💪 Finding YOUR Motivation To Exercise


I want to start off by clarifying a few things. First, exercise is not required as part of the Low Carb Challenge. It’s also not required to lose weight on a keto diet.

I lost all of my weight just eating low carb, and then started exercising to tone up and feel “lean and strong” once I got close to my goal weight. Mostly because I didn’t like what I discovered under all the pounds I lost through improving my diet.

And the final obvious point: exercise is good for you. Not just physically but also mentally and emotionally, but definitely good for your physical health too.

As for the weight loss bit, while what I said is true… it’s also true that muscle burns more calories, so being in better physical shape can definitely contribute to fat burning and weight loss (too).

I got in great shape, then I lost it all.

Many of you have been reading along here for awhile now so you probably remember pictures like this where I was at goal weight and getting in amazing shape:

Outdoor Fitness for Body Toning

A lot of things happened, and I’ll get into that more in my next post about “weight loss” (or lack of) but as a quick recap…

I went on a round of multiple medications (antidepressants, steroids, antibiotics, etc) that knocked me out of ketosis and started packing the pounds back on, even though I was sticking to my keto diet consistently.

This photo was taken (behind my back πŸ˜› lol) about 15 months ago:

Cellulite - Finding Motivation to Exercise

… and my body composition has only declined from then until now.

I want to clarify here too: I am not totally unhappy with that photo. Not compared to how I looked before and how far I’ve come in my weight loss journey. It’s all relative to where you were, where you are now, and where you want to be. I get that.

I only shared it to illustrate the weight I regained and the muscle tone I lost – and the cellulite that always sneaks it’s way back on you, lol. And how FAST that can happen, literally in a few short months.

That photo was taken just on the tail end of a four month battle with all those medications, and while I was eating low carb consistently I was too sick to be very active most of those months AND the meds were causing consistent weight gain.

I didn’t worry too much about it at the time. I was focused on getting well, and on fixing some things in my life in addition to my health.

But of course I missed feeling STRONG and feeling HAPPY and having the strength to have FUN – like just months before:

I shared these pictures with you to catch you up if you’re new, or remind you if you’re not – and mostly to share the thoughts (and images) in my mind as I write this to you.

None of those are “before pictures” of course, they are all very recent, within the last two years. From goal weight and strong & lean, to current weight & body composition.


In the last four months I’ve gained ten full pounds. I think before I went to KetoCon in Austin last month it was something like 7 or 8 pounds. It’s shocking how just a few pounds can change your appearance so dramatically.

Just look at the difference in my arms, taken about a week before I went to Austin:

Getting Back in Shape - Exercise Motivation

I’ll discuss the weight gain in my next post like I said, because that’s another issue altogether. A combination of issues actually – because I have been consistent with my ketogenic low carb diet and staying within my usual macros.

Anyway, I know where I am in my journey, and I’ve been okay with that – because I know why, and because I know I can fix it. I’ve been actively working on solutions.

All that to say, I’m not whining or complaining – just sharing the facts and details, as it relates to my own exercise goals and fitness motivation.

So I went to Austin…

I was there for the 3-day KetoCon event, an annual Keto Conference. My dresses fit a little more snug than usual, and I was feeling uncomfortable and bloated – as this is about the time my weight started climbing mysteriously – and FAST.

I had a couple of options. I could bail. I could hide. Or I could DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. And that’s exactly what I did the moment the feelings (discouragement, insecurities, etc) started setting in.

I just found the first opportunity and started back:

It was at that moment that I said to myself, out loud even, “START WHERE YOU ARE.” Meaning not where anyone else is, or where I was before, but right here and right now – where I am.

There’s more going on here than weight gain and muscle loss. If you look at this still frame from the video you can see that my face is puffy and I had bags under my eyes:

Motivation ~ Weight Loss Journey Continues...

I was not feeling well in Austin, or before the trip to Austin, or since I returned home from Austin even. I’m working on getting to the root of all that.

But at that moment when I realized I felt disappointed in myself, discouraged in what I’d lost (and gained), and insecure about those things – instead of going down THAT rabbit hole, I took action.

Getting Started Is The Hardest Part

When it comes to making any major lifestyle change, or starting something new, even if it’s simple exercises you can do at home in 10-15 minutes – it’s getting started that seems hard.

I think most of us think it’s getting motivated that seems hard.

