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 :)