Motivation

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Before

After

From the beginning of January through present, I’ve lost 25 pounds (of course, the scale will probably go back up a pound or two today). If you read my recent post on Exercise and Natural Hair, you know that I gained these 25 pounds over the course of 2009 through December 2010 and made a goal to lose the weight and regain my healthy eating habits this January (I don’t do “New Year’s Resolutions,” just say that I’m getting it together starting in January=). I know how to lose weight. I’ve mastered that task through understanding food, exercise (weights, aerobic and anaerobic) and the human body. I am not an “expert” and have no formal training in nutrition or physiology. However, I know my body and understand the fundamentals of nutrition and fitness because, when I began competing in amateur All-Natural Bodybuilding competitions, I read fitness and nutrition magazines, books and articles voraciously.

All that to say, I know exactly what to do to lose weight and I can lose it quickly if I want. It’s a matter of being motivated to do what I know. Hence the title of this post, “Motivation.” I’ll break down the elements of My Current Regimen more over the next few weeks, if that seems to be a topic of interest. However, today, I just want to talk briefly about getting and staying motivated.

I started exercising at home in March and, shortly after I began doing that, I found myself delaying my workouts until 8 or 9 pm because I was reading GOC blogs and writing my own. As I knew that was a slippery slope that would lead to many missed workouts, I decided that I wouldn’t allow myself to hair blog, something I enjoyed immensely, until I exercised on my planned days. Hair blogging became a reward for working out or a punishment for not. Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t always follow the rules (though, for the most part I do). However, even if I blog first, I will still workout more times than I don’t. I know that publicizing my intentions and accomplishments to my fellow GOC bloggers helps me hold myself accountable and encourages me.

Another thing that helps me get and stay motivated is a concrete goal or challenge: a planned vacation in a warm climate where I want to wear a swimsuit, a reunion, a semi-formal or formal event like a wedding or banquet, etc. In March, I had a vacation in Florida with my sisters and mom and used that as my first goal. As we were all focusing on weight loss goals and were staying at my aunt’s house, we purchased healthy food and exercised during our vacation. I lost weight on vacation rather than gaining it. Goal one: Met!

Once that vacation was over, I learned about a race called the Tough Mudder from a colleague. It’s a 10 mile race, riddled with 28 obstacles, that occurs in different locations across the country. My colleague was doing one. I wasn’t ready for that. However, shortly thereafter, I learned of the Rugged Maniac, a 5K with 14 obstacles, such as 7 feet tall barricades, mud tunnels, plank jumping and fire!!!

A FB friend was using one in NJ as motivation to stay on course with her Beachbody Insanity workouts (have you seen this mess? Insanity is the only word to describe it!). I wasn’t ready for the Tough Mudder, but a 5K? “Yeah,” I thought, “I can do that.” (Never mind that I’ve never even done a regular 5K!) So, the Rugged Maniac is in Englishtown, NJ on July 9th and my FB friend, two sisters, one of my best friends, my SO and I are doing it. Our competitive natures are helping us stay motivated and on track with our exercise routines (or at least they are doing so for me and my middle sister=). So, if you live in the NJ/NY area, need a little motivation or just like a challenge and want to register for the Rugged Maniac, you can do so up until July 1st. The cost is now $68 per registrant. However, you can save both of us $2 per registration if you use my reference code: 1985632;).

Finally, the last thing that keeps me on task is finding a way to exercise that I enjoy. A couple of months ago, I discovered hot yoga. I’d never even done regular yoga, other than a DVD with which I got bored after 5 minutes! However, the thought of hot yoga intrigued me as I love the heat and I love sweating when I exercise (it lets me know that I’m really doing something). I also had lost a lot of my flexibility and wanted to regain it. Hot yoga seemed like a good solution. So, when I noticed a studio had opened next to my house, I went for a class. I’ve been going two days a week ever since.  LOVE hot yoga!!  I never feel like blowing it off and have only missed classes when I’ve had schedule conflicts.

So, if you just can’t seem to get or stay motivated, find something that you love doing or setting a goal that is time driven. Use something that you enjoy, that isn’t eating cake or fast food;), as a reward. Publicize your intentions in order to use your audience to hold yourself accountable (FB is a great device for this as you can publicize your intent and get affirmation and encouragement by posting your accomplishments). And, finally, get a friend or family member to set similar goals with you and work towards those objectives together, whether it be as workout buddies or through verbal encouragement at established checkpoints.

Hope this was helpful!!

S

(Uh, yeah, p.s., I don’t have any kids. We’ll see how well all of this big talk works if/when I do ;-)! If you have children and still manage to do it all, please share your strategies with us!! I’ll be taking notes!!)

What do you do to get and stay motivated towards accomplishing your goals? What are the challenges?

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16 responses »

  1. Im trying to get motiviated. I going to be 30 in 2 weeks although I look pretty darn good for having 2 kids back to back . I can be alittle slimmer for my height. Im not really consistant with it althought I go 3 days a week its not enough and I really dont see any major results. My challenges are eating well . I get bored with diets and I want a get skinny quick plan but thats not realistic. SMH .

