Posts Tagged ‘motivation’

Snowy Vision Board

Do you have a vision board?

A vision board is basically where you collect images that are meaningful to you and the life you want to lead/create/live, in some way.

I’ve decided to start a vision board here on my blog. Of sorts.

I’m always finding things that are in some way motivational to me on my weight loss trek. Some I save to my hard drive to keep, and others, I’m afraid, drift off into the ether, forgotten. I want to stop that from happening, so I’m going to periodically save them here as I find them.

Some are pictures of guys whose bodies I want.

Er, wait. Let’s rephrase that. Some are pictures of guys whose bodies I want to emulate? I dunno; it sounds awkward. Basically, there are guys out there with six packs, and seeing pictures of said six packs can be motivating to me. It helps remind me that I have an end goal in sight, and that while a particular treat might TASTE good, it will stand in the way of me having the body I want.

Other times, it’s a song that strikes me as particular meaningful. Or it’s a movie plot that really nails down why I’m doing this.

Today, for no real reason I can pin down, a powerful insight hit me, and I knew I had found a new theme for my vision board.


I drew a small snowflake on my left hand today. Just a tiny little thing – easy to glance to help keep me on track.

Let me explain.

I live in south central Kentucky. We get snow, albeit not as much as some places. Last year was pretty light with no substantial snowfall. I desperately hope and pray that this winter is a doozy.

I’ve blogged about snow before.

I love the stuff. I think snow is magical. It transforms a boring landscape into a winter wonderland.

Whether it’s a holdover from my childhood, where a snow day meant at least one (if not more) days off school, or just simply the aesthetic qualities, snow is one of my favorite things.

So where am I going with this?

A snowflake is a tiny thing. Small. Literally insignificant. If you try to catch it, it melts on your hand.

And yet… if enough snowflakes gather together, a magical change blankets the world.

It’s the same way with living healthy. An apple over a brownie. Choosing to exercise, even if it’s just a walk, over sitting on the couch. A Nalgene of water over a can of Sprite. Good choices over bad choices. One at a time.

They’re easy to justify. This little snowflake is just going to melt. What’s the point? I should enjoy this brownie.

And yet… when enough snowflakes get together…

Magic happens.

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My Thoughts on Motivation

I think motivation is a great thing. It can keep us on program, it can keep us exercising, and it can keep us making the right food choices.

It can also suddenly disappear.

Many things in my life motivate me. The mental image of me at goal weight is motivation. The hope of a long and happy life with my wife is motivation. Being a healthy dad for my son is motivation.

But ultimately, none of these things will lose weight for me.

So in a way, I’m against motivation.

Motivation is literally just the desire to do things. That’s all it is.

There have been so many times in the past when I’ve said, “If I could just stay motivated, I could lose this weight!”

That was basically my politer way of saying, “I don’t have self-worth and I want something external to make me better.”

I will continue to seek out motivation, but now, I view it a little differently.

I view motivation as a paint brush. Alone, that paint brush can’t do anything. But in the right hand with the right paints and the right canvas, that paint brush can create a work of art.

So rather than focus on just motivation, I want to focus on the bigger picture. I’m not going to just focus on the paintbrush, because anyone can go buy a paint brush. I’m going to focus on what that paintbrush can ultimately produce. And motivation is going to be a lot less significant if I don’t have all the right tools.

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Richard Simmons’ Day by Day

In the early 1990s, back when Richard Simmons was regularly on QVC and Deal-a-Meal was THE way to lose weight, he released a series of motivational videos called Day by Day.

Day by Day was a 12 volume set. Each video consisted of 30 to 31 five minute video clips of Richard Simmons giving weight loss tips, sharing success stories, or just being Richard with crazy antics and the occasional crying spell.

(picture blatantly stolen from an eBay auction)

I got volume one off of QVC, but I didn’t sign up for the full set. I was still a kid, and while I was able to talk my mom into buying one of them for me, I couldn’t convince her to get me all 12.

Well, I didn’t lose weight in the early 90s. At all. I did exercise, so I had that going for me, but the weight loss just wasn’t happening. In the late 90s, after the internet came about and eBay appeared on the scene, I was able to buy volumes 2 thru 12, completing my set.

And then, they more or less went into storage for the next fourteen years. I think I did watch through them all once, but… that was about it.

Until now. A few months ago, I got my Garbage Pail Kids out of storage at my parents’ house. While digging through my childhood, I found a box containing these twelve tapes.

It was like opening a time machine. I am currently in the process of transferring them all on to my computer.

I upload one to YouTube, which you can see below.

I don’t see myself uploading all of them (even though I would love to) because I don’t have the copyright to them. These are not available anywhere. But if Richard Simmons gave me permission to upload them, I’d happily upload all 365 of his motivational clips.

I may upload a few, here and there, as they strike me particularly motivating.

There is one thing I’ve discovered, though. These video clips ARE like a time machine; it’s a look back at the fitness and healthy living views of the early 90s. One of the first clips is about the evils of fat. Well, as we now know, fat isn’t evil.

It’s funny; Richard suggests eating “lite” versions of mayo, cheese, and other fatty foods, because it’s better for you. This isn’t something I see him suggesting now.

I don’t blame Richard. Everyone in the 90s believed fat made us fat.

And occasionally, The Biggest Loser still does. During the last season (worst season ever, also), they had a cooking challenge, and some of the contestants from a previous season were the judge. They were VERY harsh to Buddy because he used a TEASPOON of real mayonnaise. He said he wanted the flavor, and he’d rather use a smaller amount of the full-fat version. Oh, these previous contestant judges ripped him a new one. They actually stated that a fat-free mayo would be better.

The fat-free, chemical-filled version is better than the one made out of oil and eggs. Riiiight.

So yes, watch The Biggest Loser for motivation. Do NOT watch it for any kind of healthy living tips. Heck, just watch it for the trainwreck. That, sadly, is all the show is good for. The glory days of Ali Vincent and Tara Costa are long gone. (Oh, and I say the show should try to up their viewership next season by bringing Tara on as a female trainer, if they can’t persuade Jillian to come back.)

Wow. I ended up in a totally different place than I meant to. Oh well.

Richard Simmons’ Day by Day series was incredible. I wish he’d release another version, or heck, even release this version on DVD. I’d buy it in a heartbeat.

He’s made fun of because he is an easy target, but I truly believe that Richard Simmons wants the best from people. And one thing he is good at is motivating.

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Most Motivational Video Ever

This isn’t the motivational post I had planned for today, but when I saw this video clip, I had to post it instead.

This was filmed at an elementary school Track and Field Day. The video starts off much like any other, but then you’ll notice something. One of the runners is running with a very awkward, painful-looking gait.

This young man, named Matt, has spastic cerebral palsy. He wasn’t required to run this race. He chose to run a 400 meter dash.

He’s quickly left in the dust. But he keeps going. He almost looks like he is going to fall at one point, but he keeps going.

Watch the video below. It’s about five minutes. Uhm… don’t watch it front of someone you aren’t willing to cry in front of.

Did you get a little teared up, if not full on cry? Yes? Me too.

This kid has been given worse obstacles to deal with on a daily basis than most of us ever face. But he keeps going.

I don’t think I even need to spell the analogy out for this one.

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Motivational Monday: Reach for Your Goals

Yeah, I know text on images is overdone, but dang it, I still like them.

I like this quote especially.

I really feel like my goals need to be just a bit of a stretch. After all, if it isn’t challenging, then why do it? As my taekwondo instructor used to say, “If it were easy, everyone would be a black belt.”

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12-31-13 - 412.0
1-3-14 - 407.0 (-5.0 pounds total)