It’s sometimes easier than it really should be to lose the spark of inspiration that motivates us to continue working toward a weight loss goal.

At first, finding weight loss “thinspiration” is easy enough: it’s an upcoming high school reunion, a particular pair of jeans, an old photo that we’ve stumbled across while searching for that “perfect” TBT Facebook picture.

But soon, the potency of that initial surge of motivation subsides and we’re off to scour Pinterest for a new source of inspiration. The before and after images and motivational quotes found there are good for a few week’s worth of squats and crunches, but you’re just sure it’ll never last.

Want to know what works around my house?


Let me explain. A half dozen years ago, I bought a treadmill for my family to use at home. It wasn’t a top of the line model by anyone’s standard, but it was still a very substantial investment.

I bought it with the best of intentions.

This treadmill will be worth the investment, I thought. We’ll have access to a great fitness machine without many of the easy excuses that come with having to squeeze a trip to the gym into a busy daily schedule or being forced to head outside to run in the rain, cold, heat, sleet, Labor Day, Tuesday, etc.

So, after losing three and a half pounds – and very nearly a finger – moving our new treadmill into the house, (it was heavy) I presented it to the family with pride.

“I’m going to use this every day and become fit as a fiddle.” I boasted. My kids had no idea what that phrase meant.

Fast forward two months later.

One Saturday morning as I walked down my hallway, I happened to see on a clothes drying rack a sweater that I had been in search of for days. Excitedly and somewhat dramatically, I whisked the sweater off the rack to uncover an embarrassing fact.

That rack was my treadmill.

I clearly needed a new kind of motivation to inspire me to use this thing. As I decluttered and dusted off the treadmill, I thought about how much I had paid for my fancy new clothes rack.

Ouch. Now that’s motivation.

I took careful stock of the previous two months and realized (thanks in part to a food and exercise journal) that I had used the treadmill three times.


I did the math: total cost of treadmill divided by three.

Oh my.

My cost per use was embarrassingly high. I tried to recall my last stroll on the treadmill. I don’t remember it being a terrible experience, but it was absolutely NOT worth $427.32.

However, I thought, I can reduce that cost per use EVERY TIME that I set foot on the treadmill. So I began to do exactly that with much more regularity.

Today’s power walk got the treadmill down to somewhere south of seventy cents per use.

That I can live with.

Inspiration to keep moving toward your weight loss and fitness goals can come from the weirdest places.

That’s totally okay. You’ll need it.

Pinterest only has so many pictures.