Need accountability system to get off my ass!
June 22, 2020 1:03 PM   Subscribe

I am very overweight, have high blood pressure (very well controlled), and diabetes type 2 (not so well controlled). I have sleep apnea and can't tolerate a C-PAP machine. And last year I had a small stroke. For my entire life I have been absolutely unable to motivate myself to move my butt. I have been working with a therapist for a long time and we talk about this issue regularly. I'm afraid I'm going to die or--more likely--become disabled.

I was mostly sedentary before the pandemic, but now I hardly move at all. I sit in my chair watching TV or reading on my laptop for many, many hours every day. I wasn't at all fit before, but now just walking up or down a single flight of stairs is uncomfortable. Getting out of a chair is difficult (and I don't do it very often). This isn't about losing weight, but I need to improve my metabolism. Working on eating is difficult but I am able to inconsistently maintain small changes in my carbs intake. But I cannot get myself to go for a walk. There are places to walk near me, or a short drive away. But I can't make myself do it. Rewards don't work; I just give myself the reward anyway. Punishments don't work; I feel even worse and less motivated (if such a thing is possible).

I'm single and have only one friend; we go for a walk every other weekend or so, but she's not available or interested in doing more. And I know I need to move my body for at least 30 minutes a day, or at the least, 5 days a week.

I bought a semi-recumbent exercise bike a year ago, and I've used it 3 times. It's right there in my living room, with a great view of the TV, but I don't use it.

I promise myself every damn day that I'll take a walk. When the time(s) come, I just say I don't feel like it and I'll do it tomorrow. And it's not just walking--it's doing literally anything but sitting in a chair watching TV. Cleaning, cooking, meditating, crafting, etc., all feel impossible to get myself to do.

My fantasy is to have someone to walk with, and more, to be accountable to. I've looked into Meetups for walking groups, but keep no-showing (add my social anxiety to the mix, and it feels impossible). My shrink said maybe I could hire a visiting nurse to walk with me every day. But I can't imagine that this is a real possibility or that insurance would cover it.

I can throw a LITTLE money at this problem. Maybe $25 a day?

Should I go on craigslist and look for someone? That seems scary and risky. I need help.
posted by primate moon to Health & Fitness (37 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
And it's not just walking--it's doing literally anything but sitting in a chair watching TV. Cleaning, cooking, meditating, crafting, etc., all feel impossible to get myself to do.

This sounds like textbook despression. I know you have a therapist but have you tried meds?

Also, you can get someone to walk with you for like $10 an hour,even if it's very slowly. (I walk very slowly.)
posted by DarlingBri at 1:07 PM on June 22, 2020 [8 favorites]

Hi! So answers are as helpful as possible, can you clarify - what is your question, exactly? Are you looking for general suggestions on how to motivate yourself, or suggestions on how to find an accountability buddy, or something else?
posted by sevensnowflakes at 1:12 PM on June 22, 2020

Best answer: If craigslist seems too sketchy, you could probably find someone to walk with you on They have an option for you to search on people who have passed background checks and have references. Lots of school employees post profiles during the summer, looking for work. I bet someone would jump at the chance to get paid to go for a 30 minute walk. (I know I would!)
posted by corey flood at 1:16 PM on June 22, 2020 [3 favorites]

I might look somewhere more community-oriented than craigslist—are there local Facebook groups for your neighborhood? (Mine is a mix of people yelling at each other and people being neighborly and kind.)
posted by needs more cowbell at 1:17 PM on June 22, 2020 [3 favorites]

What kind of neighborhood do you live in? Are you friendly with your neighbors? Does your neighborhood have any kind of listserve? Despite its many, many limitations are you on Next Door? I think you could start there and find someone to pay to show up at specific time, knock on your door and go for a walk. That would be far less risky than craigslist.
posted by brookeb at 1:20 PM on June 22, 2020

Response by poster: Oh, yeah, depression (well, chronic, lifelong dysthymia with several severe depressive episodes--but not in years). I am meds-resistant. Have tried every med out there, combinations, dosages, etc. Doing what I can for the mood disorders but really want to address the physical issues which will almost certainly help relieve the dysthymia.

