This blog is an accounting of my personal journey to find fitness. All the content on this blog should be read as a biographical piece of literature, not a medical resource. I am a physician, but I am in no way giving medical advice or establishing doctor patient relationships with my readers. I am simply keeping a diary. If you are starting a diet or exercise program or require medical evaluation or advice, please see your own family physician.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Motivation is a SKILL and some pics

 Well, yesterday I was in a funk. Not sure why. I didn't sleep great. I just don't sleep the same when hubby is gone. The boys are still at camp. I heard from hubby yesterday and they are having a great time in the New Mexico mountains and haven't been bothered by fires.

I guess they've done a bit of hiking which has been great for hubby. I'll be surprised if he doesn't lose a little weight this week. Maybe this will get him more serious about getting healthy. It's so hard to keep your mouth shut sometimes when you know what he needs to do, but he's not ready. All I can do is be supportive. He said he's been on hikes and has to go a lot slower than everyone else. I feel for him and I've been there. I'm so proud of him for not giving up and going on those hikes and I hope this opens his eyes to what he can do and gets him started on the right path.

Unlike me, there was a time when he was fit and a normal weight. In college he would bike everywhere. He biked miles and miles each week. Once we graduated and got real jobs, it was harder to do that. Then we both gained weight after we married. Then I got pregnant and we both gained weight. Our eating habits were bad and we didn't work out. Over the last year he's seen my success. He's been nothing but supportive. But, I've seen him sometimes with a look on his face that I recognize. The "I wish I could do that" face.

One thing that is for sure. It's exciting and it's so wonderful to see. I see his thought process. I see him thinking it through. I see the switch and it's about to come on. I know he's very close to getting serious about being healthy. I want it for him and for me. I hope it is soon.  When he's ready, I'm here to help. But, I can't do it for him.

You have to fight this battle alone. Even though you can have friends to support you. People to work out with you. A trainer to teach you. Dvds, programs, Wii fit, Xbox kinect, bikes, shoes, equipment, menu plans.....NONE of that can do this for you. When faced with a choice between burger or salad, it's you that must decide. When faced with sleeping in or working out, it's you who must make the call. You have to find the motivation to do it.

And that is easier said than done. I used to think that motivation was an inherent trait. Like some people are just born more organized and gung ho and motivated. Others just don't have it. I used to think I was a have not. It was just genetic in our family, you know. I mean, if you look at any family portrait you'd see a whole bunch of overweight and obese people. But, now I know that motivation is a SKILL. That's right. A SKILL. It's something you can learn to do.

You are the one that must find motivation. Motivation is not a passive thing. You can't just wait for it to wash over you like a tide. It is internal. It is not something outside of yourself. It is a feeling, a burning, a desire inside you. When you want something and you KNOW you can get it, that's motivation. When you have a goal and BELIEVE you can achieve it, that's motivation. When you are faced with a problem and you've decided that you WILL find a solution, that's motivation.

It's not a mystery. It's actually very simple.

On any given day, I wake up and I pretty much wish I could have that big breakfast I used to love. I love breakfast. Nothing better than a breakfast buffet-omelets, belgian waffles, fruit, oatmeal, yogurt, pastry, pancakes. My FAV. There are many days I wake up and I want that soooooo bad. But I ask myself, "Do you want that big breakfast more than you want a loss on the scale this week." To be honest there are days where the answer is yes. Luckily I don't have ready access to a big buffet. But MOST days, the answer is NO. It's that simple.

Just ask yourself what you want. Once you know WHAT you want and you know HOW to get it. The motivation comes from the WANTING it.

I used to get so irritated when thin people would say in their haughty thin voices, "Just eat less and exercise. I mean, ANYONE can lose weight." AHHHHHHH! I can't tell you how mad it would make me. I'd be like, "Sure skinny bitch. It's easy when you've been born skinny. You have NO IDEA what I go through."  But that was the old me. The new one listens, understands and nods.

Used to my motivation for any diet would fade with time. I'd be really gung ho. I'd go balls to the wall. Exercising and eating just so and about 2 weeks in it wasn't fun anymore. Diet over. Now I find that each day I'm able to live a healthy lifestyle,  my motivation to keep the trend going is higher. I feel good. I'm able to do more things. I see the results and not just on the scale and THAT my friends is the heart of my motivation.

Truth is there are days that I don't feel like exercising and I want to eat crap. Some days, like a few days ago, I have a total fail and eat. But MOST days now, I wake up and think, "WOW! I made it through another day of exercise. Another day eating on plan. I'm AWESOME!" And that keeps me going.

