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How do you stay motivated?

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I've been a member of MFP for a long time, 4 years maybe, but have never really got involved in the boards. I think it's time that changes because I'm struggling but desperately want to better myself.

I have struggled with my weight all my life, and the first year I religiously used MFP, I lost over 40 lbs! However, combination of events.. plateaus, family and work related stress, lack of support, so on and so forth have put me right back where I started 4+ years ago. In that time I have fluctuated a lot and had mixed success at maintaining and losing... but a new job this year, while great, leaves me exhausted at the end of the day and in no mood to work out and diet alone is not working for me, plus my resistance to craft beer is non-existent. Not even the thought of monetary gain or loss can seem to motivate me, seeing as I'm currently engaged in a bet and hemorrhaging money as a result of my lack of motivation.

My wife, on the other hand, has been blessed with an awesome metabolism and can devour an entire pizza, wash it down with a 2 liter of Cherry Pepsi and still lose weight.. I eat 2 slices and THINK about a soda, I gain 5lbs.. because it has no affect on her, she hasn't exactly been willing to remove the tempting foods from the house.. putting me in a position where it takes all my willpower to avoid and working in IT, junk food is ALWAYS within reach and I don't cope well with hunger pains...

Phew.. now that I've said all that... How do you guys stay motivated? Avoid your bad habits? Cope with being surrounded by horrible food decisions constantly? A partner who doesn't understand the struggle?

Replies

  • gregthomas02
    gregthomas02 Posts: 4 Member
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    Working in IT I can also relate. I always find going for a walk at lunch time puts me in a better frame of mind to do well for the remainder of the day, whereas sitting at my desk or driving somewhere eventually leads to eating more and feeling down. Using a Fitbit and seeing my daily steps is also a boost to continue,
  • cocates
    cocates Posts: 360 Member
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    Motivation will only get you so far. So, you'll have to start adding in a few other things, like: determination, consistency, persistence and patience.

    It's tough, life is life and gets in the way. Everyone has a busy life, a busy job, a busy 'x'. You have to make time for exercising or choosing to eat within your calorie goals. Here are some things I do that I find helpful for me:
    - Log everything, accurately.
    - Plan: Before I grocery shop, I think about what I want to eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Reading nutritional labels can be a real eye opener.
    - Positive self talk/thoughts. It sounds silly, but saying, "I will make time to walk for 15 minutes today" versus "I will try to walk, if I can get my work done". Those that say the first thing, do it. Those that say the second, don't.
    - Surround yourself with positive people or others that have a common goal. Add a few friends on here.
    - Set goals. Realistic, attainable and measurable goals for yourself. (Google SMART goals)
    - I allow myself to have any food/drink I want...as long as it fits into my calorie goal. I find if I deprive myself of anything, then it only leads to me overeating.

    Sorry for the novel. I hope this helps. Good luck to you. Also, you should probably have a conversation with your wife to help her, help you. If she's the grocery shopper or cooks your meals, it will probably make it easier. If she's not willing to do that, then, well - go to Wal-Mart, buy yourself a food scale, a cookbook, and your own food. :relaxed:
  • KIMMYSAND
    KIMMYSAND Posts: 11 Member
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    Unless you find enjoyment with your choices, you will always place more value on what others are doing. What difference does it make if pizza is around, if you really enjoy your delicious salads and succulent chicken breast and healthier snacks just the same? Find the foods and exercises that you can love and enjoy which contribute to you weight loss. I adore my breakfasts, lunches and dinners. They are kind to me and help my body transform into something spectacular. I don't feel cheated in any way. I don't need anyone to count the decreasing numbers on my scale, but me. We are gaining fabulous bodies for a simple change in our thought processes. I think you are setting yourself up for disappointment and for falling off the wagon if you can't be around other foods without feeling as though you are being punished for not eating them; or feeling unsupported because someone else is making choices for themselves that don't coincide with yours. Keep in mind that every decision we make is a choice. You CAN eat the pizza and candy and chips and other unrelated foods to your goal, however, you CHOOSE not to. It is a choice that YOU make not to look unappealing and undesirable when you look in the mirror, but to smile each time you see a reflection of your efforts before you; or be out of breath when you walk up the stairs carrying in the groceries, instead finding joy in reaching the top step with enough energy to do something else. Remember how it feels to not want to attend events because you just don't feel good about your body? Those days will soon be over, if you stick to your plan. The real question is how do you love and value your choices while at the same time allowing others to enjoy theirs. That's a beautiful place to be. This is life, living in concert with others while maintaining a grounded position of who we are. Hey, once you start supporting and motivating and finding unshakable strength in yourself, you might just find that others admire your efforts and will want to join your band! Even if they don't, find the tranquility, love, and peace in flying solo! Set your sight on your own goals and let each moment count towards them with a smile. Hope this helps!
  • SpecialKH
    SpecialKH Posts: 70 Member
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    That's a shame she isn't being supportive of your health.

