Active Low-Carber Forums
Atkins diet and low carb discussion provided free for information only, not as medical advice.
Home Plans Tips Recipes Tools Stories Studies Products
Active Low-Carber Forums
A sugar-free zone


Welcome to the Active Low-Carber Forums.
Support for Atkins diet, Protein Power, Neanderthin (Paleo Diet), CAD/CALP, Dr. Bernstein Diabetes Solution and any other healthy low-carb diet or plan, all are welcome in our lowcarb community. Forget starvation and fad diets -- join the healthy eating crowd! You may register by clicking here, it's free!

Go Back   Active Low-Carber Forums > Main Low-Carb Diets Forums & Support > Triple Digits Club
User Name
Password
FAQ Members Calendar Mark Forums Read Search Gallery My P.L.A.N. Survey


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1   ^
Old Wed, Jun-18-08, 09:48
j13's Avatar
j13 j13 is offline
Posts: 2,033
 
Plan: atkins
Stats: 445/305/220 Male 6'
BF:
Progress: 62%
Location: Connecticut! From Jersey!
Default On motivation, from an unusual source.

I've always been one to say that you can *not* lose a huge amount of weight by trying to do it through incredible motivation, trying to pump yourself up and get it done with the Rocky theme running in the background and expecting the world to bend to your whim. That kind of drive simply can NOT last as long as us TDC members need it to - you burn out and fall off. Instead, it has to be from making the diet second-nature, and that comes from a fundamental change in thinking and action that takes time and patience to create.

In my opinion, this is why I honestly hate The Biggest Loser. It makes the weight loss process seem like a sprint, something that's dramatic and attained through pushingpushingpushing, every single day as hard as humanly possible while being cheered through the finish line by all of America.

Friends, for those of us who are not on a television game show, it does not work that way. It is NOT a sprint, it is a marathon - an incredibly long one that lasts the entirety of our lives, one that is at times easy and others hard, one that includes its share of drama, but one that also includes its share of tedium and ho-hum Every Day Life. Our lives, unlike a game show, don't get to stop for 6 months to make the weight loss process the center of our universes. For that reason, the expectation of The Big Push is an unrealistic and - due to its complete incompatibility with real life - an often destructive model on which to build true success. I can not tell you the number of people I've seen come through this board over the years, telling everyone how it's done, how This Time It's For Real, how they're never going to fail again, how this time it's "X Pounds Gone Forever!"

Unrealistic expectations driven by delusional magical thinking leads to realistic downfalls a REMARKABLE amount of the time. People set themselves up for failure by creating standards and expectations that are unattainable and unrealistic, then have slip-ups that lead them to feel like failures, leading to their losing the course completely. "I couldn't do it! It's too hard!" Nonsense. You did it wrong by setting your goals and expectations too high. This is a lifelong thing. There is no "failing" until you've decided - consciously or not - to stop *trying* to make good decisions. People often stop stop trying because their model for doing this is one that is completely incongruous with living a real life - one that is driven by Magical Motivation that worked for one day, one week, or one month, but which eventually faded into the void, along with their hopes of living a healthy life.

The people I've modeled my success, such as it is, on have NOT followed that path. They are the ones who do it every day, when life is easy and when life is hard, and who realize that the underpinnings of the diet - the mindset and the motivation - are the key to doing this properly and successfully.

I'm currently trying to quit smoking (again...), and this morning I got an email on this point that I think very accurately displays this thought that I've often tried to convey, but not quite as succinctly. I wrote about it in my journal this morning, and I thought it might be something useful for other TDC members to think about as well. From my journal:

This came in my email today from the quitting smoking board I use (I don't post there, but it keeps track of how much money you've saved and as such is quite motivational). It is exactly true for weight loss/food addiction as well:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoking Quit Site E-mail
Motivation can't be manufactured at will, especially in the face of a 'will' that is addicted and thus determined to proceed with addiction behavior. It must be attained by a process of change. This change begins when the smoker first questions the validity of a smoking lifestyle, and continues through a number of clinically-defined stages. Moving towards, and alternately away from, the point of motivation, is a process that every ex-smoker has gone through (though they're not usually consciously aware of it).


