How to you keep up motivation?

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#1 Chiagirl on 2 years ago

I am plus sized. I want to be skinny so I can feel pretty and be healthy and cosplay all the tummy baring characters that I wouldn't touch with a 10 foot pole at my current weight. The problem is that as much as I want this, I always end up quitting because "it's too much effort" and I never see results fast enough. If I could do a 15 minute workout then immediately after step on the scale and see I'd lost 2 pounds it might be easier...but obviously it doesn't work like that. It would take at least a week to lose that weight safely. And as much as I want to be skinny, I have a tendency to want to be lazy / avoid expending effort even more. And I don't know how to get over it because "just stop being lazy then" is not nearly as easy as it sounds. Why should I give up food that I love and 30 minutes a day doing exercises I hate to maybe lose 5 pounds at the end of the month if I'm lucky, when I could spend that time doing something fun that rewards me immediately such as videogames, reading, or movies whilst still being able to enjoy all the food I want? In terms of effort vs reward vs turnaround time to actually get it, trying to get in shape pretty much always loses because it will take me literal years to be able to get to a healthy weight, whereas its much easier to do something fun that only takes about an hour and avoids all that effort entirely.

I have tried joining online communities supportive to weight loss in the past, but they have never worked out. There are always super overachievers that unintentionally make you feel bad because you haven't lost nearly as much weight as them. If you end up skipping on a workout or slip up on your diet you end up not wanting to report back at all because you're afraid to admit it. And inevitably there are always a few people in the group that never lose weight because they aren't actually trying (too lazy like me, etc.) so it makes you wonder why you should bother to try when they aren't. My home environment isn't exactly supportive of this either, ie if you don't take seconds you're insulting the cook because you're basically saying you didn't like their cooking. My dad's whole side of the family is overweight, so trying to lose weight gets you snubbed there for trying to be better than them. And my work schedule doesn't leave me a lot of free time for workouts to start with, so to fit them in I have to take it out of the few moments of leisure time I get, which is pretty soul crushing when you aren't able to do anything fun all day because you need to get your exercise in.

I just don't know how to make myself feel motivated enough to actually plow through with it. "I want to be fit/healthy/pretty" isn't enough. As children we grew up rewarded/bribed to do things; ie if you did your chores you got an allowance, if you did good on a test you'd get more, if you brought home a good report card you got the equivalent of a birthday present. I've tried thinking of ways to reward/bribe myself but it's tricky. My usual go to for that is food (ex a milkshake, cake, etc.) but as that's counterproductive to what I'm trying to achieve here that's obviously out. Money is always a good motivator, but nobody is going to pay me to lose weight, so that's not really feasible. The only other alternative I can think of is to treat myself to things (games, clothes, etc.) for losing weight, but videogames to make me a couch potato is kind of counterproductive to this as well, and if I lose the weight I want to I'm hoping to go down quite a few sizes clothing wise, so I'd be treating myself to stuff that would no longer fit. I don't want to set the bar too high (ex you don't get rewarded until you lose 50 lbs) because then I'll get discouraged and give up, but if I set it too low (ex lost 1lb) then it could be too easy to gain it back and I get stuck not really losing anything but making myself broke regardless.

I'm not really sure what to do, any advice would be appreciated.

#2 my_dark on 2 years ago

There's an awesome article on Nerd Fitness on motivation here:

Motivation is awesome. But it comes and goes. It's more helpful to create habits and discipline to keep you on track. No motivation? Do it anyways. No time? Find or make the time. It's not a popular view but it works.

It sucks you don't have the support of your family. As a result, you may have to tread carefully. Unfortunately, people feel they are being judged by those who make positive changes. This isn't your fault. But you may have to prioritize your health above what others think. Although definitely try to explain why you're making these changes and why it's important to you.

It's a good idea to consult a medical professional before embarking on a new fitness program. If you have any health issues or injuries they can work around them. Make small changes at first. Go for walks, replace unhealthy treats with healthy ones, drink more water, get enough sleep, manage your stress levels, adjust your calorie intake if necessary.

You can do 15-20 minute bodyweight workouts (they're free and you don't need any equipment). Find an activity you love. Yoga, swimming, sports, pilates, ballroom dance, strength training, walking, cycling, etc. Ignore the haters. If you fall down, get up and keep going. It's worth it. Focus on how your body feels too rather than just a number on the scale. And don't give up!

Good luck :)

#3 EXEC_HYMME_MACARON on 2 years ago

I largely agree with motivation is useless sentiment. Ever hear the phrase "diets are useless"? Lifestyle changes are what works best. That said though.. a bit of motivation is good when your working on things becoming a habit.

The following is just my personal experience, so it may not apply to you.

Food: My advice..? Don't right out deny yourself anything. Instead look for healthier alternatives and pay attention to serving sizes. There are a lot of apps out there nowadays that let you keep track of calories and such. Like popcorn? Try popping it yourself and adding spice blends instead of loads of salt and butter. Like ice cream? They're coming out with more and more brands that are 150 calories for an entire pint. Alternatively, freeze some bananas and run them through a food processor, you'll essentially get banana soft serve ice cream. The alternatives things is especially useful if you have something that you can't live without. For example, for me that would be sweet coffee drinks. But y'know what? Instead of getting a venti caramel frappucinno for 510 calories, I can get a tall caramel macchiato with 2% for 190 calories. Which granted, 190 is pretty hefty for a drink. But you know what? It makes me happy. And as long as I'm not drinking 3 or 4 of them a day, I can work it .

