Thursday, February 24, 2011

What's Your Motivation?

Welcome back for Day 3 of Smack in the Face Week:  Motivation Edition.  Whenever I think about weight loss or read about it I always see that word....motivation.  I truly believe that it's the heart of weight loss - the inner core that either leads to success or disaster.  This week's posts aren't necessarily geared to giving you motivation, but more about finding it.

Today, I continue with an important question.  What's your motivation?

Do you want to lose weight because of your health?  Being a good role model to your kids?  Tired of not fitting in to smaller clothes?  Wanting to feel better about yourself?  Wanting to be more active or athletic?

If you're like me, you probably answered yes to all of those questions. 

Now, if I twist that question around a little.... What motivates you to lose weight?  Do all of those questions still apply?  Yep, probably.  Even though you answered yes to one or most of those questions - do those things MAKE you put in the work that is required to lose weight?

I've mentioned this many times - but for 10 years I wanted to lose weight for all of those reasons, I felt like those reasons were good motivation....but did I really put the effort forward to accomplish my goals?  No, I did not.  I wanted to lose weight - and used the words motivation and want interchangeably.  Then I realized, they don't mean the same thing.

Let's take a look at the definition of motivation:
  1. giving of reason to act: the act of giving somebody a reason or incentive to do something
  2. enthusiasm: a feeling of enthusiasm, interest, or commitment that makes somebody want to do something, or something that causes such a feeling
  3. reason: a reason for doing something or behaving in a particular way
Now, let's compare it to the definition of want:
  1. desire something: to feel a need or desire for something
  2. wish something done: to desire to do something or that something be done
  3. miss something: to feel the lack of something
As you can see, two completely different words.  Motivation uses words like incentive, enthusiasm, commitment and reason whereas want throws out words like desire, wish, feeling a lack.  Wanting something is the start, motivation is what gets you there.

So, where do you find motivation?  That's a really difficult question to answer.  I would suggest, though, making a list of your wants.  Write all the reasons down that you want to lose weight.  Look at the list, study it.  Is there something on that list that sends a spark through you?  Is there something on that list that makes you get fired up?  If so, then you're on your way to finding your motivation - but maybe it's something else that you didn't even realize.

Let me use myself as an example.  Even though I've been losing weight for a little over a year - I didn't really find my motivation until recently.  I had a list of wants:  I wanted to look better, I wanted to feel better, I wanted to live longer to be around for my kids, I wanted to have more energy, I wanted to be able to buy cuter clothes.  Want, want, want.

What got me motivated to start my journey was, in honesty, my competitive personality.  My mom was losing weight, my best friend had lost a ton of weight and looked fabulous.  Not only did I want to be doing the same, but I felt challenged to do the same.  That gave me the motivation to make my way through the most of last year.  Then, at the end of October last year - I lost my motivation.  The people that were driving me weren't as motivated, so I didn't feel like I had to be.  Plus, I was so freakin' busy - that my motivation turned to school....and it overpowered my weight loss motivation.  I kept telling myself that I would find my motivation again - and put my weight loss on the back burner.

January 1st, 2011 hit.  I wanted to start my weight loss journey again, and did....but without true motivation.  I thought about what had fueled me the year before, and knew that I needed to find something that would spark my competitive nature.  Enter Power of One Challenge and Biggest Loser Challenge.  It was a good start - two competitions gave me the power to at least start making more of an effort.

Fast forward again to February 1st - my birthday.  My weight loss for January had been pretty pathetic.  I wanted - but wasn't really motivated - to work out.  Then, I was locked in my house for almost 2 weeks due to snow.  My body got frustrated - it didn't like being couped up....I was actually wanting to get out just so I could run.  This had never happened to me before.  On snow days in years past, I embraced the excuse to sit on my big behind and do nothing.... curl up on the couch with a blanket, a book, and a big bowl of chips or popcorn.  This time was different.  I became aggravated, agitated, down right mean and grumpy.  I WANTED TO RUN!!

Then, like a ton of bricks I realized that I had found my had been there trying so hard to get out.  I just needed something like the snow days to make it come to light - move it from the want list to the motivation list.  Running.  Not just wanting to run - a motivation to be a runner.  I want to compete, I want to train, I want to say I DID THAT when talking about races.  It was no longer about wanting to look better, feel better, etc. - those were just going to be perks.  I found a way to tap in to my competitive edge that got me through my first year - but rather than competing just to compete (more for glory than actual victory) I found something to really drive me.....and it's all about me.

So, since that day, I have been more motivated than I ever have before about losing weight AND getting fit.  I joined a gym, I took on the advice of a personal trainer, I started logging my food - to keep track of my body fueling, I invested in a BodyBugg - tools that will help me reach my goals.  You know what's happened since I found my true motivation?  I've been succeeding.  The weight is coming off, my stamina is increasing,  I've made it 17 days without a single binge or "unhealthy" food option (probably the longest I've EVER made it), my passion and desire is through the roof.  I just had to realize what it was that would spark the commitment - and I did.

Today, I ask you to make a list of wants associated with your weight loss.  Is there something on there that fuels your fire?  Is there something you've always wanted to do - and are empowered to try?  Then RUN with may realize that your motivation is just needs to be set free.

Till next time.  ;)
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  1. My me. I'm worth it. I deserve to be healthy. I deserve to wear cute clothes and have a cute boyfriend. haha. Mostly, of course, I want to be healthy and live a long, fulfilled life.

    I wanna motivate my family to eat healthy too, because many are overweight (and not just a little bit) and it scares me, because I love them so much.

    Whenever I feel too tired or unmotivated to work out, I come on blogspot, read wonderful entries like these, and feel rejuvenated.

    So thank you :).

  2. Someone has stolen my mojo the last few weeks, so thanks for smacking me in the face! I sure need it. I'm pretty sure the gym thinks I'm cheating on it. lol


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