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Motivating Factors
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Motivating Factors

I have to thank you all so much.  Since I started blogging about my weight loss journey last February, you have been so supportive.  I have received countless emails, and each one encouraged me to keep on "keeping on".   The months went by, and my regimen remained pretty strict.  I saw many pounds go away, and I was very happy with my progress. 

In early fall, I hit another plateau, and remained there for several weeks.  I became frustrated and depressed, and equally stressed out with my last semester of school work, the death of my grandmother, vacation, and the start of the holiday season. I ate, and slacked off in my regimen because of these factors.

Needless to say, I have not been as good as I once was… and I have seen the effects of this on my body, mind, and spirit.  Without the exercise, it is easy for me to lapse into bouts of depression and anxiety.  

I made it to the gym once last week.  I have not been this week.  And my diet?  Well, I have been eating some Christmas candies… and my portion sizes are a little larger than they were previously.

I have gained a few pounds - about 3 or 4 - throughout these few months.  I know that I can lose weight:  I have lost 58 pounds since February.  So, the discipline and resolve are there, just buried a little under the surface right now.  I need to lose more, and I want to lose more.  I need to psych myself up for it.  I need to immerse myself in it like I did in previous months.  That worked very well for me then, and I know it will work again.

Like many people, I am setting my sights on the new year to reinvigorate my weight loss regimen.  My motivation needs to build momentum.  If I start thinking and planning it now, I will be ready to go in January, and make that progress. 

Some things I am doing now to motivate myself:

For months, I relied on the measuring tape to tell me more truth than the scale.

Measuring Tape Closeup

I measured my arms' circumference, my thigh circumference, as well as the regulars: bust, waist, and hips. I was able to see real progress from these numbers; even when the scale did not budge, I lost inches. However, as I have "slacked off" in recent months, I have not measured myself.

Measuring myself gave me hope when the scale did not.  I saw that things were still happening to respond to the cardiovascular exercises, as well as the resistance training that I was so diligently doing.  The biggest difference for the measurements, in my opinion, was the resistance training: the toning of the weights make smaller measurements.  I can see the effects of not using the weights - specifically in my mid-section.  With the new year, I will pull out the measuring tape again, and start anew.  I will work hard to think about the positive – making new changes – instead of thinking about how I have gained in places that used to be smaller.

I kept a small notebook next to my scale, along with a simple tailor's tape measure.  I measured myself every other Monday, usually twice a month.  I even kept a copy of this log on my computer in a spreadsheet so I could visually map my progress.  The change of the numbers really motivated me.

Similarly, after I purchased my heart rate monitor, I was able to measure other things, like the amount of calories burned in a workout session, or approximately how many of these calories were from fat.  It is a fascinating tool, and a real motivator for me. (I blogged about it here) The monitor itself plots your progress in a graph format on the watch display, and you can save your numbers to a computer program, if you have the proper equipment to link it to your computer. Polar F6 Heart Rate Monitor Watch (Black Coal)

Motivation also comes from great articles, books, and columns. My #1 inspirational/motivational read is Experience Life magazine. The magazine is holistic in its approach – never showing 16-year old models with string bikinis, rather showing healthy people of all ages, and profiling people in the fields of health, fitness, and wellness. The magazine truly respects the link of body, mind, and spirit. They employ intelligent writers and nutritionists, and share success stories, and tips for day-to-day living. They have many of their articles archived on their website and they are available for free. One of my favorites was included in the October issue: "Weight Loss Rules to Rethink". I love this magazine, and look forward to its arrival in my mail box every month.  It is entirely worth the price of subscription.

Experience Life

I also find motivation in hearing about other people's success.  I see specials on the television, and I read them in magazines.  It is also wonderful to see blogs with health/fitness information featured.  When I begin part II of my regimen - a few short days away! – I plan to log my progress, and keep it on my (now outdated) weight loss page, a subset of this blog.  My primary reason for making this information available is to motivate ME to do more and be more; and secondarily to inspire others to make positive changes in their own lives. 

Where do you get your motivation?  Does it come from reading other people's success stories?  Does it come from reading a magazine or a book?  buying new things? 

