Sometime over vacation a friend asked me – “What keeps you motivated?” I had to sit back and think about it for a bit. In the very beginning my motivation was a no brainer – my family. I knew that I had to get and stay healthy so that I can be here for them in the long term. I was also motivated by feeling good about myself. Today….I feel that my family and feeling good are still a huge part and focus for my motivation – but some other things have been added to the mix.
Currently, I think my biggest motivation is my absolute fear of failure. I am so terrified that I will regain that I have made it my mission not to. This puts some unnecessary pressure on myself – but I’ve always felt that I work best under pressure. I think that since I have failed so often in the past – when it comes to my weight – I am worried that I will lose my motivation and fall into bad habits. I’ve been working this plan for slightly over a year and I haven’t been bored or tempted to just stop. That being said – I do get worried that I will just wake up one morning and not want to be on my path anymore. Like – I won’t want to get out of bed at 430am to go for a morning run or take my dog for a long walk. I’m scared that I won’t want to work out after school or go for a run on the cross country trail. Food wise – I really haven’t felt like I am missing out on too much. I haven’t had pasta, fried food, or candy in over a year – and I am OK with that. That being said – just because I haven’t doesn’t mean I can’t. I am choosing not to and I’m OK with that choice. The reason I have chosen not to eat those things is because in the past I have had hard time with moderation. I’m not foolish enough to think that I will never eat those food again – that is just not realistic. What I know is that right now – I simply can’t. We all need to have a healthy fear of something – I think it gives me an edge. I enjoy that I don’t get overly tempted by food – part of this is because I’m typically prepared with things that I can eat. I also haven’t given up chocolate and allow myself to have it often which helps to make me feel like I am not depriving myself!
Although my fear of failure is the ultimate motivator for me, I look at before and after pictures and really do not want to go back there. Looking at myself before makes me realize how far I have come and appreciate the journey that I have been on. However – I do not want be that uncomfortable person ever again. She accomplished so much but was never truly felt good in her own skin. Seeing her makes me realize how really unhappy and unhealthy I was. Looking at more recent pictures of myself really makes feel good about myself. It helps me to power through the last couple minutes of my elliptical workout or finish that last set of hammer curls. Pictures are a really great motivator. I wish that I had taken some more extensive pictures right before my surgery and measurements – I did not get my measurements before!!
Recently, I have figured out that I really enjoy trying on clothes and figuring out what works and doesn’t work as an outfit. I will be the first to admit that I have A LOT of questions about it and often send many pictures and inquiries to my friends who seem to be able to put themselves together on a daily basis. So, I have realized that I am motivated by feeling good in my clothes and having options when it comes to clothes. In the past – going shopping was NOT fun. In fact, even though I have always liked to shop – shopping for clothes was at the bottom of my list. I liked shopping for things – bags, shoes, makeup, etc. It was difficult to find clothes that fit and were comfortable. Forget about buying jeans…that was my nightmare. I also didn’t like having to go to speciality shops because they are so expensive. Shopping for clothes made me sad and actually sometimes would set me off on the path of depression. I especially disliked shopping with friends that could buy clothes anywhere. It wasn’t their fault that they had options and I didn’t but it was uncomfortable to go into a store and the only thing there that would fit me are the flip flops, hats, and other accessories. I have always and still believe that clothes makers/companies/designers should make clothes for all body types – it’s only right. I’m not talking about anything special – just jeans and shirts for goodness sakes. The specialty shops for plus sized women are outrageously expensive. When I went through my clothes at the end of the summer to purge them – I was really caught off guard by how old some of my pieces were. I just figured that if it fit and worked – I need to hold on to it because it will be hard to find something new to replace it with.
Here are some recent pics of me in outfits that I really feel great in. I would not have been comfortable in any of these styles before. If fact – I rarely wore jeans or pants before. IF i was wearing pants – it is 100% likely that they were sweatpants.
That’s another thing that has been motivating me – getting rid of older clothes that are really too big. I really have enjoyed cleaning out my closet and dresser to make room for clothes that fit me. I have to admit that it was also TERRIFYING. Those bigger clothes were like a security blanket for me and parting with them was emotionally difficult. I kept thinking that I needed to hold on to a few pieces so that in case I gained weight, I would not have to be without something wear. Many of my family members and friends said not to worry about it – with their assurance, I did it – I got rid of them!! It was pretty darn liberating!!
Something that I’m totally motivated by – when it comes to clothing – is being able to wear vintage styles and retro dresses. I LOVE THEM!! I used to love to go antiquing and find my Pryrex treasures and check out all the dresses and coats in some of the stalls and antique shops. Now, I can try them on. Some women back then had really small figures…I certainly don’t fit into all of them – but I have a lot of fun trying them on. Lucky for me, my Aunt has a plethora of old dresses tucked away at her house. I could spend days trying and modeling them on – they are so fun. I love to wear them to work – the kids get a kick out of them. Plus, clothes were really high quality back them and they were made to last. Some of the dresses that I have added to my wardrobe are over 60 years old – they still look good!! I really like to wear them and add some modern accessories and just have fun with it. It is so nice to have options and it’s fun to try different things!! These are things that I have missed out on in the past.
Motivation is the key to my success. I am sure that there will be days that I won’t want to or God forbid – can’t get out of bed to workout – this does not mean that I failed. This means that I have try again and maybe harder the next day. Staying motivated has been easy for me thus far. I can only hope that I will continue to stay as motivated and keep working hard to maintain my goals and believing in myself.