I first learned about MotiveWeight via her blog, Beautiful Pictures of Healthy Food. Through this, I found out about her other blogs, including Before and After and Positive Self-talk.
Here’s my conversation with MotiveWeight about her blogs, her own fitness routines, and how blogging inspires her to do better.
11 Questions: Would you tell me a bit about your blogs? How did “Motive Weight” start?
MOTIVEWEIGHT: I began MotiveWeight for two reasons….firstly I wanted to motivate myself to lose weight and I knew that daily blogging would be a great way to keep my mind focused on weight loss and fitness. Secondly, I began MotiveWeight because I wanted to see if I could make my living from blogging.
I began blogging in September 2011 starting first with MotiveWeight.Blogspot.com. Then I discovered the Tumblr community and began Motiveweight on Tumblr. I subsequently created several other blogs. I can now honestly say that I am now well on my way to accomplishing my first two goals…I am motivated to lose weight and get fit, and I am very close to earning a proper income from blogging.
2: How do you go about finding images, both for Motive Weight and Beautiful Pictures of Healthy Food?
MW: Finding pictures for MotiveWeight and my other blogs is the hardest and most time intensive part of my work online. I don’t yet have a specific system for finding pictures. I just type in different search terms in Google and then search through the results for those rare gems.
I’m well suited to this type of work because I look at it as a bit of a treasure-hunt game. I’m finding it more and more difficult to discover new pictures so I’m now considering creating my own.
I’ve got a good camera and I like the idea of creating innovative recipes, so I might start taking my own pics if I can find the time. I also love Photoshop and graphic manipulation, so I might create all my own pics from scratch for MotiveWeight.
Avocado Fries, from Beautiful PIctures of Healthy Food.
3: I really like the icons for your blogs. They’re very simple and to the point. How did you decide to use this style––of text over a brightly colored background?
MW: Tumblr (and the internet) is a place where everyone wants to be noticed for the right reasons. I figured that in order to be noticed by people who are looking for what I have to offer, I’d better make my avatars very clear and easy to understand.
Also, I wanted my avatar to stand out when the icons are miniaturised (as they often are in lists of people one follows)…If they were dark with too much going on, they would be less noticeable. Being successful on the internet is all about doing things that will get you noticed.
Beautiful Pictures of Healthy Food.
4: How have running these blogs helped you in your own goals, e.g. for weight loss?
MW: Focus is everything when one is aiming to achieve a difficult goal. Blogging helps me to stay focused. Blogging on Tumblr is all about connecting with a great community of people who have the same fitness and weight loss goals. In my opinion the Tumblr community is the best weight loss community in world.
I have lost 30 pounds since September, and I am now leading a much healthier lifestyle thanks to the amazing motivation that fitblrs provide. I still want to lose another 35 pounds and I know I will achieve that goal if I continue blogging. I’m almost scared to stop blogging, just in case I lose the focus that it gives me.
5: Fitblrs, that’s great! I haven’t heard of that before. How did you find about Tumblr’s fitness community? You mentioned being on blogspot before.
MW: I must have seen a picture posted by a ‘Fitblr’ on one of my many treasure hunts for ideas for the pictures I was creating at the time on my blogspot blog. When I first began blogspot, I felt quite isolated, I couldn’t figure out how to connect with the blogspot community. I must have stumbled on Tumblr accidently and I’ve never looked back.
The term ‘Fitblr’ is used extensively amongst the fitness community on Tumblr. Sometimes it feels as though Tumblr is all about fitness and the fitness community is a social network within a social network, and I rarely travel outside of it to the other networks.
It’s like Tumblr is a country and the fitblrs are one of the counties, with their own language and customs…they are prolific in their posting of motivating fitness and weight loss material…if you Google ‘fitness motivation’ or ‘weight loss motivation’ many or the results lead straight to Tumblr blogs.This must be how I discovered Tumblr; before that discovery in September, I had never heard of Tumblr, even though I am on the internet on a daily basis.
Photo by MotiveWeight.
6: Tell me a little bit about the ‘Fitblr’ country within Tumblr. Imagine I’m a stranger to it, who has a vague idea what a blog is, wants to lose weight, but doesn’t know where to start. What would you recommend?
MW: Hi stranger. Welcome to the Fitblr community. Everyone trying to lose weight or get fit is welcome here whether you have 200lbs to lose or 10lbs.
We all support each other to lose weight by blogging weight loss and fitness motivation material.
That material includes the following:
- Personal thoughts and pictures on one’s own weight loss trials, tribulations and successes
- Images of very fit people, because we all want to look as good as they do
- Recipes of healthy food
- Exercise Tips
- Motivational Posters
- Workout music, videos etc.