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49 Responses

  1. beth

    My motivation may well come from YOU this year! I saw you at Stitches East- gawked at how gorgeous you looked and was too shy to come over to say hello. you probably thought i was stalking you! but you look GREAT- and I find your blog inspiring for both the knitting and weight loss. i need to START – i have 60 pounds I need to lose, but my father’s death and break up with long time BF has left me filling myself with FOOD. wrong! I will be looking to your blog for insiration. I like the tape measure idea. I always live by the scale with can be so UN motivating.
    Have a great holiday!

  2. carrie

    Congratulations on the weight loss to date – that’s quite an impressive number! I only recently started reading your blog, so I didn’t know. I know that I am not very motivated when it comes to exercising. Luckily I am blessed with a high metabolism and “good” genes (please please please don’t hate me! It is a gift and I feel so lucky!) But I do try to exercise to stay healthy and also to eat well. It isn’t always easy, but when I am on the wagon I definately feel better and have more energy. So maybe that should be reason enough to want to do it! Good luck, keep on keeping on, and I know you’ll perservere!

  3. scout

    Honestly? I’m motivated by food. I know I love to eat and therefore I work my ass off so I can EAT. I also am motivated by playing competitive soccer too. Having to run around for an hour and a half makes you want to be in good shape!! Not very helpful I know!

  4. Susan

    My motivation to run comes from my daughter. I read an article once that talked about the positive effects and active and healthy mother can have on not only her daughter’s behavior but her body image as well. I took this to heart and ran a 5k last month with another one planned on Jan. 1. I’ve continued to run in spite of an injury an a lot of PT. (I’m sick of the whole thing.) All I need some days is to hear my baby yell, “Run Mommy, run!” and I’m out the door.

  5. julieanne

    Congrats on the weight loss! I’m doing weight watchers, and I really am motivated by the stickers they give. I got a keychain when I made my 10% goal, and a charm for making it through 16 weeks on the program. I’m also motivated by the fact that I’m paying money to weigh in and such, and that once I hit goal it’ll be free. =) I also lost weight my first week on the program, so it felt like instant results. I also enjoy shopping now, because I can buy smaller sizes and cuter clothes. I tend to be huge on the positive reinforcement, so I like to buy some yarn for every 5 pounds I lose. That takes about 2 months, so it doesn’t kill my budget to buy a skein of sock yarn. I’m going to get my 20 pound sticker today. I think the feeling I have (being proud of myself and such) is also a huge motivation. I’m not embarrassed to be in pictures anymore! Anyway, this ended up longer than I planned, but good luck! Keep working at it. You can do it!

  6. Laura

    I’ve never heard of that magazine, I’ll have to check it out. I am motivated by my own results. Does that make any sense? When I feel better or have more energy, I’m inspired to keep going. When I can finally fit in or feel comfortable in those jeans, I want to then fit in those OTHER jeans. I get discouraged without some little results. So that’s cool to read about your tape measure, because I’m more about the all-over feeling than just pounds lost, too. Good luck next year!

  7. kaet

    hang in there honey! this time of year (i call fondly the candy season from halloween through easter!) is hard for EVERYONE. even celebs with chefs, trainers, nutritionists and yogis feel it now. enjoy yourself, be good to yourself and get back on track when it is right for you. it is helpful to remember that starting exercise is the hardest, but once you get it moving you feel better, use that as motivation to at least go for a walk when things get crazy. you must feel so good when you are done!
    only you know what is right for you…but this is not the time to get down on yourself…eat drink workout and be merry!
    good luck!

  8. Skylar

    Motivation? Quite honestly, I don’t have much lately. Like you, a few major life things seemed to creep up on me and the first thing to dwindle was the exercise routine. I haven’t had a proper week’s worth of exercise in a couple of months and I can definitely tell in my attitude, motivation and spirit. But I am quite motivated by knowing that I am not the only one out there (like you). I would say another source of motivation for me right now is personal growth. I am slowly easing into the idea that I do not have to be perfect to be loved or “worth it.” As I continue to reinforce that life is a journey, I am constantly reminded that it will always have hills and valleys and that’s all part of the fun. Keep up the great work and I will be right here with you in 2007, cracking the whip once again!

