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One of the turning points for me was when I realized I should work out for my health, not to look hot.  When I only cared about being skinny, I ended up sabotaging myself.   I was too focused on short-term benefits, and when they didn’t instantly materialized, I would binge.  Very counterproductive.


Now, I make food and exercise decisions based on long-term goals.  When I’m tired, I usually think, "Going to the gym is good for my heart/will give me energy/makes me happy."  I think of my body as a vessel to move me places and run races and do fun things, just not something pretty to look at. 


But sometimes…. sometimes "health" just won’t get me too lift weights.  🙂 Every now and then it IS helpful to think about the aesthetic benefits of working out!  Tonight at the gym, I really didn’t feel up to doing arm strength training, but I just closed my eyes and thought about wearing my strapless wedding dress…. and that was enough to motivate me to do tricep dips, bicep curls, and dual pulley rows!


I also did 30 minutes on the elliptical machine. I was really chugging, and my heart rate was MUCH higher than normal!  Woo hoo!


Here are my statistics:


  • Duration: 43 minutes
  • Average Heart Rate: 141 bpm
  • Maximum Heart Rate: 171 bpm
  • Calories Burned: 300


Dinner and Other Eats


I was craaaaaaaaaving a warm slice of bread with dinner.


I tried to balance out the load of carbs with some grilled tilapia and stir-fried yellow and green peppers.


"One of these things is not like the ooooother…." 🙂


Around 3:00, I ate the M&Ms in the sample favor box I showed you earlier. 🙂


Around 2:30, I had two crackers and a wedge of Laughing Cow.


And around 1:00, I had yogurt + granola… of course. 🙂


So, what motivates YOU to work out?? Different things work for different people, so I’m curious to hear your thoughts!


PS – Does anyone else hate Heba on The Biggest Loser?  She is such a biatch!



  • VeggieGirl October 28, 2008, 5:45 pm

    Hooray for HEALTHY motivation!! :0)

    What motivates me to workout = how I feel when it’s done (energized, strong, healthy, balanced, calm/stress-free).

  • teacherwoman October 28, 2008, 5:47 pm

    Great post Caitlin! So true, so true. I finally got out for a short run this afternoon and I knew that I had been missing it big time because it went perfect!

    I DESPISE HEBA too. BLECH. She’s drives me crazy.

  • Meghann October 28, 2008, 5:48 pm

    Right now wearing that bikini on Halloween is great motivation 🙂

    I had tilapia for dinner too!

  • Laura October 28, 2008, 5:52 pm

    I agree, she’s a total biatch!

    I think I’m motivated equally by trying to look better and health. When I initially lost a bunch of weight, I’d say it was more health. I knew that I could not live my life and be happy at 250 pounds. Even though I felt fine, I knew it would catch up to me eventually. Now that I’ve gotten to a healthier size, I find that I’m more motivated by how I look. I also see how some of the older, inactive women in my family are aging, and I don’t want to be like that!

  • jsr October 28, 2008, 6:07 pm

    I don’t like Heba…but I also think that Vicky is conniving and nasty!

  • amy. October 28, 2008, 6:07 pm

    It's great to have multiple motivations—health and looks are both good ones. Your dinner looks delicious & love the m&m's!

  • Olga October 28, 2008, 6:08 pm

    My motivation is actually the same as yours! I have totally began to see progress and feel better about myself once I switched from “hot” to “healthy” mentality, I love it.

    I also get my motivation from blogs like yours and health magazines. Something about the solidarity in getting healthy and staying that way really does it for me.

    yay for yummy wedding favors =]

  • Erica October 28, 2008, 6:17 pm

    Great post- I agree! Bread is just too good isn’t it? What motivates me? Staying young! Keeping healthy can keep you young for years to come! I want to feel good as long as I can!

  • RhodeyGirl/Sabrina October 28, 2008, 6:19 pm

    i think different things motivate me on different days. sometimes its the thought of my wedding dress, other times how i’ll feel after a workout, or not wanting to let myself down, and on and on and on.

    i think that’s why i keep doing it day in and day it.. multiple motivators!

  • Jasmine October 28, 2008, 6:21 pm

    you are such an inspiration = )

  • Gina October 28, 2008, 6:22 pm

    i totally agree with veggiegirl- i think about how GREAT i’m going to feel when i’m done! it does a lot for me mentally, as well as physically
    i’m not a heba fan either. at all.