Motivation doesn’t just magically come around though. It’s actually the RESULT of committing to a decision, and then taking the action.

Motivation kicks in next, not the other way around.

Once you DO that though, it becomes a habit and it feels AMAZING. Doing your Tricep Dips while the coffee brews becomes second nature. Squeezing in a morning walk becomes “the usual” and you just make it happen.

That was my experience before and I totally LOVED the results.

I didn’t just love how much better I looked, I loved how much stronger I felt! It was the first time I had ever felt core strength or upper body strength, and the ability to DO things I couldn’t do before.

But even more than that, was the inner strength that came with it.

That was exactly what motivated me to “stop and drop” for a quick arm workout in Austin the minute I felt those icky feelings creeping into my mind.

“If you miss it, get it back!” I told myself.

In this photo, I could leverage myself between two boulders above a long drop using mainly core and upper body strength:

Outdoor Fitness Adventures


The photo above was taken just over a year ago. I was starting to thin out again and get back into shape, before a few (more) things happened that knocked me back a few steps.

The photo below was taken just over a month ago.:

Getting Back in Shape - Exercise Motivation

I’m back to modified pushups instead of being able to hold up my own body weight.

That’s okay. This is where I am, and this is where I’m going to start – right where I said:

“Start where you are.”

I don’t feel motivated. But like I said, motivation comes as a result of commitment and action – so that’s what I’m doing now.

I’m declaring my commitment to get back in amazing shape, and putting myself on the line to be accountable to take consistent action toward that goal.

I think the biggest question is: WHY?

Or actually, that’s the biggest ANSWER.

Your WHY is what will motivate you, even when you don’t feel like exercising or doing a workout – or in my case, getting out on the trails for a hike.

Having a strong WHY is the key to keeping that commitment strong.

Is being embarrassed about the way you look a strong enough reason? I’m not sure. Is missing the way it FELT to be in the best shape of my life (not perfect, but definitely MY best to date) a strong enough reason? I don’t know.

I don’t have the answers, and I definitely can’t find YOUR motivation. I just know I’m tired of looking in the mirror and feeling things like disappointment, regrets and discouragement.

So that’s my WHY for now.

I’m also struggling with some other issues – sleep quality, lack of appetite, weight gain, depression, lack of energy, blah blah blah. I feel like movement and exercise will help me FEEL better (physically, too).

I’ll share more about my current state, and what’s going on with my “mysterious weight gain” in my next post. But for now, I wanted to open this discussion and state my goals… and hear from you too.

Are you currently exercising as part of your healthy lifestyle change? If so, how does that FEEL? If not, why not?

Your motivation is unique to you.

I think we all know how GREAT it feels to accomplish something awesome, and to feel strong & lean. Or at least we have an idea how great it WOULD feel. In my case, I had that idea – then I experienced how great it was firsthand.

I never imagined I would find myself back on this side of it, but life happens. This is where I am, and this is where I’m starting: by accepting my NOW and focusing on moving forward to how I want to look and feel NEXT.

I wish I could go back in time to the DRIVE and motivation I felt before and get some of that for myself – and share it with you too. It was STRONG!

I remember how I got to that point though, and it wasn’t that hard. That encourages me as I start over again now, because I know how great it feels on the other side of the hump. It’s just the “getting over that hump” that I’m facing (again) now.

For those of you that are working out (too) as part of this Low Carb Challenge, or would really like to, I would love to hear from you.

If you were just waiting on a little motivation, let this be it. Let’s do this together. It feels AMAZING once you get started!

And I could definitely use some amazing in my life right now. πŸ™‚

What about you?

Lynn Terry,
aka @LowCarbTraveler


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About Lynn Terry

I love making the low carb diet EASY for people with a busy lifestyle (like me!) with my KISS / Keep It Simple method. :) About Lynn Terry: Host of the Low Carb Challenge
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36 Responses to 💪 Finding YOUR Motivation To Exercise

  1. Becky Pursley says:

    Same lack of motivation happened to me. Stopped my exercise routine and started gaining. Now I’m having hours of depression and low energy. Slowly starting my walking again. Thanks for the encouragement. Much needed and aporeciated. Sometimes I forget how much support we can all be to each other.

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Me too. Now I wish I hadn’t waited so long to speak out – but honestly, it has taken me awhile to even put my thoughts into words. And I’m not so sure I did a fabulous job of that -lol.