Reworded:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reworded
Motivation can't be manufactured at will, especially in the face of a 'will' that is addicted and thus determined to proceed with addiction behavior. It must be attained by a process of change. This change begins when the carb addict first questions the validity of a lifestyle that leads to chronic obesity, and continues through a number of clinically-defined stages. Moving towards, and alternately away from, the point of motivation, is a process that every recovering carb addict has gone through (though they're not usually consciously aware of it).


-j.

Last edited by j13 : Wed, Jun-18-08 at 09:57.
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
  #2   ^
Old Wed, Jun-18-08, 10:26
LowCarbRob's Avatar
LowCarbRob LowCarbRob is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 288
 
Plan: Atkins OWL
Stats: 310/270/220 Male 6'-0"
BF:it is for now
Progress: 44%
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Default

Well said. This should be required reading for all new members. Thanks for posting.
Reply With Quote
  #3   ^
Old Wed, Jun-18-08, 11:06
Judynyc's Avatar
Judynyc Judynyc is offline
Attitude is a Choice
Posts: 30,111
 
Plan: No sugar, flour, wheat
Stats: 228.4/209.0/170 Female 5'6"
BF:stl/too/mch
Progress: 33%
Location: NYC
Default

Great stuff Jake!!

Thanks!!
Reply With Quote
  #4   ^
Old Wed, Jun-18-08, 13:15
LessLiz's Avatar
LessLiz LessLiz is offline
Registered Member
Posts: 6,938
 
Plan: who knows
Stats: 337/204/180 Female 67 inches
BF:100% pure
Progress: 85%
Location: Pacific NW
Default

I got kicked off a weight loss forum once for saying you have to invent your own motivation every day, that no one can do it for you, and that if you aren't willing to accept that responsibility you might as well quit now because you are only going to make yourself miserable then fail later.

This was a much nicer way of saying the same thing.
Reply With Quote
  #5   ^
Old Wed, Jun-18-08, 13:23
ValerieL's Avatar
ValerieL ValerieL is offline
Bouncy!
Posts: 9,388
 
Plan: Atkins Maintenance
Stats: 297/173.3/150 Female 5'7" (top weight 340)
BF:41%/31%/??%
Progress: 84%
Location: Burlington, ON
Default

I agree... and I don't.

Today, I'm manufacturing my own motivation.

Tomorrow, I might take it from one of those "Half Their Size" issues of People magazine.

I get motivation from reading these forums. I also get motivation from watching the Biggest Loser. I love the show and find it immensely inspirational.

External motivation and internal motivation both have their place in my arsenal of tools for success. Sometimes I'm just not strong enough to invent my own each day, sometimes I need the theme to Rocky running through my head.
Reply With Quote
  #6   ^
Old Wed, Jun-18-08, 13:34
gweny70's Avatar
gweny70 gweny70 is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 4,319
 
Plan: Figuring it out
Stats: 366/282.2/166 Female 5'6"
BF:YEP/YEP/YEP
Progress: 42%
Default

Well put!!
Reply With Quote
  #7   ^
Old Wed, Jun-18-08, 22:21
rightnow's Avatar
rightnow rightnow is offline
Every moment is NOW.
Posts: 23,064
 
Plan: LC (ketogenic)
Stats: 520/381/280 Female 66 inches
BF: Why yes it is.
Progress: 58%
Location: Ozarks USA
Default

I thought about this for awhile, the original post and Valerie's response.

I think maybe the reality is that in the earlier days of lowcarbing I really really needed motivation. I had a lot of my own. But it helped from other sources.

When I weighed over 500# and only lurked here, I cannot tell you the nights I spent looking at the pictures in the success stories threads, reading recipes. I so desperately needed to believe that lowcarb was truly possible, that maybe it would actually work, no matter that barely eating off and on didn't make me lose weight, that maybe eating a lot more than usual, but lowcarb, would actually make me lose weight. It seemed like a magical thing at first, and one of those "anything that seems too good to be true probably is." There were plenty of times in my planning and in my early days of lowcarb when hours spent stalking success stories and recipes somehow fed my heart, my faith, and helped maintain motivation I'm not sure I would have had without that.

The more used to eating properly I get, the less genuine motivation I seem to need to eat that way. However, doing something new takes motivation, even if it's not the food; exercise and other things tie into a "healthier lifestyle" and those have their own demands. In the early days, just getting the food straight well enough to THINK straight is what matters. But eventually, as the body gets smaller, the picture gets bigger.

