incredibly patient in keeping with it.
I'll stop ranting and rambling here now and just see what kind of advice ya'll can give me...