Sunday, March 17, 2013

So over the last couple of weeks I have been contacted by quite a few people because of my blog posts that appeared in Lifehacker, Dumb Little Man and Marathon Nation over a 1 week span.  One of the most common questions was, "Where do you get the motivation to do it everyday?"  Then it was followed with comments like, "I would exercise but I have no energy everyday."  Or, "I just wish I had time to workout."

All the stories I kept hearing brought me back to when I started on this journey.  People who have contacted me have told me they can relate to me because they are currently 395, 360, or 335 lbs and on and on.  Or they have a family member who is over 400 lbs and is not motivated to begin.  They were right, that was me when I started.  However, that was the key difference...I started. 

What some of these people also wanted to know from me was:
"How do I get started? 
"There is so much information out there, I get confused." 
"If I start eating right, the food is so limited."
"What happens with the extra skin after you lose the weight?" - Most popular question

Listen if you don't really want to make changes, you will always find a reason or an excuse not to.  It is easy to stay put and stay in your comfort zone.  I have mentioned this topic in a past blog post and is really something that some people do not grasp on why they are not making changes.

Why don't people have the energy to get started?  One of the reasons is because they are eating bad food.  Food with empty calories, food and drinks with lots of sugar, etc.  All of these things will kill any possible motivation you want and need in your life.  People will not realize this until they go out there and change their eating habits.  Once they start eating "good food" they will notice a difference in how they feel and think.  Their energy and attitude will change, but they have to start making changes NOW in order to see the difference and stop making excuses.

The first step for me was to just get started.  I had to add exercise into my life and change the way I ate so I had new habits.  Those new habits along with seeing some results on the scale got me motivated to lose weight.

Now do you have to go from eating 6,000 calories to 1,500 in one day?  No.  Maybe just start by replacing all your breakfast meals with food you prepare and eat at home.   At the same time, cut your soda consumption by 50%.  Just some small changes like this will add up quickly and will also help you see that you can make changes if you really want to.  Then maybe the following week you start preparing your lunches at home and take them to work, etc.  Within a month you could have revamped your meals and your calorie total was probably cut in half and you will want to make even more changes.

While you are improving some of your "diet", start walking everyday.  Trust me; you will get energy from this simple addition to your life.  Everyone is amazed that I am a marathon runner now.  That did not happen overnight.  I started with walking on the treadmill.  I also used the stationary bike and elliptical.  Eventually I did run/walk outside or on the treadmill.  I slowly became a runner and it got easier as I lost weight and got stronger.

So, where do I get the motivation to keep going after losing over 150 lbs?  I get it from enjoying the new life I am living.  Look at the smiles in the picture collage above.  Now that I am here, I do not want to ever go back to the old life at 355 pounds.  I feel free now.  No longer do I have to say, "I will start my diet on Monday".   The old Fred consisted of sitting on the couch watching TV when he got home from work, having no energy even after sleeping 8-10 hours a day, having no goals...having no purpose to each day.  Yes, I was married and I had a "good life", but I just existed, I was not living and experiencing everything life has to offer.  I now sleep 4-5 hours each night because I want to do a lot each day.  How is it possible to sleep less but do more?  I am here to tell you it is about the food you eat and the exercise you add to your life.

I also get the drive and motivation to keep losing weight from wanting to be here on Earth as long as possible for my son and wife.  They deserve that but more importantly, so do I.  If I never made the changes, I would be well over 425 lbs right now and at least a 65 inch waist.  I would never of known how great it feels to run 2 marathons, 1 half marathon and numerous of 5Ks.  I never would have been able to coach baseball for my son's team.  Nor would I have been able to go on some rides with him at Disney World.  I know I would not have gone on some of the airplane trips just so I could avoid the embarrassment.  I never would have been able to run around with my son at the park every time he wants to go there and have fun.  These memories never would have occurred if I had not started making changes.

Start today.  Replace bad habits with good habits and your life will be changed and the motivation will begin to take place.  Stay where you are now and the motivation will never come to you and eventually you will run out of time.  Remember, whichever you choose is a choice you made.
What I will be doing over the next few weeks is give you some stories of people who also had the courage to start and continue even during hard times and eventually made some drastic changes.  I am one of many people who made a decision to adjust their lives.  Now the question is are you ready to do it also?  If you did it already, are you willing to share your story?

IF you have lost a lot of weight or made impacting lifestyle changes, please email me a few quick sentences to see if you can be included in a future "Motivation Monday" story.

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  1. You are very right. Motivation do come when you really want it bad enough.

    1. It has to be there for you to continue. Therefore, you have to create it somehow, you have to keep going after goals and your motivation will continue. If you have no goals or nothing driving you, the passion will slowly die.

  2. Today, I will not have a slice of pizza for an afternoon snack.

    1. All small changes will add up eventually.

  3. Fred I wanna archive what you have , reading you story is like viewing my current situation, but I also have the most important motivation, I need to loose weight because my 1 year old son, need me as liver donor but I need to loose at least 100 lb (275 lb currently).

    Any valuable advice you can give me is the most welcome.

    1. Hi Juan. I suggest you look at my past blog posts and one I recommend is below. There is a part 2 to my list but I list out ways I changed my lifestyles to lose the weight. Good luck with everything. To me it seems like you have plenty of motivation to begin, just get going and your new habits will keep you going. Feel free to email me via the contact information tab if you need anything else.