Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Motivation that keeps me going

As a child, a teenager and in my early twenties I would day dream a lot about losing weight, being normal and feeling pretty but even though I wanted it so much it took a good 24 years before I got serious about it and even after that it took some time for me to say confidently that going to the gym or working out had become a good part of my life.
A question I'm asked very often is what motivated me and what kept me going? For me both these were two different things. My motivation to start and my motivation to keep going were not the same. I started because I wanted to lose weight but this was never enough for me. If losing weight was all I needed to get motivated I would have never reached my heaviest point. I could never follow through any plan. Every plan worked for a week and then back to unhealthy routine. I think what's more important to me even more than motivation is how to keep getting back on track till I change my track permanently. Here is a list of things that helped me:

Start every day:  Like I said I have made plans and not followed through but now every time I messed up I immediately made a new plan starting the next day, I did not wait for the next Monday or the 1st of the next month or a special occasion. My plan started from my next meal. So if I messed up my lunch my new plan started from eating right for dinner and working out in the evening and in my new plan I also had points of why I messed up the last plan this way every plan was an improved version of the previous plan also helped me figure out what works best for me.
Every mistake = new improved plan (includes points of why I messed up) = new way for me to get to my dream

Only 15 minutes: Sometimes even plan was not enough to get me moving to the gym:  I would promise myself only 15 minutes in the gym. Once I woulld get to the gym I never left without completing my workout.  So if I had a workout planned the deal I made with myself was 15 minutes not more,If I do 15 minutes I could tick it off my to-do list and trust me it works. 
15 minutes workout = completing my entire workout. 

Working out with healthier friends: I would try to make plans of going to the gym with friends healthier than me this always helped me because they are more serious so none of my excuses would work, either they would go leaving me behind or they would drag me along, how many times can you stay behind without feeling guilty?
Finding healthier fitness buddy = somebody who is already serious and won’t get pulled down with my excuses instead will help me stay on track

Making outdoor plans: Another thing that always pushed me to get healthier was plans with my friends that included outdoor fun, I did not always want to be the one who had an excuse to not go cycling or hiking. I remember one time I went with my office colleagues for a trek (I was terribly unhealthy and overweight) by the time I reached the top everybody was ready to trek back that was so embarrassing, they were sweet waited till I was ready to get back but I was embarrassed. I never again wanted to go through that experience.
Day out with friends = cycling/hiking = getting more stamina = working out and getting fit

Bad memories:  I have always had a strong family support and good friends but I do have a few bad memories where people have been very rude to me because I was overweight, I have had a friend tell me on my face she never ever wanted to become like me because that would ruin her life (now if I just go and stand next to her she would be beating herself up...karma!!!). I just smiled while other friends supported me but even now when I think about it I get angry and it makes me want to become healthier and stronger. I think this pushes me more than the motivation of losing weight to look pretty
Bad memories = stronger push in the right direction

Realising I could also be good: I was never into athletics or sports so when I started exercising I was not really good, but soon I realised I was good at certain things, I was very flexible for my size (people were actually surprised) and that made me happy. Slowly I became a part of my healthier friend circle, they would ask me if I was going to the gym, they would work out with me, I was not as good as them but just being included made me want to become better and it gave me confidence that I could become healthier.
Confidence in my ability = motivation to become better

Now a days my workouts and gym have become a part of my life and the reason I keep going back is just to become better, stronger and fitter. Everything I mentioned above helped me get to this point. Hope you find these useful, what helps you to keep going?
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  1. Hi Tanvee! The Bad Memories section up there is precious! Oh boy, the mean things people say.

    I'm sort of motivated by the fact that if I do my simple formula of exercise, food journaling, attending weight loss meetings, and counting calories, it actually works.

    1. Hi Marion, I'm actually thankful I have had only a few of those bad memories but they still get me worked up...these days I know what works for me but initially even when I knew what was the right thing to do I would find it very difficult to stick to it. I think all the reasons I mentioned in the blog helped me reach a stage where I don't really need a reason to go to the gym..I just go and healthy lifestyle is a top priority now..

  2. Nice blog. Loved it. Its like every ones story at the beginning but ur end was different. U will have bad people always. Just ignore them. Loved ur profile. I hope I will get some inspiration from your blogs definitely. Your writing is simple and good.

  3. You have a great attitude and this post really shows how deliberate you are with your health and what has worked for you. Awesome!

  4. Good read!