Sevensnowflakes, I'm sorry I wasn't clear. I am specifically looking for someone who can provide accountability, and hopefully company.

These are great suggestions. I am on NextDoor. I'll try that and Thanks!
posted by primate moon at 1:26 PM on June 22, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I have been on the "I just can't make myself do it" train, making myself promises I couldn't ever keep. I know how awful and heartbreaking that feels, and I'm sorry you're going through it now.

$25 a day is not small change. If you really have that kind of money to throw at it, you could easily afford a personal trainer or (if it's more your speed) a life coach. They can work remotely, via regular email, texts, skype, zoom, etc, in these coronavirus times - my room mate was working with a fairly high end personal trainer for a little under that kind of money for three months, right around the time lockdowns hit the Northeastern US.

Could something like this provide the kind of feedback and accountability you need?
posted by invincible summer at 1:28 PM on June 22, 2020 [5 favorites]

Could you give the CPAP another try? My brother said the same thing, that he couldn't tolerate it. Eventually he just forced himself to get used to it, and he said it made a world of difference for him.
posted by markslack at 1:31 PM on June 22, 2020 [4 favorites]

I am specifically looking for someone who can provide accountability, and hopefully company.

Would you be open to adopting a dog? They provide companionship and lots of accountability, especially when it comes to walking and keeping to a reasonable schedule. My dog has been a godsend in that regard.

If you aren’t up for adopting, would you be willing to walk someone else’s dog for them, say every weekday at lunchtime? Dog walkers have to show up, and whoever you walk for will likely be grateful for your help! You might even earn a little money from it, rather than spending any.
posted by rue72 at 1:36 PM on June 22, 2020 [13 favorites]

I feel this so much and in my opinion, this is one of the hardest things to tackle. I haven't got it down, but here are a few ideas that have worked for me in the past (some of them go in and out of helpfulness as well..)

- Could you set up an online/digital accountability buddy? Someone that you check in with via text or social media and say "hey, I did my thing today!" And they could do the same, whatever their particular thing is. Perhaps there is a meetup/Facebook group that was made for matchmaking that kind of thing, rather than being there to organize an in-person meet-up.

- It may be helpful to allow yourself to set your more bite-sized goals to start so it feels less daunting. If moving 30 minutes/5-7 days a week was easy, everyone would do it and they definitely don't. On the off-times without an accountability buddy, I find myself finding way more excuses when it feels like it needs to be all-or-nothing. Moving around is not pass/ get credit for every minute.

- Is there something you can add to talking a walk to make it more enjoyable? A daily podcast that you listen to on the walk or something would be nice to turn it into a daily date with yourself. I realize you said that rewards don't work, but this is a slightly different angle, since it makes the walk it's own reward.

- As another tool in the toolbox, I feel like videos like this (perennial favorite, Adriene!) are so great for reminding myself that I have a body and that I live in it. Stuff like this often helps me reset and motivates me to do other a friendly ramp. It's so short that you can just throw it on :)
posted by moogs at 1:40 PM on June 22, 2020 [1 favorite]

When you watch TV what do you watch? When you read on you laptop what do you read? Find some podcasts along the same lines, but... you can only listen to them while walking. No more reading on the internet, no more TV.

And here's a shot in the dark: start with Rebel Wisdom's Daniel Schmachtenberger's War on Sensemaking.
posted by at at 1:41 PM on June 22, 2020

Best answer: There's a concept I use, the critical step. The critical step is the SMALLEST POSSIBLE step that breaks your inertia to do something else. For some people, it's going home for their gym clothes after work where they get diverted, so they keep their gym clothes in the car, for example. Or for me going to the gym for class it was "I need to stand up from my chair", and if I could do that one step on time, everything else cascaded.

So maybe you can't will yourself, like, "I'm going to get up and go for a walk to the store!" Can you will yourself to push the power button on the TV remote? Then toss the remote onto the other sofa or otherwise out of reach, and just sit there for a minute. Does that maybe free up enough of your brain to be like, ugh, ok, I'll go outside now?

