How do you find a "Why"?

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Replies

  • Bry_Fitness70
    Bry_Fitness70 Posts: 2,484 Member
    hipari wrote: »
    I really, sincerely hope you get better and reach your goals. I have just one humble suggestion: instead of trying to find your why, try to find your joy. When there’s more enjoyment in life, the not-so-fun necessities are easier to bear as well. And who knows, maybe finding your joy leads to finding things helping you with weight loss.

    You mentioned having hobbies, what are your hobbies and do you enjoy them? Could you use them as a motivation? Like if your hobby is, I don’t know bowling, losing weight might help you with your bowling and that might motivate you. Or having less weight on your middle might make leaning over crafts or puzzles easier. Whatever makes you happy. TBH, in my opinion it’s more important to find long-term happiness than long-term weight loss, even when it means you’ll be a happy obese person instead of a miserable skinny & fit person. Of course, most of us here want to combine those and be happy & fit.

    Also: we have somewhat similar stats (despite the fact that I’m a 26-year-old woman) and I also have a history with ankle injuries. If you want, add me as a friend and I’ll support you to the best of my ability.

    I don’t particularly enjoy my fitness regimen a lot of the time. I’m so unbelievably busy that I am in the gym at 5am, lunch, and after dark, and that is not enjoyable a lot of the time. I don’t enjoy putting the brakes on when I’m eating at times, I would rather keep stuffing my face. I do enjoy the benefits and that is the bottom line.

    Motivation is not sustaining after a certain point. Motivation will hopefully create behaviors that turn into habits, and once something is a habit, motivation is no longer necessary, it is just something you do. The alarm clock goes off at 430am and I get up and go to the gym or go for a run - I don’t think about it, I don’t whine about it, I just do it, because it is a habit and not optional.
  • mitchkelly2446
    mitchkelly2446 Posts: 38 Member
    hipari wrote: »
    You mentioned having hobbies, what are your hobbies and do you enjoy them? Could you use them as a motivation? Like if your hobby is, I don’t know bowling, losing weight might help you with your bowling and that might motivate you. Or having less weight on your middle might make leaning over crafts or puzzles easier. Whatever makes you happy. TBH, in my opinion it’s more important to find long-term happiness than long-term weight loss, even when it means you’ll be a happy obese person instead of a miserable skinny & fit person. Of course, most of us here want to combine those and be happy & fit.

    Also: we have somewhat similar stats (despite the fact that I’m a 26-year-old woman) and I also have a history with ankle injuries. If you want, add me as a friend and I’ll support you to the best of my ability.
    Thanks, but sadly, fitness isn't going to make me a better wargamer or birdwatcher :/
  • try2again
    try2again Posts: 3,564 Member
    My perception is that you know "why" but loath the process so deeply that the "why" isn't compelling to you. If you want to be healthy, feel good, have energy,
    When I've been lifting, running etc for months and months and months, then WHY do I still feel physically and mentally dreadful and have the energy level of a dead battery? WHY isn't it simple biomechanics - work hard, feel better?

    I don't have a lot of knowledge about such things, but 20 years seems like a long time to be on the same antidepressant. I don't think it's unusual for the effects to wear off over time. Have you had a conversation with your doctor about trying something else? Have you had a physical/blood work recently?
  • try2again
    try2again Posts: 3,564 Member
    So sure, you could stand to lose a few lbs. Running your stats through a TDEE calculator yields maintenance calories of about 2200. Are you actively logging your calories? How does that number sound to you? How does 2000 sound? With careful logging & consistency, you could take off an extra 20 lbs in a year's time with no increase in physical activity, if that's what you wanted to do.

    Recently I discovered this BMI calculator, which I find interesting because it takes sort of a practical approach to health & fitness. https://www.smartbmicalculator.com/ I don't think we should minimize the negative health implications of being overweight, but it emphasizes that first & foremost we should avoid weight *gain*. With depression, personally I find that's the most that I can hope for at times. Would you find it burdensome to maintain your current weight?

    Something to consider is, you may be unhappy with the way things are now, but how do you think you'll feel if weight-related health complications start creeping up? When I joined MFP several years ago, I was very unhappy. I also felt lousy. I'm about your age, but felt like I was about 80 and the joint issues were really starting to limit my mobility. I was also having GI problems and feeling sort of sick to my stomach most days. I was literally grumbling when I set up my MFP account... "Already miserable and now I won't even get to have one of the few things I enjoy- food!" Needless to say, I went with a modest calorie deficit and was slow to increase my activity. But it worked. And many months later, I was still struggling with depression & negative thinking, but physically it was a huge reprieve. I'd hate to see you find out that things can, in fact, get worse and then it will be even more of a struggle to do what you need to do to address it.

