Posted: November 30, 2010 at 8:13 pm

Taking time off from my regular habits is a sure fire way to get me motivated for healthier eats and a sweat session. It’s been since last Tuesday that I have managed to get in a workout, thanks to the holidays and illness. As today went on I felt better than I have in awhile and literally craved movement this afternoon. I still have a bit of a sore throat and some congestion, so I kept it very easy with a light 2 mile walk on the treadmill. While reading The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.


Theresa, it is getting really good! Thank you so much for sending me this series!

Then, I came home and continued healthier habits with a delicious dinner filled with veggies. Many of my recent veggies have come in the form of leftover casserole dishes. Delicious, but not the best choice for days on end. 😉 Besides, a tofu veggie stir fry is still deliciously satisfying!

This all reminds me of one of the first questions I received for the Q + A posts. How do I stay motivated? I didn’t want to answer such a question with a basic answer but it really does boil down to one thing – I stay motivated to eat nutritiously and maintain workouts because I feel so much better when I do. Going a few days without that balance in my life leaves me out of sorts and feeling unlike myself, which I have obviously struggled with more during pregnancy.

Perhaps I didn’t always have the motivation I have now, though? Perhaps it was tougher initially and now it has become second nature that its easy to naturally maintain momentum and motivation? With that in mind I branched out to other things that keep me motivated and focusing on health.

Eat & Do What I Enjoy – I find healthy food choices, recipes, and combos that I actually like eating. I no longer force myself to follow food rules. For workouts, I pick things that are fun to me. I took time to discover what I truly like and try to incorporate those as often as possible. It doesn’t feel like a chore when I make decisions that suit my preferences.


Variety Is The Spice of Life – I consistently mix up my workouts. I make a point to try new recipes regularly. I try very hard to keep myself from falling into a rut. This makes healthy living more fun.

Surround Myself With Like-Minded People – This is where blogs come in to play. I read many blogs and each one inspires me in various ways. Plus, they provide me with the ideas to keep more variety. You can also find friends to work out with or keep in touch with when things are tough. I’m always just an email, tweet, or FB comment away if you need a dose of support, too. 😉

I’m An Example – Little M and Baby B will look up to me when forming their eating habits. My actions and how I spend my time will influence their own as they grow. I want my children to be healthy, but in a natural and non-pressured way. The best way to do that, in my opinion, comes through practicing what I preach. Living for my family is HUGE motivation. It makes me smile that M will ask to “kickbox with Mommy” or that she seems so proud when we go to the gym and she says “Mommy workout”.


Mini Challenges – I have also joined in various challenges or started personal ones of my own to get my butt in gear with certain things. Sometimes making the process a game with some a reward can initiate changes and go a long way.

Move On - When starting out with new & healthier habits, I always give them time to sink in and really become part of my lifestyle. I avoid thinking in terms of “good” or “bad” days. Every decision counts towards a greater picture. Whenever I get caught up in trying to be perfect with eating or workouts, I end up losing all motivation as things inevitably get thrown off course.

Those are just a few of my big ones off the top of my head. I certainly don’t think they are anything new or life-altering, but they help me keep focus on healthier living.

  • What helps you stay motivated in your healthy habits? Have your motivating factors changed with time?
  • In case you missed it earlier, the blog is now on Facebook. I would be honored to have your support! CLICK HERE

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46 Comments to “motivation”
  1. You know that is one tough questions. Sounds so easy, but when I stop and think about what keeps me motivate, it’s often hard to pinpoint specifics.

  2. Hi sweets! Been MIA for a week or so, but I’m back:)

    I LOVE TGWTDT book series! Oh my gosh, I have them all and the books are i-n-t-e-n-s-e (if you can get past the first few chapters). I don’t know if you have the entire series, but if not, I’ve got the other two books if you want to read them:)

    Since I dropped over 30lbs and dropped 5 sizes, buying my new small-size jeans is all the motivation I need to keep my weight within a 5lb range post-comp. I’ve already gained some weight, but not enough where the jeans don’t fit comfortably, however I can see how feasting like I did last week (DOH!) could lead to snug jeans HAHA! I have no plans on getting bigger size jeans, except for pregnancy and think that is totally do-able so long as I stay within that 5lb range:)

    • Tina says:

      You look so great! And jeans can be great motivation. I know my old jeans will be motivating me after the baby. I won’t weigh myself in my fitness progress, but you better believe I will be working towards those jeans. LOL

  3. Lee says:

    I definitely find that finding like minded friends helps keep me motivated. Sometimes my real life friends would rather me not be healthy. At least that’s what it feels like!

  4. I absolutely love this post!! I could not agree more with you about how good it feels to live a healthy life. You are a great example. I love variety and it really is key to find something you love! I love signing up for races…that is my biggest motivator!

