When making a behavior change, we often discuss the importance of finding your “why.” I think we just need a focal point, a factor that motivates after the intrinsic motivation wears thin. There are several reasons why I have decided to take this weight loss journey, yet again. I write because I know I’ll need to be reminded, and maybe this will help you too.
First, I’ve lived in both places–carrying excess weight and not carrying excess weight. I like the peace and focus I feel not carrying excess weight. There is this slow process that begins once I gain weight, and without knowing it, I often awake and realize I feel like a slave around food. Even if I wanted to be free, I cannot see a way out. It just feels impossible. Or, I find there is a point where my weight becomes a distraction in my mind. I will think about it A LOT. I will look in mirrors more–trying to assess my appearance from different angles. When I am carrying more weight than I should, I tend to think about weight and food more than I should. I do not like my mind being consumed by any individual thing. In previous seasons, vile, incessant, and attacking thoughts about how “fat” I was often accompanied my thoughts about weight. While those feelings are no longer, I do find myself looking in mirrors, wondering if this particular outfit is flattering, and second-guessing taking pictures ( you know how pictures NEVER lie). These are all signals that my weight needs some attention.
When I was younger, my reason for weight loss was simple: I just wanted to be thin. I assumed thin people had better lives, and if I attained a certain size, then all would be right with the world. I now know that is untrue. Problems and pain accompany all seasons. I remember joking with my sister that I wanted to be able to wear a sleeveless shirt, and have my arms out in the summer. Or I just wanted to wear a size 14 jean instead of 20, and not have to shop in a plus size store. I wanted options. Some people dream of being famous; I dreamed of being thin.
I remember visiting Paris in early 2001 with my friends. Being in Paris in the early 2000s equated to traveling to a place where there was NO “big girl” love, i.e. no plus size options in stores. We went clothes shopping, and it was absolutely dreadful. NOTHING fit. I could not try on any clothes. I was humiliated. Oh, that feeling! I remember it distinctly. Now, you can argue, that the Parisians not having clothes that fit plus size women was more of the problem. Maybe it was. Either way, that experience is seared in my mind. I DON’T want to experience that again.
I want to lose weight because I want to abolish the perceived barrier that now exists in my mind. I often think, “because of my weight, I can’t do xx. I won’t feel as comfortable doing xx.” I will second guess wanting to run, swim, take pictures, go on rides, sit in chairs etc. It is SO much easier for me to think self-deprecating thoughts. Also, I always have the “what if” clause–what if I were smaller? Would I be experiencing ______ differently right now? Or, because of my weight, will my husband be as attracted to me? Or, will I be taken seriously in my work? These thoughts are just TOO much.
Health reasons also push me to lose weight. My knees hurt, and I know injury is not too far away if I place too much strain on my knees. Also, I have polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS, and I will not ovulate regularly or at all when I reach a certain weight, thus making it harder to plan for pregnancy. In fact, regulating my ovulation cycle pushed me to lose weight this last time; I knew if it was not regular, it would make having more children biologically either extremely difficult or impossible. Furthermore, my excess weight was increasing my risk for diabetes. During my last weight loss journey (2017), the doctor told me that I was pre-diabetic. After I lost about 30 pounds, however, I was no longer pre-diabetic. Simply put, I have learned that body just does not operate as well at a higher weight.
And last, I also want to lose it for YOU. I know there is at least one person who is reading my blog who feels that freedom from excess weight is a hopeless endeavor. I had to come back yet another time ( this will be my 8th time having to lose weight) to let you know that, while understandable, that feeling is untrue. It can be done, and you can be free, healthy, and whole, while maintaining a weight that is best for your body. Don’t give up, dear weary one.
So, yes, I have my reasons that push me forward. I felt it was necessary for me to answer the question of why weight loss BEFORE I get started. The journey is long, and I will have setbacks that discourage me from accomplishing my goal. I also have a list of victories to encourage me that this is not in vain. We can do this. Let’s push on together.
What is your “why”?