Or, first thing in the morning before you put the TV on, what happens if you put on your shoes and step out the front door instead?

Putting on a podcast or music helps me when I'm glued to my phone, because it gives me a little bit of phone stimulus but also, if I'm still *looking* at my phone I won't be able to follow the podcast, so I have to set it down now...
posted by Lady Li at 1:53 PM on June 22, 2020 [19 favorites]

I told myself I was going to walk every day--and never did.

rue72 is onto something: I adopted a pup in February and now I walk five miles a day, sometimes more, and have a companion as well. Thing that amazes me, still, is I mostly look forward to walking the dog and we have only missed one of our twice-daily walks when scheduled meetings or errands stole them from us, and that's only been twice. I have become "that guy always walking his dog" in my neighborhood, and get lots of waves and have met many neighbors, too.

Recommended if you're able.
posted by maxwelton at 1:55 PM on June 22, 2020 [3 favorites]

If this hasn't been mentioned or ruled out already: would you consider talking to someone on the phone for company during your walk? I have a bone-conduction Bluetooth headset (this one, which you can get for much less than that price on various online marketplaces, or cheaper if you don't mind wires; but you can use anything really or just use your phone itself) which allows me to hear and be aware of my surroundings for safety while also hearing or speaking audio in a hands-free, natural way. I use it for podcasts and phone conversations. It helps keep me going because it removes the consciousness of what I am doing. When I'm doing it regularly, it really boosts my relationships and my mood.

Feel free to MeMail me: I would talk to you. :) I need motivation to get out for walks myself.
posted by spelunkingplato at 2:01 PM on June 22, 2020 [2 favorites]

Even in normal times, there's always a lot of legit personal trainers (and trainers/dieticians, often students who need to do so many hours of consulting for their licensing requirements) on Craigslist, who can provide references and the name of the gym(s) they usually work out of, and I imagine a lot of them are really hurting right now and would LOVE a virtual client and would be happy to do a daily short check-in and motivation/help session.
posted by Lyn Never at 2:16 PM on June 22, 2020 [4 favorites]

You sound like me when my adhd is untreated. Maybe you could get screened for that instead of depression. Many people with motivation issues and treatment resistant depression respond well to adhd stimulant meds.
posted by shaademaan at 2:37 PM on June 22, 2020 [10 favorites]

Best answer: I did not read all of the answers. Forgive me if this has been mentioned:

1. Hire a personal trainer to meet you at your house or gym. Trainers are pricey -- maybe you can schedule twice a week or buy a package. Tell them your goals that entail movement and accountability.

2. Get a prescription for physical therapy. Did you do any PT after your small stroke? Speak with your doctor. Explain that you have noticed increased weakness and have difficulty getting up from a chair. She may advise to walk more. Explain you need some help with muscle weakness that is new. It's worth a shot.

If you can't do the above things and even if you can:

I can totally relate and am much like you. I have a personality that can get stuck in INERTIA. Since Covid I am only saved by working -- I am on my feet at work, I have a gym at my job, and I walk on my lunch break. I used to adhere to a studio schedule for yoga but since Covid that's not happening as much.

I am using caps not to yell but to highlight the importance of these words:

You need to FORCE yourself. EXERT yourself and PAY ATTENTION. Try hard NOT TO DRIFT into distracting, daydreaming, or numbing. Become an ACTIVE PARTICIPANT in your life.

I habitually distract or numb myself in ways that are harmful. My psyche is trying to protect itself by isolating, reading the computer and going down YouTube rabbit holes, however I am not ENGAGED with life and I am only harming myself instead of protecting.

On a day off from work I can make a cup of coffee, sit down on my computer and it's game over for hours --or the entire day. I don't want to do this but I get STUCK. During the workweek I have plans and dreams to do all sorts of things on the weekend but little gets done and I never did the things that I WANTED to do. KNOW that you're going to be inert if you sit down. PAY ATTENTION to this tendency and pay attention to what you want from life. TRY not to go on autopilot.