I have really seen that when I had some idea in mind of how much I needed to lose how fast -- and I don't mean small goals here like we all work to (1-12 months), I mean larger ones -- that it was more difficult for me. Every day I was faced with the incredibly seeming-insignificance of anything that I could do in that day compared to the overwhelming goal and need. The project of my body's improvement was so big I didn't have the heart some days to even think about it; it stunned me with its scope. But when I actually let go of that, when I dropped such ideas and now simply make shorter term goals, usually even less than I think I can do -- because I believe meeting/exceeding a goal is important for psychological reasons and persistance reasons; I can push myself when I can marathon ok, for now, training my body and mind to like what I'm doing and have faith is more important to my continuing to do it -- I don't feel that sense of stress and despair anymore.

You know what, I am so damned glad to feel like I feel right now, eating well, taking a few supplements, thinking clearly, being able to mow the lawn and go shopping and fit in lots of chairs I couldn't before -- I am genuinely happy with this. Is that all I want? Hell no. Do I want to be thinner? Hell yes! But I am *happy* that I am here, and not where I started. I am happy that standing for 30-60 seconds no longer gives me screaming back pain, that walking from the door to the car no longer makes me exhausted, that just thinking about nearly any problem seemed like it required more energy than I had to deal with and hence was overwhelming and I no longer have that situation. I'm happy that I can plan for my future and dream of something *real*. I used to daydream about "the day when I'd be thin" and all the things I'd do. It was as unrealistic as a romance novel. Now, I daydream about when I'm 300# instead of 375, and the exercises I bet I can do then, and how cool my kitchen will look once it's painted. Rather than either spacing out in denial or despairing over reality, now I'm just sorta happy where I am, happy to be moving toward another goal, and it makes me feel fairly optimistic that my future will be bright.

Will I ever weigh 130 again? Not likely. Possible. Not IMpossible. But also not likely. That was hard for me to accept. It was hard for me because I fought against it, fought because I've been indoctrinated to believe that if you "just do everything right" that obesity would just vanish, with that fairy-wand of gold light. It was a real bear working through learning about some metabolic and nutritional issues and realizing that given my high weight, even though I can radically improve my health and greatly improve my figure, it might not ever be the fashion zombie it used to be.

I had to let go of the emphasis on timing because that's where panic lies. Panic sits at the bottom of the clock, just waiting for someone to have an idea of what they "must" lose "in order to be ok" or whatever. I know the feeling of panic... pretty well. But the reality is that panic is one of those things that made me need external motivation; "quiet desperation" drains you. Adding time-pressure to your mental diet is like adding carbs to your physical diet: it makes you really deficient in another things, like Vitamin C or "motivation and persistance". There's a difference between a fairly short term goal you think you can make, and a goal that is not only going to require herculean effort, but several other factors related to metabolism and feeding behavior that are so unlikely as to be completely unrealistic.

I'm making my new goals to be happy, and that includes as part of it, not only all kinds of things that aren't about food but *are* about healthy living, but also a regular, optimistic outlook on continued weight loss and life improvement, and deliberately short- and medium- term goal plans, which I find motivating and do-able. Something like, "I will work every day on eating healthier and I hope I lose 30# in the next six months," as opposed to, "I read about this guy who lost 300# in only 22 months! Maybe I could do THAT!"

One thing the triple-digit obesity situation does is force you -- if all goes well, anyway -- to face reality a little more squarely. It isn't about losing 5# for that summer bikini. It's about losing 10# so breathing is slightly easier today than it was last month. It's about losing 50# or 150# so you don't have to stand in the aisle at the back of the movie theatre for lack of a fitting seat. No matter what the "focus-goals" are, there is also a long line of goals off into the distance.

