Motivation

What’s Your Motivation?

Hey guys, as you all know I like to enter the transformation challenges over at Bodybuilding.com. The most recent challenge is the Still In It 8 week challenge. The question for Week 1 is pretty simple and straight forward: What’s your motivation?Other than the obvious answer of Family and Health,t here are two main factors that have motivated me and kept me on track these last 2 years.

I’m Not Afraid ( Well, maybe a little?)

The first thing that has kept me motivated is fear. I’m scared to death of turning back in to the person I was. I still have nightmares that wake me up about it. I imagine I walk into the bathroom to get ready for work and as I look in the mirror, I realize that I’m back to 400 lbs, and the last two years were actually just a dream I was having. This has been a recurring nightmare for a while now, and my first reaction is to jump out of bed and go straight to the scale. It’s the same fear that has kept me from eating the amount of calories I should for maintenance. I don’t even dream of trying to eat in surplus to try and really build muscle. I’d love to, but the thought of it scares me to death.

I’m not just talking about the fear of physically turning into my old self, but mentally as well. I was in a pretty bad place a couple of years ago. I didn’t have much of any self worth, and was sure that any day some surprise health condition from my weight would kill me. It was enough stress to give me some pretty wild panic attacks, that in turn kept me from wanting to leave the comfort of my house unless absolutely necessary. It was a horrible way to live that I’m sure put a lot of stress on my undeserving family. I’m glad to say that as the weight came off, so did the anxiety. I haven’t had any panic attacks in almost 2 years now, and while I’m no extrovert by any means, I’m a much more sociable person now.

I Think I Can

The second factor that has kept me motivated is curiosity. I’m sure that sounds a bit strange, but after setting and accomplishing a couple of small goals, I have really started to get curious about what my body and mind can handle. I’ve started fairly small, with simply running a mile, and graduated to short and medium distance races, and even obstacle courses. I completed a sprint triathlon over the summer, and have planned a half-marathon in December. As you can see I get a little more ambitious each time out. I find it really fun to see what I can do, especially considering it used to be so little.

I’ve also challenged myself to be more social. Talking to people used to scare me to death, as I felt I was literally the elephant in the room. I never wanted to draw any additional attention to myself, as I felt my size was already a distraction. I’m slowly learning to overcome that. I have tried to challenge myself to strike up conversations with complete strangers, and go and try new things just for the sake of interaction with other people. I’ve had mixed results so far, but some of those victories include taking a part time job as a Fitness Coach as well as taking Jiu-Jitsu classes and meeting a bunch of new people through that. Both of those are things I’d never have even thought about 2 years ago.

So, now you know a little more about what makes me tick. How about you? What’s your motivation, or what’s lacking in your life that keeps you from wanting to give it 110%? I learned the hard way not to be afraid of failure. I hope you can do the same. I think you’ll find if you just take that first leap, the rest will just come naturally….Or you’ll land flat on your face. Either way, it will be an adventure!

 

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