On one of your walks, it might be helpful to investigate what you want out of life. What do you want? What do you need?

Unfortunately you can't wait for someone or something to rescue you. I often "search" for an epiphany or a revelation when I'm mentally unhealthy and depressed. I want something to come along to snap me out of my depression and inertness. It never happens. Revelations happen when we are ENGAGED with life. Motivation happens when we start moving. You must force yourself and engage. Good luck.
posted by loveandhappiness at 2:46 PM on June 22, 2020 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Following up on Lady Li's advice, start tiny. Starting tomorrow, your goal will be to get onto the exercise bike. Just sit on it, put your feet on the pedals, maybe move them a little bit. You're on for maybe 30 seconds; you're not exercising. You're doing something that is no commitment and not as uncomfortable.

That will be the only goal for the next few days. You're not even trying to trick yourself into exercising; you're making THAT step less of a hurdle. Maybe by the end of the week you're spending a few minutes figuring out how the controls work. But if you got on it, you did the thing you're doing, because it's step 1 in a long process.

Then you pedal for just one minute at a time, with a timer. Do that for a few days. Then move it up to 3 minutes. Go slowly. You get to watch TV while you do this. That's the beginning of this.

I'd suggest doing your first sit down on the bike tomorrow before you sit in your chair. You're not exercising after all, so you don't need to be in a certain mood or have free time or anything.

I also want to second that talking to someone on the phone is a good way to let someone help you be accountable even if they can't be near you, and that this sounds a LOT like how my ADD looks. I call it "being flinchy," which is to say I know what I need to do, but when I try to think about it my mind flinches away and I never do it.

Good luck!
posted by gideonfrog at 3:02 PM on June 22, 2020 [14 favorites]

I recommend volunteering. It's a commitment, someone is depending on you. You can help move a cause forward, it adds meaning and connection to your life. You probably won't make friends while volunteering, but you might, and you will definitely have an opportunity to feel like your effort is making an impact.

Even in quarantine times, there is trash to be picked up, packing food donations, dogs to walk for the pound or a rescue, meals to deliver, tiny baby things to knit or crochet, crisis lines to answer, transcribing to do online.

Some of these opportunities will not be a good match for you, it's possible that you won't like any of them. The good news is, there are hundreds more activities.

You may find you like the "don't break the chain" style of motivation or maybe a sticker chart. As an adult, watching the squares fill up is motivating for me. (I use a marker rather than stickers.)

Someone else asked about medication earlier. I want to ask, are you drinking enough water? And also, yes to trying the CPAP again. It's possible that the technology has changed since you last tried, maybe there's a more comfortable option. It may also be possible to ask your practitioner about a different setting option to help you acclimate. You can also try setting aside one night a week to use it, instead of the dreaded "every night forever." This way you can tell yourself that if you really don't sleep at all with the CPAP that night, you can "catch up" the next night.
posted by bilabial at 3:34 PM on June 22, 2020 [1 favorite]

Here to second everything gideonfrog says and to third the other suggestions that what I thought was chronic inability to do ... anything caused by depression was actually ADHD. A good therapist helped me figure this out and the medication really helps me just, like, start doing the thing I know I needed to do but can't do for inexplicable reasons. Antidepressants never helped with this FWIW.

The "do the task for only 5 minutes" or 1 minute, or 30 seconds trick works well for me, as mentioned above. And having someone else to be accountable to works even better. Having someone in person would work the best for me, talking on the phone while doing the thing would be a second best, and asynchronously checking in after the fact is better than nothing but not great.

So yeah, I would maybe look at some of the ADHD symptom lists out there especially if you're a woman and don't feel that you present as "typically" hyperactive. I was really surprised to learn that some of my food issues around impulsive eating and inability to make dietary changes stick were also related (along with all kinds of other crap).

Whether or not those symptoms sound like you, I think hiring someone to walk with you, or finding a phone-accountability buddy would be good next steps.

