Terri’s View: I have been on my weight loss journey for 3½ years now. People always ask me how I stay motivated. How is it that I manage to stay on course, even when I have to schlep my pre-schooler or sometimes both my kids to the gym, or when there is a ton of laundry at home calling my name?
How is it that I can choose to not have a slice of pizza or birthday cake at one of the endless amount of kiddy parties I seem to attend? How is it I still look forward to my workouts and can get excited about an awesome veggie omelet that I put together, or a new low-cal dinner entrée I modified to make figure-friendly?
The answer is simple. I stay motivated because I never want to be the person I once was. Now don’t get me wrong – as people who spend time with me know, I do indulge. And sometimes really overdo it. Then I usually wind up with what Ed and I have come to call “the food hangover.” When you spend most of your time eating healthy, and then you make some poor choices and go overboard, your body lets you know by feeling sluggish and crappy like a real hangover. It may even take a day of drinking extra water to get into the groove again. The point is that you don’t let a social event indulgence, or holiday eating binge turn into a snowball effect.
Many people think now that because I have lost so much weight and maintain a healthy weight that I eat perfect every day. That would not be real life. No one can eat perfect every day. There are times where I go for a couple of weeks without any real indulgences besides my light ice cream or 100-calorie cookies. Then there are times (certain times of the month, let’s just say) that a woman has to eat some chocolate.
This is my life, this is not a diet. I accept that I am human and cannot beat myself up for having a bad day or even a bad weekend. I get to the gym and back on track as soon as possible. You can lose weight even if you are not perfect every day, as I am living proof. But if you like to indulge, then exercise must be part of your life.
I think part of what keeps me motivated is that I feel I have not yet reached my goal weight – although after weighing within the same 10 pounds for over a year, I think that my body may feel differently. I stay motivated by knowing I am 43 and both my kids aren’t even in grammar school yet. I stay motivated every time I put my jeans and can look in the mirror and like what I see. I stay motivated by having a husband that has the same goals and lifestyle and he would never let me go back to my old habits again anyway.
We all need to find what motivates us, whether it is to get healthy or to have your outside match your inside. But whatever it may be, the time is now to find it and begin the journey.
Ed’s View: Now that you have made the choice to change your life style, and you’ve been doing this for a few weeks, the question is, how do I stay with this? How do I not slip back? As Terri has said, we are human and do make some poor choices occasionally. But it is important to put yourself back into the zone.
Terri keeps a picture of us at our heaviest weight. I look at this and see the box of donuts on the counter in the picture, and I see how far we have come. I go to the store and can buy clothing that I never thought I could fit into. I get to the gym and lift the same amount of weight that I use to carry on my frame every day.
Terri mentioned that we make some poor choices at times. Yes, I do sometimes indulge in food I shouldn’t be eating, but sometimes I need to celebrate. This keeps me motivated as well, because if I do indulge, I get right back on track. I know that I had my treat, and now it’s time to get back to the gym and to continue with the right choices.
What keeps me motivated is friends and family; hearing how great Terri and I look doesn’t get old and it keeps us motivated to continue our course. I get motivation from my kids. I can run with my kids instead of sitting and watching them play, I can play along with them.
My advice is this to keep your eye on the goal you have set. Don’t get on the scale every day – judge your progress by how your clothes fit. And remember; with changing your lifestyle you are changing your health for the better, and this is the greatest motivation!