Need Motivation? (a simple experiment in changing perception)
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Every now and again (okay...nearly daily), I beat myself up because I still have so much weight to lose. I've lost 69 lbs in the last 10 months...something that I would have killed for at the start of this journey. It IS a huge amount of weight to lose. But sometimes it just doesn't feel like it, because I still have another 80 to go. 80 more than I've already lost. Huge number. :P
I thought about this months ago when I had "lost" a 4 year old's worth of weight...and just remembered it yesterday...I'm not carrying around 69 extra pounds anymore. (or at that time, it was 42 lbs. down, and my 4 year old weighed 36 at the time.) I was struck on that day months ago by how significant a 42 lb. loss was when I got "stuck" holding my daughter for most of a day while we were at a theme park and she was tired and refused to walk. I was DYING! That extra 36 lbs. was killing me!! On that day, it occurred to me...I had been carrying that extra "4 year old" around 24/7!! No WONDER I was so tired and achy all of the time! It wasn't a mystery tropical disease or some other kind of rare disorder...my body was TIRED from carrying around and extra 42 lbs. all day!!! So back to my current 69 lb loss...I beat myself up about it...that it should have been more by now, that it's not that big of a deal because I'm not even at the half way mark yet, etc. I know logically, that it IS a big deal, and rock hard evidence of the really positive changes/advances I've made in my personal health and well being...but again, it's really easy to discount sometimes because it's still not "enough". That line of thinking KILLS my motivation...why keep working hard when it's still not good enough, right? So I came up with a "default" experiment for myself to do, daily, if necessary, when I'm being overly hard on myself for not meeting my own unrealistic timetable for weight loss. I guess you would call this more of an adjustment of a perception issue that saps my motivation.
I put on my overcoat (thankfully, it was pretty cold last night) because it has huge pockets, and I put 15 lbs. of dumbbells in each of the side pockets. Then I did some light housework for about an hour. IT KILLED!! By the time I was done, my joints were achy and I was just plain tired aggravated...from 30 lbs. of extra weight. I WAS carrying around twice that! All day long!! That little exercise really flipped a mental switch for me last night...losing 69 lbs. has made a HUGE difference in my quality of life...period. Just because I "know" things, it doesn't mean I always feel them...and that little exercise seems to have bridged that little gap for me (at least for now)...and I've got to tell you that my motivation for "keepin' on" has just tripled. Quadrupled even.
So I'm sharing this (honestly, kind of silly) experiment in a blog because I think (from reading comments and blogs of my sparkfriends) that we ALL feel like this sometimes. We've lost...but it's not enough. We worked out...but it wasn't hard enough. We ate well today...but not well enough. It's human nature to always strive for more...but just because it is in our natures, it doesn't mean that we don't take it to ridiculous extremes sometimes.
The results of this experiment?
Fix your perception of yourself if you want to regain your motivation!!