Bonus suggestion: I hate hate hate pointless exercise especially at the gym but will go on long and difficult walks and bike rides gladly ... as long as there is a destination I am traveling to, even if it's somewhere boring (the pharmacy, a different grocery store than usual). Somehow this short-circuits the part of my brain that says "this is pointless and miserable and sucks" and puts the activity in the same bucket as driving, or taking the bus. Is there anywhere you can invent a reason to walk to in your neighborhood?
posted by sparkling at 3:38 PM on June 22, 2020 [7 favorites]

What would you think about helping someone in a wheelchair to be able to go for "walks"?

I use a manual wheelchair and didn't get much exercise until I met a kind woman who helps push me. We're both in our 60s and a bit out of shape, but she makes it possible to go for rolls in places that are too hilly for me to go by myself. We go for short strolls that don't wear us out but allow us to get a bit of exercise while we talk and laugh. I totally appreciate the chance to be out and about and she gets a motivation to walk.

You could ask around on NextDoor or at a senior center and see if there is someone you could help.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 4:36 PM on June 22, 2020 [5 favorites]

Nthing possible ADHD. I got NOWHERE with my depression after trying many antidepressants. I was almost 50 when I was diagnosed and for the first time in my life I can do things like keep my fairly kitchen clean. I joined a gym & went 4 times a week (before covid). My emotional regulation is much improved. Life is still sometimes super-fucking hard but I can be kinder to myself knowing I have a neurological condition.

I got my depression under control as well because my brain is not in total chaos all the time & I stopped hating myself (as much).

I had no clue that this was my condition because the classic ADHD trope is a hyper little boy fidgeting in his seat at school. Women often have completely different symptoms and are less likely to get diagnosed in school. I also had loads of therapy but no one ever even mentioned the possibility. I don't know how I started to suspect ADHD but when I did, it was hard to get help. 2 years later I finally found a great psychiatrist & life is getting better every day.

Here's 2 overviews of symptoms in women :
And a video:
These comics are bang on, see if you relate:
Good luck to you!
posted by i_mean_come_on_now at 4:53 PM on June 22, 2020 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I started this with advice on diet but you specifically say you don't think that's your real problem. So I deleted all that.

But my original point was that each person is different, so I'm sure you are also. So on all your goals try to pay attention to what is working for you, and not what should be working for you, or might work for you. I read many of the suggestions above and it seems like some may really help you get some "traction", but I'm not you and so just keep at it until you find what does work.

I've heard it described as working to give someone a present they deserve and will really like, and that person is the "you 1 week or 1 month from now". That person won't say "nice try, but it doesn't solve all my problems", they'll just be happy for the effort. At least that's how I try to look at it. You might even keep a journal to that end.

But one concrete suggestion, and it's just a small part of a bigger "program" I found referenced on metafilter. I am not saying this is an exercise program for you, but when I read how he "invented" it and how he coaxed himself into getting moving and actually doing it, I found it inspiring. He figured out a way to avoid having to leave his house, avoid having to spend much money, avoid having to look silly to neighbors or strangers and avoid how to stop coming up with excuses. I am saying it was the psychological analysis he did that really intrigued me, it was his attitude and his persistence. And no, I did not take up his program.

I hope this was of some help.
posted by forthright at 4:55 PM on June 22, 2020 [3 favorites]

Any chance you can bribe yourself by only watching a certain program you like while riding that bike?
posted by Ink-stained wretch at 4:59 PM on June 22, 2020 [1 favorite]

Nthing the dog suggestion. You are accountable to your dog in ways you can't be to a human, and pets can help with depression in several different ways. Contact your local shelter and explain exactly what you're looking for.
posted by waffleriot at 5:11 PM on June 22, 2020 [1 favorite]

Never ever park your car at home. Never ever park your car at your destination.
posted by aniola at 7:08 PM on June 22, 2020

I was also going to suggest that you get screened for ADHD. Carb and sugar addiction is a surprisingly common feature as the body's way of trying to help regulate dopamine. I don't recall you saying those specific foods are a problem for you, but they are a problem for many people who have difficulties with weight, so it's just another point to consider.
posted by crunchy potato at 7:24 PM on June 22, 2020

I like the idea of walking a dog. But, not your own dog. Walk a dog for someone elderly, or is working crazy hours, or cannot physically get out of the house, etc. That way you will be more motivated, as you are helping someone in need. And it gets hard to say no to that.

