Motivation. Eh, is that Really a Thing?

Whenever I post a transformation photo on Instagram (IG), direct messages come pouring into my box asking me where my motivation comes from. Not really putting much thought into it, I give a generic reply and go on about my day. I get it, this never addressed the question, but it was my way of quickly filtering through my box to getting back to the more specific questions about my experience with weight-loss, bariatric surgery, or training.

I’m a data analyst by day, so after awhile, my brain starts seeing patterns and then begins asking questions about motivation like, “who, what, where, how and why?” Then, I take all of the data, break it down, and turn it into insightful reports everyone can understand. Being that I’m no subject matter expert of motivation, I’ll try my best to break it down for everyone reading this blog. I’ll start with the basics and explaining the who, what, where, how, and why below:

  • Who – anyone trying to find a way to start their own weight-journey and successfully gets to their goal weight
  • What – finding the motivation to start and finish a weight-loss journey
  • Where – finding the tools and resources to successfully lose weight for good
  • How – whatever it takes
  • Why – it’s personal & needs no explanation

I’ll go first to be fair. So, yes, I was there on the other side of fear. Hoping, the “f” word didn’t throw you way off track just now. But, I gotta be honest here! You see, I never used motivation as a driving force to lose weight. I find that motivation is based on phases we go through. Whereas, fear is a feeling we can control by changing our view or outcome on something.

Thinking back to every setback or restart on my weight-loss journey, fear is the only common variable that comes to mind. My weight-loss attempts always started with fearing something… fearing rejection, fearing death, fearing regrets, fearing an idle life, fearing me as a bad role model for my kids or fearing a boring life without enjoying the things that make my heart happy like dancing and riding roller-coasters.

I knew that being successful at this weight-loss thing would require me to face my fears head on and overcoming them. So, that’s what I’ve been doing for the past 10 years. My first-time experiencing fear out-in-public was in 2010 on an Ohio family trip.

Long story short, an amusement park ride attendant asked me to get off the ride because of my weight. I walked away mortified and crying uncontrollably. I remember my then very young daughter trying to comfort me and being confused because we couldn’t ride the roller-coaster. Good times! 🙄

Sure, anytime we spend with family should be good times. But let’s be honest, I was miserable in my own skin. Unfortunately, facing the fear of being publicly mortified wasn’t motivation enough to kick start my weight-loss journey. I found myself facing and overcoming many fears… even years after before reaching my goal weight.

During those years, I found IG and started documenting my “natural” weight-loss journey in 2014. I was somewhat successful and lost 90 (give or take) pounds by using IG as an accountability tool. IG is awesome for this! Through IG, I discovered the Whole 30 program and learned about fueling my body properly for long runs.

IG is a great resource when used for that purpose only (I’ll get into that in another blog post). I was doing so good and on my way to reaching weight-loss success. Yay! Guess God had other plans for me because a running injury towards the end of 2015 set me back majorly. Then, of course, I found myself taking an IG hiatus for most of 2016 and regained 91% of my weight back.

Towards the end of 2016, I decided to come back to IG. This time to document my “weight-loss surgery” journey (wls). I never imagined it would turn out as it did. The point here is, I never gave up and tried everything under the sun and moon to successfully lose weight. Girl (or boy), was I in for a ride.

Fast forward to today, I am maintaining my weight-loss and building lean muscle mass. Guess what? God is good! In all His glory and strength, here’s me (not even a year post-op from having the vertical sleeve gastrectomy procedure) and I’ve defied all the odds. I did this by facing my fears, finding what works for me, and never giving up.

Never giving up meant I needed to identify my reasons “why” for losing weight. I have many reasons, but the most important one is for me. Bottom line, a healthier happier me is better equipped to love and take care of the people around me. Please note, overcoming my fears means new ones surface, so I rely on more faith now. Life never gets easier, we just get stronger. Let’s go!


  1. Thank you for this blog !! I needed it I also got rejected from a ride at Busch gardens it was the worst day ever and in front of my son who was 6 at the time. since having wls surgery in Nov of 2017 im finding myself and I’ve found this energy I hadn’t seen in a long time can’t wait to read another blog.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’ve been in this weight loss struggle pretty much my whole adult life and something that I’m trying to identify is what my WHY is. Not at the superficial level but I’m trying to dig deeper and figure out what truly my blocks have been and why I continue to yo yo back and forth. I refuse to give up and your testimony truly touches and motivates me on a daily. Thanks for always keeping it real and honest about your journey.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’ve followed on IG and even had the privilege & blessing to have met you but I have to admit that by reading your blog I have a better understanding of who you are & why God has placed you in my life. I’ve never seen my journey more clear than right now thru your eyes. Fear is such a great factor. It’s what has hold me down from many aspects of my life. THANK YOU for your blog, sharing such an intimate & personal piece of your life. Still wanna be like you when I grow up, lol ❤❤❤

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m very proud of you and your journey. Also imprrsssd by your transparency and motivation. I’ll be sharing your story with everyone. Much love, Yvonne

    Liked by 2 people

  5. That also happened to me last year, I had to get off of a ride because I’m to big and my boobs didn’t let the harness click.
    I was so embarrassed but didn’t let my daughter see it. I be over weight for 11 years and I’m considering the vsg surgery.
    As my tool to start my life change.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Salvaje! Your stories, your voyage are an amazing testimony of what you have conquered and what you will CONTINUE to conquer! Thank you for pouring your everything through your entire journey!

    Con mucho Cariño
    Liliana Garcia -Loschulos on IG
    From San Diego😘💪

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Cheryl,
    Absolutely love the layout of this post! It is refreshing to see such genuine vulnerability, and so inspiring to read about your struggles you overcame. I know the feeling of getting off of a ride due to weight, and it is probably one of the most mortifying feelings I have felt myself. My story is so similar to yours when it comes to weight loss before vsg, it’s crazy! I think you’re doing amazing with your blogging, keep shining! You are one of a kind girl! Always keep God first! I’m so proud of you
    for getting this blog up and running and so proud of you overall! 😃

    Liked by 2 people

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