Monday, February 21, 2011

Staying Motivated

This specific post is on the topic of staying motivated to be healthy.  That could be eating healthy, staying physically fit or even staying emotionally healthy.  Everyone is motivated by different things.  For me I have always set goals to help keep up motivation.  It seems I always have to have a reason to go to the gym or eat healthy.  Just trying to be overall healthy doesn't get me to the gym or out for a walk.  I have a number of motivations I use to stay healthy. 

About 8 months ago I found myself unhappy with my overall health.  I was over 200 pounds (204 to be exact) and most of my clothing no longer fit.  Thankfully being 6 foot tall I held my weight okay, but I was miserable with how I felt.  After a trip to visit friends in Pittsburgh and actually seeing a picture of myself I had all the motivation I needed to start losing weight.  Working out had never been a problem because I was regularly going to the gym and going to fitness classes.  It was all about what I was eating.  I was already training for a sprint triathlon and that was also the week I decided to starting counting my calories.  Finishing the race and stepping on the scale that next week and seeing the number go down by 7 pounds that first week really opened my eyes.

I went on to lose a total of 30 pounds which I am happy to say I have kept off for five months.  The thrill and excitement of losing the weight is now lessened and here I find myself in the middle of February, the weather is miserable, the gym is miserable and I have been eating whatever and whenever I feel like.  Now more then ever I need to find that motivation that came so easily when I was dropping tons of weight each week. I am signed up for a 1/2 marathon at the end of April and so that has kept me going to the gym all winter.  Again it is time to start evaluating what I am eating and finding new things to keep me motivated!

Reading weight loss success stories and seeing them on TV has always been inspirational to me.  Watching others lose weight helps me remember how hard I worked myself to shed the pounds.  Changing the music on my ipod is also a huge motivation, it keeps my mind occupied while I am running on the boring treadmills at the gym.  One kind of odd motivation for me is also going to the gym and picking up a 30 pound weight helps me physically feel how much extra weight my body was lugging around and thinking about how much pressure that put on my joints.  Subscribing to a fitness magazine and "like" the magazine on facebook gives daily information and reminders.  Finally finding a partner who I can either work out with, or even just send emails or talk on the phone with helps keep me motivated.

Eating and exercising directly relates to my emotional health.  I am much happier after I work out or when I eat a healthy meal compared to a greasy or unhealthy meal.  Staying motivated takes some creativity and is different for everyone. 

What types of things keep you motivated??


1 comment:

Kendall Suhr said...

I definitely agree with having a partner. Even if the partner isn't someone that goes to the gym with you. Something as easy as emails between you and your buddy, the thought of having to type out that number on Tuesday morning is enough to make me want to make sure it is a loss and not a gain. My biggest struggle like yours is food. it's so easy to make bad choices or go for 1 or 2 more servings than needed. I have to keep constant focus on my food choices. Getting comments from co-workers about how my pants are hanging off me is one heck of a good feeling.