Tag Archives: Motivation

Reasons I Want to Lose Weight

I am nearly three weeks into my weight loss journey. So far, I have managed to keep off the weight I lost in my first week, but haven’t lost any more weight. Next week is my birthday, which is too special an occasion for dieting. My parents and sister will be over this coming week-end, but I don’t hope that between this and my actual birthday, that will be three days of overeatig. I’m just hoping that I won’t gain any weight.

I fully intended to stick with the journaling challenge which my post last week was inspired by regularly. I did stick with the food journal, but other things got in the way of me journaling about my journey again. The second exercise in the 28-day weight control journaling challenge by Mari L. McCarthy asks me to list every reason I can think of why I want to lose weight. McCarthy recommends going beyond the obvious reasons and digging deeper into my motivation. I have been thinking all week and it’s proving harder than I expected. Today, I will attempt to do this exercse.

Health-Related Reasons

My health is the main reason I want to lose weight. I once watched an episode of Dr. G: Medical Examiner in which Dr. G examined the bodies of people who had died of the five most common avoidable causes of death in the United States. One of the bodies was of a young woman of my height who weighed 117kg. My first thought was: “So I’m not that bad.” Then again, that woman was dead. I am alive and would like to continue living for another five or six decades. Obesity was at the time the second most common avoidable cause of death after smoking. I am pretty sure it’s surpassed smoking now.

Here are the health-related reasons for me to lose weight.


  • I have high blood pressure, whch is linked to obesity. I want to prevent this hypertension from becoming chronic.

  • I snore. This not only wakes my husband. It also causes me to wake up unrefreshed. Snoring is bidirectionally related to obesity. I don’t stop breathing (yet), but I don’t want to get this far and ideally want to stop snoring entirely.

  • I want to increase my mobility, endurance, flexibility and general fitness.

  • I don’t want to become a type 2 diabetic.

  • Coronary heart disease runs in my family on both sides. I want to lower my risk of this.

  • I have back pain semi-regularly. This is in part due to scoliosis, but I’m pretty sure those 20kg of extra weight I carry don’t help.

Mental Health

Exercise and eating a balanced diet are not just good for your physical health, but mental health as well. I experience mild to moderate depression every once in a while. Though at the time I was most miserable in my life, I was at a healthy weight, my weight of course wasn’t the reason I was miserable. Besides, even though I felt miserable at the time, I didn’t feel as inert as I often do now. This could definitely be related to those extra pounds.

Then there is my self-image. I know that my body image and self-esteem aren’t magically going to increase if I lose weight and my husband still finds me attractive. However, I do feel that increased physical fitness will increase my sense of success.

Goals

So what are my weight loss goals? My ultimate goal is to be at a healthy BMI in 2 1/2 years. As I already said, in one year, I want to have dropped my first 10kg so that I’m no longer obese.

One month from now, I want to be able to work-out on the elliptical trainer for 25 minutes a day, five days a week. I also hope that by that time, I’ve heard from the adaptive horseback riding school I signed up for last week. Lastly, I hope to have dropped one kilogram.

Inspire me. What are your reasons for staying at or getting to a healthy weight?

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Currently – September 2016

Wow, summer flew by! Even though the weather is quite summerlike, unlike in July and most of August, it’s already September. I have several posts I would still like to write, but I am rather unmotivated for blogging here lately. It could be because my Dutch blog is three months old and it looks like this is going to be a keeper. I do like to write there, although I don’t write nearly as often as I used to write here. Anyway, because I’m not motivated for a proper blog post, I’d like to write a “Currently” post once again. Currently is hosted this time by Beth and of course Anne.

Reading

I’ve been reading a lot of books and not finishing any lately. I still didn’t finish Handle with Care by Jodi Picoult, which I started in June. I also started Still Alice by Lisa Genova then, but have been leaving that for so long that I recently started over.

A few days ago, I bought Do No Harm by Herny Marsh. It’s a book of stories from a neurosurgeon. There doesn’t seem to be anything about hydrocephalus or pediatric surgery in general in it. Still, it’s quite interesting.