      Let’s get our happy back! πŸ™‚

  2. Mary Hendrickson says:

    Your post is timely. Thank you! I was just talking to my best friend today about exercise, specifically for those of us on keto. It’s hard to find time in my busy life, but I realize I need to make time to reap the benefits. Motivation will follow once I begin to see even the slightest change! The only way it’s going to happen is if I do it! Thank you!

    • Lynn Terry says:

      That’s so true – motivation DOES follow.

      Keep in mind that you don’t have to do hours of cardio. It can be as simple as 10 or 20 tricep dips while the coffee brews, or while you’re watching a show.

      I find quick easy body weight exercises (that you can do anytime, anywhere) give me better results done consistently than trying to carve out an hour a day for cardio.

  3. Becky says:

    Lynn you got this!!! So well said.

    I have been struggling with anxiety that came out of nowhere and my weight went down out of nowhere and now back to where it started all in about 2 months. I am finally getting back to my normal self (fingers crossed) but haven’t done keto in about 4 months. I was struggling to get and had no desire to eat from being so nervous 24/7.

    We just need to find our inner peace and heal ourselves inside first and then we can push forward.

    Xoxo Lynn

    • Lynn Terry says:

      I think that’s great advice: find our inner peace and heal ourselves inside. I know that it’s all tied together, and our bodies respond to our thoughts and feelings – and the stress we’re experiencing (or creating).

      Anxiety is NO fun. At my worst with that, I found a benedryl liquid gel at night helped a lot with the insomnia and terrible dreams – and that a good night’s sleep helped as well.

  4. Allison Jones says:

    Thank you for sharing your struggles with us. It reminded me that it’s ok to struggle sometimes and gave me the motivation that I can do this. Thank you so much ❀

    • Lynn Terry says:

      It’s DEFINITELY okay to struggle sometimes. That’s what makes us human, and what makes the good times in life so GREAT.

      I know we all go through tough times, hard situations & circumstances, and good times too of course. But often all we see across social media is “some great big amazingly beautiful life” – that makes us second guess our own.

      Sometimes it takes me awhile to open up, but I like that I can talk openly here – and that you are all so accepting and supportive when I do. <3

  5. Laura Snyder says:

    Thank you for sharing this. Motivation for exercise is something I really need. I have the low carb lifestyle perfected and am close to my goal weight but really need to tone and define because I’m not happy with my body. In the middle of reading this I actually got out a platform step that I had here which we made to help my ailing mom get in and out of a car before she died last year and I did some steps on it. It’s only a small thing but if I could do that while watching TV instead of sitting on a couch it’ll hopefully blossom into more.

    • Lynn Terry says:

      That made my day, Laura! That’s exactly what I did in Austin. I sat down at that picnic table – then just got up and started doing modified pushups and tricep dips! Sometimes you just have to start NOW in the very moment it hits you. πŸ˜‰

      Anyway, the fact that you stopped reading to do steps made me smile SO big… and I needed that. πŸ™‚

      I have a Gazelle in my living room that I really love. I decided to watch a movie Saturday night so I got on the Gazelle while I watched it. ANYthing is a great start. I’m so glad we can all do this together!! *cheers*

  6. Michele says:

    Thank you for your post. I, too, went on a weight loss kick 7-8 years ago and made it down to about 128. I’ve gained it all back (175) and just started attempting low-carb eating (partly thanks to you). I’ve also started the 80-day obsession by Beach Body (exercise part, not the eating part). Reading posts like this helps me to continue to be happy with me as I am now but also wanting to improve.

    • Lynn Terry says:

      I think that’s the key, Michele – accepting and embracing the NOW, but doing something positive that makes you happy with yourself now, knowing you are making positive lifestyle changes that will make you even HAPPIER. πŸ™‚

      I do find myself happiest when I have goals I am actively working toward, especially when I stick with it and see results & improvements. But just having a goal and something to look forward to is SO much better than being complacent and simply floating through life. πŸ˜›

  7. amy says:

    You are awesome! I am working on starting back. Been off about a month. I love the “start where you are”. I have been trying to think of the perfect time to start back and now know it is now. Going to do some push-ups today. My tiny goal right now is 10 girly ones and move up from there. Your bikini pic was adorable. I’m with you–we got this!!!

