Do You Need Motivation? Then Find Your Why!

A powerful question. If you want to achieve something, knowing “how” is important, knowing “what” is important, but knowing “why” is the make-or-break question.
If you currently are working, why are you working? The most likely answer is that someone pays you to do some form of work. If suddenly, the manager of your workplace informed you that beginning tomorrow, no one would get compensated in an way. Everyone would become a volunteer worker. Would you keep working at your current job?
Are you a marathoner? Why? What drives you to run 26.2 miles? Is it because you find enjoyment and fulfill a sense of purpose when you run? Why do you feel fulfilled when you run?
Why do you drive the car you drive? If it is a new car, why are you driving a new car? A ten year old car will get you where you need to go. You drive your specific car because it fills a need, whether it is social need or has capabilities that other cars lack.
If you own a home, why? There are certainly apartments that you could rent or condos to own, but you own a home because it offers something that other buildings don’t
If you are losing weight–or want to lose weight–why?
When you know WHY you need to do something, you will also have your motivation. Webster says that “motive” is “an emotion, desire, physiological need, or similar impulse that acts as an incitement to action.” A motive incites action. It isn’t something that you are assigned. It isn’t a societal standard. It isn’t a wish, or hope, or dream, or prayer. All those are passive. A motive must lead to an action, otherwise is a merely a thought.
I read often on LoseIt, “I need to lose X pounds. Please motivate me!” We can’t motivate you. We can inspire you with our personal success. We can suggest courses of action. We can provide encouragement when journey gets rough (and it will get rough.) But we can’t tell you WHY you want/need to lose. If you don’t know why, you have just placed a large obstacle in your path.
Do you need to lose weight for health reasons, like me? Then your motivation is to regain your health. Do you want to lose weight so you can fit into your favorite outfit? Then that dress/suit/whatever is your motivator. Do you want to go on a flight and not need to ask for a seat belt extender again? (That happened to me in 2005. It was bad, but not enough for me to take action.)
Everyone has a WHY. You need to look inside and honestly ask the question “Why am I doing this?” When you have your answer, you have your motivation. 
However, the next question is “Is my reason important enough to make permanent changes?” That special outfit might not be enough of a reason to take action. That too-short seatbelt was an embarrassment, but it didn’t make me change my actions. After all, you can buy a larger suit. You can ask for a seatbelt extender. (I didn’t…but I could have.)
But you can’t take back that stroke. Or heart attack. Or the loss of a toe to diabetes.  You can’t ask for a do-over after the fact because you were too big to play football with your children, or too embarrassed to go on the beach with your family while on a once in a lifetime vacation.

When you know your WHY and when you know your why is so important that nothing else can stand in your way of success, you will achieve success. Until then, you are just dreaming.
I told you my “WHY”. What is your “Why?” Tell us below.

Uh-oh Smoothies

What happens when the winter chill gets COLD!

A few weeks ago, the air temps in northeast Wisconsin were subfreezing for a few weeks, and then dove down to subzero Fahrenheit numbers and stayed there for 61 continuous hours. Then they warmed back up to subfreezing temps! Woo-hooo!

Many people use a garage fridge to store beverages. You know, things like milk and soda. (And maybe beer.) In addition to beverages, we keep use our garage fridge to store produce, just to save space in the kitchen fridge. We eat a LOT of vegetables and fruits. This gives us the space to prepare several meals at once to make future dinners faster and easier.

(Tip: Frozen clementines and spinach are edible, but not beautifully presentable. When the clementines thaw, their internal texture is a little soggy. The spinach is as limp as if cooked. Like I said, edible…but not pretty.)

But I am a frugal person. What can I do with those food items that are good to eat but not “normal?”

Clementine and Spinach Smoothies!

Serves 2

3 ounces (by weight) Baby Spinach
3 clementines, peeled
1 scoop of protein powder
1 packet of Crystal Light (orange flavor)
1 cup water
1 cup ice (hard to see in that bowl)

  1. Place everything in your blender. I use a Ninja Master Prep.
  2. Blend until smooth (hence the name!)
  3. Pour and enjoy.
  4. Don’t drink too fast. Smoothies will cause ice cream headaches, too.
Each mug holds about 24 ounce (720ml)
Nutritional data:
Calories:      138
Fat:               1g
Sat fat:        0.3g
Chol:         19mg
Sodium:  74.2mg
Carb:         16.9g
Fiber:          2.9g
Protein:     17.2g
Obviously, the options are almost unlimited. Different fruits, different greens, different powders. Use what you have on hand.
What is your preferred combination of fruits and greens in a smoothie?
Give us your ideas below!