  • Meg October 28, 2008, 6:24 pm

    I love the way working out makes me feel! If I don’t work out, I get more stressed and don’t feel as good about myself!

  • Balance, Joy and Delicias! October 28, 2008, 6:28 pm

    it seems to be a snack day!~~~

    motivation for workout? just like veggiegirl said, that I’d feel great when I finish my workout, full of energy and stress-free.

  • Lee (seeleelive) October 28, 2008, 6:55 pm

    awesome awesome awesome post!!!!!! props to you for acknowledging it and being so honest in your post! i really enjoy reading-you are very insightful and strong and independent. and i love the wedding updates!

  • Katie October 28, 2008, 6:56 pm

    In the past, I’ve had a lot of trouble sleeping. After trying EVERYTHING (herbal supplements, herbal tea, ambien, etc.) I realized exercise is what works best for me. And, as a bonus, it helped me to balance out things in my life that can, as you pointed out, get too consuming: obsession with appearance, how food relates to that, etc. I can’t wait to get back into exercise and feel like “myself” again!

  • vegannurse October 28, 2008, 7:10 pm

    I totally hate Heba, too.. gosh, I can’t even stand to look at her, lol.

    Great eats today, btw, and thanks for your tidbits on motivation. Will keep that in mind when I can’t get my lazy butt to work out, ;-).

  • That Pink Girl October 28, 2008, 7:18 pm

    I’m motivated by how strong I feel after a workout – even if I’m pooped!

    Heba has a bad attitude and I certainly hope she changes that. think she’s not quite yet in it for the right reasons (her HEALTH) and until she is, she won’t be sucessful long term. Maybe she’ll have an a-ha moment soon – we can hope!

  • Sharney October 28, 2008, 7:26 pm

    YES!YES!YES! I totally can't stand Heba! I want the blue team to lose because of her. She is so snotty and has such a mean attitude!

    I agree that it's not always easy to feel motivated by the health benefits of exercise alone. I struggle with that myself. I usually map out my plan for the week and try to stick with it unless something totally unexpected comes up, in which case I reorganize. When I come up with my weekly plan, I always make sure to schedule one or two rest days. By doing so it makes it easier to get myself motivated and push through knowing that in a day or two I can have a "free " day 🙂

    Dinner looks yummy! I love bread and sometimes I just have to have it!! And peanut M&M's are heavenly!!!!

    Have a great night, Caitlin 🙂

  • bitesoflife October 28, 2008, 7:50 pm

    Warm bread is the best!

    My motivation for working out is that I never want to be as heavy as I was five years ago. I work out to stay healthy, and I feel better about myself, mentally and physically.

  • Brianna October 28, 2008, 8:07 pm

    haha I agree – Heba & Vicky are both pains in the @ss. And how does Heba not realize that eventually, if they get the chance, Brady & Vicky will just vote her off??

  • Bridget October 28, 2008, 8:07 pm

    The physical and mental release I feel when I workout is what motivates me.

    When I’m not motivated to lift weights, I think of my Grandma who suffered from bad osteoporosis. Your 20s are the most important time to improve your bone density and decrease your chances for osteoporosis and weight-baring exercises are the best way to do it!

  • amanda October 28, 2008, 8:08 pm

    i feel exactly like you do about working out – i used to do it just to be skinny (which went hand in hand with an eating disorder – not good). now that i focus on running and can actually see myself improving physically, not just losing weight, it is so much more motivating to be healthy and enjoy eating 🙂 thanks for being an inspiration!

  • Girl on Top October 28, 2008, 8:09 pm

    That bread looks awesome!

    What motivates me to workout…Running faster motivates me which is nice because I don’t stress out about trying to be skinny. In order to run fast, I need to fuel my body correctly and if I train the way I should, nice legs will follow.

  • tami October 28, 2008, 9:00 pm

    Heba is horrible but so is Vicky. This season is not a good season to watch. Those two are just horrible.

  • Andrea of Care to Eat October 28, 2008, 9:29 pm

    Great point. Now that it’s sweater weather, I sometimes think well who cares if my little muffin top comes back – nobody but me and the hub will see it! I’m going to make a point to think of all the non-aesthetic things I love about working out when I don’t want to wake up early in the morning!

