How do you find a "Why"?

I'm finding it impossible to find a why. Maintaining constant vigilance around food is exhausting. Exercising doesn't make me feel better (weights lifted, distances run etc are just numbers), never had a "runner's high", weight loss is interminably slow - the rate of progress on a daily/weekly basis is so slow that in a scientific test the differences would be less than the precision of the measurement. No sense of accomplishment/achievement from any of it, it just feels like a slog I have to commit to for the rest of my life. Active food management and exercise just feel like more chores to add to my to do list that will keep coming up forever!
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Replies

  • mitchkelly2446
    mitchkelly2446 Posts: 38 Member
    Thanks, I'll look at the book.

    I've tried goals: run a 5k, run a 5k faster, run a 5k in under xxx minutes, squat my bodyweight, 110%, 150%, topped out at 175%, and it was all just tick the box, move on, so what? None of it has significance or meaning and doesn't make me feel anything at all. I get about the same feeling of accomplishment from driving to work: it's just one more thing I have to do.

    I basically never, ever "hang out". Social contact is at work - I never socialise at the gym because I don't have time to stand around and chat, plus doing so means you're not working (nobody else in there chats either - people are there to work!).

    Food control is at the bleeding edge between constant vigilance and frank paranoia. Since I have a tendency to comfort eat, I have to be actively watch constantly that I don't slip into snacking etc, and the mental process is exhausting.
  • mochapygmy
    mochapygmy Posts: 2,123 Member
    Why did you start losing weight?
    Why did you start going to the gym?

    What activities/ hobbies do you enjoy?
    What do you want from your life in a year? 5 years? 10? 20?

    There are no right or wrong answers. Everyone has different plans. What are yours?
  • mitchkelly2446
    mitchkelly2446 Posts: 38 Member
    Because I was told it would be good for me/because I was getting nagged.
    Started at the gym/running because I was told I should/would be good for me/got nagged

    Activities/hobbies: wargaming, birdwatching, modelmaking, art, reading...
    As for the 1/5/20 years: I don't know. I never have known. I never had a childhood dream that went beyond having a day where I wasn't in fear of getting repeatedly physically assaulted.
  • 88olds
    88olds Posts: 4,105 Member
    edited May 2018
    What’s any of that have to do with why? Or maybe which why? I assume you have a why you want to lose weight or the idea would never get into your head. Everyone here has a why like that. Some folks want to go on living, some want to look good in their wedding dress, but everyone has a why like that.

    You sound more like why bother? Some of that has to do with your underlying why. Folks trying to control their diabetes or avoid knee surgery may be willing to put themselves out more than folks trying to look good at the beach. Maybe not though, everyone is different. Depends on how bad you want it.

    In the end I made my goal weight because it was the only way to silence the nagging voice in my head berating me for not closing the deal on weight loss. I was eventually desperate enough to join Weight Watchers. It’s where I learned tracking my food. It’s called a journal and tracking there, a food diary and logging here on MFP. But counting WW points is just patent protected calorie counting.

    You're exactly right, it is never ending vigilance. Personaly I find that a big improvement over the internal nagging. But depending where you are in the process, it can get easier. I initially found counting WW points to be a sort of puzzle game. I really didn’t mind it too much. Fortunately, by the time the novelty wore off, I was mostly running on habit. So if you are just starting out, give the learning curve some time and things get easier. Focus on building helpful habits.

    But you’re right, self control takes effort. Just how it is, not going to change.

  • deputy_randolph
    deputy_randolph Posts: 941 Member
    edited May 2018
    I train for powerlifting...5th competition is in August. I have daily/weekly/monthly/6 month/yearly goals. That short-term goals keep me going day after day. The long-term goals keep me going month after month.

    I used to run a lot; never had a "runners high." Lifting is more physically rewarding for me. Testing my strength limits has also helped me focus on how my body performs vs. how my body looks (which replaced my fixation on weight loss). Lifting has changed my relationship with food...food is fuel. I'm better able to manage my diet, b/c I understand now how food can impact my long-term goals.
  • mitchkelly2446
    mitchkelly2446 Posts: 38 Member
    88olds wrote: »
    What’s any of that have to do with why? Or maybe which why? I assume you have a why you want to lose weight or the idea would never get into your head.

    No, I don't have a why I want to lose weight. Been told I should/getting nagged to. I don't personally have a why, other than to shut other people up.

    I have never-ending vigilance and internal nagging ("oh god, I'll catch hell if I eat this" kind of thing). I can't imagine either one is more or less wearing than the other!
  • mitchkelly2446
    mitchkelly2446 Posts: 38 Member
    I train for powerlifting...5th competition is in August. I have daily/weekly/monthly/6 month/yearly goals. That short-term goals keep me going day after day. The long-term goals keep me going month after month.

