Monday, March 5, 2012

What motivates me.

Today my pals over at Bariatric TV posted a question on Facebook: Motivation. What helps the most to keep you motivated?

The choices were:
1. Before and Pictures
2. Famous Quotes
3. Competing against someone else
4. Hearing/Reading someone else's story
5. Your end goal or keeping your eye on the prize

It got me thinking... 

What motivates me?

Noun: The reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way. The general desire or willingness of someone to do something.

The reasons are many and they have changed as time has gone on. When I first had weight loss surgery what motivated me was getting to a goal weight and hearing the compliments of friends and family. It kept me going. Wanting to hit 50lbs gone, 100lbs gone, shopping in regular stores, getting to Goaaaaaaaal Go Go Goaaaaaaaal.

Then I hit goal and no balloons fell from the sky, I woke up the next day just like the day before. Soon the "OMG, You look AMAZING" accolades quieted. Sure from time to time I got the occasional one from someone who hadn't seen me in awhile but it wasn't the everyday occurrence it once was.

Now what?

1. Remembering the good and the bad helps motivate me. I remember the day I no longer needed any medications, I remember the first time I could fly and not need a seat belt extender and drop the tray table, I remember the day I cut up my Lane Bryant and Avenues cards, I remember the day I slid into a booth effortlessly, I remember buying single digit pants for the first time, so many wow moments.

I look at my before pictures and remember the hard, sad, feeling hopeless and trapped years. I understand that remembering these times is a bit like picking at a healing scab and rarely do I purposely pick, it's more like something opens the wound...

Remember why you started
Weight Loss Surgery & The Pier
My weight loss surgery journey (in denim)
Worst things about being fat
A is for...

Even yesterday I was chatting with someone about Disneyland and it reminded me of my last trip I took in college with a group of friends...

300 pounds, miserable, sweating and tired, using every excuse to sit down because I hurt so much. I missed out on one of the "lands" entirely. I barely fit in the rides and didn't even attempt a few knowing I wouldn't make it. Not my finest day.

2. Staying active in the Weight Loss Surgery community helps motivate me. Motivation loves company :)

Both in-person (at large events like my favorite OAC's Your Weight Matters National Convention event! or ObesityhelpWLSFA, local meet & greets, social gatherings, educational or advocacy events) and online support (Facebook, Twitter) from fellow obesity fighters really helps. I enjoy celebrating their successes and am cautioned against potential pitfalls through others experiences.

Sharing my story through this blog helps keep me motivated. You guys help me keep my head in the game for sure. Thank you.

3. My desire to maintain my "healthy eating sobriety" helps motivate me. This is a controversial one but this is what motivates ME, everyone's journey is different. I am proud of my sober days... without certain trigger foods in my life, days I've lived a healthier lifestyle, days without my "drug of choice" having the power, days I have begun loving life versus merely existing. Like a person in AA getting those medallions I look at these post surgery days as something to continue adding up and celebrating. I know some who say not eating certain foods ever again is abnormal. Like I said, every post-ops journey is different. We didn't all gain weight for the same reasons so the path we take after surgery will be different too. You have to find what works for you.

4. Good quotes help motivate me. They help push me through when the going gets tough, something to reach for when faced with old demons...

I get out of the car, walk to the bank entrance and am faced with a singing chorus of "Would you like to buy some Girl Scout cookies?"

My old friends Thin Mints and Samoas in their colorful, familiar boxes waiting for me to renew our unhealthy relationship. I think, "Don't trade what you want most, for what you want at the moment." Crisis averted ;)

There's probably a few more (my Mum is a great cheerleader, etc.) but these are the biggies. My best to all the fellow fighters! Keep on keepin' on :)

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JenB said...


Just a note to say that YOU motivate me. I am so grateful for your blog, and it always gives me inspiration. Thank you for being "you".

Jen B.

LuLu Kellogg said...

What a fantastic post! I truly find my before and after pics motivate me tremendously and also all the people I have come in contact with in support groups.


SheZug said...

Dear Michelle, thanks for everything! I'm 3 days post op and I am not sure what I would do without your words of wisdom, great recipes, and motivation.
<3 SheZug aka Donna

Jamie said...

Thanks for this - I needed it today! You rock!

sally said...

Thank you! I need to start checking in on your blog everyday like I did during my journey. 3 years out and finding it hard to be modivated, this post today is a great motivator!! Keep it up!!

Kelliann said...

Wonderful post!
Not eating some foods ever again may be abnormal for some - but for someone (like me) who can't stop at a small serving, or even a bite, of some foods - it MUST be my normal - so that the REST of my life CAN be normal... :-)

kathy said...

Thank you! I check your site almost daily. You help me!

Anonymous said...


I had my GBS in August 2010. Many people that are close to me were against it and asking "why go to this extreme measure to lose weight"? But they were not in my body and they were not walking in my shoes. Some people can live being BBW(Big, beautiful woman) and accept it. I never could accept it even as a child. I desperately wanted to lose weight had gotten worse as I got into my teenage years. I also felt like I was trapped in a body that was not mine. I am sooo glad that I stood firm on my decision to have the surgery. I am always looking for ways to maintain and diet and stay focused,kudos to you blogsite because I have referred others that I know that either are about to have the surgery or already did to this site. It has great info on products,recipes and is great motivation. I dont regret having surgery at all to lose weight. It have motivated me and I am a better mother because I can physically be here my my kids.

Much Love

Mel said...

Thanks for the awesome list! Your blog is a big motivator for me!

mollyku said...

Shelly - your motivations resonate so much with me. Thanks for the elequent words and the reminders. :)

Julie said...

Definitely...YOU motivate me!! I SO appreciate all your hard work in continuing to blog!! Isn't BTV wonderful?!? I'm a proud freak!!

Cleo said...


You definately motivate me - I have your blog on my home page so I can read it every day and remind myself that this is not a short term fix, it's a life fix.

Thank you for sharing your story with the world - you really do make a difference


Nica said...

Dear Shelly,

Today you motivated me to keep going.

I had gained some weight over the holidays and am finding it hard to lose it again. I'm embarrassed and beginning to feel like a failure again. There are some stressful factors going on in my life right now that are making it hard for me to get back that motivation I once had. I crave the same feeling I had after WLS, but it not coming, and then I read your blog and it hit me, hard. You used one word that helped me stop a bad habit many years ago.


Many years ago I wanted to stop smoking. I was addicted to nicotine the same way a substance abuser is addicted and I put myself in the same shoes as one and with tons of motivation behind me. I stopped smoking for good and when the temptation arises (and every once in a while it still does), I remind myself of my sobriety and how far I've come.

I was reminded that I have yet another addiction to conquer. I know this one is a little tougher and possibly a little stronger than me, but then again so was smoking. The picture of you at Disneyland was also me. I know how you felt, I know how your vacation went because I've experienced your feelings. I looked at your face and saw myself, and it brought me back to the way I DO NOT WANT TO BE AGAIN!

So after reading your blog, I strongly suggested to myself that it's time to jump on the wagon again. It's time to be sober, and it's time to be the person I envisioned in my mind, the woman I once was before the addiction took over.

Thank you for expressing your thoughts and feelings knowing that they are similar or equal to the thoughts and feelings those of us who are moving towards goal.


Anonymous said...

Your story motivates me :) Tank you for all the advice and recipes. Krista Patton

Mandy said...

Your story, advice, tips, and blog motivate me :) Thanks !