It was about 2 years ago that I was 300lbs, probably exceeding 30% body fat, and wore shorts as big as a size 46 depending on the brand. For reference I'm 6'1". I've never been "small", but certainly wasn't always that overweight. In fact, I was pretty athletic in high school, but had a knee surgery that ended sports for me and that's when I would say that my weight cycling started. People say it's a cycle and I can certainly see that after now having been lighter, heavier, lighter, really heavy and now lighter again. This time I'm sticking with it.
One way I've stayed motivated over 21 months is the factor of heart disease on my dad's side of the family. While there are no guarantees that being healthy and maintaining a good weight will prevent a heart attack, it certainly does go a long way in helping prevent cardiovascular disease. I now maintain a fairly clean diet. Yes, I still eat fast food once in a while, have the occasional beer, or load up on a giant steak. The key for me here is MODERATION. I won't tell you what you should eat or not eat, but it's working for me so I'm sticking with it.
Another way I stay motivated is to not get consumed in what others or doing, or by giving into any infomercial or advertisement telling me I need X , Y or Z in order to see results. I guess you could say I march to the beat of a different drum. I educate myself on nutrition, exercises, etc from a variety of sources and then apply what I think will work for me. If I don't get results, I try something else.
A third way I stay motivated is with pictures. I'm not going for any sort of "look" with all my workouts etc, but I like to see change over time. I like to see hard work pay off. I'm a very visual person and pictures of progress keep me motivated. That said, here's how it's going 21 months since I decided enough was enough.
The picture on the left was taken in June of 2001- I weighed around 180lbs. The picture on the right was taken 8 years later and my weight was around 290lbs..
Sixteen months after my epiphany, this is where I was (October 2010)- under 200lbs. but as you can see, not much lean body mass. A lot of my weight loss included muscle. Before I started to work harder I wanted to get as low in weight as I could.
Now less than a year later, here I am- back on the road to health and fitness- about 210lbs and ready to keep packing some muscle:
It's been a long road so far, but for me consistency and proper eating is key. Roughly 3500-4000 calories a day (sometimes around 5000) of mostly clean, healthy food. We don't eat a ton of processed food in our house, but we do like to eat out. I allow myself to eat out because I know I'm working hard in the gym and I refuse to deprive myself of things I enjoy. In a weird sort of way, food keeps me motivated as well. I look forward to working hard so I can "afford" to eat what I want sometimes, whether that's a 4 patty burger, a large pizza or a big plate of pasta and pancakes (yes, I ordered a big plate of pasta with a side of pancakes, for which my wife thought I was nuts)
So, what motivates you?
From 9-5, Lonnie sits in front of a computer. Outside of being an IT Geek, he's an athlete who's familiar with the cycle of being fit-fat-fit that so many of us struggle with. Down from his highest weight of 300lbs in June 2009, he's made the permanent lifestyle change to remain Big. Strong. Fit. Healthy. When not spending time with his wife, son and daughter, he's at the gym keeping off the fat and adding quality lean mass.