staying motivated

Obstacles and Motivation

I got an email from a reader who had some questions for me. I thought I’d try and address them here.

The vision that motivated me was twofold. First, I was tired of being in pain. I was having a lot of health issues (high blood pressure, pre-diabetic). My back and knees and feet hurt all the time from the extra 100 pounds. Second, I was tired of not being okay in my body. There was definitely an emotional aspect to wanting to lose weight–wanting to be skinny, wanting to be pretty, wanting a life partner some day, wanting to be able to wear cute clothes that actually fit properly. There is definitely a motivating factor in vanity, but I would say that the health issues were the #1 reason I wanted to lose weight.

The biggest obstacle? Good question. I would say there were several. The first obstacle was that the idea of losing 100 pounds was a very overwhelming number. It seemed unattainable. In order to overcome that very scary, very unrealistic goal, I decided I would start small. I was going to be a bridesmaid in my brother’s wedding in one year and I wanted to lose 50 pounds by then. I worked really hard and reached that goal and then it didn’t seem so hard to lose another 50 pounds.

Another obstacle would probably be the weight loss plateaus. Those were really hard. I’d be losing weight, feeling better, getting stronger, buying clothes in smaller sizes…and then all of a sudden it would stop. I didn’t know a lot about nutrition, really, and I definitely went through phases of overexercising thinking I could just work off the weight. I see now that that was pretty disordered–like working out for 3 hours because you ate some pizza. That’s not healthy. It’s better to just recognize your mistake and do better the next day…not punish yourself!

I don’t know that I ever “failed.” Failure implies that I gave up or that I stopped trying. I was so determined and so focused on my goals that failure was not an option. I was not going to quit. Even when I hit plateaus, when my weight fluctuated up and down, I kept my eyes on the road and just kept doing what I was doing. And it worked in the end.

These days, I am definitely finding it harder to not look at my lack of weight loss post-baby as a failure. I have been very hard on myself about how difficult it has been to lose even 10 pounds. It can be discouraging and frustrating and depressing. But I am still trying. I never gave up before, and I don’t plan on quitting now.

Whenever I didn’t hit a goal before, I looked at what I was doing and tried to figure out things to I could change. I often got into ruts and switching up my diet helped. Cutting out trigger foods helped (pizza and ice cream). Changing my workouts was definitely good! I started running and fell in love with it and it was very motivating for me in terms of weight loss and just EATING BETTER. I had to re-evaluate everything I was doing to be a better runner.

Training for races helped. It helped keep me focused. It gave me a goal to work towards. It helped me stay motivated to work out. I had something to train for. Something to look forward to. That has been the #1 thing keeping me going–HAVING A GOAL (losing 50 pounds before the wedding, training for a race, etc). I think it’s better to have focused, specific goals instead of vague ideas.

So there ya go, hopefully that answered the questions!

Diet Update #3

A few days ago I posted on IG about how I was afraid to weigh in. My clothes have been looser (and I went down a size in jeans) but Halloween really set me back. Suddenly I had access to candy at work and at home and try as I might to resist, I had a lot of candy. Dammit! But a friend, and fellow long time maintainer, commented and said to weigh in, accept it, move on and do better. So I did. And it wasn’t as bad as I was expecting. I was 1 pound up from my last weigh in. Not bad at all after four days of candy eating.

NSV this week – I had to buy a new bra. I was a 34DD for years and when I got pregnant and was nursing I was a 38DD. My bras are now too big! I had to buy a new one! And going down one size felt good and very motivating!

Something I’ve been reflecting on lately is that this diet is super hard for me to maintain. I can do it pretty well for a few weeks and then carb creep starts to happen and I find that I am getting closer and closer to 100 grams of carbs on most days. I don’t know why I am so good at it in the beginning but then end up failing–especially since my goal is 50 grams of carbs (so not a true low carb diet, which seems IMPOSSIBLE to me!).

I’m starting to wonder if maybe I should try and focus on keep my carbs low during the work week (it’s usually easier for me to stay on track during the week) and then on the weekends just have a normal diet, eat whatever I want in moderation and stay within my calorie goals. So instead of a cheat meal, just take a break on the weekends.

This is something I’ve been thinking about lately. Curious what my readers think, especially if they have experience doing a similar diet. Thoughts?

New recipe:

Lately I’ve been craving meatballs. Michael was happy to oblige and make some low carb meatballs I found online! He used this recipe: Low Carb Meatballs.

I made a salad and topped it with the meatballs and feta cheese plus Goddess Dressing. The meatballs were so good! We both loved them. They turned out really well and held together well, too, despite no breadcrumbs. The recipe was a bit on the salty side, but overall it was really good. And I loved that it was low in carbs.

Michael made extras so that I can take some to work for lunches this week. He said he could eat these meatballs every week. 😀 Definitely a winner!

New To Me:

I had this as an afternoon snack one day:

Bone broth. 40 calories, 9 grams of protein (love that!), no carbs. It was kind of a blustery, fall day and sipping on some hot broth was nice. In the future, I would do this with a snack. It felt slightly weird to just drink some bone broth. I think some cheese or nuts or something would be nice to have with it.

Cheat Meal

I don’t know that I really “deserved” a cheat meal last week since I ate a few pieces of Halloween candy basically every single day…sigh…but I decided part of the reason I was eating candy again was because the low card diet is so restrictive. I hoped a legit cheat meal would reset my brain (and it kind of did).

I met up with my friend Robyn for a long overdue girl’s dinner. We met up at Maru Korean Restaurant and it was really good! We both got a beer with dinner. I ordered the bibimbap and she got something similar, except hers came in a sizzling pot that made the rice crispy.

They brought out a bunch of toppings, too. I really liked my dinner. It was a lot of food and I didn’t eat all of it. It was a little heavy on the rice and light on the beef, but the flavors were really good. We both enjoyed our dinners and I’d go back to that restaurant for sure.

So that was my week!