    • Lynn Terry says:

      I think that’s a GREAT goal, Amy! I started back a few months ago with 10 Tricep Dips every day as my goal. Then I worked my way up to 20/day, and then to holding them longer each time.

      It’s the consistency that counts more than anything. πŸ˜‰ Here’s to feeling stronger, happier, healthier & leaner!! *cheers*

  8. Arlene Skellington says:

    this was a great read…really hit home. I’m struggling with weight gain..just can’t get a grip! you’re always inspirational thou so thanks!

  9. Robin says:

    Ive been fighting this since the end of December. Topped the scales today and Im sorry to say Im not surprised. But this morning restarted my low carb journey. I think Im right where you are….just not feeling it, and struggling!

    • Lynn Terry says:

      I’m glad to hear you started back on low carb, Robin. πŸ™‚ You’ll be SO happy you did! Just making that decision and then doing it is the hard part – done.

      I’m not feeling it yet either, and still struggling, but the only way to change the way I (we) feel is to take some action. πŸ˜‰

  10. Bonnie Whitworth says:

    I find the fitbit motivates me, If I have not done 10,000 steps I start moving, thru the day I have to be so many steps, but honestly since 1009 I got in the habit of walking 10,000 steps, and I do weights everyday for strength and muscle tone, most days I do 12,000-14,000….I have a treadmill, but prefer walking outdoors. I live in Oregon so treadmill is a good second, can’t blame the rain not to walk. I usually do 12,000-14,000, I do my lay down weights every time I walk, I divide my time, 30 minutes morning-evening 30 minutes, weights add additional 15 minutes with each work out…. Please note I am 74 and because I do this most people do not know I am that age.

    • Lynn Terry says:

      I love my fitbit too, Bonnie. πŸ™‚

      That’s an impressive fitness routine – very inspiring! Even more so that you are 74. KUDOS! That makes me smile, and encourages me to move more and really challenge myself to get my strength back. πŸ™‚ Amazing! Thank you so much for sharing your story.

  11. Pamela D Thompson says:

    Thanks Lynn for sharing. I do Classical Stretch every morning that is shown on my PBS channel Monday through Friday at 530 a.m. It is design to move and stretch every muscle and joint in your body.
    I walk daily at least 20 minutes, most times 40 minutes (two 20 minutes sessions per day) and when I have a lot of time usually on the weekends for one hour. I do something that is easy and can be incorporated into my day regardless of the weather. My weight gain resulted from inactivity and not paying attention to how much and the types of food I was consuming when I was working on my Master’s degree. As a nurse I knew all that weight around my middle was not good for my health and that was my source of motivation. Menopause and hormone changes does not help. My advice would be to get those levels check to rule out if they are the underlying cause for fatigue and depression.
    Our bodies are design to move and walking is the most simple and beneficial thing we can do. Find something you love doing, start slow and build from there. Beginning my day with prayer and my daily devotionals has helped me when it comes to my mental health. Reminds me of how bless I am even when I get off track or mess up.

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Great advice, Pamela!

      I started with walking a few years ago, walking my great dane downtown most days and we worked up to several miles a day at a fast pace.

      Unfortunately he’s so old now that he can’t even go a full mile anymore and even that seems to wear him out – and he cries if I go without him, so I haven’t been walking daily like I used to.

      Right now I’m focusing on getting back to my home workouts & hikes. πŸ˜‰

  12. Selena Graham says:

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! From August to January, I lost 40lbs and felt proud of myself for all that I had accomplished but in February, I fell off plan and never looked back. I feel tired all the time, I’ve gained most the weight I lost back, and it’s all because I have been eating whatever I wanted/tons of carbs & sugars. I am tired of feeling ashamed. I am tired of not having energy. I am tired of not feeling proud of myself. I AM TIRED OF BEING OVERWEIGHT!!! With that being said, I feel so excited and determined to give it all up again, refocus on me, and more importantly, to take control of my weight loss!!

    • Lynn Terry says:

      That totally made my day, Selena – how AWESOME is that?! It feel so good to be determined, and even more so: to be in control of your choices, your direction, and yourSELF. πŸ™‚

      You really fired me up with fresh inspiration & motivation! <3

  13. Ellen says:

    You are so brave. I would never post all this but I really appreciate you sharing because I needed to hear that someone else is in the exact same spot as me. I set up a daily reminder quoting you…”motivation is the result of commitment and action”. Thank you!

