DIS Veteran
Nov 29, 2013
I’m interested in what you have found as your successful long term motivation when making healthy lifestyle changes. I’m particularly interested in experience from those that made long term changes (5 years maybe longer?). What was the factor that made you make the change in the first place and how did you maintain it over the long term? Was there a health scare for you or a family member? Was the payoff from the change so good that keeping it up was easy?

I’ve been slipping into progressively worse habits over the past few years and while I don’t smoke at all or drink alcohol to excess, I’m not living the healthy lifestyle I did when I was younger. Because I’m not yet experiencing the negative consequences (except from some pain from weak joints that have to be kept strong due to prior sport injuries) I’ve not had much motivation for change, especially in the long term, but I know it is better to make changes now rather than later when it will be harder. I’ve heard a lot about habits being helpful but I find that I still need to find more motivation. Any experiences would be greatly hear about to make me understand more.


Earning My Ears
Jan 23, 2018
I can tell you that my mom would be an inspiration to you. When my son was 2 or 3 (he is 10 now), she had a health scare when going to an event at his school. She had chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness. At that point, she had neglected her health for decades and was really inactive and carrying around a lot extra weight. She had an unhealthy diet too. Fortunately, it did not end up being anything serious. But for her, seeing everyone in the family sick with worry about her made her change her lifestyle completely. It was a wake up call and she took action pretty quickly.

What she did was really not a diet. She will tell you that, to make long lasting changes, you need to do a lifestyle overhaul and be committed to doing things differently. She used to wear plus sizes and now is in a size 6, and she has kept the weight off for several years. When she was initially losing the weight, she was extremely restrictive of what she could eat. I mean, even during family parties she would pack her own food. No sweets either. Nowadays, since she has lost the excess weight, she will eat some sweets and other cheat foods. Fast forward to 2021 and, at 60 years old, she is probably the most fit and active person in the family. She usually walks at least 20k steps per day...some days she does 30k. She is at the gym daily, lifts weights, does cardio, and beyond that, she doesn’t stop moving. For her, it was a matter of deciding that she was worth it. She made the changes she needed, but it was a challenge and she needed to shift her mindset!