    Who does the shopping? Could you ask her to keep HER snack stuff in a separate cabinet? One you never have to open/see the junk? She might not have weight issues but all of the sodium and sugar isn't healthy for her body.

    Think about snacks you like that are healthy. Managing a healthy lifestyle takes effort and planning. Do you like celery, carrots, raw broccoli, snow peas? I dip in lite ranch after measuring out the dressing.

    Triscuits (but only 6 is a serving) are good - I tend to nibble with the "grain" to make each cracker last several bites instead of popping the whole thing at once.

    Apples with a little cheddar is yummy. Same with celery and a little peanut butter (only a little - calorie dense).

    I count out whole grain goldfish and log those. Make a protein shake with frozen fruit and vanilla powder and cold water or skim milk and sip.

    I down a glass of water if I want a snack and walk a loop around the office. Once I sit back down I tend to forget.

    I plan out my snacks and that helps. Maybe what works for you is 6 smaller meals instead of 3 meals and a tiny snack or no snack.
  • FatMoojor
    FatMoojor Posts: 483 Member
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    Why are you losing weight? That reason has to trump all other things. Get things near you which remind you why you are doing this.

    I realised I had to get in shape when chasing after my baby daughter made it out of breath. I intend to be here for her for as long as possible and I can only do that if I'm as healthy as I can be.

    Does that mean I have to forgo some food every now and then, yes. Do I really care about that when I get home and she runs up to me, launches herself at me and I can pick her up and spin her around with no effort, no I don't because there are so many things which are so much more important than the very short enjoyment I get from a snack.
  • AlphaGnome
    AlphaGnome Posts: 11 Member
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    We usually do our shopping together, and I am good about reading nutritional facts. Cooking is also evenly distributed.
  • cocates
    cocates Posts: 360 Member
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    AlphaGnome wrote: »
    We usually do our shopping together, and I am good about reading nutritional facts. Cooking is also evenly distributed.

    That's excellent! Now, you just need a food scale so you can log accurately and do a little planning to help keep you on track. This will help you find ways to include a nice craft beer (or 2) into your daily calorie goals!
  • phenomenal_woman2016
    Options

    It's tough, life is life and gets in the way. Everyone has a busy life, a busy job, a busy 'x'. You have to make time for exercising or choosing to eat within your calorie goals. Here are some things I do that I find helpful for me:
    - Log everything, accurately.
    - Plan: Before I grocery shop, I think about what I want to eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Reading nutritional labels can be a real eye opener.
    - Positive self talk/thoughts. It sounds silly, but saying, "I will make time to walk for 15 minutes today" versus "I will try to walk, if I can get my work done". Those that say the first thing, do it. Those that say the second, don't.
    - Surround yourself with positive people or others that have a common goal. Add a few friends on here.
    - Set goals. Realistic, attainable and measurable goals for yourself. (Google SMART goals)
    - I allow myself to have any food/drink I want...as long as it fits into my calorie goal. I find if I deprive myself of anything, then it only leads to me overeating.

