February 15, 2020

Where, oh where, has my weight loss motivation gone?

Raw, vulnerable, honest post ahead.

I don't know that I have ever felt so bad about myself as I have lately. This is a bold statement, because even when I was 253 pounds, I didn't feel this bad.

For coming up on 10 years, people have asked my where I found the motivation to lose weight; how I lost the weight; how I got through certain situations, vacation, etc. while continuing to lose weight; and just basically how to keep going when it's SO HARD.

And for years, I had answers that were truthful and (hopefully) helpful.

Now, I have a full inbox with similar questions, and I just keep letting it pile up because I don't have those answers anymore. I am one of the people who wants to know how to get motivated--determined, rather--and stick with it. (Here is the difference between motivation and determination.)

It's hard to believe that just three years ago, I was happier than I'd ever been. I wasn't running, or eating super healthy, but I felt fantastic. I did exactly what made me happy and I quit doing the things that didn't make me happy.

So why can't I do that anymore?

I'm very unhappy with my weight (I actually haven't gotten on the scale in 2-3 weeks, but my clothes feel a little tighter). The last time I checked, I was in the high 160's. When I was losing the weight, I was thrilled to have hit the 160's and I loved the way I looked and felt. Now, I'm about 45 pounds from my lowest weight, and 35 pounds from my (previous) goal weight. I'm about 25 pounds from my "I can be happy with this" weight".

(Normally, I'd insert a current photo here, but I never take pictures anymore--the one at the top of the post is the most recent.)

I stopped taking care of myself (not just the weight, but in most aspects). Each day that passes, I feel like I'm further and further "gone" until one day, I'll be at the point of no return. I know it makes sense to just start right at this moment and then I won't end up in that place. So why cannot I not find that fiery determination I used to have?

I used to set goals and work hard to achieve them. I used to look forward to all the little milestones that came with weight loss and running.

The things that I miss about being at my goal weight are so insignificant:

  • Easily crossing my legs
  • Walking without my thighs rubbing together
  • Wearing form fitting clothes
  • Not being self-conscious in photos
  • Actually posting current photos
  • Feeling inspiring--showing others that if I can do it, they can, too
  • Running with ease
  • Looking young! Did I write about what happened recently when Jerry went to the lab to have blood drawn? I went in with him, and the woman working there thought I was his mother. If that's not a slap in the face, I don't know what is.)

I know there are a million more things in this world to feel bad about, but right now, this is what is doing it for me. I desperately want to get back to that place of feeling good in my body, not feeling self-conscious that everyone is silently thinking about my weight gain when I run into people I haven't seen in a while.

I keep trying to have that "just get it over with" attitude--spend a few months doing what I need to do, and I'll be in a good place (or at least better) again--and then I don't have to think about this constantly.

I'm able to motivate myself by looking at old photos from a few years ago, but as I've said a million times, motivation doesn't work for weight loss. Determination does. So why can't I just find that determination I felt before?

I spent the last three months of 2019 running three days a week to get back into the habit. And then as soon as that goal was over, I just quit again. I think maybe I was making it too complicated by utilizing the MAF method and worrying about this or that. Maybe I just need to go back to the basics, like when I first started losing weight in 2009.

Back then, I focused on one thing and one thing only: don't go over my Weight Watchers Points (I was doing the Winning Points plan, which is still my favorite--their new ones are definitely not for me). I didn't worry about exercise, I didn't worry about what foods I was eating and whether or not they were healthy. I kept it extremely simple. Don't go over my Points.

When I switched to counting calories, I did something similar: Don't go overboard. I didn't set a specific limit of calories, but I tried to eat a low volume of food that I REALLY wanted and keep the calories from being higher than what a "normal" person would eat.

When I started exercising? Again, I kept it simple: 30 minutes, 3 times a week. No exceptions. And I eventually added that I couldn't go more than two days in a row without running. I didn't worry about my heart rate at all, and my only real goal was to get faster and run farther. Once I could run three miles, I followed a training plan to build my mileage. I didn't worry about speed work or heart rate or anything other than distance and pace.

I'm starting to wonder if I made things too complicated over the years. I've learned a ton more about running, but is that necessarily a good thing? There is so much conflicting evidence about types of training, who knows what is truly best? Maybe the best thing is to just run however it feels best.

