In the past when you were on a mission to lose weight, what was your motivation? Was it because you wanted to be skinny or because you wanted to be healthy? If I’m being really honest with you guys, I would probably say that 85% of my drive to lose weight is to be skinny. I want to lose weight so that I can look hot, wear stilettos and shop in all the stores in the mall. I don’t want to be the fattest person in the room and I don’t want others to think I’m lazy solely because I’m overweight. It’s a sad fact, but people treat you better when you’re not overweight. I didn’t grow up as an overweight child. And, I’ve lost 50 pounds in 6 months on two separate occasions while trying “get skinny.” These losses have allowed me to experience life not being fat. However, the motivation to maintain it wears off because I no longer feel miserably fat, just kinda fat. I start to think, okay now that I’m not morbidly obese and I can shop in the normal size stores, I can relax. Of course being smaller doesn’t make the world perfect, I still had bad days, but in general life is a little easier when you’re thinner.
Yesterday, I was reading a blog post on BGGWL and she said that she didn’t begin to lose weight until after she started focusing on “getting healthy” and not focusing on “losing weight.” Most of the time I couldn’t care less about being healthy and I really just wanted to get skinny. I think it’s the desire to be skinny (not healthy) that pushes people (including yours truly) to drink cayenne pepper lemonade and eat cabbage for 10 days. The doctor never told me I’m dying or really sick so I felt like I was healthy enough.
So today, I decided to take her advice and focus on being healthy, which of course has obvious desired side effect of losing weight. Attempting to lose weight makes me feel so much pressure because I have so much to lose. Anytime I make one mistake and eat a doughnut I feel completely derailed and want to give up. On the contrary, I can make healthy choices throughout the day that make me feel successful. I drank a protein shake and ate fruit for breakfast today, and instead of feeling fat when I looked in the mirror, I felt accomplished that I had done something healthy. I ate a healthy lunch and then I put on my coat and gloves and did a brisk walk around the neighborhood for the other half of my lunch break. When I got winded, I almost told myself “you’re so fat, that’s why you’re out of breath.” But, I caught myself, why would I beat up on myself right in the midst of doing a healthy activity? Throughout the day, I continued to track my food on Calorie Count.
I shifted my focus from how fat I am, and skinny I want to be, to the healthy choices I was making. This afternoon I recommended one of my coworkers who’s training for half marathon to lay off the sodas (diet and regular) to help alleviate her knee pain. She was so grateful for my advice. I told her that I used to have to wear an Ace bandage type knee brace every time I worked out, but since I cut out the sodas, I don’t need it. So much that I don’t even know where it is anymore. It made me feel good that I could help influence someone else to be healthy too. You can get skinny drinking diet soda (maybe), but nobody claims it’s healthy.
After work I met with my accountant and filed my taxes. I had already made up my mind days before, that I wouldn’t “have time” to work out today. But since I focused on being healthy instead of the overwhelming pressure to be skinny, I could see all the great things I had done today. I got changed and then went to the gym to run at almost 9 o’clock at night. I called up my Gym Cousin and we ran with my Week 5 podcasts, and I finished almost every interval. When I left the gym I felt great! I didn’t feel “not skinny enough,” or feel like I didn’t burn enough calories to actually lose weight. I felt satisfied because I was doing healthy activity despite “only” being on Week 5, days before my 5K race. I felt healthy, and it felt good. It’s amazing what one little shift in a mindset can do. And to top it all off I had a nice “side effect” and lost 1.6 pounds for Weigh in Wednesday.
I’m curious to know, what motivates you?