  9. gray la gran

    i get my motivation and inspiration from a variety of friends and family. i’ve had a tough year, and am slowly climbing back up. i look forward to new years day … enjoying the traditions of black eyed peas and collard greens, and then … i’m going to kick myself in the ass and set some goals!

  10. Sheryl

    Currently my motivation is coming from two things: a knitting trip to France in September, and a milestone birthday that is a year off. During my father’s illness and death last year I gave in to bad habits and gained back all the weight had lost and more. As 50 looms in my future I want to stride confidently into that decade strong, healthy and fit. I can honestly say I have never been physically fit. Even when I have been thinner, I have never been truly fit. I will join a fitness club in January and return to the eating habits that I know are good for me. Thanks for your inspiration and the magazine tip. I have never heard of that one and will definitely check it out.

  11. beth

    You go! I must say that you have helped motivate me into working out. I did really well back in march & april but totally slacked until october when I saw your weight loss log. I realized that I, too, could find time to exercise, if I wanted to. Probably my biggest motivator recently was a family trip to Disney World. I knew I’d have to be walking A LOT every day so I wanted to make sure I’d be able to do it! Keep up the good work; seeing your progress is also an inspiration!

  12. Pensguys

    Hi! I’ve been reading your knitting blog, but didn’t know that you have had such tremendous success with your weight loss this year!

    I have lost 34.5 lbs (maybe more…we’ll know on Tues) and am doing the Weight Watcher’s Core Plan. I too love reading success stories of others.

    I’ve had to come to terms with motivation or lack thereof. Sometimes, I just have to act my way into following my plan. I’ve had to make a mental change and changes from inside so that this is the way it is for life for me. I was diagnosed with Insulin Resistance (pre-diabetes), so I know that this way of eat, way of exercise, way of thinking, is just IT for me for life. I don’t want to die at the age of 52 (like my dad) of a heart attack caused by diabetes and heart disease and all those things. THIS is my lifestyle now. I let nothing get in the way. If I have emotional, stressful situations come up, I’ve learned to find other ways that eating to deal with those. That has been the most MAJOR of the emotional/mental changes I’ve made. Do I ever eat candy? Yes, but very rarely…and then I’m right back on track with eating for a lifestyle of healthiness.

    Keep up the good work that you’re doing. I look forward to seeing good reports on your blog.

  13. Alyssa

    I totally understand. I had recommitted myself to healthy eating and exercising a few months ago. I was doing great until Thanksgiving and since then I’m just slacking. I too have kept a measurement log. I agree it is really the best indicator.

    I motivate myself with tangible rewards like new clothes or a new bag. I’m going to reapply myself after the holidays. I’ve meant to email you before to let you know that I find you to be a real inspiration! It’s always nice to know you are not alone.

    I’m thinking my new motivation will be to start a running program and if I stick to it, I can get that new nano ipod running kit. :)

    I wish you good luck and very happy holidays!

  14. Beth

    Beth #3 here ;-)
    Congrats to you Lolly! 58 pounds is no small feat. That is so awesome. The last few pounds are always the hardest and this time of year is especially challenging. Allowing yourself some Christmas candy indulgences is ok. We don’t want to deprive ourselves and then end up eating more of something else to make up for it. At least you exercise, which is more than I can say for myself. Maybe now the exercise will help you enjoy the holiday time and then everything will get back on track come the new year. I’m a relapsed WW life member and will probably go back in the new year. I’ve had a stressful fall at work and knew I was using food to cope. No more. Like someone else already said, paying for a weigh-in is what keeps me accountable. And silly as this sounds, I found watching The Big Loser to be motivating. Those contestants conquered huge hurdles. Thanks for the magazine recommendation. I’m definitely going to check it out. Good luck and I’ll be watching the blog for updates and motivation. Maybe we can all help each other.

  15. Adelle

    Well, you just gave me a lot of motivation!!! I traveled pretty much all of last month, and trying to stay on your diet and get your exercising in is just not easy. Reading this reminding me why I need to get back out there (I have lost 33.5 and gained about 3 of it back).

