Single Mom Slice of Change:
Finding Motivation

How are you motivated?

I myself am not a fan of being yelled at. In fact, it has the exact opposite effect on me. As someone who has been eating her feelings for 40 some-odd years, it is a guaranteed trigger to send me straight to the fridge.

On the other hand, I cannot stand being talked down to. Yes, let’s give someone already insecure a reason to feel even worse about themselves, shall we?

I always have been – always will be – my own worst critic. No one can make me feel lower about myself than I can.

So how do you motivate someone like me? You don’t. Let me explain:

Call me lazy, say I’m making excuses, but I took a week off of bettering myself during my son’s surgery. I know – I just wrote a piece about finding time for me, myself and I. But after shoulder surgery he literally could not be left alone. There was no sleep, no leaving the house, and lots of tears. Nick was out of sorts, too.

During that week there was a lot of take out, a lot of emotional eating, a lot of friends and family casseroles, and a lot of stupid decisions that undid nearly all of my previous work.

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The Friday after Nick’s surgery – I blew up – literally and figuratively. Completely aware of my own failures, I wrote to my trainer and made it clear that I knew what I had done, and I knew why my measurements looked the way they did – so don’t give me any shit.

Why would I be so rude? Well, I was so emotional, I didn’t realize how rude I was at the time. I was however, hyperaware of what we’ll call Eureka moment #1.

Though my son’s surgery was a very big part of my world, it is only the latest in a long list of life events. The death of a friend, traveling out of town, the start of school, a book release, and yes, even my son’s surgery… there is always something capable of holding me back.

Armed with that realization, and the fact that I had given the trainer permission to blast me if I didn’t make changes in the following week, I put my butt in gear.

I walked every morning. I ate the foods I don’t like, but are a part of my plan. I checked into the gym 5 out of 7 days, and in doing so, dropped 7 pounds.

Did my trainer yell at me? She could have. This would be my 8004th set back since starting with her. I may have lost 7 pounds… but I have lost and gained those same 7 pounds too many times.

But, she didn’t. She did hold me accountable though. My new plan was to continue to be aware of how my world affects my eating.

Nick’s birthday was this past week, and with it, my world was invaded by the knowledge that not only am I the parent of a 21 year old man, but I would be cooking his favorite food, and yes… his birthday cake.

What was I going to do? Cave, and explain to Nicole why I had failed 8005 times?

Nope. I stayed on track. It hurt – and for anyone who doesn’t have food issues – feel free to roll your eyes. You don’t get it, and I get that. But for those of you who do have food issues – you know what I’m talking about.

Related: Single Mom Slice of Change: I Joined A Gym!?!?

Yet, in that pain, I had found a goal. Sure, it was as simple as not getting yelled at by the trainer, but still, a goal is a goal, and I met it… and voila!… Eureka moment #2.

I need smaller goals. Yes, I want to be off of all my blood pressure meds. Yes, I want to have boobs bigger than my stomach. Yes, I want to be comfortable in my own skin.

But those are long term goals, and I have short term willpower.

So… short term goal # 2: reaching the weight listed on my driver license. In reality, I’m not that far from it – as long as I don’t sabotage myself. It is something that can be reached in just a few weeks at this rate, and once it’s behind me, I’ll be able to find a new goal.

If I reach for the little goals, the big one won’t be so far away.

So, until next time, I ask what motivates you? Are you able to see long term, or do you prefer a series of short term goals?