"Sprinters" don't make this long a cross-country run. It isn't about the urgency and leap; it's about pacing yourself, focusing on what matters day to day, and taking steps to preserve the elements that sustain you for the long term race.
Reply With Quote
  #8   ^
Old Thu, Jun-19-08, 06:25
gweny70's Avatar
gweny70 gweny70 is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 4,319
 
Plan: Figuring it out
Stats: 366/282.2/166 Female 5'6"
BF:YEP/YEP/YEP
Progress: 42%
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by rightnow

I had to let go of the emphasis on timing because that's where panic lies. Panic sits at the bottom of the clock, just waiting for someone to have an idea of what they "must" lose "in order to be ok" or whatever. I know the feeling of panic... pretty well. But the reality is that panic is one of those things that made me need external motivation; "quiet desperation" drains you. Adding time-pressure to your mental diet is like adding carbs to your physical diet: it makes you really deficient in another things, like Vitamin C or "motivation and persistance". There's a difference between a fairly short term goal you think you can make, and a goal that is not only going to require herculean effort, but several other factors related to metabolism and feeding behavior that are so unlikely as to be completely unrealistic.

I'm making my new goals to be happy, and that includes as part of it, not only all kinds of things that aren't about food but *are* about healthy living, but also a regular, optimistic outlook on continued weight loss and life improvement, and deliberately short- and medium- term goal plans, which I find motivating and do-able. Something like, "I will work every day on eating healthier and I hope I lose 30# in the next six months," as opposed to, "I read about this guy who lost 300# in only 22 months! Maybe I could do THAT!"


"Sprinters" don't make this long a cross-country run. It isn't about the urgency and leap; it's about pacing yourself, focusing on what matters day to day, and taking steps to preserve the elements that sustain you for the long term race.



AMEN!!!!!!! Your future is DEFINITELY bright!!!!!!! You obviously have made some very major realizations on your journey to being happy and healthy!! Coming from an All or Nothing mentality that I struggle with your points are well received and the same thoughts & view that I try daily to subscribe to. It's not easy but I think it's definitely the difference between perpetual yo-yoing and ultimate success. Thanks for sharing. I think your sentiments are so right on and really will be the key to your long term success!!!!!!!

Last edited by gweny70 : Thu, Jun-19-08 at 06:42.
Reply With Quote
  #9   ^
Old Thu, Jun-19-08, 07:48
ValerieL's Avatar
ValerieL ValerieL is offline
Bouncy!
Posts: 9,388
 
Plan: Atkins Maintenance
Stats: 297/173.3/150 Female 5'7" (top weight 340)
BF:41%/31%/??%
Progress: 84%
Location: Burlington, ON
Default

Great realizations in there, PJ.

Losing weight as a TDC'er really is a whole different ballgame than for most people. So complicated, the focus is different, success is often defined differently.
Reply With Quote
  #10   ^
Old Thu, Jun-19-08, 08:45
jesslive's Avatar
jesslive jesslive is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 438
 
Plan: General Low Carb
Stats: 302/292/200 Female 69 inches
BF:
Progress: 10%
Location: Pennsylvania
Default

This is an amazing thread.

PJ- Your statements about panic really hit home for me.

My adult life has been full of this cycle where panic and fear lead me to continue repeating bad behaviors so I can ignore that feeling of panic. Only later realizing where the bad behaviors have left me. Thus leading to panic again. I guess this is the cycle any addict goes through whether it has to do with drugs and alcohol, food and weight, finances, etc.

I have never believed or even fantasized that I could lose 100 pounds, and I never faced what I really wanted. I never took a look deep down inside and said - I want this. I see my future as this. I just focused on what I wanted right that instant. Well, that thing was almost always the exact opposite of what I wanted long term.

Today, my motivation is coming from the ability to dream. To envision a brighter future. Somehow as the weight piled on and I started to grow up, I stopped thinking about how I wanted things to be and just dealt with how things are. Numerous times in my life, I have actually been proud of myself for being able to just deal with it. It felt like I wasn't living. I was just reacting to what was happening around me. I want to take control of a part of my life, and this seemed like a good place to start.

I want to make small goals important to me, and yes I agree they need to be achievable in steps. I believe every big problem can be solved, but it needs to be broken down to its smaller parts. - I think someone taught me this in Math class.

Also, thanks to everyone for sharing their motivations. I am just starting out, and all of the reading and personal stories do and will help me to come back here and keep trying.

Last edited by jesslive : Thu, Jun-19-08 at 08:51.
Reply With Quote
  #11   ^
Old Thu, Jun-19-08, 10:35
advantagec advantagec is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 717
 
Plan: Protein Power
Stats: 324/283/245 Male 71.5 inches
BF:
Progress: 52%
Location: North Carolina
Default

This is a great thread. j's thoughts on motivation dovetail nicely into the mindset which makes this work for me.