Trying

Lotion making. I didn’t do much in the way of soap making lately, but on Tuesday, I tried once again to make a body lotion. It failed again, this time for completely different reasons than the last time (I guess that means I’m learning!). The whole lotion making thing sounds a bit more complicated than I initially thought it would be. However, as I watched a video tutorial on it that was recommended to me by some Dutch lotion makers yesterday, I was reassured that it also probably isn’t as complicated as some other people make it sound. For example, I forgot the heat and hold phase, which means you need to heat your oil and water phases separately to 70 degrees Celsius and keep them at that temperature for twenty minutes. Well, that doesn’t seem to need to be dome as precisely. We’ll see next time.

Hoping

To be more motivated and inspired to get things done. Like finishing those books I started, making soap and blogging. I now spend most of my time on Facebook or in bed. Would really like to get more productve.

Decorating

Nothing really. The last decorative soap I made was already two weeks ago. I have another one planned, but need to get the motivaiton to actually go about it.

To-Do Listing

I don’t have much on my to-do list at this moment, except for the things I already mentioned I’m hoping to accomplish. On Monday, I did finally cross off the routine medical exam I’d been delaying for months.

What are you currently up to?

A Day in the Life of My New, Healthy Self

I started in a whole health journaling challenge on April 1. Unfortunately, due to fatigue and depressed moods setting in this week, I’ve not been able to do much of it. I finished the third journaling exercise, which has me envisioning a day as my new, healthy self. It was quite inspiring. Here is what I wrote.

I get up in the morning at 7 or 8AM. I shower, get dressed and have a healthy breakfast of yoghurt with muesli or a breakfast smoothie. I take my medication and brush my teeth. I may go to day activities to do snoezelen, swimming or go for a walk. Day activities will help me find companionship. I go on the elliptical trainer in the morning while listening to upbeat music.

For lunch, I have some bread. I may have another smoothie or some fruit. In the afternoon, I journal and go on the Internet for blogging and reading blogs and Facebook. When I live with my husband or if I have WiFi while in the institution, I watch some old TV online. I may go for a walk. Most importantly, I don’t sleep in the afternoon.

I meditate or pray in the afternoon too and read my Bible. I do some yoga in the afternoon as well. Either this will be the sun salutation I learned from my activity staff or I will hopefully learn some new series of poses.</P

In the evening, I eat a healthy meal. While still in the institution, I try to eat a bit of everything served. (I obviusly do the same when my husband cooks, but he usually cooks meals I like.)

I don’t sleep in the evening either. Instead, I go online, read a magazine or book. I go to bed at 10PM. I brush my teeth again before bedtime.

As you can see, I’m not 100% sure whether I’ll achieve this new, healthy state of mine while still in the institution or once I live with my husband. INitially, after writing this entry, I was completely motivated to start right then and there. I wrote my entry in the afternoon, so I decided to try a bit of everything served for supper that day. I have been doing well in this department – the only thing I skipped this week were mashed potatoes. I also did well in having healthy breakfasts each day. I also went on the elliptical a few times, though not in the mornings.

However, I’ve not been doing well in the sleeping department. I slept during the day almost each day and some nights have been pretty much sleepless. I also still need to get into the habit of brushing my teeth twice a day. My spiritual self-care is a mixed bag: I did yoga and meditation a few times but didn’t read the Bible or pray.

My biggest hurdle so far is to get into a healthy circadian rhythm. I think getting myself out of bed may give me energy rather than the other way around, but I’m not 100% convinced. I need to try this at least.

Small Victories Sunday Linkup

Fitness: Goal Setting and Getting Started #MDFitClub

Over at Mums’ Days, Hannah has launched the #MDFitClub. She writes all about motherhood and how it affects your health and fitness, but I believe I can join in too. After all, I have some health goals to work on too.

Back in January, I resolved to lose five to ten kilograms in 2015. That doesn’t seem to be a clear enough goal, because I keep thinking I could lose it all “later”. Though I’ve lost about two kilograms, that’s not nearly enough given how far along we are in 2015. My BMI is still over 30. Since the #MDFitClub runs for two months, I am resolving to get my BMI under 30 within these two months. That means losing about three kilograms.

Early this month, my fitness goal was to practise yoga at least three times a week. I have changed that to working out on the elliptical trainer or stationary bike, because these are more effective. I also started physical therapy last week, which is mainly for improving my physical condition. I did some working out there too, but I still agreed with the therapist to work out three times a week.