    But again, it's always going to be a struggle to make good choices when we don't enjoy life. That needs addressed more than anything.
  • EatLikeAHuman
    EatLikeAHuman Posts: 30 Member
    I normally frown upon people who armchair diagnose anyone, but I had to pop back in after re-reading some of your posts -- you sound a lot like I did. I have a few questions for you. You don't even have to answer them in the thread, just ask them to yourself.

    Do you find that on days you do have free time, it never feels like "enough"? Do you have a constant, and I mean constant feeling of overwhelm, even when you're taking on what is considered a "normal" amount of adult responsibility?

    Even when you have a free moment, are you thinking about that task you need to do a week from now as though it needed to be done in the next five minutes? Do things that actually only take a second feel to you like they take up all of your time and energy?

    Even when you do the things you enjoy, do you find you can't even convince yourself to do them? Say you have a free moment for "fun" time -- is that usually spent in an almost stressed-out state, trying to convince yourself to go birdwatching, or read a book? And then before you know it, your free time is over, and you frittered it away doing something unfulfilling and mindless like scrolling through social media?

    Does convincing yourself to do some wargaming or reading or birdwatching take just as much mental energy as convincing yourself to clean the toilet or do your laundry?

    This one I think you've already mentioned: do you feel like you only do what "needs" to be done because you're being dragged along, and you simply want to avoid the consequences of not doing it?

    If this sounds like you, see if you can get checked out for ADHD. Mine was misdiagnosed as anxiety and depression for years. I was a smart kid, so they never caught it in school.

    Obviously I am a complete stranger from the internet and absolutely not a medical professional. But I can't get over how you sound like I did - defeated, depressed, anxious, overwhelmed, and like life was nothing but an endless series of hateful tasks I had to do "or else".
  • gothchiq
    gothchiq Posts: 4,598 Member
    There are guided meditations for motivation. I find them helpful.
  • mitchkelly2446
    mitchkelly2446 Posts: 38 Member
    try2again wrote: »

    I don't have a lot of knowledge about such things, but 20 years seems like a long time to be on the same antidepressant. I don't think it's unusual for the effects to wear off over time. Have you had a conversation with your doctor about trying something else? Have you had a physical/blood work recently?

    Intuitively, I agree. One would expect homeostasis to have kicked in long before, but apparently it's normal over here to leave people on a maintenance dose for life. Had an ECG last year around this issue, and everything was completely unremarkable.

  • ITUSGirl51
    ITUSGirl51 Posts: 192 Member
    My why is because I want to do things, go outside and feel good walking, be able to go on hikes or go swimming in the ocean. I want to be in pictures and not be terrified about what I look like. I want to be able to wear pretty dresses. I want to go shopping and be able to find clothes that look good on me every time. I want to walk into a store and not be ignored by the sales clerks. I don’t want people to see me and think “she’s fat” and automatically underestimate and marginalize me. I was sick of the drag on my happiness being obese did to me.

    I also enjoy food. I eat the things I like in moderation. During my weight loss journey I enjoyed my favorite foods including a pancake with syrup, pie, cheese, tacos, and real burgers. I just did it in moderation and counted the calories. My life is better with watching what I eat because I’m no longer obese and get to live my best life.
  • BlueAlexx
    BlueAlexx Posts: 4 Member
    May I ask if you are following a particular nutrition plan? Or just calorie counting?
    Although people have very different opinions, and this is just mine, this is what I found helpful: low carb, high fat, moderate protein diet. Absolutely no calorie counting. And only the kind of low-key daily movement I liked, not a focus on exercise I hate (like you, I never have had a runners high, or any endorphins from exercise.). So a walk. Or a yoga class, or floating around a pool. But over 6 months I lost 15 lbs through low carb, high fat — but better, I gained mental energy, better sleep, had a daily sense of satiation (not deprivation) and allowed myself to read and do art instead of the gym. Instead of biking or running — the diet alone lead to weight loss. (Yes, I know that’s not fitness but sometimes one step at a time is what we have to do.)

    After about 9 months the better sleep and better mood and mental energy led to a physical sense of wanting to move- just walks after dinner kind of thing. Then an exercise bike I could use at home while reading or watching tv, because I felt like it. Over a year, low carb, high fat gave me so much in terms of mental energy and mood balance and a sense of wanting to move that it led to a better overall outcome. Those benefits became my why. After 6 months I wanted to keep those benefits in my life.

