What Motivates Me…

I often get asked what keeps me motivated and yet I still don’t have a good answer to give. I know there are a plethora of factors that contribute to me making good food choices and getting in exercise almost daily but it is hard to explain it all in a short answer. Recently I have been giving a lot of thought to what has helped keep me on plan/on track in the (almost) 10 months since I have started this weight loss journey and I am still having a hard time expressing it verbally. I decided the best way to explain what keeps me motivated is to write about it.

When I first started this WLJ my actions were fueled 100% by motivation and that motivation came from the desire to lose weight after hitting my personal rock bottom and from the great friends and family I had cheering me on. I laid all my cards on the table, told the whole world (ok, the whole blogosphere) where I stood (286 pounds) and promised I would be accountable to make the changes in my life that would help get me to a better place. If that’s not motivation then I don’t know what is.
It didn’t take me very long to learn my first big life-changing (yet obvious ) lesson which was if you don’t love what you are doing it will be very hard to do it on a regular basis. If you don’t love the food you eat you won’t want to eat it, if you don’t love your workouts you won’t want to do them. When I realized this I set out to make sure I was spending my time only on activities I enjoyed and only spent my calories on foods that were good for my body (this is key, too) that I also loved eating. This is when the weight loss became much easier. It is also why I have been able to maintain this lifestyle for 10 months. I look forward to every meal, to every workout. I never dread going to class or the gym and therefore have no reason to try to convince myself not to go. If you are in a place where you are looking for reasons to get out of doing something you should do then maybe it’s time to reevaluate your activities and find something new you want to be doing.

Not every day is easy but every day it gets easier. At ten months in my food and activity choices have become part of my lifestyle, they are habits. Every week I plan out my meals and I plan out my exercise times and then everything else (aside from work) gets planned around that. I still go to the movies, hockey games, out to dinner, spend time with friends but my number one priority is my health so I schedule all other events around my workouts, not the other way around. I knew from the beginning that the changes I were making needed to be permanent, that I was adopting a new lifestyle not a quick fix, which is also why it is important that I was finding things I loved to do. As the pounds come off, muscle start to replace fat, and my endurance radically improves I am able to try new things and push my limits. I have already achieved far more than I ever thought possible.

Aside from learning all these great life lessons on this journey I have also learned so many things about myself. One that was somewhat of a surprise to me is that I love challenges. I never really thought myself to be a competitive person but I guess I am. Whenever a challenge presents itself I immediately accept. These challenges, Shrinkvivor, 7/30/100 Day Chip, 25 Days of Fitness, etc., have also kept me motivated. Having an additional reason to make good decisions has contributed to my success and if you are like me challenges can give you motivation to push through the hardest of days.

So my answer, the short version, is this. Loving what I do is my motivation. Feeling good is my motivation. Getting my health back is my motivation. Achieving new personal bests and unlocking impossibilities is my motivation. The thrill of a challenge is my motivation. Knowing that my actions inspire others is my motivation. Having a phenomenal support team around me is my motivation. Becoming the best version of me is my motivation. Living, actually actively participating in, my life every day until I die is my motivation.

But that’s just me. We are all different. So my advice to you is to look inside and find what motivates you and don’t ever forget it!

Thanks for reading!

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December 21, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , . Exercise, Fitness, Weight Loss.

5 Comments

  1. Simply Sidney replied:

    you certainly helped me to find the right motivation, I still remember the day we wrote about weight loss being the bi-product

    so very cool!! Big Hugs!!!!!XOXOXO

    • Dacia replied:

      I think it is a very important message. What we want is health. That should be the focus and when you make smart choices that work towards improving health then you will see it in the scale. Weight loss is the byproduct of healthy living but healthy living is not necessarily the byproduct of weight loss.

  2. Ashley Keller (@AshleyK199) replied:

    Great post, Dacia! Together, we can keep each other motivated!

  3. New You Challenge: Week 4 « thirtythreeandcounting replied:

    […] we will be doing the same with fitness. If you saw the article in Edmonton Journal that featured my blog post on motivation then you already know that my belief is that you need to do what you love in order to […]

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