As far as my diet, maybe I made things too complicated by trying to eat healthier things that I didn't enjoy so much. When I first started losing weight, I ate whatever sounded good to me, healthy or not. Gradually, I found my tastes started to change, and I naturally ate healthier (certainly not super healthy, but definitely healthier) because I enjoyed the foods--not because I was forcing them.

But maybe I made things too complicated by letting all those articles and advice (intermittent fasting, eating only whole foods, cutting out sugar, intuitive eating, etc) get in my head and tell me that what I was doing was all sorts of wrong.

Maybe it's time I just listen to my mind and my body and keep things simple. Forget everything I learned and do what feels best, mentally and physically.

However, that's the hard part. Once I learn something, I can't UN-learn it. So, if I choose to eat a piece of cake for breakfast, I would hear those voices telling me that it's "bad" and I should choose oatmeal instead, even if the thought of oatmeal is revolting at the moment.

I'm not writing this post to come up with a solution, which is what it's starting to sound like. I know what I need to do! I'm just writing thoughts as they come to me. I just know that right now, I'm very unhappy with my weight and the fact that I just can't find the will to care enough to do what it takes to change it.

I also have to accept that my life is far busier than it used to be. I have been so stressed out for the past year--and unfortunately, stress is my biggest trigger for emotional eating. I never really get time to myself anymore (I know, as a stay-at-home mom, you wouldn't think that's true--but the change in schools, raising teenage boys, and Jerry's work schedule have made me feel like I'm juggling more than I can handle sometimes.)

Anyway, I just wrote this because I don't want to pretend like I'm doing great with counting calories, or my challenge of not eating after dinner, or running again, or anything like that. This is the truth. I cannot find the motivation determination to stick with things.

I'm going to keep trying, though! I try to keep in mind how many attempts it took the first time for me to lose the weight before I was finally successful. I honestly can't count the number of times I tried.

So, you may hear about starts and tries and quits and all of that here, and hopefully I'll be able to get to the point where I can share some sort of progress. Maybe I'll even face the scale on Wednesday. I really want to just get this over with and stop feeling bad about it!


  1. I'm sorry your are feeling badly about yourself right now. You will get through this. And we will all be right here to support you through this leg of your journey :) Hang in there! Your are inspiring, at every turn <3

  2. Thank you for writing this post! It’s so honest and really relatable. I’m sure it’s not easy to type it out, but just know that there are so many of us who know how you’re feeling right now!

  3. Katie, I understand where you’re coming from. I lost 70lbs in 2014 and ran a half marathon in 2017. I’ve now gained almost 30lbs back and get horrible stomach aches every time I try to run. I assume it’s due to the added weight but I’m not sure. I keep trying to get motivated to get back to my goal weight. I’m getting married in August so I thought that would kick me into gear but it hasn’t. I say all that to say that I understand. Try to be kind to yourself and keep trying. You only fail when you quit. I believe in you. And no matter what you share you’re not letting us down, do what matters for you :)

    1. Dom - me too! Almost exactly the same as you! I lost 70 pounds in 2017, ran a full marathon in 2018. I was supposed to run another marathon in 2018 but I'd gained 25 pounds. I just couldn't do it. Now I've gained 30 pounds and I'm getting married in two months (April 18). I can't seem to get myself to do what I need to do. Like you and Katie, I will not give up. :) ps...just realized my profile picture is from when I trained for marathon on the trail in Fairbanks, Alaska.

  4. I think every woman on earth goes through this at some point in life. I am discouraged with myself. I am doing WW and will have been doing it for 1 year the 19 of this month. I lost only 20 pounds last year and I have not lost any weight in several months. My motivation has got up and left me. I am turning to God to try and find my motivation I just started. I like you know what to do it is just doing it and not feeling deprived or I don't care while all along feeling scared and depressed that I am going to gain my weight back and give up on the effort. I wish you the best of luck finding your motivation. Just never give up

  5. Thanks for being honest and raw. Too many people online only want everyone to see the positive and they make their lives look perfect to their followers. I've followed you for years and have learned so much from you. I'm sorry you are struggling so much lately. I'm sure you'll find what works for you again. Hang on and remember you have a lot of people out here that think the world of you!

