Motivation Outside the Scale February 2nd Food and Exercise Journal

by Alison on February 2, 2010

Ate 24 of 25 points. Earned 6 activity points.

Breakfast(4.5) –Whole Wheat English Muffin (2), (1/2 with neufchâtel (1), 1/2 with peanutbutter (1))mandarin oranges (0.5)

Lunch (9)–White Turkey Chili (7), mango (2)

Snack (2)–Yogurt (2)

Dinner (8.5)–Chicken Cacciatore (5), 2/3 cup Brown Rice (2.5), Sautéed Zucchini with Oregano and Feta (1)

Snack (1)–Oatmeal Raisin Bite

So lately I’ve been thinking about motivation, what keeps me going and what do I need to continue to be motivated.  I think with the start of February lots of other people are thinking the same way as I’ve seen blog posts like this on lots of people’s blogs in the last 2 days.  According to statistics most people have given up their New Year’s Resolutions by February 1, maybe that’s why I didn’t set any.  Maybe I’m not trying hard enough by setting monthly resolutions but I don’t think so.  I think that looking a month out is far more realistic than a year, life changes.  And I’m finding that by doing monthly resolutions I’m being far more successful with what I’m doing.

I started running on January 3rd, I have a long term goal of running (not walking part of it) a 5k this year.  So on January 3rd I started the couch to 5k program, I’m now in week 5 of this program and running 12 minutes at a time, this is a far cry from the one minute I struggled with 5 weeks ago.  The larger goal of running a 5k was the motivation to find a program that helped me break it down into achievable steps.  Then I started thinking what will my motivation be when I have completed the 5k run, I already completed one 5k which I walk/jogged.  So I started looking not just at weightloss and food blogs but also at runner’s blogs and I have gotten even more motivation.  I joined the Pay it Forward-500 Mile Club over at Running Circles Around the Turtles The idea is to put a dime in a jar for every mile you run/walk this year with a goal of 500 miles and then to give this to a charity of your choice.  Hopefully you can find others to sponsor you as well. (Being an over achiever I am putting a quarter in 😀 ).  So while doing something good for yourself you are doing good for others, what’s not to love.  Although I joined late I was able to put in quarters for my January runs as I keep meticulous workout logs.  I have already logged over 50 miles, yea I can do 500 even if life gets in the way some of the time.  It’s a great goal, achievable but not easy.  Something visual, those quarters look nice as they stack up in the jar.  Something tangible and measurable, I can easily track this it doesn’t rely on staying motivated through a plateau waiting for the scale to drop.  The scale and tape measure motivate me but I’m looking forward to having something when those things lie to me, when I follow my plan and still don’t lose.

This brings me to the next blog that provided me with insights of other forms of motivation.  Over at Seattle Runner Girl Valerie was talking about what should we reward, alot of what she said about rewarding behaviours instead of pounds fit in with my own thoughts about rewarding myself, although I have been lax on this front, one of the areas that Beck talks about that I think I could do better at.  Valerie asked for help with refining her new reward system and I confess that my advice to her I’m going to take myself, probably a good idea as I give better advice to others than myself :p (yes, I’m working on this).  Basically my new reward system is still a work in progress but it will be rewards for new behaviour patterns.  I plan to make a list of behaviours that I am trying to reinforce with a ranking, those that are almost habits are worth less points than those I’m still really struggling with.  As I earn these points I will bank them and when I reach a certain amount I will reward myself with things off of a reward list.  The other nice thing about this is that even when I reach my goal weight I still have something to reward myself for.  Everyone who loses and maintains says maintaining is harder than losing, I believe this and will need motivation then to keep me going.  Since losing weight isn’t my ultimate goal, getting healthy and fit is, this kind of reward system really resonates for me. So this is not all worked out but something that I will be working out for myself this week, I figure it ties in nicely with my montly resolutions and some of my longer term goals.  Who knows maybe I’ll make Ben buy me my rewards 😛

Anyone have any thoughts or suggestions for either of my motivators?  Anyone want to sponsor my miles at a dime a mile?

How do you keep motivation going on long journeys?

Running Weekly totals used 32 of 35 weekly points, earned 19 activity points

White Turkey Chili

Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore and Zucchini with oregano and feta

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Nicole, RD February 3, 2010 at 12:56 PM

Love the pictures — gorgeous!

I actually read this post before the alfredo post, so I’m coming back 🙂 Catching up with everyone finally! Anyways, I think the rewards list is a great idea! I think I will use that for myself and patients…you go girl! And the 5k goal…woot! You’ll do great!

SeattleRunnerGirl February 3, 2010 at 4:22 PM

I think you’re approaching this exactly right, Alison! Let me know how your new rewards system works for you!

beej February 4, 2010 at 8:59 AM

I love your goals/reward system. I think I’ll implement that once I hit my goal in a couple of weeks, since I also heard tha maintaining is way harder than losing. Which sucks, since losing hasn’t been that easy, either!

BTW, you White Turkey Chili looks delicious!!

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