A middle of the day 1/2 hour dog walk can do wonders!
posted by MountainDaisy at 7:33 PM on June 22, 2020 [1 favorite]

Maybe find something to do on your walks that motivates you more.

I started finding my neighbourhood boring after the last few months, so now I take a bag and pair of scissors and I look out for plants that are in public spaces (verges, parks, overhanging the footpath) that I can take small cuttings from. Then I'm trying to propagate them at home and if it works, I'll have more house plants and plants for my garden!

Another similar option might be to get a pair of those long pincer things and a rubbish bag, and start picking up rubbish while you walk. You'll know you are actually making immediate improvements for others, which might be more motivating than just doing something for long-term health benefits.

Or start a blog or instagram account dedicated to local wildlife? You can take a camera on your walks and try to capture photos of different birds, insects, and other animals.
posted by lollusc at 8:01 PM on June 22, 2020

This isn't about losing weight

I need to preface this answer by telling you that my current bodymass is a whisker shy of 150kg (330lb) and has been stuck at that level for the past six to seven months. So this isn't just some skinny-arse know-it-all telling you this; this is coming from somebody who understands this struggle because I'm living it and have been living it since I was a kid.

But this time last year my bodymass was 165kg, my lower legs had oedema, my walk had been reduced to a shuffle, my blood pressure was well above what it should have been, and I was using a CPAP so as not to die in the night.

And so I fully, fully recognize the pattern you're currently stuck in, and I'm telling you that when people are heavy enough to be feeling the way you are and I was, then really it is about losing weight, and telling ourselves it's about something else is self-sabotaging bullshit that you need to let go of before it kills you.

Because believing your own bullshit will kill you.

The primary piece of bullshit I used to act as if I believed, and the one that got very close to killing me, was this old canard: if I'm going to get healthy then what I need to do is eat less and move more.

BULLSHIT. Carrying a vast excess of intra-abdominal bodyfat is the problem, and has always been the problem, and if I'm going to drop some of that, from this weight, what I need to do first and urgently is eat less. Worry about the movement part when it doesn't fucking hurt so much.

So this time around, the approach I took was to identify the single most self-destructive eating habit I had, and work on modifying that. In my case it was the lure of the pies at my local bakery, which is a truly excellent country town bakery and a place I'd drifted into the habit of buying from on most days. So the first order of business was to cut that short. Giving it up altogether felt like it would make me unacceptably grumpy, so now Friday is Pie Day. Which is probably why I'm stuck again at 150kg, but 150 is better than 165.

On the accountability front, the only motivation that works for me is endless repetition of the same motto I've been trying to inculcate in my kids: don't do the right thing to gain praise or avoid blame, do the right thing because it works better. That, and going into the thing with eyes wide open, in the full knowledge that this is serious business and working on it is going to cause me to suffer. There's no way around that. Dropping weight sucks. It just does. It can't be made pleasant. It can't be made fun. It can't be made, in and of itself, to feel good. Doing what's required to get the job done just feels fucking miserable but that has to be OK because it's better than being dead.

The good part is being able to walk down to the bakery and back without needing six to seven days of achilles tendon recuperation time afterwards. Dropping just 10% of my former mass has been enough to get that done and get rid of the major psychological impediments to going on those walks instead of taking the car.

The other good part is that I'm now fairly confident that I'm not going to end up going out the same way my late friend Sue did, bedbound and enraged and helpless and physically completely incapable of doing anything about it.

