What motivates you?

When I created this blog in January 2011, I didn’t intend for it to focus so much on fitness. I did plan on writing about things going on in my life though. And coincidentally, January 2011 is when I decided to get off my ass and start losing weight. Two and a half years and 80 pounds later, my lifestyle has completely changed and exercise is obviously a huge part of that.

I’m pretty open about my weight loss journey, as chronicled in the fitness category of this blog. I’m not an expert of course, but I write about what I know: my experience losing 75 pounds in the first year, training for my first half marathon, taking things to a new level with crossfit (cultfit), etc. Because I’m open about it, I get a lot of questions about my weight loss – mainly about what motivates me to keep going.

The answer is pretty simple: Fat Melanie. If you haven’t met her, or if it’s been so long you forgot, here’s Fat Melanie in late 2010:

fatmelanie3fatmelanie profile IMG_0459 IMG_0369 

For perspective, here I am more recently:

IMG_20130426_093927 IMG_20130525_172439 IMG_20130607_190531 IMG_20130726_144010 (1) IMG_20130727_193532

Looking at pictures of Fat Melanie makes me incredibly sad. I don’t know how I got there but I know I don’t ever want to go back. Every day I make conscious decisions that put a little more distance between me and her. I workout a lot because I know how easy it could be to let go and end up back there. And I tweet/post about my workouts a lot because it keeps me accountable. I realize it’s probably annoying and my friends love to give me crap about it but I can take it. Losing 80 pounds requires a complete change in your lifestyle, so naturally the things you do and talk about will focus on that. It helps to surround yourself with people who share your goals, like the awesome community at Crossfit Naptown that’s been super supportive.

There are days I wake up and still see Fat Melanie in the mirror. I realize that won’t make sense to most people but there is a mental/psychological component to losing that much weight. Your brain doesn’t always catch up with your body, even after keeping the weight off for more than a year and a half. It’s hard to explain but if you’ve gone through a similar journey, you may know what I’m talking about.

So that’s what motivates me. I hesitated to post this but the question kept coming up and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I didn’t write this to fish for compliments about how I look now versus then. And I didn’t write this to come across as some expert, because I’m certainly not. I’m just someone trying to remember how far I’ve come and what it will take to keep this going as a permanent change. 

I put it all out there so now it’s your turn. What goals are you working toward, fitness or otherwise? What motivates you to keep going? Share in the comments below!

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23 thoughts on “What motivates you?

  1. I am so proud of you! I had the great pleasure to meet you as Fat Melanie (wow, that sounds mean), and I was impressed with your professionalism, talent, intelligence, work ethic, sense of humor, etc. Then when you started losing weight, I was further impressed by the way you did it (not just the fact that you did it – which is another huge hurdle). You took on such a tough and personal challenge and made it seem so easy – and we all know it wasn’t. Your motivation and dedication has inspired me to make changes to live healthier. You won’t see me at a CrossFit class, but I may just whip up one of those Paleo dishes! Keep up the great work!

  2. This post made me cry. I Have such similar feelings about Fat Meggie. Back then I felt like I was a skinny person trapped in a fatter body. And now, oddly enough, I feel like I am thin on the outside and fat on the inside. Those mental demons and image issues and constant evaluation of every picture and over analysis of food and exercise are still there. I am so incredibly proud of you and love seeing you work your ass off (literally) at CFNT. You are an inspiration. Keep it up, Skinny Melanie.

    • I can definitely relate. I’ve had a complicated relationship with food my whole life and that doesn’t go away just because you lose weight.

      I’m grateful that CFNT has given me goals beyond the number on the scale, For so long I was focused on the number, which is okay but can turn into an unhealthy obsession.

      Thanks for the love!!

  3. Melanie,

    My comment will be slightly different as I met you in March when we did the baseline workout at Crossfit Naptown for the Paleo diet month. I had no idea that you had made so much progress to get to that point. Without your blog I would have no idea! Additionally you made huge progress during that Paleo month.

    So the next time you have negative thoughts, remember people like me that only know you one way AND can appreciate the life changes you made to get there.

    Congrats and continue to set your goals high, you can obviously achieve them.

    • Thanks Bruno! I think it’s helpful for people who meet me now to understand where I came from and why I do what I do.

      Your support during the paleo challenge and beyond has been great!

  4. You are such a rock star, Mel! I’ve loved getting to know you through crossfit and being a part of your journey. You are a beautiful person inside and out, and no doubt an inspiration to us all 🙂

    • Thanks Sarah!! It’s been awesome getting to know you too. I love every time we get to partner together because you are always so enthusiastic and supportive. Thanks for the love!

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