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Motivation / Inspiration Through Tough Love


I’ve been reading your articles and you have some great tips on how to lose weight. I am a 34 year old mother of two, am 5’8”, and have been fighting an extra 30-40 lb for the past two years. It seems that everything I try ends up in failure.   I am afraid I am locked in an infinite cycle of Phase 1. I can’t seem to get out of this phase!

I need some tough words to motivate me, with no option of failure. I am sick of the “you can do it” mentality, said with a smile. Maybe if someone told me I can’t do it, it would make me mad enough to prove them wrong. What do you say to people who need that kind of no-nonsense push?

                                                See Motivational Workout pic for reminding purposes!!

There is very little difference between getting motivated to exercise and lose weight / get healthy and having the self-motivation to do the same.  Even if it requires one outside voice to motivate you to do something, in the end it is really YOU who accomplishes the task at hand.  So, I tell people when I receive a success story - that sure I wrote a workout that worked for you, but it was YOU who did the workouts daily, who took control of your eating habits, or other unhealthy habits - not ME.  So in the end - you have to be self-motivated.

Self - Motivation is defined by WikiPedia as the ability to motivate yourself, to find a reason and the necessary strength to do something, without the need of being influenced to do so by another person. Working in a careful and consistent manner without giving up.

BUT, sometimes people need a kick in the butt and need to stop feeling sorry for themselves and could use some “self-motivation”.  Not everyone needs this type of motivation, but I will say from personal experience, it does work.  Here is a story that explains how it works: 

When I was 18 years old after spending two and a half years of my high school days trying to qualify for the Naval Academy, I got accepted.  I was pretty pumped.  Before I left, I actually had an adult teacher actually say to me, “Well, if we see you back here in six months, we’ll know you didn’t make it.”  Needless to say this shocked me, but when the days got long and difficult during the next four years, I always thought of that jack-@## and it did help me stay motivated.  

Here are some examples to try on yourself if you need a little kick in the butt:

Even though these will not apply to everyone, we all may have 1-2 that we could do better on.  

I usually start out with - DON'T TELL ME....I learned this one from Erin O'Neill - See her story

    - DON'T TELL ME you want to lose weight yet you spend all day playing video games, watching TV…(_________fill in the blank with any lazy activity)

   - DON'T TELL ME you want to lose weight yet you eat extra large portions / extra calorie snacks / desserts.  (you could also use the phrase “stuffing your pie hole with…”)

   - DON'T TELL ME you want to get healthy and still smoke, drink to excess, or have a high fat diet.

    - DON'T TELL ME you want to be an example to your kids and you eat at fast food restaurants when most convenient. 
      (Just get them the toy in the Kids Meal - that is all they really want.)

   - DON'T TELL ME you want to serve your country in the military, law enforcement, or fire fighter, yet you cannot even take care of yourself.  How are you supposed to have the ability to save your partner or a victim needing help?

   - DON'T TELL ME you want to be in Special Forces one day, but you do not know what it means to push yourself physically / mentally and still fail - BUT get back up and succeed.

                             So I tell people - DON'T TELL ME  - Just DO it....THEN tell me you DID it.

Sorry about the tough love, but the email I got MOTIVATED me to share.  Thanks and good luck staying motivated.  Feel free to email me anytime at

I hope these ideas can help you rebuild your determination to get back to exercising.  Check out the Fitness e-Book Store for more information on the programs for passing nearly every PFT in the military as well as regular workouts for weight loss and general fitness.

General Fitness and Nutritional Guides for Everyone

The 45 Day Beginner Guide to Fitness

The Diabetic Prevention Workout / Diet

The Athlete Workout - Rugby, Soccer, Lacrosse & Football
The Busy Executive Workout Routine

The Six Week Advanced Weight Training / PT Guide
RECLAIM Your Life - Erin O'Neill Workout
The Perfect Pushup Workout


Stew Smith is a former Navy SEAL and fitness author certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. If you are interested in starting a workout program to create a healthy lifestyle - check out the Fitness eBook store and the Stew Smith article archive at To contact Stew with your comments and questions, e-mail him at



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Published Books / DVDs

Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness (Book / DVD)
Maximum Fitness

The Special Operations Workout

The SWAT Workout - From Recruit to SWAT Team Member
The Combat Swimmer Stroke DVD

The Pre-Habit Workout DVD
Clinic DVD for Navy SEAL PST
The FBI Special Agent Test Clinic DVD

The Complete List of Stew Smith's eBooks:

Fitness for All Levels of Fitness

The 90 Day Beginner Guide to Fitness
The Advanced Maintenance and Recovery Program

Reclaim Your Life - The Erin O'Neill Program

Veteran's Fitness - Baby Boomer and a Flat Stomach

The Busy Executive Workout Routine
The Advanced Weights / PT Workout (Fall / Winter Weight Gain Cycle)
The Perfect Pushup Workout

The TRX Workout
NEW - Circuit Training 101 ebook
NEW Obstacle Course Race Ebook


The Special Forces Physical Fitness Workouts
 Combat Conditioning Workout

Navy SEAL Workout Phase 1  Beginner Weeks 1-9
Navy SEAL Workout Phase 2 - 3 - Intermediate Weeks 1-12
Navy SEAL Workout Phase 4  Grinder PT -  Four weeks before Hell Week

Navy SWCC Workout

The Army Special Forces / Ranger Workout 

The Army Air Assault School Workout

The Army Airborne Workout

Air Force PJ / CCT Workout

The Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer Workout

The OCS, ROTC, Service Academy, & Bootcamp Workouts

Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard OCS Workout
The USMC IST and PFT Workout
USMC OCS / TBS Workout
The Service Academy Workout (West Point, Navy, Air Force Academy)
The Navy, Air Force, Marine Corp Bootcamp Workout

The Army OCS and PFT Workout
The NEW Army PRT and Combat Readiness Test Workout
The PFT Bible - Military / Police Standard PFT


The Law Enforcement Physical Fitness Test Workouts

The FBI Academy / PFT Prep Workout

The DEA Prep Workout

The FLETC Prep Workout - Ace the PEB

The State / Local Police Academy Workout

The Fire Fighter Workout

Why a 52 Week Workout Cycle?

  Seal Multi Men's Multi-Vitamin Multi-Mineral

Become a TRX Trainer   

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