Dos and Don’ts
- Do reblog frequently, preferably daily
- Be supportive
- Be positive and optimistic about your ability to lose weight and get fit
- No Fat shaming
- No crazy diets - only healthy food allowed
- No starvation
- No EDNOS allowed (EDNOS- Eating disorder not otherwise specified)
To begin, go to the Tumblr dashboard and type your search word or phrase into the search box, then look at what other Fitblrs have posted in relation to your search. If you like something very much you can hit the reblog button to put that item onto your own page.
If others like what you have posted, they will copy your material to their page.
It’s all about supporting, motivating and sharing with each other.
7: I see you also have a blog about “positive self-talk.” Tell me a little bit about that. How does this fit into the Fitblr sphere?
MW: For many years I’ve been attracted to topics related to the mind, especially the power of positive thinking. I’ve had many positive results with this topic in my own life. Weight loss and fitness is about eating healthy, regular exercise and a positive mindset. The positive mindset part is often neglected so I thought I’d play a part in filling that gap.
8: What advice would you give people who want to start a Fitblr themselves, and want to reach their own health or weight loss goals?
MW: My advice to someone who wants to start their own Fitblr is to ‘just start’. You will get the hang of it very quickly. The Tumblr interface is very user-friendly and the Fitblr community is very welcoming.
A good way to start is to have a look around at other weight loss and fitness blogs to get a handle on what people are posting. Tumblr is all about sharing so it’s a good idea to see what other’s like to have on their page and post similar stuff on your page. If people like what you’ve posted they will put it on their page.
One of the great things about Tumblr is that you can start many blogs on any topic. When I first began on Tumblr I noticed there were no blogs dedicated to fitness/exercise gifs so I started fitnessgifs4u. Find a gap and fill it is a great way to start a fitness blog.
It’s almost impossible to blog daily about weight loss and fitness without gaining some motivation and inspiration on your journey to fitness. So in my opinion all one has to do is blog daily and the motivation to reach your goals will come from that…at least that’s the way it’s worked for me.
Public Domain Pics 4 U, a blogspot blog by Motiveweight.
9: What is your daily workout routine like? Do you do cardio, strength training, yoga, etc?
MW: I do about 15 minutes on the elliptical, 15 minutes of strength training and I’ve recently started the insanity program. Insanity is a 60 day extreme home workout on DVD devised by the fitness trainer Shaun T. It is super tough but very effective. I am not yet fit enough to do it as prescribed so I modify it to create a simpler version which I’ll do for 90 days or longer.
10: What are some of your interests outside of fitness and health?
MW: Fitness and health are now my all consuming passion; sometimes it feels as though I have no interests outside of fitness and health. My other passion is ‘the mind’ and specifically how I can better use my mind to achieve my weight loss and fitness goals.
Every aspect of my life has changed as a result of my fitness focus. Before my new focus on fitness motivation, I ate without any regard for nutritional content; I ate whatever I felt like eating, whenever I felt like eating. I ate lots of processed foods, take-aways, greasy food, potato chips, biscuits, cakes, chocolates, sweets and I did no exercise at all.
Now I rarely eat those foods. I endeavour every day to eat lots of vegetables, fruit and lean protein…I also drink a lot of water. Although this way of eating is now my new focus, temptations are always lurking near by. I have to stay vigilant so the old habits don’t creep back in.
My new fitter habits only began in earnest 9 months ago, but my old unfit habits have been with me for most of my life. We are addicted to our old habits and so I know that I will have to work hard to maintain my new habits now and into the future.
11: What tips and tricks would you recommend to other people to resist temptation, and to break their addictions to things like processed food?
MW: Whenever I’m asked such a question the following words come to mind:
desire, focus, persistence, optimism - you’ve got to really want to change the habit, you’ve got to stay focused on the new habit, you’ve got to persist, and you’ve got to be optimistic that you will succeed. I find this to be the first essential formula for any habit change.
When it comes to changing food habits from processed to eating clean:
a. Fill your mind with pictures and info and recipes of healthy food. If healthy clean food is perceived to be tasty and appetizing one is more likely to choose it over processed food.
b. Experiment - try foods you would not normally try. Often the foods we’ve avoided are tastier than we had anticipated.
c. Make a list before shopping. Don’t buy food on impulse. Don’t bring bad food in the home if you do the shopping.
d. Recognise that the people who have the fit bodies that you desire don’t binge on junk food and overly processed foods…they eat clean.
c. Recognise that habit plays a massive role in what we chose to eat and that to acquire a new habit takes time and patience. Try to change your habits slowly over time. Don’t try to change too much too soon.
d. Finally recognise that many people have changed their diets, and maintained that change forever. If it’s possible for so many other people it’s also possible for you.