Motivation and Discipline... where are you?

I can't seem to find my motivation and discipline. I was doing so well, then just got burned out by everything in my life and now I can't seem to hop back up on the wagon....


  • golfchess6
    golfchess6 Posts: 64 Member
    Sometimes, I will take a week (or two) vacation from this site. When I come back, I feel refreshed and ready to battle MFP.
  • Xellercin
    Xellercin Posts: 924 Member
    Perhaps try not to see healthy lifestyle as a wagon that needs to be jumped on? Perhaps try to conceptualize it as a norm, and living in an unhealthy way as a temporary deviation from normal that sometimes happens.

    What are the barriers getting in between you and getting back to a normal, healthy lifestyle? What factors are leading you to eat foods you don't want to be eating as opposed to nutritious meals in modest quantities? What factors are interrupting your desired physical activity level? When those factors come up, is there perhaps a less demanding physical activity level that you could maintain instead?

    When a healthy lifestyle is your norm, it's not an all-or-nothing thing, there are just levels of deviation away from ideal. So perhaps some weeks you don't hit the gym, but still manage to take a walk or do some stretching. Some weeks you don't have time to cook nutritious meals, but you have a go-to convenient option for healthy meals, like frozen batch-cooked meals you made in advance, or a meal-delivery service that has healthy options, or minimally processed prepared meals from the grocery store, or a healthy restaurant nearby?

    What lifestyle do you want to be living, and how to you manage temporary deviations away from it?
  • Lietchi
    Lietchi Posts: 4,658 Member
    Instead of seeing it as a binary on or off the wagon, how about just taking baby steps? Set yourself one small goal, for example exercise 10 minutes every day or whatever small goal will push you in the right direction.

    I'm also wondering if you aren't too strict in your view of what doing well is. The goal is a lifestyle you can keep up long-term. Some people go all gung ho and eliminate all their favorite foods, give themselves exercise routines that are too intense or unpleasant, etc. So if that applies to you, that might be a factor why you're having trouble getting back 'on the wagon'.
  • Darren225g
    Darren225g Posts: 181 Member
    Yeah, things can seem overwhelming when starting again. Probably too overwhelming to the point where you don't even know where to start and end up putting it off.
    I don't know what your diet/exercises were before you got burnt out, but I'd suggest that you don't try to do everything too soon because it can feel too grueling. Just add things little by little over time and build yourself back up again slowly.

    Is it usually the eating or the workout that's the overwhelming part?
  • 1poundatax
    1poundatax Posts: 223 Member
    I am right there with you. I did great- took off weight, still had more to lose but felt good about myself. I was exercising regularly- then I started to let it slide, the eating went back to old habits, I was no longer logging food, the exercise became sporadic. Fortunately I only put on about 10 pounds but I had to start from near the beginning for the exercise. First I rediscover my why for eating healthy and exercising. Then I started by aiming to get 150 min. of exercise per week. I have come close or achieved it for the last few weeks. Now I am working on not grazing my way through the day, planning my meals and snacks and sticking to it. I know I need to go back to logging and I will when I am ready- I have already started logging some of what I eat. For me regaining my motivation is a process- I know it doesn't work for everyone but it does for me.
  • I was feeling really hopeless but then got diagnosed with a goiter and realized after getting it removed that it was behind a lot of the feelings of heaviness and fatigue that I'd been having. I'm still on restrictions on what I can do after the surgery, but I'm looking forward to heading back to the gym as soon as I can, and getting back to my weight loss now that I can actually think straight and breathe well.
  • AKTipsyCat
    AKTipsyCat Posts: 238 Member
    Thanks so much everyone for your responses!
  • pridesabtch
    pridesabtch Posts: 1,803 Member
    edited March 9
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    Note> skip to bottom if you don't want a novel...

    I've been at this good livin' thing now for almost a decade. I would agree with the sentiment of getting passed the notion of a wagon that you're either on or off. Certainly there have been times where my nutrition, exercise, sleep, etc is optimized and things are just very on point...but realistically, that's not going to be all of the time and I've had plenty of times where things were just ok or decent or even downright crap…

    I've been there, and it can be paralyzing because I think about I was doing X, Y, and Z before and anything less must be a waste of time or just not good I try but already feel defeated before I start because I know I just can't do X, Y, and least not right now because X, Y, and Z don't really fit into my current goings on to be sustainable and productive. And so I waste a lot of time battling myself instead of just coming up with a better plan that does fit.