    Other things that motivate me – Other people. I make sure I have a great network of people who get me going. The other thing – before photos. That REALLY makes me want to keep going and never get to that point again.

    Hang in there!!! You’ve done amazing!

  16. MJ

    I was thinking about how far you’ve come in your plan while looking through your most recent set of pictures. It’s natural to hit a plateau with anything, and I have to say that losing those 50+ pounds is an *amazing* accomplishment for only 9-10 months, Lolly. The holidays and winter will do some damage, naturally. Just remember that everything is fine *in moderation*. Fall off the wagon only once a week, and make it count. Keep old photos of yourself in your wallet (to remind you how far you’ve come), and have some fruit, bars, juice and water in your bag always.

    You are an inspiration to *me* for your determination and your openness!

  17. Audrey

    I have to first thank you for your honesty and self awareness. It was such a treat to read your post and see you mention things that I also experience – it makes such a difference to know that other people you admire have similar challenges.

    Right now my motivation has several components, the strongest being my new daughter. I have struggled with my weight all my life, and I know the pain that can cause. I am determined to live a healthier lifestyle so that we can give her any advantage over the possibility that we have passed on the ‘chunky’ genes. I gave birth (c-section) less than 2 weeks ago, and an immediate motivation is the desire to lose the pregnancy weight and end up at a lower number than when I started. I’m not sure how I’m going to go about doing that yet, but one of the things on the horizon is a mommy-and-me fitness after delivery class which starts in mid January. I’d like to rejoin the gym that I used to be a member of. The spinning classes always pumped me up, and the yoga classes left me more centered.

    Enough about me. You’re amazing – good on you for the 60ish pounds gone. I’ve seen your pictures and I think you look stunning. Congratulations on renewing your commitment. There are many of us out here who are supporting you over the ether.

  18. Kathryn

    I was so inspired by your weight loss, that I checked out some of the links you said you found useful and I’ve lost the baby weight, finally that I put on with my first pregnancy. We all have our low points, and I ‘m sure that, in the new year, you’ll find the inspiration you need to keep going with your new lifestyle. Good luck Lolly, I love reading your blog, mostly for the knitting.

    KJ

  19. maryse

    clearly motivation has been a problem for me. i lost only 13 lbs last year and yet managed to gain 10 back since september. i’m not entirely sure what i should do because my problem is not one of not knowing what to do, but rather controlling urges that i can’t seem to control. anyway…

    i wish you strength in getting back on the wagon. you are indeed an inspiration.

  20. Carey

    You have come so far this past year, in terms of losing weight and gaining a new look! Everyone who has lost a significant amount of weight have had “waystations” along the way. As you know, weight loss is a journey, and you have come so far! Please remind yourself that real life will throw kinks in the way, despite your best intentions. You’ll get there – we’re all rooting for you!

  21. hpny knits

    you go girl! I have also slacked off lately. what motivates me is to have energy and strength to play with my son (4.5).
    how about using the heart monitor when you knit? really curious to know.

  22. Sarah

    You are to be commended in your great work. It took me about 2 1/2 years to shed the amount of excess fat that you have. I have found many sources of motivation. First, it was when the weather changed and I could not fit into anything but one pair of sweat pants and did not have the money nor self esteem to purchase a new wardrobe. I watched television programs showcasing the changes people have made through nutrition and fitness and gain motivation and new ideas and information. Discovery Health is about to launch their National Body Challenge again for 2007. Each year I participate and learn more. Then there are the many health issues. There are health problems I want to avoid and have watched others suffer through. There are health issues I have that are helped through improved nutrition and exercise. Realizing the benefits of the changes motivates me to keep with them. Being a good example for others in my life is a new motivator for me. They have watched my long, slow journey, see the results, and some are now making changes of their own. I also made a decision that this is the way that I will live my life. I work to keep the idea that working out is a choice. It is just one of those things that I will do because it needs to be done. I would no sooner give it up than I would bathing or brushing my teeth. There is much in life that I don’t want to do such as laundry, dishes, cleaning, and exercising, but they need to be done, and I will do them. Some days I get behind, but that doesn’t mean I’m about to give them up for life, because that is not how I am going to live.