    ^^^^ All of these are fabulous suggestions. It's hard to put them into practice so just start with one and keep adding week by week, you will get there!

  • lorrpb
    lorrpb Posts: 11,464 Member
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    "Motivation gets you started. Habits keep you going." See all the great advice above for developing good eating habits. This prob would NOT include devouring an entire pizza and washing it down with cherry Pepsi. LOL.
  • girlwithcurls2
    girlwithcurls2 Posts: 2,276 Member
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    lorrpb wrote: »
    "Motivation gets you started. Habits keep you going." See all the great advice above for developing good eating habits. This prob would NOT include devouring an entire pizza and washing it down with cherry Pepsi. LOL.

    This.

    When I started losing, it was motivating to continue my success. However, then you start to taper off, people don't notice as much, whatever, and it would be really easy to think you've "finished" and reached your goal. I found things I enjoy (got into the pool after 20 years) and just made it part of my week. Maybe not always part of my day, but my overall week was very active. My family has had to eat dinner around my workouts because I work full time, but they're fine. And they get a happy and fit mom. You can do this. If your wife keeps up with the pizza and Pepsi, she'll be joining you here in a few years... ;)
  • Melgibbs
    Melgibbs Posts: 26 Member
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    I do well for a while then my motivation goes away and I give up. I use a lot of visuals. So I have a dry erase board with my weight on it in my room so I can see the weight loss being marked off. I have sayings on my cabinets and fridge to help motivate me. I am going to create another board to hang in my room with reasons why I want this and rewards. I am also going to hang on my door a shirt or pair of pants I want to wear.
  • CaliDollFace
    CaliDollFace Posts: 27 Member
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    Yeah, you aren't motivated to go to work every morning, right? You go to work because you are committed to paying your bills.

    Don't try to rely on motivation. It wouldn't always be there. You have to rely on your commitment to a healthy lifestyle.

    It's not easy, but make it a habit like brushing your teeth every morning.
  • AlphaGnome
    AlphaGnome Posts: 11 Member
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    I like all the tips on the mental approach to this... I believe that is where a lot of struggle has come from lately. Thanks everyone!
  • goldthistime
    goldthistime Posts: 3,214 Member
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    My suggestion is to go slowly enough that you don't need heaps and heaps of motivation and determination. Set MFP at .5lb/week and log. If you find the time to exercise, that's gravy (but eat back at least half your calories, more if you're hungry). If I were at a new job, I wouldn't want the distraction of hunger/aggressive deficit. Oh, and make sure you are getting enough protein. I find it helps immensely to fight cravings.
  • henrym10
    henrym10 Posts: 5 Member
    edited October 2015
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    Alphagnome,

    I am sure that if you track both your wife and your food and exercise over a week, say, then you will find that her net calories are far far less than yours... She is slimmer because she consumes far less net calories (food - exercise) than you, that's just the law of physics and thermodynamics, which have yet to be disproved...

    Your path to health and fitness will be much easier if you identify your sabotaging story and language and replace them with an empowering story and language. Mix with people who want to be fit and healthy or who already are. If you mix with those who aren't your values and beliefs about health and fitness will be seriously eroded.

    After using MFP, I have already lost 4lbs in 10 days. Go paleo or mostly paleo. Change your beliefs. "Beliefs don't have to be true." And get rid of the ones that are not useful. Load up on low calorie veggies like carrots (no need to peel, just wash), broccoli and cauliflower - microwave for about 5 minutes.

    Track, track, track and enjoy it. You will soon find that certain foods are not worth eating ... no nutrition and downright dangerous.

    This an amazing website ... so you are on the right path.

    Cheers,
    Henry ... Hypnotherapist, NLP Master Practitioner, Coach

    P.S. Just walk briskly back and forth down the hallway for 20 minutes before each meal. It is so easy and quickly adds up.