Weird sources of motivation for weight loss

image source: A fan of the The Sims 3
The Sims 3: Motivation to workout can come
from the strangest of places
Today I was trying to figure out what's changed this time. This is the longest I've ever stuck to a 'diet' - I hate that word, I prefer 'lifestyle change', perhaps because this doesn't feel like a diet, just more controlled way of eating and more exercise. I was trying to remember what made me log back onto My Fitness Pal after my original sign-in over a year ago when I never used the community aspect, only had it on my iPod Touch and the only exercise I did was a bit of walking to the shops or pub. No wonder I failed.
This time however, I found some sort of 'motivational kick' to start again 'for real' in two of the strangest places. 
The first was the Sims 3. Yes, a computer game! For about 3 weeks last summer, each night I'd waste hours playing this game, I'd created a Sim in my image, gave her the job and house that I could only dream of, hired a butler, and even made her famous (Gotta love them expansion packs, hey?).
I'd also felt rather jealous of my own creation, for she would get up at 4am and workout in front of her massive wide screen TV, before having a shower, eating apple pancakes and rushing off to her political career. She'd return hours later, get changed out of work clothes, eat a salad then hit the bars. How I longed to be one of them 'go-getter' types that seemed to have endless energy.
Here was my first role model, a made up one but nevertheless, one that was certainly everything I wanted to aspire to.  The psychologist within me (blame my degree for this interpretation) would say this was a post-modern materialised representation of my ambitions and desires. Think: a young child dressing up as a policeman or astronaut. Perhaps this also indicates no one around me has a healthy lifestyle that I could consider a fitness role model, also pretty true considering that my mum suffers with anorexia, my father is obese with type 2 diabetes and close friends of mine at the time battled with weight gain and bulimia. 
image source: Amazon.co.uk
Nintendo Wii: Gaming gets active
So, how was I going to become this amazing Sim? I realised I needed to copy her and workout in front of my TV, given that at the time, I hated gyms as I didn't want to spend too much money and feared the idea sweating in public! I had a small, not brilliant TV in my room, no exercise DVDs or anything of the like. BUT in the UK at this time we had the brilliant movement over to digital! Which meant I just *had* to get a new upgraded TV (HD, wide screen, 32inch!) You'd think new TV would cause me to sit around watching it all day, but no, I decided I'd go out and buy a Wii to go with my Xbox 360 as it was considerably cheaper at this time than the newly released Xbox Kinect. Here's where I took my opportunity to sneak some fitness stuff in my house without being accused of starting a diet which would inevitably fail in my parents eyes. In terms of exercise, I bought the Wii Fit Plus! This was my first fitness game and I'd spend around an hour each day on it and really burn some calories off! It was a few days after this point that I opened the My Fitness Pal App on my iPod again, and thought "hmm.. I could really have a good go at becoming that Sim."
Quickly I realised I needed support that I wasn't go to pester my family and friends for, so I sent a load of friend requests out, built up a little support network, and worked on planning my food and exercise and weighing myself weekly (something I'd avoided for 3 years, but the Wii Fit made it less intimidating). 
All this happened in May 2011. A month later I was wearing newly bought workout clothes, having just answered the door to the postman holding the package containing my new bought Heart Rate Monitor. I was excited,  motivated, and supported by all of the online community over at My Fitness Pal

This time, I wasn't giving up and I was already enjoying little changes in my health that started to appear within just the first month of weight loss. 



  Your turn: What is your source of motivation?

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