  23. MarlyKnits

    Lately, I have been motivated by seeing the lives change of the contestants on the Biggest Loser. I know that I could totally be one of those people. Talk about depressing, I see them weight in on the first day and put up numbers close if not exactly what I weigh. That is so disturbing to me.

    I used to be a collegate athlete, I used to lift weights and work out everyday for three if not five hours a day. Now, I do nothing…really…until I joined the gym with my husband about a month ago I had done nothing in five years. I tell people I took time off to have three kids but really, I was just SICK of working out. I felt like I had worked out everyday of my life for 13 years and I needed a break. Well, my break is OVER!

    I see these “common” people able to stick to a diet, work out whenever possible and I see them happy. That is all I want…to be happy with myself. I don’t want to be the Fat friend anymore. I don’t want to just be known for having the pretty face. I want to be HOT. You know what I mean.

    Of course I know that working out and knitting on the treadmil is not going to get me the results that I want. But, it is a start. I am atleast off my ARSE doing something. As soon as the Christmas Knitting is done I am going for it at the Gym.

    Another thing…I am not waiting until Jan.1. I am starting ASAP! The way I have to think about it is that from now to Jan. 1 I have approx. two weeks to lose maybe 5 lbs. Why would I wait to do that?

    Congrats on the 56 lbs so far. That is really great. I know how difficult that is.

    Hey, if you want some support I am totally willing to be here for you and you can be here for me. Obviously you have a head start on me but I am willing to be an accountablity partner to you. Sure, you don’t know who I am but I can promise you that I am Cool ;-) At least that is what my friends tell me.

    Let me know what you think.

    MarlyKnits
    http://www.knitthing.blogspot.com

  24. Barb

    58 lbs? How awesome. The holidays are hard to handle. For me it’s that first chocolate holiday, Halloween, til the last-Easter. Good luck to you and thanks for all your motivation, bright colors and creativity:)

  25. Kelly

    Lolly, you are an inspiration. But you prolly know that!

    I have lost all of 152lbs since I left university a couple of years ago. My main motivation was the desire to be healthier and happier. It’s not been easy, I’ve plateaued a lot and sometimes I find myself generally frustrated with the whole thing. But I know I’ll always be a person who enjoys food and sloth…

    And of course, smaller people can knit sweaters from less yarn…

  26. Kelly

    Great job on the weightloss! What motivates me is that there is a lot of health disease and cancer that runs on both sides of my family and I know excersise and eating right will help me stay healthy so I can be around for my kids. I won’t kid you though I go through times where I eat like crap and don’t get to the gym as often as I should. Espeacially with the holidays it’s really difficult. Keep up the good work!

  27. Stacey

    My motivation has to come from within. I’ve learned the hard way that it will NEVER work any other way. You have done such an incredible job – there will be peaks and valley of “stickwithitness”, but it is always lingering in the background. I know what I have to do, that thing inside me just has to get up the motivation to do it….

  28. Dorothy B

    I find that saying something out loud to someone or blogging about it means I have to do it. I also like how energized I feel after a walk or exercising. Being able to open jars/shovel snow/break ice all by myself is pretty satisfying too. Having strength means feeling strong. When you feel strong, you feel like you can do anything and succeed.

    You are doing really well and don’t worry about occasional lapses. Knowing you should be doing things differently but, not changing anything or planning to make the changes is what you should be worried about.

    I’ve always heard that you shouldn’t bother with the scale. My doctor says there is no reason for the average person to even own one. Tape measures and how your body, mind and soul feel will tell you everything you need to know about your health.

  29. Christine

    Today, I’m finding motivation from this post! :-) I mentioned it on the latest podcast; I joined Weight Watchers again last week because I need accountability. I have been feeling the holiday stress though, but this is the kick that I need. I can do it! I can do it!

    Thank you for the reminder. And I’ll get a tape measure and a journal out after I get back from holiday.

  30. Tami

    I am inspired by my own results. When I can fit into my clothes more comfortably it motivates me to think twice about what I will eat. Like if I am eating something that is not that good especially if it is a sweet or a dessert I will stop eating it. Why waste my calorie intake on something that is not worth it.