Everyone of us has to find their own way of motivating themselves. You can read my blog or all the successful blogs out there and see what they've done, but until you find your inner motivation and BELIEVE that you can do it too, you won't get there. There's a big difference between inspiration and motivation. I can be inspired by my bloggy friends, but motivation.......that's my deal.

The good news is that if you want it, you CAN get there. This is a totally win-able war we're fighting. Sure, it is sometimes lonely. Sure it is sometimes hard. Sure sometimes I feel irritated at the depriving myself of foods I love. But it is SO worth it. And you can do this. I CAN DO THIS. WE CAN DO THIS. And I will. I will never stop. This is my life now and isn't it great? I can't wait to see what happens next.

I realized on my one year post I didn't include any pics. I still have trouble seeing the difference, It's so weird because I still feel the same. But here they are..........
Me at my highest weight 274 pounds

Two weeks ago


  1. Looking good! My husband watched my progress on WW and then on maintenance for a year and a half. I continued to cook what he liked to eat and he continued to snack on Little Debbie's and eat fast food. I ate my healthy meals. Then one day he just said quietly that he'd like to eat like I did. Yippee! He lost 85 pounds in a few months. :)

  2. I am waiting, not always patiently, for my wife to get serious about her health. Diabetes runs in her family along with high blood pressure and the myriad of other sins that come with being overweight. So far she's just toying with it and going through the motions. I'll try to do my part by setting an example but her motivation will have to be her own. I admire your progress and hope to follow your example.

  3. You look great, and I know you feel even better!

  4. You are looking amazing!!!

    Well said, re: inspiration vs. motivation. The latter is internal, and no matter how much we want to share, prod, kick (my husband -- GACK!! bless him), it's something that we can't give another person. All we can do is share whatever information they're willing to receive -- and that varies widely from person to person and from day to day -- and then let them loose to do their own thing.

    Frustrating? Yep. But I know had someone tried to wrestle me into losing weight before I had the motivation to do it, it would never have happened. Shoot, my path has been a lot longer than many folks' have been, in large part because for me finding the balance between a healthy lifestyle and a lifestyle I could live with was so necessary.

    Others' mileage varies. And that's okay. I just have to remember that when it comes to my own family, LOL.

  5. Well Said! Motivation is a habit, just like any other habit, and everyone can do it.

  6. You look incredible, and I'll say to you what was said to me that found strange, but it's true - you look like a different person. Just amazing!

  7. You described and interpreted motivation so well! I want to copy it and re-post it on my blog too...if not ok, no prob - just lemme know. I don't think I've ever consciously thought about it as a skill but when I read how you put it...makes perfect sense. Oh my goodness I know EXACTLY what you mean about feeling exactly the same outside/inside. Even though I've kept off most of a 70 pound loss for 7 years or so I STILL feel that when I look in the mirror I will see the "before". It's so weird isn't it? This is an understatement but you look entirely fabulous!

  8. I hope when you look at those photos you can see the major difference in you appearance that the rest of us see!

    It takes a long time for our mind to catch up with our new body.

    This was an awesome post. Sometimes I don't know where my motivation goes and then other times eating healthy and exercising is so easy. Why is that?

    Perhaps your hubby is getting close to being ready to join your healthy lifestyle. You are so right we have to find the motivation ourselves. Sometimes we have to act our way to success!

  9. "You look Maarrrvelous"! Keep it up doc, drink water and blog us in the morning.LOL.

  10. Soon you'll be changing the name of this blog to "Dr. Hotty". You look great. and you look like you feel great.

    Thanks for this... I needed it today.

  11. Well that pictures tell a great story! Wow, what a difference from your highest weight. It's like you lost a whole person!

    Love this post about motivation. You are so right: we are alone in this journey, struggle, triumph, whatever it is for the day. We can be encouraged by others, but we make the choices. I know, too, that for me, as I make good choices, it is easier. When I don't it is harder.

    Determination. Stay determined.

  12. would you consider doing the before swimsuit photo along with a current pool or swimsuit shot of you for my swimsuit sundays sometime this summer... you have come a long way!!!!

  13. You have done so well, amazing difference in the pictures. hsve a great weekend.

  14. Dr. F., one of the most insightful and helpful posts I've read in a long, long time. Well done!

  15. WOW! Super inspiring post. SO TRUE. Thanks for sharing. I'm encouraged and motivated.

  16. It was about six months after I started my journey that my husband started his own. Now he's lost around 60 lbs. It is so much easier when you are in it together. But you are right, you can't do it for anyone, they have to decide for themselves. You look wonderful & what a difference in your before & after pics!

  17. Wonderful stuff here!
    You look great!


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