I Can Do This?

Motivation.  Where does it come from?  When it comes, does it stay?  What is it, actually?  Roni had an interesting video discussion on motivation.  She was trying to answer a question that had been asked about finding motivation.  The person asking the question was overweight, had a sister in heart failure, and her father had recently died at a young age from heart disease.  Of course, the obvious question is, wasn’t that enough motivation?  But the truth is, all around us people are living sub-optimal lives when they have clear factual information that making certain changes (diet, exercise, quit smoking, quit drinking, etc.) will vastly improve their lives.  But they ‘choose’ not to change. I chose not to change for 20 years.  This is such a complex topic, and Roni did a good job of discussing and trying to define motivation.  Her conclusion was that motivation was not something that comes and stays.  You have to work at it too, just like you have to work at diet and exercise.  I think I agree with her.  

But I think there is another aspect that is hard for ‘diet starters’ to conceive.  And that is, that there is a different way to eat, and it is actually really really good.  And enjoyable.  And there is a different way to move.  And it is also really good and enjoyable.  I guess you could call this aspect, Experience.

I won’t lie.  I am struggling myself this week.  The stress of my dad and his wife, and work, and my whole life basically being disrupted, has affected the way I eat, and especially the way I don’t exercise.  And a week of moving them and being away from home looms in front of me.  The title of this blog ‘I can do this’ comes from my little book ‘100 Days of Weight Loss‘ and she suggests saying this phrase to yourself 10 times a day.  Hmmmph, I told myself.  But I am trying it nonetheless.  Maybe just saying it will add a little motivation.

Back to the experience aspect.  I’ve been at this for four years.  And just this week I discovered the delights of strawberries and cottage cheese.  I absolutely LOVE it.  I crave it.  I will have it for lunch today!  And really, just a few weeks ago, I discovered how delicious ground flax seed was on top of my cottage cheese and fruit.  When I was heavy (fat, morbidly obese–choose your own term) I would have wrinkled my nose up at such food choices.  Remember, the only way I ate strawberries was swimming in heavy cream with a liberal dose of powdered sugar on top.

And listening to a podcast of Dietgirl reminded me of how I felt just walking around, or bending over to tie my shoelaces.  Out of breath all the time.  Now I can take 5 flights of stairs without stopping, and get to the unit almost as fast as the girls who take the elevator.  I can run or walk really fast the half mile out to my car after a 12 hour workday, and enjoy it.  I used to take the shuttle bus, and just going up the steps into the bus was a real chore.

I want to tell this to all those starters looking for motivation.  But I think I finally understand why just me or dietgirl or roni or books or magazines, or any of the amazing bloggers out there telling the starters won’t work.  By the very word I chose to describe this:  EXPERIENCE.  We can’t make them experience it.  They have to do it themselves.

Okay….I can do this!

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4 thoughts on “I Can Do This?

  1. Great post. It’s so true. You must experience to find your own way. It’s a lot of work, and probably why a lot of people give up.

    Thanks for the post!

  2. Debs – I’m so happy to see a post from you! And you are so right, experience is a great teacher. It’s so hard to convince someone that eating differently can be good or that working out is so much more than just losing weight. Everyone has to experience it for themselves.

    Good thoughtful post. 🙂

  3. Excellent post. I was reading a story yesterday on Yahoo written by Hungry Girl which outlined some of the worst things to eat in chain restaurants. I was so disheartened to read the hundreds of comments afterwards that said, basically, “We’re all going to die of something. May as well eat whatever we want in the meantime.” A day later, I’m STILL PO’d. I might need to blog about that.

    Sending you a big {{hug}} and good energy for this week. You CAN do this.

  4. I do like the word ‘experience’ – I also like ‘process’.

    I think that there has to be ‘motion/forward movement’ tied in to both these words – body in motion stays in motion, body at rest. . .

    Really good posting.

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