  5. Lori Lynn says:

    Your stir fry looks really good. Do you use a certain seasoning– olive oil or anything? I like what you said about avoiding the “good” or the “bad” days. It’s about the decisions you make.

    • Tina says:

      We use a bit of sesame oil and also some olive since the sesame has too strong of a taste if we used it completely. I also do a marinade of honey, ground ginger, sesame oil, soy sauce, and minced garlic for the tofu. Yummy!

  6. what helps me stay motivated is imagining my life in 5 10 or 15 years and wanting to be a positive role model for my kiddies!! I love beinghealthy, eating healthy it makes me feel better about myself and gives me so much energy!!

  7. I love switching things up with my workouts. I get bored easily so mixing it up it key to keeping my motivated!

  8. Heather says:

    how’s facebook treating you? are you liking it?! do tell 🙂

    • Tina says:

      So far so good! It wasn’t too much of a pain to set up and its not hard to keep up with (after only a day LOL). I just have the Networked Blogs app that will publish there automatically and then I think doing a status update once or twice a day is plenty…and easy to do. I think it can be a good thing if it helps reach others who prefer Facebook. Also, like I said – I now only have to hassle friends with post updates that actually want to see them. That was a big thing for me. 😀

  9. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Motivology Matters and Harriet Fernandes, Tina Reale. Tina Reale said: motivation: Taking time off from my regular habits is a sure fire way to get me motivated for healthier eats and… […]

  10. Astrid says:

    For me, my “health” challenge is not focusing on being “perfectly healthy”. I am constantly challenging myself to switch up meals. Bringing a pb and j for my lunch instead of a salad, is awesome and great for my body. I don’t need to be so routine with what I eat. Some with my workouts. Sometimes I want to just jump around and work up a sweat, or just do my own yoga flow, or just relax on my mat. All of that is ok, too.

    • Tina says:

      I know part of my healthy challenges are being sure to care for myself by resting enough as well. Sometimes that can be the hardest thing to do. You’re such an awesome example of truly caring for yourself. 🙂

  11. My motivation has definitely changed over time. I’m more about exercising to feel good- not just to fit into a certain size.

    And I don’t really brag about it to others, but I just love the fact that I can run 4 or 5 miles like it’s no big deal. I never thought I’d be able to do that!

  12. G says:

    I can relate perfectly to this post! Your motivations are mine too, especially the whole feeling good and feeling “myself” part! I’m lucky that my boyfriend and most of my friends get this too so we can motivate each other by balancing healthy food and exercise!! My best talks have been on runs with friends and nothing puts a little spice in a relationship by doing yoga or pushup challenges with a significant other!! 😀

  13. chelsey says:

    I stay motivated by listening to my body. I don’t really have “rules” – I just know what’s best for me!

  14. “I’m an example” Love it. Very good reason to stay motivated.

  15. A beautiful post on a topic that every single one of us struggles with at some time or another.

    I’m right there with you in the decisions that I make- I eat, workout and move in the way that I do because it feels incredible! NO rules. NO must dos. I just do everything I can do feel good after SO many years of feeling miserable. Nothing is worth losing that again. 🙂

  16. Jess says:

    I am right there with you, Tina. Motivation for me is in how eating healthfully (MOST of the time) and working out hard (MOST of the time) makes me feel. Happy. Centered. Strong. Confident. Me. I’m not into the numbers and the scale and all that jazz, it’s all about how it makes me feel. As simple as that.

  17. Natalie says:

    I agree with the other comments. I try to eat the best I can and workout consistently for my mental and physical health. I love feeling strong and proud of the amazing things my body can do!

  18. Each day is a new day, right? I find that with all things I have to take it in moderation.

    What helps you stay motivated in your healthy habits? Have your motivating factors changed with time?
    -Right now what helps me is that I am feeling better, looking better and more peppy than I used to be. It is partly for me and partly for my son. I want to be the kind of person in my health choices that he can look up to.

  19. Lindsey says:

    I also stay motivated to workout and eat healthy foods because I feel a lot better when I do! And variety is so important. For awhile all I did was run. But I have realized I need to incorporate other activities to be in better shape. Great post!

  20. Karen says:

    I am motivated by the blogging community! I really enjoy reading posts from others with new ideas for recipes or workouts! I love the vast amount of knowledge that exists within the blogging community.

  21. Like you, I mostly stay motivated to live a healthy life because I feel better when I do. But I would say my main motivation for eating the way I do and staying active is different than a lot of women. I’m way more focused on living a long, disease-free life than I am on staying a certain weight. I have a goal to be an active, healthy old lady!!!

  22. I stay motivated to live a healthy life because I feel a lot better when I do. I have more energy when I eat right rather than when I eat junk all the time.