  6. I will always look up to you no matter what. You are human and a brave one to talk so openly about everything. I appreciate you so much more for that. ❤️
    (Quad mama)

  7. Positive thoughts to you. I can only lose weight when it's the most important thing in my life. I think looking after your family is the most at important thing in your live at the moment. Can you get your boys interested in helping you? Doing exercise with you, reminding you not to snack, cooking? Your plan sounds like 'go back to doing the basics right' which is been my plan for many other situations together with 'Don't Panic'.

  8. I’m there with you right now. But i just keep waking up every day with a “today I’m going to do THIS!” attitude and hope it sticks....every day I will rise again and try. I think that’s important for us - to not give up, no matter what looks like right now.

  9. I had a shoulder injury that side lined my running in July2019. I knew I would need to make changes so I didn't gain weight but I didn't and gained 40 lbs, on top of the extra 15 I was alresdy carrying around. So many days of telling myself I needed to do something, anything. I'd done it before but why couldn't I do it now. I still went on to do nothing and gain. Finally in mid January, I saw myself in a pair of pants that I probably shouldn't have been wearing anymore. I went and joined Weight Watchers and went to my first meeting that night. That one little thing gave me the motivation I had been looking for. Can't say why that day, that time, that event, but something clicked and I haven't looked back. Now 5 weeks in, I'm down almost 20 lbs. There are days I think it's 20 lbs I never should have had to lose had I just 'woken up' sooner, but talk like that gets me nowhere. I hope you find your motivation/determination. I have zero doubt it is there and it will come to you. I think you're an amazing person and have overcome so much. You'll find you way to being happy again, whatever that is. ❤️

  10. I understand how you are feeling. With all the advice on what is the right and wrong way to eat, it gets confusing. You have to do what's right for you and what you can live with. This is where I'm at right now. It has taken time to figure this out, and I'm still working on it. I don't know your age,but I started feeling like you described in my early 40's and found out I was going through perimenopause. My hormones were all out of whack and I felt like another person! Today I am feeling better and determined to stay the course. I pray that you find your determination again and what works for you. You are very inspiring and even though you may feel like you don't know what to say, just be honest. That's what everyone wants. Honesty.

  11. I really appreciate your honesty. That's why I love your blog so much. You're transparent and real. I know how you're feeling, I've been there. You will get back to feeling great. Know that you have a following that is here for you every step of the way!

  12. Katie - you are not alone in your struggle. A big part of it, as you may know but didn’t really mention, is that your body is literally fighting against you. Once you are a certain weight, even if you keep it off for a while, your body thinks it is starving and will do whatever it takes to put at least some back on. There are a lot of studies and articles about this. Some of the solution is incorporating more movement and especially exercise that builds muscle (weights, yoga, barre, etc.) to tone up and help your metabolism. A larger part is finding a happy place that may be a bit curvier and softer than your “goal” weight, but one where you can enjoy life and feel healthy without having to constantly worry about your weight. This is just my two sense. I’m not expert. You are a source of light and inspiration for many, and I hate to see you feeling badly. <3

  13. It's refreshing to hear even people with great success have struggles, remember you are not alone, take one day at a time and most important...breathe. ❤

  14. Although it's hard for you it's nice to see a great blogger struggles like the rest of us, take one day at a time and remember to breathe. I have admired you since you started and still do❤

  15. I'm sorry you are struggling to find the determination to lose weight at the moment. I find I am in the same place too I know what I need to do but I just keep struggling to commit to it. Do you think it might help you to go along to a weight loss group? You would have the a weekly commitment and face to face support. I'm in the UK and I enjoy going to Slimming World as I go at fed up of counting calories and weighing everything and they seem to have a more balanced approach with only some foods being restricted and/or needing weighed.
    I also like the slimmingeats website if you need some inspiration for recipes etc.

  16. I could have written this post myself. I know what needs to be done. I know HOW to do it. I know exactly what works and what doesn't but why can't I just DO IT? So frustrating. I feel your pain, Katie. I really do. We will get back on track eventually we just need to really focus and get that determination back. I hate arguing with my brain about what's right and wrong.