In the eating department, I’m doing relatively okay already. I have not completely eliminated binge eating, but have gotten it down to at most once a week. I do snack a lot though. I believe I shouldn’t be stressing out over the binges, since stress will make them worse. Then again, I do believe I need to stop snacking regularly. Otherwise, I won’t be losing any weight.

My purpose – my reason for wanting to achieve these goals – is my overall health. Though there is debate as to whether a BMI between 25 and 30 is unhealthy, everyone agrees that a BMI over 30 is. Besides, if I allow myself to have this BMI, there’s no clear-cut limit to weight gain. I really ultimately need to get my BMI under 25 (which means losing another twelve kilograms), but I know that’s not realistic within two months.

As a means of accountability, I will be writing regularly on how I’m doing with my goals. I am glad there’s a community of people participating in this challenge too. But I shouldn’t just talk, I should do the thing too. Now I’m therefore going to get onto that elliptical trainer. 🙂

Me Want It (But Me Wait): Teaching Self-Control to Children

In the summer of 2013, Sesame Street released a fabulous video in which Cookie Monster is learning about self-control. Self-control is an important skill for children to master, as it will help them succeed at school and manage their behavior at home. Naturlly, young children have no self-control. Children with ADHD or similar issues may lack self-control up till a much older age./P>

There are many ways in which a parent can teach a child self-control. With babies, you need to begin by modeling. Remain calm yourself when your child is distressed. There may be various ways in which a baby is calmed. Some need lots of physical contact, while others need to be laid down for a bit. People vary in their opinion on self-soothing, ie. whether you need to attend to a baby when crying or ignore them. I think it depends on the baby.

Listening skills are a first requirement. Teach your child to come when you call them. Rigidly enforcing social skills like eye contact may not be appropriate for some children, like those with autism, but your child needs to learn to listen to their name and to attend to you.

When a young child cannot get what they want, cannot do what they want to do, or for another reason gets frustrated, they may tantrum. For a one-year-old, consequences don’t work, but distraction does. When your child is a little older, like from the age of two on, use brief time-outs as a consequence for tantrums. Like I’ve said before, make sure your child knows when the time-out is over. This means for a young child that you will need to call them back out of time-out. Again, this reinforces listening skills. For older children, you can ask that they come back when they’ve calmed, but this may not work for children who are still unable to understand their own emotions, like most children with autism. You can point out signs of them being calm again when you call them back out of time-out. This may help children learn about their own emotions and behaviors.

Besides giving consequences for impulsive behavior or tantrums, it’s also very important to reward self-control. If you’ve promised your child ice cream after dinner and they’ve behaved according to your reasonable expectations, give them the ice cream. That way a child learns that not only will impulsivity be punished, but also that patience and self-control are indeed going to get you farther along in life.

Motivation is not the same as self-control. If a child can focus fine on a computer game but not when tidying their room, that’s not a problem with self-control. It is more likely that they lack the motivation to tidy their room. It is however possible to change your attitude. Children will need help with this. For example, as a parent, you may turn tidying the child’s room into a game. You also need to model the right attitude. If you approach tasks like they’re nasty chores, much energy will go into motivating yourself to do the task. If you approach them with a positive attitude, you will find it’s much easier to stay motivated and thereby use your self-control skills. With children (and as adults!) who have a special interest, you can use the special interest as part of the nasty chore.

Of course, there are other skills required for completing tasks besides motivation. Your child will need to have the attention span to focus, the working memory to remember what they need to do, and the organizational skills to plan their task and get it actually finished. Until I did my research for this post, I thought this was the problem with me, but then I realized I can focus fine on this blog post, which requires reading and summarizing multiple sources. I’m now thinking that motivation may be an issue for me, and see above for solving that.

However, when someone truly has poor atttenion, working memory and/or organizational skills, these skills still can be trained at least in children. Computer-based games that reinforce memory or attention have some evidence of effecitveness behind them. Similarly, there are games that reinforce self-control directly. You know the game of stop and go, where a green light means go and a red light means stop? When the child is used to these rules, reverse them and your child will practice keeping their impulse to follow the original rules in check. I’m pretty sure there are computer-based variations to this game.