    Living a healthy life is not only physical but mental too!

  23. Great post doll! I am happy that you could get some walking in to help you feel a bit better 🙂 I love walking on the treadmill reading my favourite book. My time goes by really fast when i do!

    I stay motivated by setting goals for myself and action items every day to get me there.

    Have a great night!


  24. I completely agree. I LOVE the holidays and indulgent meals but afterwards, I’m excited to get back on track!

  25. One of my biggest motivators is kind of a sad but realistic one. My father has congestive heart failure, and I already have high cholesterol at the age of 22. My genetics are what motivate me; I don’t want to be weak like how my father is now. I know eventually it will catch up with me but I hope my lifestyle will postpone it.

    • Tina says:

      Health is a wonderful thing to have as motivation. Not wonderful that you and your family experience such troubles, but I’m sure it helps keep things in the right perspective. I bet your healthy habits will do great things for you!

  26. These days I stay motivated by running. There is just something about it that helps to fuel my healthy lifestyle. I can’t even really explain it! I also find myself not needing the “motivation” like I used to. Because I more just go with the flow. If I don’t feel like being crazy about workouts and diet for a few days, it’s okay. I know the love will come back!

  27. Lauren says:

    I am always motivated by how exercise makes me feel – even a little exercise makes me feel good! I also stay motivated if I have friends to run or exercise with – it makes it more fun and easier to stick to it.

  28. Nicola says:

    I just started reading Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and am finding it hard to get into, it’s very confusing at the beginning. But I will persist, because everyone is saying what great books they are. Also, Julie’s blog was the first I read and was why I started blogging! She has such a great blog, i love it.

    Motivation for me comes from a lot of places, being fit for my study and work, fitting into all the gorgeous clothes I see in my favourite clothes shop, and generally just feeling strong and healthy.

    • Tina says:

      The books really do take awhile to get into. I would say I was about 150-200 pages in before things started really picking up. Now I think its worth it. I love psychological thrillers though.

  29. Love that you’re now on Facebook!

    Just yesterday I posted an entry on my blog about how those I have befriended online have become a great support system to me in my fitness endeavors. I have little support in my “real” life, so online communities mean the world to me – from fellow bloggers, my facebook page Forging Faith and Fitness, to Bodyspace on, I am continually blessed and encouraged.

    Through the internet, my world is much larger than my physical location.

    • Tina says:

      I completely agree with that. It’s so nice to have a wide range of support through online connections. And I just liked your page. 🙂

  30. Heather says:

    Just knowing how I’ll feel after my workout is motivation enough! I love those endorphins!

  31. Definitely being surrounded by others with the same healthy goals makes it much easier to stick to them. Also just the way I feel when I eat well and exercise is motivation enough for me!

  32. I agree- I feel so much better when I’m eating real food and moving around. It’s not so much motivation as it just is the way I prefer to live my life. I don’t feel like I open the fridge and feel motivated to make the right choice, I just reach for what I have in there, which is healthy stuff! 🙂

  33. I’m SO glad you’re enjoying the books! (I always worry when I recommend something that the person is going to hate it & think I’m crazy!)

    I think you hit it spot on for motivation – I have managed to stay on track because I feel much MUCH better when I do! I can tell when I start to eat junk food & not exercise that I just feel sluggish and grumpy, and start to crave a good meal and a great workout!

  34. Angela says:

    The blog community definitely helps me stay motivated! Being an example to others does it too. I love how the blog world has encouraged me to try new things and learn so much in the process. Great post Tina!

  35. I LOVED the girl with the dragon tattoo. After the first 90 pages, it got really good and couldn’t put it down!

  36. Those are some great tips and points for motivation. I really try to just do what’s best for my body without stressing it out. This includes anything from family, friends, relaxation, work, school, the whole bit. It’s just trying to live a simple, fullfilling life without the excess 🙂
    Congratulations on the facebook page, too!

  37. It’s so awesome that you are being such a great example to your kids! I think that is definitely the absolute best way to instill good habits in them as their growing up, which will make them happier people throughout their entire lives.

    I totally agree with all your points about staying motivated. It’s amazing how much better I feel when I’m eating well and working out…and how bad I feel when I don’t! That’s definitely enough motivation for me!

  38. Love that series! I started the third one over the weekend!

  39. Julia says:

    Hello,Momma 🙂 I was 40 when I had our first and 42 when I had twins, but I tried to get down on their level as much as possible. They still rebemmer it and laugh! it wasn’t easy after a while, so gradually I stopped. Now I sit with them and snuggle on the couch as well as hundreds of hours of reading aloud…all very special memories. I recommend it highly 🙂 Thank you for being such a good hostess.

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