  17. So sorry you are feeling like this. But you are still such an inspiration to myself and I am sure many others!! You share the true raw struggles that we all go thru. It's hard juggling teens a crazy work schedule and making time for yourself. I did great with working out for several months last year then life got crazy and I got put on the back burner weight went up I felt awful unhappy crabby. I am a beachbody coach I should be a model person teaching others but I am struggling to help mysel . But I am slowly getting there and I know you can too!! Have you thought about creating a Facebook group that others who struggle like you could could come together and support and encourage each other... hang in there you will find that balance agai .

  18. Hey Katie, just thought I would share there is an app called I track bites and it has all old ww point formulation including the original where you arent penalized for sugar and fat like the new ones it's just portion control anyway didnt know if you already knew or are interested but just thought I would share the plan is conquer cravings:)

  19. Hey Katie not sure if you know or are interested but thought I would share there is an app called itrack bites and it has all old ww formulations including the original where you are not penalized for sugar and fat like the new ones the old ww plan is called conquer cravings:)

  20. Katie, I’ve been following you for many years now and I don’t post often. But I feel like I need to at least let you know that you are all of us! The ups, downs, moods, unmotivation, weight loss, weight gain......just all of it. We are the same so ramble on and talk your heart out because that’s what we are doing too. Just trying to make since of it all. This crazy fricking life journey. Love you girl!

  21. Dear one, you are in a tough place right now. It isn't fun and it doesn't feel good. And we are all so grateful for your honesty and willingness to share your heart with us. More than likely, every one who reads this post has stood in a similar place at one point or another. And we all have ideas for how we would "move through that space" ourselves, but only you can do that for your Self, yes? Please know that we are here on the sidelines, cheering you on, seeing our own struggles in your struggles. And we are so very proud of you and all you have accomplished. Think of your energy like the wave on the shore. Currently, your energy is pulled back into the ocean, gathering, waiting...(even the season of winter speaks to this for us all)...preparing. It is a time to gather your strength and contemplate directions. All in preparation for the "bursting aspect" the "energetic aspect" of the cycle of life. Do not berate yourself for you are likely following natural rhythms, deep rhythms. Allow yourself time FOR yourself as the days grow longer. Your motivation may well come with the Spring. Best to you.

  22. I have never been overweight as an adult, although I have struggled with maintaining a weight. But 2 years ago my dad got pancreatic cancer and died within a month. Since then, food has been my comfort and my drug. I started this year up 40 lbs and I realized that it would never stop if I didn't stop it. But I understand exactly how you feel. I don't know how to make myself be the person I used to be, who watched her weight most of the time. I am down 8 lbs. But it has been hard and I'd be down more if I'd stop cheating. I'm not going to give up though. And I hope I'll find myself in the process.

  23. Thanks and me too. Trying to get back to my pre baby weight and struggling. Here's hoping something clicks that brings back the determination. Until then, just keep starting ( I tell myself...)

  24. Lots of hugs and empathies to you--it is so hard to not stick with one's hopes for oneself. You are a beautiful person, inside and out, and the universe is with you--you will figure this out. It strikes me that you are in a very different place now than you were 10 years ago when you lost 125 pounds. Your children were little, your house was not renovated, your mental and physical health were serious concerns. Could it be that you are ready to set some new personal goals? Perhaps there is something you want to do that is not about running food, or home renovations. Do you read Geneen Roth's books? Her book, "Women, Food, and God" highlights how we often focus on the wrong thing in our lives, food, instead of the important thing: our selves, changes we want to make, etc. Could some journaling, reflection, counseling, etc help you here? If you were really excited about something new, I bet it would be easier to stick with your diet plans. Hugs and love to you, sweetie!

  25. I can completely empathize and relate. Too much knowledge, too many gadgets, too much stress, too many “remember to practice self-care!”. Going back to basics is what I need to do, so why don’t I do it? Why can’t I get out of my own way?