    The holidays are the hardest to stick to a diet.
    I also need to think ahead and get in the right mind set. I am preparing to start up healthier eating habits and regular exercise in January also.

    Thanks for the magazine write up. I plan to scope it out at the store and see what it is all about.

  31. Lauren

    Yes, watching the Biggest Losers help put a lot of motivation for me to exercise and lose weight and become healthy.

    I also look at people who run on the treadmill and noticed how many runners are in such good shape. So I started to run/walk and my goal is to become a runner just like them. I noticed the scale moving when I started to run. My skin has improved so much and my clothes are looser.

    I started googling the health benefits of running and found many reasons why running is good for you.

    If you pick a goal for yourself in exercise like swimming, walking, running or anything that you dream of being good at, you’re more likely to stick with it.

    Congrats on your weight loss. If you can do it before, you can certainly do it now. :)

  32. Jenna

    Kudos to you on the weight loss, as always. You have made such great strides so far and I think it says something really wonderful that, despite all of your recent craziness, you’ve not regained too much lost weight. You’re still on a great path! Hopefully, with school over, you’ll have time to rededicate yourself to your regiment.
    I think I’ve been having some negative reinforcement lately – I”m not happy with how I’m looking in pictures or in the mirror, I’m not happy with how I feel. It gets me to thinking about the changes I can make. I just bought a weight loss yoga DVD, I need into a routine with it. I’m sure that feeling like i”m on a better course will produce some good results.

  33. Kelli

    Congrats Lolly! Keep yourself motivated. Keep yourself happy, but don’t forget that you can’t be happy all of the time. And that’s normal. There’s always yarn at the end of the tunnel, and that’s normal too. :)

  34. Lisa

    I am a relatively new reader and am impressed with your progress. I have so much weight to lose and continually give up due to lack of motivation. WW worked well for me about 15 years ago, but in the past couple of years, I never managed to lose more than 10 pounds.

    I have found lots of motivation by reading other blogs. After lots of reading, I have committed to a vegetarian diet as of Saturday as I want to eat as heathfully as possible. Thanks for sharing your story and commitment. I am determined that 2007 will finally be my year.

  35. hyunjee

    Coming out of lurk mode to say you are doing great. Relying on measurements instead of the scale, using the heart rate monitor and doing toning and not just cardio – all great! Bravo! I’ve been an athlete for years and years so for me working out is just a habit. But I’m also working on a dissertation so it’s really easy to blow off the habit.

    What I do is write down what I do every day on the calendar that’s right above my desk. I write in RED LETTERS what I did, so it says “yoga 1 hour” or “ran 4 miles” – the redder the calendar is, the more accomplished I feel and the more motivated I am to keep it up. The goal, obviously, is to get the calendar as red as possible.

    Another thing you might try doing is yoga. I don’t know what it is about yoga, but it really balances out my body somehow – thyroid, maybe? Every now and then, when I’ve slacked off the yoga and come back to it, I’ll suddenly drop a good 8 or 10 pounds. I’m convinced it’s because I’m all in alignment again. It’s a big mystery, but it might work for you…

    Keep up the great work – on all fronts! :)

  36. Clare

    Hi Lolly –
    You have a huge amount of advice here, but maybe this is something different …
    While you can get your motivation any way you want, I think one of the best ways against losing it in the first place is to make sure that you are resiliant.
    Think of the way you measure your self-worth. Think of it like a tennis racket (!!) – with only one string. That string is the way you measure your self-worth – it is weight loss. When you try to hit the ball. sometimes you hit the string, sometimes you don’t. Its pretty hard to hit only one string, and that string has to take all the stress. Getting self-worth in that way is very hard – the more times you miss, the worse you feel, the less you feel like trying again. It seems harder just to try the next time. Then the string breaks
    Now think of your self-worth like a fully strung tennis racket. There is the weight-loss string, but also you as a partner, a daughter, a knitter, an academic, etc. etc. Think about everything – your work, your social life, your spirtual life, your domestic life. There are probably alot of things that you do that give you self worth. If you have lots of strings, it doesn’t matter if you miss the weight-loss one every now and then, because you have other things that make you feel good too. You are resiliant.