    This is just my experience, but low fat and high carb made me depressed, sluggish, full of cravings and like nothing was worth it, but low carb, high fat gave me mental energy and better mood and eventually physical energy.
    Your Mileage May Vary.
  • AudreyJDuke
    AudreyJDuke Posts: 1,093 Member
    I found it helpful to list out reasons why I am wanting to lose weight and keep it off. I update it frequently and read it daily.
  • 100_PROOF_
    100_PROOF_ Posts: 1,168 Member
    For me it happened when I was truly ready. Until then I was just spinning my wheels.
    I didn't want it bad enough so wasn't trying hard enough. Finally I realized my options where to stay fat or give up the excuses and put in the work.
    When I was ready, I had no problem actually putting in the work.
  • cheryldumais
    cheryldumais Posts: 1,932 Member
    Wow, my heart goes out to you. I wish I had an easy answer. For fun I suggest getting some books on tape for your commute cause that drive would kill me. You said you like to read and I know it isn't quite the same but it might at least reduce the drudgery of the drive. You are clearly intelligent and articulate. Audible.com has a multitude of choices. Most public libraries now have digital books as well.

    As for your goal weight remember that at 51 you don't need to weigh what a 25 year old would. When I was losing and it was slow for me I set an "overweight" goal to start.

    Some of your symptoms almost sound like besides depression perhaps a low thyroid. I had "friends" telling me I needed to work out and just keep up with it even though every time I did I got raging headaches. The more I worked out the more tired I got. I was Hypothyroid for about 30 years before it was diagnosed. They kept telling me I was "normal". Finally after a particularly grueling trip I went in for tests because I thought I'd had a mini stroke and low and behold my thyroid was extremely low. If you get tested (probably you have been before) do it when you have been particularly active.

    Last of all if you don't want to lose weight it becomes very hard to diet. In fact if someone is pushing it's almost going to have the opposite effect as you rebel from being forced. I would explain to those (spouse?) who are pushing that they are making it more difficult. I also agree that you need to find some counselling help. I don't know if you are a person of faith but many churches have counsellors on staff and they usually don't charge. Yes, it is a time expense but you need to work through some of the pain.

    Take your time with fitness. If you like birding I would just walk somewhere you can bird watch. I've lost over 100 pounds and the only exercise I do is walking. Frankly what you eat has a lot more effect on your ability to lose weight than exercise. Exercise is for fitness mostly. Yes it burns calories but it is not the main thing.

    I really hope that things get better for you.
  • mitchkelly2446
    mitchkelly2446 Posts: 38 Member
    Thanks everyone. I think I might go back to the doctor, but I'm wary as citalopram was the third AD that was tried before I got something that "worked". I'm not sure I want a higher dose as the side effects aren't nice.

    I don't feel and overwhelm or flat affect doing things I like, so it doesn't feel like a chore to get out paints, binocs, or whatever.

    I don't hate sport/exercise as such, it's just that I never get a "woo woo" from it, just a "meh, is that it?". As such it feels like another chore/drain on my time, and unlike a lot of houshold tasks there aren't time/effort saving ways of doing it (which is the point I suppose - energy-saving exercise is a bit of an oxymoron...). Example: I went to the gym last night and moved my squat upper limit to 120kg, overhead press to 50kg which is the best since I started training again. My thoughts weren't "hey great I'm improving here" but rather "nothing to see, move on, box ticked, next chore..."
  • Iamnotasenior
    Iamnotasenior Posts: 233 Member
    Here are some "whys" for you. They are my "whys" but feel free to use them if it helps:

    Physical exercise and eating more fruits and vegetables means I lower my risk for dementia, osteoporosis, heart disease, stroke, cancer, etc. later in life. I don't want to work my whole life and then have to be a burden on my family later in life when I'm retired if I can help it, nor do I want to be dependent on them. I want to be independent and live on my own, doing the things I love to do as long as I can. We don't have 100% control over those things, but I'm going to do my best to be as healthy as I can for as long as I can.

    Being a healthy weight means I sleep better, have more energy, feel more confident in social settings and just generally feel better about myself.

    Being physically fit means I generally feel "safer" and less of a "target" for those seeking to do harm to me. If someone does try to harm me and I have a chance to fight or run away, being physically fit means I might have a better chance of survival.

    Being a healthy weight means that if I do need emergency medical attention, I am a lot easier to load into an ambulance and I have a much better chance of surviving surgery than if I am obese.

    I'm approaching 60 years of age and I want to be healthy and independent in my older years. If you think you are being "nagged" now, imagine being in a nursing home or being dependent on family members who have to take care of you. Those are my "whys". You just need to find your own.
  • skctilidie
    skctilidie Posts: 1,374 Member
    My perception is that you know "why" but loath the process so deeply that the "why" isn't compelling to you. If you want to be healthy, feel good, have energy,
    When I've been lifting, running etc for months and months and months, then WHY do I still feel physically and mentally dreadful and have the energy level of a dead battery? WHY isn't it simple biomechanics - work hard, feel better?

    Depression takes a toll on a person physically as well as mentally. I actually feel it stronger/earlier physically than mentally when mine is getting out of hand - headaches, body aches, exhaustion all appear for me before I feel noticeably down. I definitely think another look at mental health care, adding stress relief techniques to my toolkit, and focusing on trying to find a more positive mindset in general would be where I’d start if I were in your shoes.