Guilt can be powerful motivation. That’s what happens when you first put a “before” photo of yourself on the mirror in the bathroom so that you’ll see it every morning when you get up. You see yourself in your fat, bloated, lazy condition and think “Do I really look like that?” And then you go to the gym, or out on your bike, or out on a run, and you feel a little better.
Even better than guilt is the motivation of accomplishment. I’m not really into long-term motivation by guilt because I think it leads to depression, which leads to inactivity, which leads to more guilt, and then you get caught in a negative cycle, especially if you couple Ben & Jerry’s with that inactivity. Accomplishment is the feeling you get when you look at that photo and realize you really do look a lot better than you did when that photo was taken. So take another photo, and put it next to the first photo. That way you know it’s not just in your head. Then keep on working to get looking even better than you do in the “after” photo.
That’s about where I’m at. I peaked out at 236 lbs and 33% body fat. I had no muscle after eight years of virtual inactivity. I haven’t had my body fat tested since, but I’m sure it’s dropped considerably while my weight has dropped to 215 lbs. I’ve still got a ways to go to get to my goal of 180 lbs, but I know I look a lot better than I did before I started all this. I don’t even need the photos because every time I meet someone I haven’t seen in three years the first thing they say is “Man! You’ve lost some serious weight!” The truth is that while I have lost weight, it’s what I’ve replaced the fat with that really has made the difference, but I just accept the compliment as is, and boy, there’s nothing like knowing that your accomplishment is so obvious to those around you to motivate you to keep on going.