    Thank you for sharing. ❤️❤️

  26. Hi Katie, this post comes at such a relatable time for me. Just a couple years ago I was so healthy and fit. I ran marathons and lifted weights 3 days per week without fail. Then life happened and I gained almost 100 pounds. Now I can’t walk up the stairs without horrible joint pain and my heart pounding. Last week I was working with this woman who lost around 150lbs on weight watchers and working out at the YMCA. We talked for awhile and she really encouraged me to get back to basics. So I started weight watchers online and joined the YMCA...I started feeling a little better about myself and optimistic about the future. I think you’re right about over complicating things...while I liked all the gadgets and reading about all the fitness strategies I think there’s a lot to be said for lacing up a pair of sneakers and heading out the door just for wellness and nothing else. I know we can both accomplish this again. Hang in there Katie...I appreciate your genuine posts because they are relatable for a lot of people.

  27. So many of us feel the same way. I love your blog because we teens the same and I have been in the same funk for a year. I don’t have any answers either feel like crap. Up 40 lbs. But I do know we have to have the faith that we can do it again. We did it once. We will do it again. Love the space you are in now. You have the tools- the know how. The mind will follow. Keep your head up, you are amazing !

  28. Thank you for such an honest post. I do hope you know how much of an inspiration you are to others. Your blog is not the perfect life blog (as so many others out there) but the good and the not so good of life. As others have already stated we can really relate to your struggles. At times I feel you are writing about my life and struggles. Just know there are people out here who do not judge you in any way.

  29. I'm just catching up on your blog and girl do I feel you! Just know that you are 100% not alone! Honestly, I think this is just a part of the journey, you know. I really appreciate your transparency here because it just lets us all know that other people are going through the same thing! I'm up probably 70 pounds from my lowest weight (yikes lol) and I'm still trying to figure out how to get my act together! Whatever you decide to do, I know you got this Katie! But really, as long as you're happy, nothing else should matter!

  30. I am so sorry you are feeling this way. We all go through seasons and phases in our lives; I'm sure this is just one of those times for you. Whenever I'm feeling down, I have to narrow my focus to just today - what is one thing I can do today that would improve [insert goal here]? Races are won one step at a time; weight is lost one pound (or less!) at a time. When you are ready, you will find your focus again. Virtual hugs.

  31. Katie, I know you have a ton of comments here and I really hope you read this one. Please, please read The Obesity Code by Dr Fung. I am not normally one to throw out unsolicited opinions, but this book is life changing.

  32. I feel you on this! I am going to Italy in May and have been determined to lose enough weight and get enough exercise that my thighs don't rub together when I walk so I could wear shorts or skirts on the trip...and I've lost zero pounds and only exercised a few times in the last few months. I took three trips at the end of last year and gained a few extra pounds on each one. I'm heavier than I have ever been, except when I was pregnant with my first child, and it's really close. I'm so angry and frustrated with myself because now the time is almost up and I know I'm going to have to go out and buy new clothes because nothing fits. It just sucks not being able to do what I know how to do, what I know needs to be done. The motivation is there, but I just can't seem to care enough to do anything about it. It's beyond frustrating! You are so right, it's not motivation I need, it's determination!

  33. Katie we all love you and I really think we can all relate. I agree with all of the comments I'm reading here. We have faith in you and we get inspiration from you. When my husband recently was gawking at a woman 1/3 my age, it did a number on my self esteem. Jerry would never do that. I felt like going out and buying $150.00 pair of jeans, I didn't. I think one thing wrong is this winter crap! Cabin fever! Spring will soon be here and we'll feel better. Hang in there.

  34. I can completely relate! I just recently saw a hormone doctor that specializes working with women our age to get them feeling like we used to. I highly recommend seeing someone in your area that does the same thing. My doctor operates under the philosophy that women our age should have hormones in the high normal range instead of just in range like a traditional doctor would do.

  35. I just discovered your blog this evening. Divine discovery! I could have written this post myself. I joined WW in May 2018. I should be at goal by now but I keep falling short in losing this last 30. (I've lost 65). I keep losing and gaining the same 5 lbs. I started running over a year ago, running five 5Ks last year. Definitely not the leader of the pack. My motto is "slow running is better than no running". You so accurately described my current situation. I keep hearing "get back to basics". I am so happy I found your blog! Thank you for your honesty and transparency and for speaking my current truth. We are going to overcome! This is our season for restoration, recovery, and turnaround!


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