Of course, I'm not saying "Go ahead and eat all the junk food you want, so long as you pay attention to your caloric intake" There should be things that you work on cutting out. I no longer drink soda, at all. So despite my starbucks a few times a week, my beverages consist of water and unsweetened tea.

Another thing that can help is cooking! Food should be fun, it should be enjoyable. There are countless healthy recipes that are tasty, colorful and enjoyable. Like.. you don't have to live off of kale and boiled chicken breast. If your family will let you cook dinner, offer to do it more. Buy cookbooks, read recipes online, practice, experiment.

Also I personally find bento boxes a great way for portion control. Plus they're fun and cute.

Point is, make healthy eating something that you enjoy. A lot of people use "cheat days" and that may work best for you. But for me, making daily changes and looking for alternatives to my indulgences works better.

Okay so for exercise find something that you enjoy or find a way to make it enjoyable. I still play pokemon go as an 'excuse' to walk (hatching eggs is a great motivator for me!) Don't want to walk and would rather stay in and watch anime? Find exercises that you can do while watching an episode.
Like My Dark said, find an activity that you love. Better yet, find multiple activities that you love.

#4 Kingin on 2 years ago

For me I listen to YouTube motivations. I hate running and barely went to the gym. Also I found that I loved doing martial arts! So I've been keeping that up and my biggest motivation is to fight this year. Find a goal and keep your mind on it. Fake love your workouts till you love it. Have fake confidence till you get it.
They say motivation is useless. Yes by itself it is but through actions it'll be your biggest savior.

#5 Primevalivy on 1 year ago

There’s really two ways to go about
Motivation, just willpower through until it is a habit or find things that you like to do.

I’m in the process of (hopefully) losing a huge amount of weight (so far I’ve lost about a fourth of what I hope to) and for me I stared counting calories and macros but not cutting anything out. I had ice cream for dinner last night but it was in my counts so it fit my diet. This has worked for me well since I don’t feel deprived at all. I also hate cardio of basically all kinds but found that I can easily lift weights several times a week without feeling too mad about it.

The big take aways are build a routine, find a diet plan and exercise that works for you, and remember it’s possible to lose a lot of weight without ever exercising it will just be slower. I hope you need your goals.

#6 walkerofdarknes on 1 year ago

Everyone's got some good advice, and I'll add in a little more.

First off, I can understand about the family and food. When the monthly family meeting happens there are usually 12 of us. We bring together enough food for 30. And there aren't that many leftovers either. What I would suggest is you try to control your portions where possible. That way, if you have 2 smaller portions, you still get the requisite seconds they expect and the lower calories you want. If anyone asks why you don't take more, just say "I'm not feeling really hungry, but the food was still good/great". Only a really ugly sort of person would refuse a compliment even if you don't eat as much.

Next, I'd focus on trimming what you can from your diet. You said you wanted a milkshake or ice cream...that's not bad. You can certainly make a shake with skim milk, or get the low-cal/no-fat ice cream and it's not that bad. Drinking more water is always good, and helps you to curb your appetite some. You can even get the water flavorings that don't add many calories for variety. Add in more salads, focus a bit on veggies and meat while cutting the carbs. OR at least going for more simple carbs (rice is usually my go-to carb).

Finding an exercise routine that works for your goals and your lifestyle is important. From what I'm reading here, I'm not sure you have found it yet. My job has me working in a warehouse, doing a lot of lifting and climbing. As a result, I get a ton of cardio exercise each day I'm there, but not so much lifting that I'm "muscular". So I added in an exercise routine that helps to compliment my work: I fight invisible ninjas. No, really. I have 2 closet rods, one that I milled down into a pair of "swords" and a full length one, then I secured weights to them (the paired one weighs almost 30 pounds each, the full length is 100 pounds) and then I spend time outside running a fight in my head while my body reacts to the action. You do that for 30 minutes at full speed and it's also a helluva workout. Am I a trained martial arts guy? Absolutely not, and as one neighbor who is points out, my form is sloppy at times. Has it worked to help me cut down some of my weight? Yeah. Sometimes when I'm watching a TV show, I do one a couple of sets of other exercises (if you search for "how to train like Batman" you'll find a bunch of different options, go with the one that feels the best to your goals).

But how do you keep up your motivation? That's a hard one. Me, I've seen several of my family members who seem to be eating their way to death and I said "It's not going to be me". Pick one cosplay you want to wear, put a picture of it on your phone, a picture of it on your door, a picture of it on your nightstand. EVERY DAY when you get up, get dressed, go to sleep; remind yourself, "That's going to be ME and I want to bring my best for it". Focus on the costume. It won't be easy at the start, but it will get easier as you get your routine set. That's the biggest issue in any exercise program/diet. To quote science on this one "An object at rest stays at rest until acted upon by an outside force (with sufficient energy to overcome its inertia)". YOU are the object at rest, so now you just have to keep applying that outside force to overcome your own inertia. Sorry for the science, but it's how I roll.