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  2. lol Tiffany i feel u on dat one i just cant seem to get motivated to get moving im always researching weight loss & being healthy but i just cant get a move on ;( food is my biggest weaknedd

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  3. Man, you guys make me feel OLD! You’re JUST turning 30? Well, happy early birthday=). As to getting bored with “diets,” I don’t diet. You can’t diet. A diet means that you are not going to continue eating that way when you’re done. If that’s the case, you’ll never maintain the weight loss. You have to look at your calorie needs and figure out how you can eat healthy most of the time (by incorporating lean protein, whole grains, veggies and fruit) and keep the refined, processed foods to a minimum with portion control and reserving them for certain times (like you can eat what you want one day a week, with some portion control to it though). It took me this long to lose 25 pounds because I didn’t deprive myself and I also took some breaks from exercising. Two weeks ago, I didn’t work out for the entire week. Buttercream icing is my weakness, but I’ve had cake on multiple occasions during the last 6 months. However, I really would only have one slice or one cupcake. That is very unusual for me. But, because I was eating well first, before going for the dessert, I was satisfied with having a taste of it!! That surprised me!!! I think if I didn’t have it, I would have ended up having a binge when I was hungry because I would have kept thinking about it. But, having a little slice, I felt appeased and didn’t think about it anymore!! I feel like, for once, I won’t binge coming off of losing a lot of weight because I’ve taken my time with it and haven’t gone so hard with a “diet” and exercise regimen that it’s impossible for me to maintain.

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  4. Congratulations on your weight loss. Love your determination to make a change. Thanks, by the way. I needed the extra motivation to get off my butt and go running today. My target areas are my thighs (specifically the inner portions), my stomach and my love handles. I’m pretty lean everywhere else, but I just can’t shake the fat off those specific areas. What do you do for your stomach? I’m looking to get mine back to being flat. I don’t know if I’m motivated to gain any “packs”.

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    • Thank you!! Did you go running=)? My bottom and thighs are my problem area too. For my abs, the only thing I do is use the Abs of Steel VHS (yes, VHS) tape by Tammilee Webb. It’s 2 decades old, but I still use it. It has 3 10 minute routines on it. I aim to do it 6 days a week, 3 days on, one day off and repeat. I do it first thing in the morning before eating breakfast. Other than that, all my core exercises come from my kettlebell routine and hot yoga.

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        • I’m planning on doing a post about kettlebell this week. I have it partially drafted, but still have some work to do to complete it. And that’s awesome that you’ve been back on your running grind=)! Get it girl=).

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        • I got my first kettlebell from Marshall’s. But, I wouldn’t recommend the brand they have there. Though cheap compared to how much real cast iron bells cost, it was too large and it’s sand-filled. That bell was 10 lbs. But, after a couple of weeks with it, I was ready for a 15 lb. bell. I made this fact be known to my friends and got a 15 lb. GoFitBob Harper contour bell for my birthday in March! That is a far superior, cast iron bell and I love that it’s concave on both sides so that you can do certain positions with more comfort. Target and Amazon both carry the Bob Harper bell. Depending on the weight (10 lbs – 25 lbs), they’ll run you about $30 – $80.

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          • Skills, okay from reading curlynikki.com featuring a blog you posted on hair & weightloss. I became curious about you. So here I am on you blog. I so glad I found you. hahaha….. I like to say you look amazing. So glad you were able to stay motivated to lose the weight you wanted and be healthy. I started using a kettle bell a few months back and man I love that thing. Yeah for Christmas I asked for a new one and work out DVDs for it. I have started to make this along with zumba staples in my work out. I have a long way to go but I happy to start and see the transformation.

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            • Thanks for finding me Clarice and commenting!! I really appreciate the feedback!! And thank you for the kind words and encouragement. I have slacked since this post was originally written, but all of the interest and comments that have arisen from the post are very motivating and make me feel I have to live up to my responsibilities:). I need to get back into my kettlebell, because the results are truly great! I got a new DVD a month or so ago, but have yet to break it open! But, your comments are motivating me! The thing is, my workout area is covered in boxes as I had water in my basement during Irene and clean-up is still pending! But, I can at least go to hot yoga! So thanks again:)!

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  5. yessss to those abs, motivation is probably the most important thing, a happy body will automatically equal healthy hair. I used to be scared of sweating out my twists but now my abs are more than enough motivation to keep me going!

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    • Hi Ariel=)! Thanks for the co-sign! I’ve worried about my hair before too! But, I figured, what good is having nice hair if I don’t feel good in my own body!! And, what better feeling is there to have it all together, the hair, the body, the make-up when you want to bust it out?!? On

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  6. Pingback: GOC Contender #48: Me! « hairscapades

  7. wow …. I am glad i found you blog this is just what i needed because i started working out in jan.2013 and i have been consistance however i was begining to feel like maybe i was was doing something wrong cause my wiegh lose is very slow although i feel great my body seem to adjust very quickly to a routine so i sometime would look at myself and i don,t see much of a change but reading your blog has been encouraging to me i am a women getting older and my health is my main motivation for trying to lose the weigh all i can say thank you for your post by the way my name is cynthia you can call me cin

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    • Awwww thanks!! Stay inspired Cin!!! I’m 41 and it does get a little tougher (aches and pains that weren’t there in my 20s), but we gotta keep pushing because it will just get worse with inactivity and excess weight!! Thank you again!!

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