Today, in History

What happened on this date in history?

Barack Obama was inaugurated as 44th US President (2009)
Australia beats India 2-0 to win the Wold Cup (1992)
First federal holiday honoring Marting Luther King, Jr (1986)
Pittsburgh Steelers beat Los Angeles Rams, 31-19 in Pasadena and Terry Bradshaw was the MVP (1980)
“Meet the Beatles” album is released in the US (1964) (I have an original copy!)
FDR is sworn in 4th consecutive term as US President (1945)
Hostilities cease in US Revolutionary War (1783)
First English Parliament was sworn in by Earl of Leicester (1285)

And in 2012, I reached my weight loss goal!

And they all lived happily ever after, never regaining an ounce.

Yeah. Right.

Oh, please don’t misunderstand me. I am still wearing my new size in clothing. (Specifically, my shirts went from 3XL w/18″ neck to Medium w/15 1/2″ neck, my waist 48″ to 34″, and my suit from 54 Portly to 42 Regular.) They are not even tight (except for that one shirt–there is NO WAY that neck is actually 15 1/2 inches as labeled!) Over the past 2 years, I lived in my “success range” which is about my goal plus or minus 3 pounds. Actually, for about the first year, I actually slid down another 6 pounds from my goal, and was living at “G minus 6 pounds”. That was fine. But towards the end of 2013, my weight started to climb. To G minus 3…then G…then G plus 3. Still…I was within my success range, so it was all good, right?


I was getting complacent. Not lazy, but relaxed. I haven’t regained too much, but I am at the top of what I consider to be successful. I don’t have any more room to wander up. So, what am I going to do differently?

Nothing. And everything.

I never really stopped measuring and logging my foods…but I also starting overlooking those extra couple hazelnuts or walnuts at the holidays. I love nuts, and seeing a bowl of them was an “attractive nuisance”. And since I only ate one or two nuts (at a time), well, maybe I didn’t bother logging them. Of course, the problem was that I would walk past them several times a day, and the “one or two” became “10-15”.

And I know that having two HUGE bags of candy in the garage was a mistake. We had a bag of “Christmas Crack” was simultaneously terrible and delicious, and I know I didn’t honestly log everything I ate from it. After all, how could a small handful hurt? I mean, it is only Chex mix, with butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and cashews? (Oh, I can almost taste it yet.) I also found it difficult to walk past the Caramel Puffcorn without doing “quality control”. Every day.

Here’s how bad it was: I remember Tammy coming home from work one day, and she asked me about my day. I told her that I felt it was successful, because I spent the whole day at home, and I didn’t eat any of those treats.  Guess what I did that night immediately before brushing my teeth prior to going to sleep? (But it was only small double handful!)

Fortunately at least this year we didn’t make our Hot Buttered Rum mix! (Ice cream, butter, powdered sugar and brown sugar.)

I am back to carefully logging everything. I put the nuts away. (The Christmas munchies are thankfully long gone!) I am staying on budget. Not under budget. Not over budget. But at budget.

It’s deja vu all over again. Measure. Log. Move.

Success is possible. Success is an eternal quest, and it can be fleeting. If you forget, even for a little while, old habits can come crashing back. I’m not telling you this to scare you, or to make you feel as though this challenge is impossible. I am telling you so that I remind myself that this challenge is just that: a challenge. It only becomes impossible when you surrender to it.

Today, I am still within my official success range. And I am going to stay there.

Seared Yellowfin Tuna Wrap

Seared Yellowfin Tuna Wrap
Serves 1

I ate this at a local pub, Jimmy Sea’s, in Green Bay, WI. This recipe is my best guess on how this was prepared.

1 large soft wheat tortilla
4 ounce fresh yellowfin (or other variety) tuna steak
Mixed greens
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) guacamole (prepared with your preferred recipe)
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) chipotle mayonnaise. (An alternative would be mixing Sriracha sauce with mayo.)

  1. Season tuna with your preferred seasoning.
  2. Heat griddle or skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Spray with cooking oil.
  3. Lay tuna steak in skillet. Sear for about 30 seconds. Carefully flip and sear the other side for another 30 seconds. (This should result in a rare interior as seen above.)
  4. Spread guacamole and mayo. Top with greens, and the tuna. Roll and serve immediately.
I can’t give exact nutritional data, but my best guess is:
Calories:      534
Fat:              23g
Sat fat:           7g
Chol:         75mg
Sodium:   900mg
Carbs:          42g
Fiber:          2.5g
Protein:        38g

I deliciously paired this with Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale (malty and hoppy).