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 our "WHY."
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 a list of my WHYs:
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 recent anchors is the picture above. I have set this as the background on my phone. Many people would rather look forward than back. For me, there are benefits to looking back at "past Dani." This isn't meant to be a negative, but a positive.
As I work to lose the final 15 lbs to return to goal, I am striving to love the past, present and future me no matter what. Life will throw me curveballs and the only thing I can control is how I act towards myself during them.
Will this list and anchor help 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?