Motivation wears off.
Now this is not a post about how everyone should be bathing daily - that is a whole different topic. ;)
During this week's Weight Watchers meetings, we are talking about creating a "Losing List." A losing list is a place for members to compile the reasons why they are looking to lose weight, create a healthy lifestyle or maintain the weight loss they already have.
The topic is wicked important to me. Since hitting goal in January 2012, I have found that I constantly need to remind myself why I lost the weight to begin with. Now it isn't because I really forget, but when I entered maintenance I found it more difficult than losing. I wasn't having the excitement of seeing a lower number on the scale each week.
I had to change my mindset. And with a new mindset came a new list of hurdles and a new level of motivation.
So I decided to create my own "Losing List."
1) Health - I didn't want to end up with high blood pressure, heart disease, etc.
2) Chairs - I wanted to comfortably fit in a chair with arms, airplane seats, movie theatre seats, etc.
3) Shopping - I wanted to be able to shop at "regular" clothing stores instead of the plus size stores.
4) Pants - I was tired of wearing sweatpants or pants that used a M-L-XL sizing chart just because I was avoiding seeing the actual size I had let myself reach ... which was a size 20.
5) Knees - I have knee pain (thanks genetics), but I learned that for every 1 lb I lost - it would relieve 3 lbs of pressure from my knees. Isn't that crazy?
6) Back - I had back surgery for a herniated disc midway through my weight loss journey and learned the more weight I kept off my back the better it was for my discs.
7) Stairs/Ramps - I was tired of getting winded by walking up stairs or trudging up the ramps at Wrigley Field during work.
8) My Wife - I wanted to start a healthy lifestyle so I would have a long future with my wife.
But to me, these are the easy answers. The ones that many people rattle off when starting a weight loss journey. But, I know in my heart of hearts there were deeper and truer reasons why I took that first step into Weight Watchers on November 2, 2009.
So here they are:
1) Self-Esteem - I HATED myself. I wanted to finally like - and over time learn to love - the person that I am.
2) Worth - I needed to prove to myself that I was WORTH making the change.
3) Eating Disorders - I wanted to prove to myself that I could lose weight and keep it off in a healthy manner. After battling two eating disorders for years, I knew there was a healthy way to lose weight.
4) Depression - Tired. I was so so tired of being unhappy with my outward appearance and the internal struggle I had to find the good inside myself. Which circles back to self-esteem.
5) Suicide - I hoped that as the weight began to disappear that the suicidal thoughts would do the same. I was so unhappy (see depression) for so long that the thoughts of suicide followed (especially in high school).
6) Hiding - I wanted to stop hiding behind my weight and start living!
Now, I didn't want to have so much of my self-worth tied to my weight, but it was. I thought that once the weight was gone I would be "cured," which I wasn't. But it has improved leaps and bounds.
Wow! Seeing all these things in writing really brings back the memories of how truly unhappy I was before embarking on this journey.
I can't always carry this list or blog post around with me so I need a physical object that can encapsulate the list. Weight Watchers calls these "anchors." I have more than one anchor - shocking! :P
One of my anchors is a tattoo. No I am not telling you you have to get yours tattooed on you too. ;)
Ancora Imparo is a Michelangelo saying in Italian which means: "I Am Still Learning."
This simple message helped easy my perfectionist mind deal with the ups and downs of a weight loss journey. I have it on my right wrist, which allows me to see it daily and touch it if I need an extra dose of motivation.
Will this list and anchor helped me through every single tough situation? No.
But that's why I have this list, this blog and this community - to pick me up when I need it.
What is your #1 reason for losing weight or embarking on a healthy lifestyle change?