    Why is this important? Because if you feel good, and valuable, and worthy, you are less likely to get into the downward spiral of failing one day, so the next day is also bad, the week is terrible, and the month is awful. Instead, you may have a bad day according to weight-loss, but a good day according to knitting. So you can remind yourself that you are still a great person, and that you will try again tomorrow. You are more resiliant to setbacks, bad days, stress, anxiety, accidents…you get the picture.
    I hope this makes some sense – and helps a little bit. I have found it useful myself, as have others. See what you think. And I apologise for the terrible analogy.
    By the by, just from reading your blog I think you have achieved so much this year…you are motivation yourself. Thanks.

  37. Katie

    Lolly, that’s wonderful that you’re getting back on track. Motivation is certainly the key; during my weight loss, I found that having support (in person as well as virtual support) were key to all of my efforts. I lost weight online, through a weight loss site. You can read my story and how I found a lot of my motivation at this link: http://www.ediets.com/news/article.cfm/cmi_2338602
    I’m now down 40 pounds and not far from my goal weight (but it’s always a struggle, always the up and the down of it, the days that the scale doesn’t cooperate or we just can’t make it to the gym).

    I agree that using the tape measure is also key. Our bodies spend a lot of time “redistrubuting” the weight, which can be discouraging, but is STILL progress. Good luck continuing your journey. Your progress so far is stunning. I KNOW you can do it.

  38. hyunjee

    Back to just add in that the whole point of turning the calendar red is so that instead of worrying about measurements or weight (I have no idea about either for myself), I can look at it and say to myself: “Wow, look at everything I did this month! No wonder I feel healthy, strong, and in total possession of myself. No wonder I feel like I can kick butt all over the place!”

    After all, working out is as much for mental health as physical health, right?

  39. Jodie

    Right now I have a lot of motivation through opportunity. Since I’m taking a break from school (I really admire you for sticking it out), I’m looking forward to all of things I didn’t really have time for before. Excercise only really fit in as walks to and from classes and busses. I’m really hoping to get back into swimming and yoga in the new year so I can be in great shape for hiking in the summer. I think overall, my main motivation is the possibility of missing out on something because I’m not in shape enough to do it. I run into this all the time as an amputee, and I don’t want my health to be a factor as well. Great job, and I’ll be looking forward to reading more.

  40. Debby

    Thank you for posting an update for us. I think it takes a lot of courage to share your struggles (it’s easier to share the victories) but as the comments show, there are a lot of us who are struggling with you, to make the right choices on a daily basis. We all motivate each other, in knitting as well as weight loss and other goals.

    I lost about 35 pounds a few years ago, and have managed to keep it off. But now I’m setting a new goal for 2007, to train to ride a century (100 miles) on my bike. What motivates me? Seeing some family members who have the mindset of giving in to getting old. Other family members actually do have arthritis. I see how painful it can be, and know that if I don’t get into good habits now, I’ll lose the freedom to do whatever activities I enjoy. I saw a woman in one cycling race who won in her category — over 70s. Yes, you can see in her face that she’s spent a lot of happy hours in the sunshine. But she is in fantastic shape and could probably whip my tail mileage-wise though I’m half her age! To me, that’s living life to the fullest.

  41. rockgrrrl

    I get motivated by other people’s stories — like yours. Reading your blog was a definite motivator for me to get real and get a heart rate monitor — and I am also all about the numbers in the spreadsheet. Quantify, quantify, quantify.

    When I was a teenager I lost about 100 pounds, and back then I would motivate myself by occasionally getting dressed up in layers and layers of “fat” clothes are looking in the mirror to see what I had to look forward to if I didn’t start moving in the other direction with my weight.

    Now I look at photos of myself from the ten or so years I kept all that weight off, and remember how rockin’ it was to be in shape and sexy — try to remember how it felt to feel my pelvic bone under my jeans, cross my legs so that both ankles touched, smile in photos without worrying about a double chin…

    Now those photos motivate me.

    I spent 15 years watching the weight creep back up, telling myself I knew I could always lose it again because I had done it before. That was small consolation when I found myself back in the plus sizes.

    There is no try. There is only do. Woo!