  • erin October 28, 2008, 9:43 pm

    hi caitlin

    i wonder if you might consider a post on how you worked through the notion of following your lifestyle for health versus being skinny. I am struggling with this right now- and I always do myself in because the goal of "being healthy" is so vague and different for everyone- also I "know" how to be healthy and sometimes it's so boring- but I do love choosing health, so how did you come through to find balance and focus on health and not feel guilty for eating "bad foods" like M&M's 😉 I find your blog motivating and realistic- thanks for everything

  • blueberryhil October 28, 2008, 10:25 pm

    I love this post. I totally agree about the frustration –> binge pattern that happens when you focus on losing weight for vanity. I prefer focusing on the way that exercise makes me feel. But now that I'm at more of a maintenance place, I think it can also be motivating to me to notice that, say, my shoulders aren't looking as toned as they used to. That definitely motivates me to get back into the gym. I like the way my shoulders look when I keep up my resistance training!

  • Elina October 29, 2008, 5:19 am

    OMG, I hate Heba too! And that other woman on the blue team, the wife… what’s her name? I’m still not really attached to anyone this season.

    Getting in better shape and losing weight is my motivation. It’s been rough couple of days though 🙁

  • Sarah October 29, 2008, 5:38 am

    Caitlin, I am with you, haha, I hate Heba too, argh! I don’t like Vicky much either, she seems really immature.

    As far as motivation goes, it varies from day to day depending on my mood. Sometimes my motivation is that I get away from my desk for a while (I work out mostly during my lunch hour), sometimes it’s my health, and then sometimes I do think about a bikini I would like to wear next summer 😉 And then occasionally, it’s thinking about how much better my lunch will taste after a good workout! Haha.

    Have a great day 🙂

  • Quinn October 29, 2008, 6:35 am

    HATE her! She is soooo conniving! When her hubby got kicked off a few weeks ago, I was like, oh that’s so sad they’re cute newlyweds. The next week, I was like “Get her outta there!”

  • B_Hlthy October 29, 2008, 6:42 am

    Heba- ugh I totally do not like her attitude! hate might be a strong word though – she is changing her life and putting in alot of effort to lose a ton of weight! I would prob. be a miss crankypants too!

    motivation to workout: Well- I honestly have always been driven by this uncanny force to workout- I am just compelled to for all reasons, for being healthy, for staying fit, for lookin hot, for living longer, for getting out energy, for getting out stress… I don’t every really see reasons NOT to work out.
    I know- Im the lame energizer bunny

  • stevianspice October 29, 2008, 7:20 am

    My motivation is very similar to yours… I used to work out to look skinny/hot and that just caused me problems. Now I work out because…
    – I want to live a long, healthy life
    – I love the stress relief I get
    – I like to feel strong and in control of my life (I know that sounds silly, but i feel so empowered after lifting/running)

  • Anonymous October 29, 2008, 7:26 am

    I can not stand Heba…she has got to go!

  • just me October 29, 2008, 7:50 am

    great post caitlin!

    i used to run to achieve that (unfortunate) “ideal” look i had in my head, but really, thanks very much to you and other bloggers, my perception is now changing about working out. i’m now more focused on making my body stronger so i can do more things and run races for some fun!!! you ROCK!!!

  • Halie October 29, 2008, 8:49 am

    Yay for exercise! What motivates me? Well besides the inconceivable magnetic pull that the gym has on me, it's the endorphins, the way my head clears, and the overall enjoyment!

    I keep on thinking those yellow M&M's are egg yolks! When I scrolled down quickly that what they look like!

  • lauren October 29, 2008, 10:04 am

    hate heba! so annoying! my motivation is having a race in the future to train for and knowing the feeling I get after a run or workout. Cant beat it!

  • BOBBI McCORMICK October 29, 2008, 9:27 pm

    what motivates me is the past, where I came from and how hard it was to get to where I am today! I wouldn’t ever want to resort back!

  • Heather May 13, 2010, 4:20 pm

    actually in draft mode on this topic right now. the different reasons I run/workout and how they are ALL okay reasons, because as a whole, the make up a sane person 😉

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