Tuesday, February 5, 2013

How Do You Stay Motivated?

How do I stay motivated? It’s one of my most frequently asked questions, and it’s not one that has a simple answer. One of my favorite weight loss blogging gal pals, Kate at the Widgeon Nest, suggested I do a post on staying motivated. My first thought was, sheesh where to start? I wish I could give a cut and dry answer, a set by step process like how to sew a scarf in five steps or less.

Motivation comes in waves, and over time, as I've gotten stronger and smaller, the waves have only gotten bigger.  I've always been a goal oriented person. I need a deadline. I need a deadline to get the most productivity from myself. I operate this way in all aspects of my life, not just weight loss and fitness. I know, I know, goal oriented people can be majorly a tad annoying (just ask my husband) but that’s the OCD in me. I need a deadline. I need a goal. I need a schedule. I need structure. This is how I stay motivated.

When I first started my journey, I had a destination in mind. My wedding day. I made a promise to myself to shed as much weight as physically possible before that day. Weddings in general are massive weight loss motivators. It’s something about pictures that will last forevvveeerrr that can bring out the crazy in any lady. I lost 35 pounds in the six months leading up to my wedding. I can remember eating one can of dry tuna for dinner during that time. Yeah, it got that crazy, and it wasn't maintainable. After my wedding, I gained back 13 pounds while working out and ehhh sometimes eating right.

At the beginning of 2012, I focused on our summer vacation. I enrolled in personal training and wriggled back out of those 13 pounds I'd gained. I must admit, it was much harder that go around, but I wanted to capitalize on the momentum I had going for myself. During that time, I lost 20 pounds.  After  the vacation, I stuttered a little bit. It took me a week or so to uncover my motivation, to realize why I was stalling.  I no longer had a goal, a destination.

Thus my challenges were born. 14 days without cheating, competing against myself at the gym, Shakeology cleanses, no carb days, and now operation red bikni! When I have a goal to focus my energy into- like a 10k race and now a half marathon, I will be successful. This girl enjoys rising to a challenge. Short concise challenges keep me motivated and focused on the bigger picture without feeling overwhelmed by that picture.

As time has gone on, these habits have become, what I do, part of who I am, an essential aspect of my daily routine. When I work out and eat right, I feel unstoppable  Getting in my daily work outs is a much a priority for me as brushing my teeth in the morning. It’s essential to my health and happiness. When I work out, I’m happy. I feel good about myself and it spills over into all other aspects of my life. It’s no longer about shedding a few pounds, or fitting into a certain size. It’s about pushing myself to the biggest goal I can imagine, becoming the very BEST version of me. I’m not exactly sure what she looks like just yet, but I know without a doubt I am well on my way. Life is short, and I don’t want to look back in ten or twenty years with shoulda woulda couldas. I want to live my best life, why should we ever settle for anything less?

In extreme randomness, the Men's Warehouse tag line always pops into my head when someone asks me about staying motivating, "You're gonna like the way you look. I guarantee it" At the base level, that's why we all get going right? We want to like the way we look, and there ain't a thang wrong with that!

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Daily Motivator


  1. Girlfriend you worte this out perfectly!!!!! I get that question often, and now I will just refer them to this post! YOU ARE AWESOME!!! :) Happy Tuesday Show Stoppa xoxoxo

  2. I love this so much. I agree with all of this for sure...one of my biggest motivations is a picture of myself at 250 lbs. A picture that makes me cringe, but makes me realize how far I've come. That keeps me going, even on the toughest days!!! We can do this!

  3. HAHA! Love the Men's Wearhouse quote!

    1. I am so going to replay Men's Warehouse tagline in my head when I am struggling through a workout or food craving! It'll keep me powering through, as well as make me laugh. So glad you brought that up!
      I also love the idea or short challenges. Anything longer than a week or two is so intimidating.

  4. Oh my goodness. You took the words right out of my mouth. I am OCD as well. Thus I love plans, deadlines, goals, etc. I have to have something to look forward to. I crave being able to measure success.
    Right now I am in two weightloss contests. One is with a weight loss supplement company I work for and the other is at the hospital I work at. I am heading up the one at the hospital. I'm hoping, as you mentioned, that I will begin to view workingout and eating right as daily living once these contests are over. Goodluck to you, gorgeous girl! I hope you reach your ORB goal!

  5. So THAT'S why you post weekly goals! I should really start doing that--I'm totally a deadline-driven person, too. I do it at work, why shouldn't I do it for weight loss? I want this to become second nature for me, too. Because you are a ROCK, Leigh Ann!

  6. Great post! I lived on salads and sushi three month before my wedding! Glad to know we all get a little crazy :)

  7. That was a great post, and hopefully it will motivating for all of us as well! I know it will at least motivate me during zumba tonight!!

  8. One of my motivations: You! And your blog. I'm considering doing an initial weight loss post on my blog (which is currently a marriage/newlywed/lifestyle blog) as a way to motivate myself and keep myself accountable because I know people are reading about it! Maybe that will be my motivation.


  9. Great post girl. To true challenges kept me going. Otherwise we're in no-mans land wondering around aimlessly right?!? You're a rockstar

  10. I definitely agree that motivation comes in waves for me. Slow and steady wins the race overall though. Sometimes there are setbacks but the important thing is to move forward!

    Love this post.

  11. Great Post. I am so guilty of doing good 3-4 days and then totally falling off the grid. I liked the idea of breaking into small challenges, that way it's not some huge goal... a bunch of little goals I can do and feels more manageable.

  12. This was such a good post and I 110% agree with you about needing a goal or a challenge - it can get hard to look at the big picture when there are sooo many healthy vs. unhealthy choices to make each day. But picturing the big goal can help big time!

  13. Yes, yes, yes! Well said! One thing I know for sure is that motivation really does come in waves for me. Sometimes I feel unstoppable! And other times I think I just can't get through the day without bingeing on a big fat pizza! What the heck causes that sudden change? I don't know. But I do know that I much prefer when I'm riding the wave of motivation! Makes things much easier!

    Also, on this quote: "Life is short, and I don’t want to look back in ten or twenty years with shoulda woulda couldas. I want to live my best life, why should we ever settle for anything less?"

    You are exactly right! Coming from a mama that was almost 40 years old before I figured it out, you're doing it right! Right now is the best time to do it right. WTG! :)

  14. Without motivation you can't procede with success, thus keep being inspired is rather important. That's why, I want to share here these tips: 15 Rules of Motivation.