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Discovering that about motivation really turned things around for me. πŸ˜‰

      Thank you, Ellen. It’s not easy to share. But I’m like everyone else. All I see is “my perfect life” and “my perfect body” all over the internet – and some days it can be really encouraging and motivating. Other days it’s downright disheartening and discouraging. πŸ˜›

      The reality of making a HUGE lifestyle change, and any weight loss journey for sure, is that it’s full of tough moments and hard lessons and big personal challenges – that are unique to you, or at least to you in your way of dealing with and overcoming them.

      Thank YOU – all of you – for being here for and with me through it all! *hugs*

  14. Cindi says:

    Thanks Lynn, just last night after polishing off 2 months of terrible eating and feeling regretful and guilty I went to bed thinking today was the new day. It was awesome that I slept until 11 a.m. instead of my usual getting off at 6 a.m. and starting the day with sugary cereal and feeling miserable. I got back on the horse and made my scrambled eggs with cream cheese had glasses of water and put shorts on to go into the pool but I haven’t got there yet. Read your post, and I’m getting ready to hop in the pool and do a little bit of exercise. I’m back, I’m starting where I’m at, love that phrase by the way, and on my journey again to feeling stronger and fighting off depression and stress. Thank you

    • Lynn Terry says:

      I’m SO glad to hear that, Cindi. πŸ™‚ I’m sure you already feel heaps better – just taking action alone really makes a world of difference for me. I go from feeling disgusted to feeling motivated pretty quick – just by making a positive decision and taking a step in that direction!

      I love that too – start where you are. It really helps me to embrace the NOW and stop looking back and looking forward so much.

      I also find that to be a good place to find gratitude (NOW) where it’s easy to find regret or discouragement looking backward and forward. I often remind myself: There is nothing so bad in my life at THIS moment, right now, that I can’t fix – starting today.

      That helps me a lot. πŸ™‚

  15. Deborah says:

    Thank you so much for you insights, vulnerability and transparency!! I wish I had read this yesterday (Mondays remind me of a fresh, new canvass to paint on). I’m committing right here right next w to 30 minutes of intentional exercise at least 5 days per week! I’ve so been treading water since December. Thanks again!

    • Lynn Terry says:

      It’s too bad “treading water” doesn’t count as exercise. πŸ˜‰ LOL – that made me smile! Monday’s are always great, but so is every other day of the week in between each of the Monday’s. I say you get a head start on the next Monday! (That’s what I always tell myself.)

      NOW is good for me, because it’s right now WHILE I’m thinking about it – and because I may not feel the same way by the next Monday, lol. I have to jump while the idea is strong!

      Here’s to getting more active and seeing GREAT results! πŸ™‚

  16. Linda combd says:

    I started my journey on Jan. 18,2018.i started the 90 day low carb challenge, and o joined our local YMCA.Even though I struggled I made it a point to go at least 3 days a week, sometimes more. 4 weeks ago I was involved in a accident. Then 2 days later I had water damage from the condo above me. I got lazy, I always told my self I’ll go tomorrow, but never did. I was up to 3.5 miles on the elliptical. I started bavk today, I did 1 mile. I thought I was going to die. I’m starting new. I’ll take it easy and gain my strength. But I do good I’m 66, have coronary heart disease, arthritis in every part of my body, but I will do it. I am even more motivated after reading your post! Thank you for your inspiration.

    • Lynn Terry says:

      It really encourages me to know there are so many people starting, or starting over with me. πŸ™‚ Thank you for that, Linda!

      I’m so sorry to hear you were in an accident, and the water damage had to be a royal pain to deal with too. Geez.

      It’s great that you have the experience of KNOWING you can do it. Starting back with that one mile, knowing you CAN do 3.5 miles, that had to feel great – knowing you’ll be back where you were in no time at all. πŸ˜‰

      That’s how it felt to me with my hike and my home workouts this week. It reminded me of when I first started exercising – and how quickly it became an enjoyable part of my life and how GREAT it felt!

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  19. Amy Dawn Coley says:

    I started with the ketosis diet or low carb intake 10 months ago. I lot 102 pounds on it still have more weight to take off and then toning to do . Lol thank you for your story it helps me understand that my medication might be what taking this so long to do. But I will never give up! In my fright to be fit.

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