What's Your Motivation?

May 18, 2012

Last week at Weight Watchers - in which my see-sawing weight saw that I was up a little - we talked about motivation.  Where does your motivation come from?  It really got me thinking about my story.

When I first started my Weight Watchers journey in Oct of 2008, my now 4 year old was 1.  My motivation was that I wanted a sibling for him, and I didn't want to get HELLP or preeclampsia again.  My doctor told me I needed to lose weight before getting pregnant.  And it wasn't just a little bit - I needed to lose 100+ pounds of weight!  And so, I took that step forward and 2 years and 116 pounds later I made goal and became a Weight Watchers lifetime member.  I always kept what I wanted in front of me most... a baby!  When temptation struck, I asked myself, "What do I want more?"  99% of the time, it was the baby.  That is powerful motivation, and it got me to my goal!

And then, only a few months after reaching my lifetime goal, I found myself pregnant.  The goal I had in front of me all along was being fulfilled... the ultimate goal.  In May of last year when I found out that that baby I had so longed to be pregnant with was likely dying, even while she grew within me, I started to eat.  It was a punch to my gut, a punch to my motivation.

And yes, I was pregnant, and pregnant people eat, but not like this....
I ate licorice, and I don't even like licorice.
I ate gelato
and trail mix
and muffins and donuts, and they knew my first name at Kowalskis.
I ate pie.  Every Thursday after my doctors appointment, I would go and buy a half pie from Kowalskis and my husband and I would eat it.
I ate cheesecake
All I wanted was sugar, sugar, sugar!

Maybe you are disgusted by this, or maybe you identify with it.  However you feel, if you've ever eaten out of emotion or known someone who has, I think you can identify with this.  When I felt like all was lost, I, in turn, lost my motivation.

As a result of my emotional eating during my pregnancy, I gained way more weight than I had originally hoped to gain, and now I find myself on a new journey - a journey to remove those post pregnancy pounds.  I started Weight Watchers back in December again with 43 pounds to remove to get back to my lifetime goal weight, and I'd like to remove another 10 for good measure.  I'm currently down 18.5 pounds.  It has been a slow and frustrating journey this time around.  It has been a different journey.

So that begs the question again - What is my motivation?  Right now, I have no need for another baby, so it isn't that anymore.  And even though I have the want to get back into my size 8 pre pregnancy clothes - that motivation is shallow and fleeting.  Maybe this is part of the reason I've struggled so much this time around, despite religiously tracking my food.  I'm not sure, but the strong motivation of wanting that baby is gone, and along with it apparently my ability to lose weight consistently.

So, what do I do about this?  I have to find a new motivation.

I take one look at these two

Photo Credit:  Misty at LiveLaughLens

And I know what my motivation is.  I'm their mom, I should be the best example I can of good health.  I need to live a long time to take care of them.  As Lily struggles with some medical issues I need to be as strong as I can, for her.  At a healthy weight I am a better mother.

That's my motivation!
Now, what's yours?

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  1. Your kids are so cute! My motivation is my dad. He passed away way too soon and I want to do all that I can to be around for my kids. I know that he regrets not being around longer to be a grandpa. Disease happens. People die too soon, but I want to do what I can to prevent that.

  2. Your children are gorgeous and you sound like a lovely mother.

    I had the same motivations starting out wanting to be a healthy individual before I became a future mama. I wanted to find peace and balance with myself before I settled down with the bf. Being a mother was also one of my main motivations!

    Nowadays my mini motivations are things like pushing myself harder during a workout, fitting into cute clothes.... but the core of it is still health and happiness!

    I'm a recovering emotional eater too and some days are easier than others. It's a definite work in progress.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  3. That's a fantastic reason for losing excess weight, and hopefully becoming healthier in the process. Another reason might be to model for them how to live well, by eating in healthy way while simultaneously being physically and mentally active. Good eating habits established young lasts well into adulthood (and beyond!). Exposing children to healthy alternatives of traditionally less than healthy "comfort" foods that are linked to powerful emotional childhoond memories, will hopefully set them up for less struggles with weight/health issues in adulthood.

  4. You could have easily continued to gain after giving birth. I applaud you for not doing that, but also losing weight. Weight, as you know, is a slippery slope and once it starts heading in the wrong direction it's difficult to turn it around.
    Stay strong!!!

  5. Although my children are a large part of my motivation, my main reason is for myself. I want to take care of my body, my self, in order to be the best person I can be. For me, that means being fit and healthy, which tranlates to a much happier, more energetic me. My children and family benefit as well because I can play with them, and share with them those things which bring me joy (other than cooking and eating), such as hiking, biking, camping, walking, etc.


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