Loss of drive and motivation - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation

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Loss of drive and motivation

PeterJemmett profile image

If you have followed my blog peterjemmett.blogspot.com/ you will know that I have been following a fairly strict exercise and diet plan.

I think I may have hit a bit of a cross-roads lately and starting to find motivation a little harder. I’m starting to give in to temptation a little too easily and having the odd chocolate, cake or beer where I’ve resisted before and also the drive to keep up the level of exercise is getting harder.

When I set out on this mission my drive was (and still is) to prevent further heart problems, it was just 3.5 years between my first stent (angina) and my second (heart attack) and that short time frame scared me, I didn’t want a repeat in another 3.5 years – I’m now half way through that time period and too frightened to stop what I’m doing in case I lose the motivation, but I’m tired, feeling run-down and finding harder to keep going.

I have had some other minor problems this year which may also be effecting my drive, in June I had some minor surgery and had intermittent runs of AF during the general anaesthetic, a follow up 24 hour holter monitor failed to show any further AF but I do still occasionally feel slight fluttering. I have also been recording a low heart rate all this year with it averaging between 40-45 bmp, again I've been on another 24 hour monitor to investigate bradycardia, but still waiting the results of this test.

I don’t know if the new anticoagulant pill I’ve just started is making feel less energetic, but I wouldn’t have thought so.

12 Replies

Discuss it with your doctor and see if they can get you an appt. with a dietitian.

Maybe it would be worth having blood tests to check for any deficiencies? Low iron and B12 can leave you feeling quite tired.

I empathise entirely. I was evangelical about my diet and exercise for 8 months post CABG but after a business trip to China, I got out of the good habits and back into some of my bad ones. Fortunately it hasn’t made a lot of difference to my weight but my physical energy levels are definitely ebbing. Having had something of a break from the hard work of keeping fit, I’m hoping the arrival of our new exercise enhancer (a puppy), will change all that - we are already out walking twice a day and keeping him from chewing the house apart is exercise in itself. Just need something to get back on the good eating habits now.

Anyway, enough of me, as I said I empathise. I found the best thing to do was to go with someone - a friend or organised group. It’s a way of meeting new people and gives you another reason to go out. It can help just to make it more fun.

You may need to change your regimen around in the exercise department. If you are doing the same old, you are not being challenged and your body gets too used to it. You have to very it every day.

Thanks for all your replies.

The new anticoagulant I’m on is Rivaroxaban which I have been taking for a week now. Today I’m feeling particularly tired and slightly short of breath and a little light headed, could this be due to the new medication?

It could be the medication Peter although I have to say I've never heard the name. These are powerful drugs we are taking and any new one can take a while to get used to. That's my experience, anyway. Also I feel a bit weird when my blood pressure gets on the low side and my heart rate is nothing like as low as yours.

I think with the exercise/diet it's hard to keep up a upward linear progression. Sometimes we need to take a step backwards to gather ourselves to press forward. Maybe you are being too hard on yourself. Does the odd treat make all that much difference in the overall scheme of things? Do you reward yourself in other ways than food for reaching your goals? Anything to make it seem less like a slog - perhaps do some new type of exercise?

By the way, I would like to follow your blog. I'm the other side of the Chilterns from you and not too far away from Harefield. But when I click on "read more" nothing happens. Am I doing something wrong?

Hi dunestar;

I'm thinking I may need to adjust to the new meds but am feeling a bit more determined having posted here and elsewhere, thanks to everyones support.

I haven't deprived myself of the odd treat but just lately have been sneaking in more than the odd extra and have a craving for chocolate.

Not sure why you can't access the blog, no-one has mentioned this before. Could it be the security setting on your PC? This link should take you straight into part 1 of the blog, from there you should be able to follow the links at the bottom of each part. ... peterjemmett.blogspot.com/2...

Try this and let me know if you are still having problems.

Yo Peter, I managed to get into your blog! What an inspiration! Thanks so much for sharing all the info about your fitness regime. I doubt I'll ever do as well as you in terms of jogging but I can follow your advice of setting personal goals. I'm doing that weight-wise but I'll have to work out how to do it fitness-wise. I'm not in the rehab programme (no heart attack) so it may be a bit hit and miss at first but I'll look around for a programme which may suit me and I'm going to treat myself to a Fitbit.

Your blog took me right back to Harefield. It's called the Radial Lounge now and thank goodness there are proper changing facilities outside the cath lab. I think I even recognise Dr Panoulas who did my angio. I thought the team there was really efficient but they were very caring as well. They surprised me by suggesting I keep my trainers on during the procedure!

As for chocolate I don't believe it is a true addiction like alcohol or drugs but it sure feels like it at times. I can resist at the moment but am sure it could be a struggle in the future. How can the brown stuff have such a hold over us? What helps me sometimes is to read the list of ingredients - it's really off putting!

I wish you well

I know what I do won't work for everyone but what I hope comes across a determination or inspiration to take up a more active/healthier lifestyle for other's to follow.

I'm glad that Harefield have added changing facilities, I think when I went for my angiogram the day procedure was still in a trial period.

Best of luck in your own fitness regime.


I came to this site, from the States, when looking for information, support, etc, post HA and stenting back in March. Found a lot of information, and found some blogs to follow -- yours being one of them! I even follow your photography on Flickr. And of the most interest is following your progress of getting out there and actually running 5K's. Something I have not done yet -- frankly I hate to run. BUT I stayed in rehab, stayed in the gym and still hit it at the gym at least 5, sometimes 7 days per week. Treadmill, Elliptical, Stairmachine, weights. It gets boring and then I think "but your lack of exercise was probably very contributory to your heart attack, so get off and stay off your butt". Your blog and progress has been one of my inspirations, so I'm saying stick with it. I need your encouragement!

And, have a beer or wine. Most studies say 1-2 per day is fine, if not helpful, certainly 1-2 per week.

PeterJemmett profile image
PeterJemmett in reply to Percus

Parkrun was launched in the UK but there is now many international runs as well, I'm not sure if it has reached the States. I can't recommend it highly enough, their motto is 'it's a run not a race' sums up the attitude perfectly and it's all done in the most friendly manner, the only pressure to do well comes from yourself as you try and beat your own personal best time and that is a lot easier running with a bunch of like minded joggers. - parkrun.com/

I admire the amount of time you can put into the gym work, something I can never seem to find.

I still do enjoy the odd tipple, just got to keep it in check!

Thankyou for your comments. I have just returned home from a weekend in Stoke Mandeville hospital which will probably end up as another chapter to the blog!

'The weekend that was' (the mini blog)….

Late Friday afternoon I came down with stomach cramps quickly followed by a severe case of diarrhoea & vomiting with blood at both ends and pretty bad dizzy spells. Having called 111 the ambulance took me to Stoke Mandevillie where on arrival it would appear I nearly blacked out (at least I don’t recall some of the things the wife tells me). My BP dropped to 61/35 and they become concerned about my low rate heart (nothing new there). Treated for dehydration and kept in until kidney function returned to normal (or in a nutshell - Gastroentertis and acute kidney injury)

How was your weekend!

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