If any of this is resonating and you want somebody to compare notes with, I'm happy to do that via memail or email.
posted by flabdablet at 11:14 PM on June 22, 2020 [10 favorites]

Best answer: Kind of a postscript to all that's here, but I think it might be important: The only thing that has ever made a difference for me in this overall self-care/motivation area is to take time to notice feeling good WHILE I'm doing the thing. Injuries, boredom, frustrations, snags in routine....all of those are so easy to recall now and later, which makes the good stuff that much more important to notice and reinforce. So: deep breaths of fresh air, the sights you see along the way, the companionship you have, the senses of accomplishment? It's not babying yourself. Respect them all, a lot.
posted by gnomeloaf at 7:18 AM on June 23, 2020 [2 favorites]

take time to notice feeling good WHILE I'm doing the thing

Hell yeah. Note well: not necessarily because doing the thing, though of course grab any of that that's going, but for any reason while doing the thing. Because during those times in our lives where we need, for whatever reason, to sustain the doing of a thing that is in and of itself the direct cause of multiple kinds of misery, we need all the antidotes we can get.
posted by flabdablet at 7:40 AM on June 23, 2020

hmm, I will memail you. I used to have a few friends that I'd do things like walk and talk with.. ie, go for walks outside while chatting on the phone.. or do exercise videos together on facetime/skype/zoom etc. it really helped. there's also a technique, bookending, which really helps - basically helps one get through that critical step (I think - someone used this phrase above but I was only skimming - so maybe I have it wrong - but for me, this is the critical step - of *getting started*
posted by elgee at 10:44 AM on June 23, 2020

Caveat: I'm not your doctor.
Here are some good steps:
1. Take the advice to start with micro goals. Walk for two minutes. Or simply put your shoes on. Then change the goal to walk for 2 minutes, etc.
2. Wellbutrin can work as an appetite suppressant. I would ask the doctor if that might be appropriate for you. It hasn't done jack for my depression but it works for me as an appetite suppressant.
3. Try an extreme beginner's workout from Bob & Brad on youtube
4. Try this very beginner Tai chi---This makes me feel better, a lot.
5. Try an accountability app
6. Remember that most of weight loss is in the kitchen. Follow a diabetic diet of 30 carbs or less per meal if that's what your doctor has advised. You can find recipes on here. You can also spring for a membership to platejoy (that's what I'm doing).
7. Meal prep, meal prep. Start with a meal a week. for the rest, fill in with easy stuff like slow carb pasta like lentil pasta or low carb pasta like cauliflower pasta and rotisserie chicken and bagged salad. Follow portions for the things like lentil pasta, etc.
8. Try to deal with any pain that might be holding you back. Search for what's hurting you + Bob & Brad on youtube.
9. Fiber. Think half a block of Trader Joe's tempeh or bean pasta. Start slooowly.
10. Measure your fruit portions. Measure most things and fill in meals with veggies.
11. Non food rewards like massage, or massage tools like a massage therapy gun or a over the shoulder shiatsu massage.
12. Drink water: Fizzy water. Regular water. Crystal lite, even. Lots of it, as long as it's not going to interfere with your meds.
13. Indulge in some stress reduction
14: Join a local weight loss support group on FB. Find an accountability buddy. Use the Marco Polo app with them.
15. You can throw that money at a meal prep service, too.

Most importantly, find exercise and food that you can sustain for life.
posted by Issithe at 4:06 PM on June 23, 2020

Instead of "exercising," do something that happens to move your body, e.g., gardening, picking up litter, etc. It's way easier to exercise when there's an actual purpose to the movement instead of exercising for the sake of exercising.
posted by Jacqueline at 2:04 AM on June 24, 2020 [1 favorite]

Do you like games? I found Pokemon Go (it’s free) to be very motivational for me for walking, and same with the Apple Watch I bought earlier this year. I had a cheaper pedometer before that did zilch for my motivation, but I find the “Close your rings” app on the Apple Watch quite pleasing, and it lets you set your goals for what’s realistic for you so you’re not striving for a totally unreasonable goal forever.
posted by music for skeletons at 8:36 AM on June 24, 2020

I read all the way through this thread for the Pokémon Go suggestion. I love the little dopamine shot when I accomplish a goal and knowing that if I just walk to that next object I will be able to achieve another goal, well, yes please and off I go.
posted by CathyG at 1:18 AM on June 25, 2020

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