    Just as an example, I went into maintenance in the spring of 2013. Shortly thereafter, while training for a sprint triathlon I discovered a passion for cycling and all things bike. I took a really deep dive into endurance road cycling for the better part of five years, mostly 1/2 century rides, typically 3 or 4 events per season. If you're not familiar with endurance cycling, think in running terms...basically 5 years of training for and doing 3-4 half marathons per season. In essence, it's a ton of time and training with really only a few months break at the end of a calendar year when the season is over...then it's right back to training after the holidays to get ready for upcoming spring events.

    2017 was the last season I remember actually enjoying myself, and even then, it had become a bit of a slog in September and October. I was burning out but refused to recognize it. It wasn't just the training either, it was life in general. A lot of things had changed over those kids were getting older and in school and started having homework and then youth sports with practices and games and a promotion for me with new responsibilities and expectations and in general life just got more "crowded" and I just kept filling my plate with more.

    2018 was a *kitten* show and I hated everything about that season. The passion was gone and every training bout was a chore and there was no looking forward to events like I used to...but I slogged through, pretty much hating everything about what I was doing. But I had a silver lining moment that season...I didn't realize at the time obviously, but it was a silver lining none the less. I had an event in late May which I completed and was scheduled to start the 4 event time trial series in July and running through August when I was hit with injury. Initially I didn't think it was that big of a deal and I did my first time trial run in July and just pushed through it...bad idea. I ended up sidelined for the rest of the season with a pinched nerve in my upper back that resulted in little to no feeling in my

    Initially I was pretty pissed...a little depressed and an overall feeling of what's next. But it also gave me plenty of time to think and evaluate what I was doing. I wasn't happy. I wasn't enjoying myself. But at the same time, I felt like anything less was just not good enough. All in all I ended up being off the bike from August through December. In that time I ultimately determined that what I was doing wasn't working and even though healed, the idea of resuming my training in January brought on a sense of dread. In November and December I kept trying to make myself get on the bike to at least spin a bit so I would be ready to resume training...but I was paralyzed by this dread and would just end up doing nothing...which made me feel even worse.

    I told her, "I just can't do it." "Do what?" "IT...train...spend all of those hours slogging away miles." "I don't think you have to do IT," is what she said. Basically she asked me why I felt like I couldn't just go out for a ride and have fun and get some exercise...maybe just ride 3-4 days per week without any kind of structure or need to complete a certain number of miles...just ride. I mean that's basically what she does running...she doesn't train all of the time for a half marathon, she just ramps up a couple months before an event...but otherwise just goes out to jog a few miles each day.

    It resonated and I started looking at my bike and thinking...I could go for a ride for 20 or 30 minutes and just enjoy myself...or just ride down to the corner store and back to pick up some milk...I don't need to grind out 30 miles today. I made peace with it and it got me back in the saddle...I don't do anywhere near what I used to, but that's ok...I do something and I'm enjoying myself again and without a rigid training protocol, I have time to do other things I enjoy like hiking or mountain biking or just playing in the pool or jumping on the trampoline with my kids or taking them to the skate park and shamelessly riding my little kick scooter at 47 years old while teenagers roll their eyes at me. Most of what I do these days is just active recreation. I do have a few events coming up, but I'm not doing anymore than 25 runners terms, about a 10K run. Very doable without doing anything in particular training wise as I'm on my bike regularly just riding.

    TL/DR...sometimes we just need to evaluate what we were doing and whether or not it works and is sustainable or if we need another plan that will keep us fit and healthy and active without the dread. What is good at one juncture in life isn't always good at another. Everything changes.

    This actually brought tears to my eyes. After century upon century (one every other weekend in the spring/summer one year) always aiming for sub 5 hours, and the time trial series Year after year, I just broke. It got so bad for a while that I literally could not ride my bike. I was paralyzed by fear, I won’t lift my second leg to put it on the pedals. I’ve gained a ton of weight and am just now getting back to where I can ride without tears. Now I’m riding with friends not racing them. I’m finding joy on the bike again after 5 years of trauma from over training. I will probably do another century, with friends, but I don’t need to be back where I was. That was my final step in regaining my joy.

    Thanks for sharing your story. We were friends back in the day I was Notfortyyet. Now I’m not50yet, lol.