Thursday, October 2, 2008

What Motivation?

I'm mostly getting over my weirdness about people calling me inspirational. I still don't feel very inspirational, really, but I have mostly stopped objecting. Ok, if I help someone else get motivated to work out or to clean house or to eat right or whatever, that's great!

On the other hand, I don't really have a good answer for the question that people ask me, all the bloody time.

Where do you get your motivation?

The first time someone asked me that, I blinked a few times. Huh? Wha...? Motiva-blah-de-blah?

I'm sure I made something up. It doesn't sound good to have someone say "What motivation?"

I suppose I have some sort of motivation. I was unhappy with my life and wanted a change. No one changes because things are going well! But they're all very personal reasons, you know... My A1C was worrisome. I couldn't pick my daughter up and carry her any further than across the room. My mother had breast cancer. It's a stupid thing to decide to lose weight about, don't you think? My mother had breast cancer, so I decide to lose weight. It's not like the two things are really related. But I couldn't fix her, and I couldn't fix my chances for getting breast cancer (my grandmother and aunt on my dad's side had it too, and boy, does that make me high risk!) and all I was doing was fretting. May as well change what I can change.

I don't see how this helps anyone else. I have a couple of friends who are large ladies, but can easily carry their own kids around. I have large friends who have don't have diabetes looming in their future. I have thin friends who do. We're all different and whatever inspiration we have has got to come from inside.

You can become inspired by someone else. Someone else's success, or someone else's reasons can get you started. But in the end, what you're doing has got to come from inside you. I can't do it for you. Your mother, your child, your spouse, your friend. We can help you, you have to make the commitment.

It can be a lonely place, making the commitment.

It doesn't matter, at that point, how many people have been exactly where you are now, standing on the teetering cliff of some enormous life change. (I don't care WHAT your life change is; quitting smoking, losing weight, changing jobs, divorce, whatever.... life changes are frightening, lonely places.) You are alone. Even if you're not, you certainly feel like it.


It's the most terrible word in the English language.

There's you and there's the cliff and there's a lot of nothing else. And the cliff is so huge, and you're tiny.

It's scary. And you think you can't do this, you can never possibly... It's not too bad, standing on the top of that cliff, you're safe. You're just speculating this crazy thing... It's pretty easy to just stand there. "I'll do it tomorrow..." "I'm not ready..." "Well, at least I'm aware..." "I'm getting ready to..."

At some point, you have to take the leap. Or walk away. Or just continue to stand there.

Any of those three things is a choice.

Motivation isn't a medication; you can't take 2 pills and call in the morning. It's not easy. There certainly isn't some mystical wellspring of it, untapped inside you, with unlimited inspiration. It's more like the tiniest trickle that leaks through two awesomely huge boulders, and it may be sweet, but it's also dusty and a little bit too warm, and there's certainly never enough of it.

I was talking with a friend the other day after a morning of huge amounts of cleaning.

"I wish I had your motivation," she says. "Or, I could steal it from you for a while. Long enough to get my own house clean."

"You get out of bed every day and go to work, right?"


"Same stuff."

Sometimes there just isn't any motivation. There isn't any inspiration. There isn't even some lofty goal at the end.

Sometimes, you just do it.

Because that's what you have to do.


Chanda (aka Bea) said...

I actually read that losing weight does decrease your chances of some cancers. But as for motivation, that is a bit of a personal one, different for everyone. I'm glad you've found yours, even if it doesn't feel like it some days, obviously, it's there.

I like the cliff analogy. I'm still standing on mine, occasionally throwing shit off the side to see how far down it goes. It goes pretty far down.

Vodka Mom said...

I'm with you girl. You just live your damn life, and that's about it.

Anonymous said...

I know.
and I fear I offended another blogger BECAUSE I admired her.

so no comment from this MizFit :)

Crabby McSlacker said...

Great post!

I do think that people who do these really difficult things in other areas of their lives (jobs, caring for family etc) don't realize how strong and motivated they can be! Believing what you do makes a difference is a bit part of it, and some folks just don't believe in themselves enough.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful post. I could NOT agree more.

Because at the bottom of it, when you strip off all the pretty ribbons and bows we tie to it to make it look nicer, it's as simple as that. You do what has to be done, because it has to be done. How you get around to deciding it needs to be done is going to be different for everyone...but the bottom line doesn't change.

Wise words and you may not consider yourself inspirational - but you are definitely a good example of how to succeed. :-)


Thinking Thin said...

Hey, just checking to see if you ever got the package in the mail?

Anonymous said...

I agree with you. Motivation to me is a personal choice for each individual. To me, you are an example of what can be achieved with hard work. =)

Anonymous said...

After two and a half years, I’m still struggling with getting rid of the extra weight that came with a pregnancy and three months of bedrest. Ugh. I fondly remember the “good old days” when I could drop 5 pounds by skipping a few meals. Unfortunately, that seems to have changed as more gray hairs were added and the years ticked by. Now, losing weight is truly work. And it’s not fun. It’s a frustratingly slow process and I want to see results overnight. Did I mention that I need to work on patience?

Anyway, I’ve dropped a few of the extra “baby” pounds, but not nearly what I’d like to. I lost the most last summer when Hubby and I decided to create a monetary rewards system. We figured what we would have spent for gym memberships and put the money in a jar. For every pound we lost, we got to collect cold, hard cash. I wanted a new camera and worked hard to lose the pounds to be able to buy it. It was amazing how well it worked! Then winter came, we weren’t as active, we ate more while we hibernated, and we came out in the spring with a few of those pounds back. Sigh.

This time, I mean business. I want to lose the pounds for good and start developing healthier habits to keep the weight off instead of all this yo-yo stuff. It’s time to face the facts that I just can’t eat like I used to, and I need to exercise more. So, I’m on a mission to lose 30 pounds. I’d actually be pretty happy with 20, but 30 would be great, so that’s what I’m shooting for. I now know that monetary incentives work wonders, and I found another way to super-motivate myself.

Barb said...

New to your blog and loving it. As for me.. I'm still just standing here.. waiting ...not sure what for. I definitely need to move in a forward direction. Actually I do move, just get derailed easily.