Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Motivation. The Audrey Carlson Version

Instead of beating around the bush I'm just going to say it. YOU have the be the main motivation and reason to get healthier the other reasons will fade and peter out and take you back where you started.

There are a million little motivators that keep me going on my quest to be healthier but I've learned I have to want it, I have to be happy with me because when it comes down to it that's what is most important. I know this sounds selfish but as a stay at home mom or any other kind of woman you do have to put yourself first and that is ok. Really! If I'm happy I can be better at all the other things I do in my life to make it my Happy Life.

Here are some of the motivators that pushed me on but didn't keep me going:

Revenge. That's kind of a nasty word but really it's the best way to describe when you want to get healthy, lose weight, what ever it is to prove someone wrong, beat them at their own game. I've been there before and it doesn't last for long.

Getting healthy takes longer than the instant gratification that revenge demands. And if that person makes you feel that way, either by the words they say or the up and down checking out of how you look do you really want to have to say thanks for helping me get back in shape. NO, you want to say, hey, look what I did! I did the hard work! I'm awesome!

To Feel More Loved. Trust me they love you for who you are, however you look. My husband has been very careful to let me know that he loves me for who I am and although he encourages me to be healthier he always reminds me it's because he knows I will be happier with myself not that he wants me that way. This is how all our friends and loved ones should feel.

We can't do it for them. We have to want this for ourselves. If people like us more because we are skinner is it really because we are skinnier or do we just feel better about ourselves, have more self confidence and are more willing to put ourselves out there and therefore we invite more people into our world.

Sometimes those around us may feel threatened by our success. It's sad but true. I'm not sure why this happens but sometimes we lose friends or even those closer to us because of our desires to be healthy.

True but sad story, readers digest version. I have a friend who's wife was a little over weight but he was significantly over weight. After a scare and a trip to the emergency room he took his wake up call and started exercising. He would run every day and eventually lost a lot of weight. His wife could not handle it. She was a gaming programmer and enjoyed her sedentary life. She was not happy with his "selfish" ways. Eventually they grew apart and have since divorced. He is still a runner and has kept off the weight. It's sad that this was the outcome but he is grateful for his new found life and that he will be around much longer to enjoy it and his family.

Sometimes I think people feel threatened by others success and happiness. If someone around you starts to pull away and you aren't willing to let that relationship go reach out and don't let it. They may be thinking now that you're skinny or healthy that you don't want that friendship anymore.

What motives me.
I'm a competitor and I enjoy doing exercise that allows me to compete in a race. There has to be a point for doing all this exercise.

I like that when my boys want to play I have enough energy to do so. With two active boys I need as much energy as I can. Eating properly and exercising regularly will allow me to do this for a longer part of my life than if I was unhealthy.

I like feeling good when I get dressed.

I want my husband to think dang shes HOT!

If I'm happy with myself I can enjoy those around me more fully. I can be a better mom, wife and friend.

And yes, sometimes those reasons above creep in but they don't keep me going for very long.

I've really had to become comfortable with myself and who I am. If I didn't lose another pound would I still be happy? Yes. So right now it's about living a more full life. That is why I preach till I'm blue in the face that the changes that you're making need to be ones that you can keep doing forever.

What motivates me is that I want to feel this great for years and years to come and if I lose a few pounds and inches along the way because my body was not in a healthy place that is a wonderful bonus.

Thank you Cammy for giving us all something to think about.


  1. I agree with all that you wrote in this most excellent post.

  2. Such a great post Audrey! Thanks for sharing it with all of us. You hit it right on!

  3. Great post Audrey. You are a wise woman.

  4. You are absolutely correct! If you are not seriously considering your health, and the effect your nutrition (or lack thereof) and your activity level has on your life, then I don't think the rest of the stuff, like fitting into a cute dress, is going to make a difference in the long run. The instant gratification battle of yummy food and lazy leisure can't be fought off with shallow goals. You have to find the strength and motivation within yourself, or that cupcake is going to win the battle.

  5. Wahoo!! Love it, love it, love it!

  6. Thinking about it some more - you made a good point about the effect losing weight has on your social life. Sure, there are a few rare people who will be drawn to you simply because of improved appearance. But what I really think is going on the majority of the time, is that an improved healthy lifestyle affects how WE feel about ourselves, and it makes us subconsciously more confident and outgoing. My natural personality is to be kind of self-contained and laid back, perhaps even shy and withdrawn, but as I improve my health, I think my overall energy for life goes up, and I naturally am more social. Plus, my hormones probably even out with good nutrition and I am less depressed and moody - also a great contributor to social activity. I see myself as having better friendships in the long run, because it's an expression of my inner self-improvement, not because shallow people are drawn to my better appearance.

  7. Yep, you're a fountain of wisdom...and you reminded me of another very important motivation: wanting my hubby to think "Dang, my wife is hot!"

    I've noticed that my personality, energy and moods are all more balanced when I exercise. It's good for the body and for the brain!