    I lift still. In the past I lifted a lot. Like I say, got to 175% of BW on squat (167.5kg/370lb), bench 125kg/275lb) etc, but when I got there it was "so what?". No feeling of accomplishment AT ALL. I felt some idle curiosity about whether I could lift certain weights, but once I did it, that was it.
  • tlpina82
    tlpina82 Posts: 229 Member
    I just wanted to see if I could do it. I wanted to lose a little weight for my sister in law's wedding... Looking better than the groom or some crap like that.
    Then I wanted to see if I could get a muscle definition. Got it in about a year.
    Now I want a 6 pack and 7% bodyfat, just because I can.

    I did it for my wife first, now i do it just because i want to. I like looking good, i like being able to run, I like winning fights (Jiu Jitsu, not street brawls) and most of all, I like being able to play with my kid until he tires out, not the other way around.

    Ask yourself. Is being fit better than fat? That should give you your first "WHY?"
  • mochapygmy
    mochapygmy Posts: 2,123 Member
    You may also like hearing other people's whys/motivation.
  • mitchkelly2446
    mitchkelly2446 Posts: 38 Member
    tlpina82 wrote: »
    Ask yourself. Is being fit better than fat? That should give you your first "WHY?"
    I don't know. Seriously. I don't know if the mental strain of constant vigilance over food, the having to give more of my limited time for other hobbies over to exercise, the arguments about what food gets cooked for the whole family versus me and the lack of any release mechanism for the constant ongoing stress in my day actually stacks up!

    Is "thin but at the point of mental/emotional collapse" a good place to be?
  • mitchkelly2446
    mitchkelly2446 Posts: 38 Member
    mochapygmy wrote: »
    [

    . Reading a couple other threads that you have responded to it sounds like you find no enjoyment in your attempt to improve your health. Maybe a maintenance break/ week off from the gym would help. I think you should also look for different activities you enjoy. Swimming or hiking might be a great addition to your bird watching. Olympic lifting, strongman, parkour, honestly it doesn't matter what it is as long as you enjoy it.
    Thanks for the mental health stuff - probably need to up-tick what I'm doing there. Already been with a doctor about it for years, but the resources are very limited.

    I've tried lots of different activities over the years and frankly I haven't enjoyed any of them. Running/lifting are the ones I've disliked least. I'm not against trying something new but frankly I've exhausted everything within about a 20 mile radius of my home. Going further isn't something I really feel offers any good return: I'm already committing 8.5 hours to work and another 2.5-3 for commuting per day, so once I allow for sleep and basic things like eating, showering, work on/around the house, paying bills etc, I'm not left with a lot of time and frittering it away driving to a different gym/club etc doesn't stack up.
  • JaydedMiss
    JaydedMiss Posts: 4,288 Member
    edited May 2018
    I decided i wanted to become more flexible and added in alot of stretching. Its something i enjoy and can see happening. Helps with motivation for sure to be able to see progress, Find something you can see/measure. Even something simple. Its easy to see no point in stuff when youve given yourself no point, Need something to hold onto for sure. I spin my wheels like crazy when i have nothing left to try for
  • mitchkelly2446
    mitchkelly2446 Posts: 38 Member
    work_on_it wrote: »
    88olds wrote: »
    What’s any of that have to do with why? Or maybe which why? I assume you have a why you want to lose weight or the idea would never get into your head.

    No, I don't have a why I want to lose weight. Been told I should/getting nagged to. I don't personally have a why, other than to shut other people up.

    When it comes to exercising/losing weight/learning/working/quitting a habit/anything...... absolutely anything... if you're not doing it for YOU... if YOU haven't decided you want to do it... it will never be enjoyable or accomplished.

    Good luck with your other hobbies.

    Thanks. I've managed to keep working for 31 years without really wanting to other than because I need the money. Maybe I was hoping I could make exercise go the same way :D
  • 88olds
    88olds Posts: 4,105 Member
    I think you make valid points. If your why is to silence critics, there are easier ways to deal with that.
  • Machka9
    Machka9 Posts: 20,875 Member
    I have cycling and running goals!
  • urloved33
    urloved33 Posts: 3,361 Member
    edited May 2018
    I'm finding it impossible to find a why. Maintaining constant vigilance around food is exhausting. Exercising doesn't make me feel better (weights lifted, distances run etc are just numbers), never had a "runner's high", weight loss is interminably slow - the rate of progress on a daily/weekly basis is so slow that in a scientific test the differences would be less than the precision of the measurement. No sense of accomplishment/achievement from any of it, it just feels like a slog I have to commit to for the rest of my life. Active food management and exercise just feel like more chores to add to my to do list that will keep coming up forever!

    well once every thing else is stripped away - the goals the head games the different approaches different philosophies - it really is something we have to do the rest of our lives. My children were raised with this in their life and so to them its not a chore -its just normal - but for those of us who were raised with "no sense of healthy self or limits on eating or movement required for overall health" it is daunting...but its the reality of life. "hug to you"