For me, motivation counterbalances sacrifice. It is mathematical. Major sacrifice requires big "all fired up" motivation. And that kind of motivation is not sustainable in the long run.

OTOH, minor sacrifice only requires a minor level of day to day motivation, a level which I CAN sustain. Thus the key for me is this: The level of sacrifice/deprivation must be kept reasonably low in order to stay with the program in the long run.
Reply With Quote
  #12   ^
Old Thu, Jun-19-08, 12:51
winterlily's Avatar
winterlily winterlily is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 473
 
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 316/238/170 Female 5'2"
BF:
Progress: 53%
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Default

For me, the motivation has to be the "little things" - I get motivated when I can wear shorts without "thigh burn", or when I go up the stairs at work without stopping nad panting and feeling my chest hurt. When I can play with my daugther in the park, or when my pants feel just a little bit more loose....everyday I find motivation in little things - but those little thing enforce the bigger picture and keep me on track.
Reply With Quote
  #13   ^
Old Thu, Jun-19-08, 13:08
ValerieL's Avatar
ValerieL ValerieL is offline
Bouncy!
Posts: 9,388
 
Plan: Atkins Maintenance
Stats: 297/173.3/150 Female 5'7" (top weight 340)
BF:41%/31%/??%
Progress: 84%
Location: Burlington, ON
Default

Winterlily, I like that point. Those little things are important to me, too. I'll never forget the day I went to get something out of a low cabinet at work and *squatted down* to do it. I was on the balls of my feet with my butt at my heels and AMAZED! I hadn't been able to do that in years!

That kept me motivated for days! And renews it now, when I think about it!
Reply With Quote
  #14   ^
Old Thu, Jun-19-08, 15:55
kyrasdad's Avatar
kyrasdad kyrasdad is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 3,060
 
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 338/253/210 Male 5'11"
BF:
Progress: 66%
Location: Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Default

Motivation is worthless. In my case, I've integrated it into everything I do, and it's "just the way I do things." If I could will myself to do things that my body doesn't want to, that it fights me on, then I'd be in the Tour De France next year. Fact is, thin people aren't thin because they have incredible willpower and fat people aren't fat because they have none.

Routine does it for me. As long as it's a shrug & do it thing, I do it. If it's outside my comfort zone, I resist. I bring it into my comfort zone. I find a way to live that way.

I hope nobody gets offended if I chuckle at the various "rewards" threads that pop up from time to time. If a freaking new shirt or iPod could motivate me, I'd have a closetfull of shirts and a trunk full of iPods. No external thing can motivate me. Giving yourself mini-rewards isn't useful. It's just distracting. It might do no harm, but it does no good either. (Unless you just wanted the iPod anyway)

I've pondered the question of motivation for a very long time. I agree that it's not real. No "moments of clarity", no external influence can make this happen. I couldn't have done it strictly on motivation. I couldn't have done it at all. Motivation plays a tiny role. Being informed, being true to yourself, adopting it as a way of living no different than the television shows you watch -- that works.

I ain't Rocky. I ain't going to look at the mirror and drink the raw eggs and beat Apollo Creed. Neither are most people. I know a *few* people of very iron will, who could probably get by just on their own internal strength. But that isn't me and it probably isn't you.
Reply With Quote
  #15   ^
Old Thu, Jun-19-08, 16:02
rightnow's Avatar
rightnow rightnow is offline
Every moment is NOW.
Posts: 23,064
 
Plan: LC (ketogenic)
Stats: 520/381/280 Female 66 inches
BF: Why yes it is.
Progress: 58%
Location: Ozarks USA
Default

I agree.

Well, I had a moment of clarity that motivated me. However, this forum -- success stories in particular, and recipes, and journal, and blogs -- etc. helped keep that up long enough for me to lose enough weight to feel good enough that I was better able to pull a few habits more into my ordinary life.

Or as you say your comfort zone, so that "motivation" is not really required; it needs to be 'just another day' and then the process works on its own. Then motivation or not, 'willpower' isn't needed, only 'habit'.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 21:46.


Copyright © 2000-2024 Active Low-Carber Forums @ forum.lowcarber.org
Powered by: vBulletin, Copyright ©2000 - 2024, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.