Or “How to Persevere with Your Long-Term Health and Dietary Goals When Your Motivation is Beginning to Wane.” Except that is WAY too long a title, so Moti-Mani it is!
Regular readers and casual dropper-byers alike may remember that I’m now four months into a rather major overhaul of my family’s general health and wellness. As in we possessed neither of those things, and I was inching dangerously close to a pit that had nothing at the bottom but razor sharp rocks. Also diabetes, stroke and heart attack, but I thought the pointy rock thing was apt.
So I hitched up my pants (hahahahahahaha, there was no hitching, silly! I couldn’t even get my pants BUTTONED) and decided to do the only thing I hadn’t yet tried – make a real, concerted effort to save my own bloody life.
Nearly four months in, I’m pleased to report that I’ve shed a little over 40 pounds and four dress sizes. Better yet, I now sleep through the evening (or at least as long as my cat will allow.) I don’t get winded walking up a flight of stairs. I no longer wake feeling like a UFC match took place in my stomach during the night. My skin is bright and (mostly) clear. I have lots of energy. I no longer sweat while eating. Or breathing.
And while those are all FABULOUS side effects of a healthier approach to diet, exercise and general wellness, remembering to appreciate those seemingly minor gains for the major motivational milestones they actually are is a trap all of us fall into at one time or another. We have a tendency – in all aspects of life, really – to dismiss the mundane inanities of everyday life in favour of THE BIG SHOW. We live for those big moments, and that includes the things we feel passionately about, the things that motivate us.
How that tends to manifest itself in the dieter’s mind is a fixation on a major, end-of-diet treat (an expensive vacation, a crossed-off item on the bucket list, a five-star tour of France where you do nothing but eat cheese for 10 straight days, I don’t know your life!)
For me, that major treat is a ludicrously expensive, long and splashy trip to Disney World, one of my favourite places on Earth, and a spot I’ve been avoiding since gaining ALL the weight. I think about that still-very-nebulous vacation every day as I’m thumping away on the treadmill, imagining that each on-the-spot step is actually me hauling nimble ass towards the Haunted Mansion for the first of the day’s 13 straight rides. It’s wonderful motivation, an achievable big dream I can almost reach out and touch. It also sort of has a smell (popcorn, Dole Whip, propane and chlorinated It’s a Small World water, in case you were wondering.)
And that’s what this manicure is, the nail art representation of a beautiful dream that I’m taking much-needed steps towards making a reality every single day (me standing on the Hub grass of the Magic Kingdom waiting for one of the evening’s innumerable fireworks bonanzas as the sun sets in a pastel sky behind Cinderella’s castle, but of course.)
But plans of dream vacations will only take you so far, as being so far off in the distance themselves, they can begin to feel unattainable – gigantic dreams turned pipe dream. With a long, hard slog ahead and no clear horizon in sight, it’s just far too easy to give up altogether, particularly after suffering a (completely normal and unavoidable) setback.
So I’m choosing instead to also celebrate those little, in-the-middle victories – the increased energy, the improved mood, the sleep-filled nights. Because it’s good to always keep your eye on the big prize, but it’s also worth checking in every now and then with the smaller successes as well. They’re the real motivators, and the real reason to continue doing just what I’m doing – because it feels good, and because I feel good. Nothing more complicated than that. 🙂
16 thoughts on “Motivation Manicure: A Dieting Story”
I love this mani and I hope you all the best in your road to weight loss!
Thank you very much, that’s really nice of you to say. 🙂
Well done you! It’s great that you’re noticing such a difference, and it’s actually paying off in other ways than just losing weight. GO GIRL!
Hey, thanks! Yeah, things feel pretty great in ways other than my clothes just looking better on me now, which is immensely satisfying in its own right. 🙂
Adorable Mickey mani. And I love the story behind it. I am here cheering you on and I must say, I hope you reach your dream so I can sneak up on you at Disney Springs one day and grab some coffee (or even a Sprinkles cupcake if deemed) and chat up with you. ❤ And hopefully, I will be much lighter in heart and body and mind at that point too. xoxo
As always, thank you, Julie! I’m working my buns off to, you know, work my buns off. 🙂
And are you kidding me, I think we can make time for more than just a cupcake and coffee. I hear Homecoming at Disney Springs is amazing. What are your views on fried chicken, mac and cheese and bourbon-based cocktails anyways?
Your progress is truly its own victory. I’ve never even considered an end of diet treat or reward, my efforts to diet barely last the day. Maybe I’ll start visualizing as you have. As always, a kick-ass inspiration.
Thanks, Jay! Good gosh, what a load of work, but it’s nice to know there’s peeps out there who have my back.
And if there’s anything I’ve learned thus far – thus, even! – it’s that if you’re not ready to go there (wherever “there” is – say, a diet) then you won’t. It’s not your time. When it is, you’ll just do it. So don’t sweat not being able to last out the day or whatever – one day you will because it’ll just be time. How weird and zen and dippy is that?!
I love your idea of an end of diet treat. It is very smart! And the end treat is an amazing one! One to really look forward to, so exciting! This mani is beautiful as always, you must wear it when you go!
Congrats on all of your progress!
Thank you, I really appreciate your encouragement! Big dreams, something major, but realistic, will take you pretty far. 🙂
Wow, that’s a wonderful carrot to get you going, and I love your positivity about this whole upheaval of your lifestyle. It’s a huge step and no doubt very difficult on a day-to-day basis, but hang in there & I’m sure this will the best thing you’ve ever done for yourself. I feel so motivated every time I read one of your fitness posts recently! Much love & good wishes!
Thank you! That’s totally awesome of you to say – glad to motivate in any way I can. 🙂 And kind of a daily struggle, but not *too* much of a struggle – I don’t feel horribly deprived or overworked, which turns out is pretty key! But seriously, thanks again for all your positive and good wishes – it’s a terrific help!
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