Today’s question comes from my friend Vicki, She asks:
How do you get your mojo/motivation back after you’ve lost it?
That is a great question but I’m not really sure if I have a really great answer, but I will do the best I can.
For a long time, I had lost my motivation for a lot of things, not the least of which was weight loss and my overall health. Some of it was depression. Some of it was an overwhelming feeling of helplessness. Some of it was an unwillingness to face how horrible things in my life had become. I wanted my life to be better, I just did not know how to make it better, more importantly, I had stopped trying.
So, what changed for me? Well, a couple of things, actually.
The first and most important thing that happened was the birth of my niece. I fell in love with that little girl the very second I saw her. She is just so precious. I know I have written about her before, but I just cannot say enough about how her presence in our family has changed my life. Seeing her, spending time with her, making her smile became my reason to live. In order to live and keep up with her, I knew I would have to change.
Another thing that happened was my youngest sister’s wedding. I went to her wedding and I looked just terrible and my health was a mess. Here is a picture, which I had posted previously. I could not truly celebrate with her the way I wanted to and I really was disappointed in myself and I could tell she was too. That hurt.
The last thing that happened that I can think of was my other sister kind of had a mini intervention with me. She had a friend at work who had lost a lot of weight. She asked her how she did it and the girl told her she had the lap band surgery. So, my sister started a campaign to get me to consider having either the lap band or some other bariatric surgery to lose weight. After several long conversations with her, I started looking into my options and finally made the decision to have a gastric by-pass.
In the end, I found a reason to change, an example of what I was missing in life (and really, I had thousands of examples), and a plan to make that change happen. Furthermore, my sister offered me a great support system for the whole surgical process. So I guess these four items really helped me make the necessary changes.
So here is what I suggest for rediscovering your mojo:
- Find your inspiration by falling in love with something in your life. I’m not talking about finding romance. I mean, falling in love with some aspect of your own life. This doesn’t have to be a person, although it might be. It could even be yourself.
- Make a list of things you are missing out on by not changing your life. Conversely, this could also be a list of things you would gain after you’ve made the changes you need.
- Develop a concrete plan to achieve your goals.
- Create a support network of some kind to help you stay focused and help you along the way. To these four, I would also add…
- Revisit your plan often to make sure you are staying on track and make the necessary changes to help you keep focused.
I think this is a good plan for achieving just about any goal in your life, not just losing weight. It’s hard to pull yourself out of the dark places in your mind to make changes happen and it’s easy to fall backwards over and over again. When something is hard or daunting to face, we fall back on our worst avoidance behaviors. I do it all of the time and I’m forever dragging myself back out of the doldrums to refocus.
Even with a gastric by-pass, it’s not easy. The surgery was a tool, not the solution. I still have all of the problems with food I had before the surgery and I’m still fighting every day against my worst demons. The solution is changing that part of you is afraid to make the change. It’s a constant battle and the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but I had to do it. For me, not changing was an early death. I chose life.
Good luck, Vicki!