  42. Sasha

    You are such an inspiration to me!! I’ve been trying to become healthier and lose some weight, but it’s been an on and off sort of thing, I haven’t been able to get into that rhythm of exercise and healthy eating. But reading your post today has really inspired me :) Thankyou *hug* I love and admire your honesty, the spark and energy you have which shows through in your posting, and the kindness, humanity and understanding too.

    You have motivated me, hearing success stories motivates me, and hearing sotries such as yours of people doing such good things in their lives and pressing on, all of us working at it together. Thankyou again :) And good work!

  43. Mintyfresh

    I’ve fallen entirely off the fitness wagon since moving to New York; hopefully the New Year will inspire me as well. I’m so thrilled for you and all your life changes!

  44. Kim

    I don’t seem to have a problem with motivation to exercise. I enjoy working out–my biggest obstacle with it is just finding the time you need to put in for it. I try for at least 4 days per week.

    Losing weight is a whole other story. Three years ago I lost 25 pounds and I’ve put about 16 of it back on. My biggest motivating factor now is health and my children. I want to be around to see them and their kiddos. I’m to the point now where I’m tired of where I’m at so I’m willing to do what needs to be done to get me where I want to be.

    You look great–just as others have said, it’s no small feat losing almost 60 pounds. Best of luck with your program in the new year; I’ll be cheering you on :)

  45. Moni

    I had this super long comment all written out yesterday and then the battery on my computer died and I lost it all >:(

    First of all I wanted to congratulate you on losing 58 pounds! that is really quite an acomplishment! I am trying to lose 30 pounds and am having trouble just losing anything!

    I really get motivated reading about other’s success stories. If someone else has done it then I can do it. You and your success has been very motivating for me, for example. Like some others here, I also have to find the motivation from within myself, too. I have gotten to a point where I am so sick of my clothes feeling too tight. I joined weight watchers a couple of months ago and kind of fell of the wagon over the past month. But just this weekend I kind of rededicated myself to my goals. I need to do this!

    So you keep on keeping on, girl! you are doing a great job and I love your posts on this topic. Keep it up :)

  46. Zardra

    Doesn’t it feel good to see things changing? *grin* I lost 50 lbs last year, and I felt great. Then, I fell off the diet wagon. I’ve gained back about 40 lbs. Thankfully, there are a few things that have happened that made me realize that if I don’t get back to it I’ll probably regain that last 10 lbs as well.

    I gave away the pants that fit me when I was heavier, so that’s one motivation… the only new clothes I want to buy are smaller ones. I also get a lot of motivation from reading/hearing othe people’s success stories. It helps to remind me that this is a doable goal. I may have to take a different path from them, but I can still reach the destination.

  47. Nonnahs

    Lolly, you have done such a great job over the past year, and I know you will continue to do so. You have a great deal to be proud of! The holidays are always a bump in the road (I can speak for myself). How about we both vow to get back on track in the coming weeks and into the New Year? You are inspirational to those who know you, including me. Congratulations on all you’ve accomplished thus far and best wishes for the year to come!

  48. Jen

    You go girl! Check out mybodycomp.com – it’s a real real motivator with those measurements! Wow, what a great job you’ve done!

  49. Monica

    Hi Lolly! Don’t get discouraged and keep going – you WILL get there! Congrats on the wieght loss so far – You are doing great!

    From October of 2002 till September of 2003 I lost a total of 80 lbs. I Joined eDiets in October ’02 and started walk/running. My then boyfriend, now my wonderful hubby helped motivate me (and it helped that he had been through boot camp before! LOL) Anyway I started out barely being able to walk a mile and run, make that jog 200 feet. Now I can run 3 miles in 31 minutes. I went through many plateaus but I kept going. eDiets really helped me to evaluate why I ate and WHY I kept the weight on. Once I worked through those issues I was able to let go and the weight came off easier. (Am I an eDiets commercial or what?!LOL)

    Now 3 years later I have kept the weight off, but over the past year I have really slacked off on the exercising. I know what to do, I just have to do it!

    Thanks for being such a great inspiration to get up and get moving again! Here’s to healthy living in 2007!

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