Posting my weight loss results lately has been just FUN! I am at the point where people are starting to notice a difference (compared to being at that awkward stage where they notice something is different but they can't quite put their finger on what and don't want to say something out of fear of being rude). Some of my clothes are literally hanging off me, which I NEVER imagined happening! It's funny how I was trying to lose weight but my mind could never comprehend it actually happening, what that really entailed and how different I would look and feel.
Through these postings, I have gotten so many comments of support back. I especially love hearing that I motivated someone else to make changes!! One of the most common things that people say is "I wish I had your motivation!" So over the last few weeks I have been "drafting" this blog in my head so I can hopefully share some tidbit of my motivation with those interested. I am so glad to finally have a chance to sit down in a quiet house (no "Mom" calls to divert my attention), a day off work so I am not trying to write at midnight when I should be sleeping and be able to get the thoughts out of my head....terribly therapeutic for me! Warning, this will probably be a long post....like I said, it's been cooking in my brain for a while now (and I'm wordy anyway!) :o)
Motivation is defined as "desire to do. Interest or drive". Yup, I would say I have found my motivation. I have the desire. I am finally in a point in my life where I want to be healthier. I was tired of being fat, overweight, and in my own mind unattractive. I was tired of only having the energy to sit on the couch night after night and feel like a slug. All I kept doing was getting heavier and heavier. I knew if I kept on that path I would begin to have medical problems, wouldn't be able to enjoy life to it's fullest, and would miss out on opportunities. I was happy, but I wasn't happy with MYSELF.
I still keep trying to pinpoint the moment where I found the motivation to begin this journey. It really was like someone flipped on a switch in my head. It was a dramatic mental difference, unlike anything I have ever experienced before.
I know how hard "dieting" can be if you aren't in the right frame of mind. Many times before I had wanted to be in the place where mentally I was ready, but I could never seem to find it. I think my "it moment" was seeing a photo of myself (looking like a beached whale). In my mind's eye, I wasn't seeing myself like that. I knew my clothes were getting tighter, I was having to buy larger sizes, I was getting slower, harder to move, etc. But I felt like I kept seeing the same face in the mirror every morning and in my eyes it did NOT look like that photo (I seem to just have short mirrors in my house, so I missed seeing the "big" picture). So the photo was a tough reality check to swallow - that photo is how I really look and how others see me. I still don't know why it was THAT moment for me and not any of the other times I have seen photos of myself or wanted to be ready, but I am very thankful that things clicked into place and the planets aligned for me at that moment and I am here now.
My plan, progress and success has been based on a dramatic lifestyle change, not just a diet. You hear people say that all the time, but it really is true. Before I could eat what I wanted, how much I wanted, when I wanted and be fat and have my self esteem be in the toilet, or I could CHOOSE to change my habits, make better choices and change my LIFE. One of the best decisions I have ever made. I am constantly amazed at how much better I feel - mentally and physically. I have more energy, I feel happier, I want to do more.
So while people say they want my motivation, I think there are also a few other key ingredients:
Motivation = desire, interest, drive
Determination = the act of making or arriving at a decision
Drive = to push, propel, or press onward forcibly; urge forward
Willpower = the trait of resolutely controlling your own behavior
So my recommendation to all those seeking my "motivation"...look at yourself - in the mirror, in photos (even if you hate them - take it yourself and don't show anyone else) - whatever you need to do to really see what you really look like. No ignorance is bliss, no denial - those are not allowed. But truly accepting your current reality. Then assess and decide if you are happy or if you want to make changes. I often hear the Tim McGraw song in my head "How bad do you want it?" Do you want to make changes badly enough to begin making better choices? That's all it takes is a beginning. Then give yourself enough opportunity to have some success. Closely monitor your progress so you can see the success. Celebrate and acknowledge the success, even the small ones, and use them as motivation to keep you going.
So what gives me the motivation, determination, drive and willpower to stick with it this time? One word - RESULTS. I simply LOVE seeing the scale number keep moving down. I am excited to try on my clothes everyday and see how differently they fit. I enjoy fitting into smaller sizes that I haven't been able to wear in a LONG time. I get proud of myself every time I make a healthier choice that I used to do. I grin from ear to ear when I hear people tell me how great I look or how well I have been doing. Find the things that give YOU motivation, determination, drive and willpower. Find an incredible support system - family, friends, acquaintances, total strangers...any warm body will do - and let them tell you repeatedly and frequently how fantastic you are doing. Even though you may hate them, take photos of yourself along the way. Go back and compare to where you were (preferably side by side so you can REALLY tell). And post them if you can stomach it (again, that gives people an opportunity to tell you how great you are doing - cheerleaders are awesome!).
Keep some of your "fat clothes" and put them on every now and then - again, to celebrate measurably how far you have come. Those are some of the things that will get you through the tough times - when you wonder why you are bothering to do this, when you want to quit and go back to your evil old ways. Those will be the things that make you realize why you are doing this, why it is important, and why you should push though and keep on keepin' on.
I hope this post has helped someone in some way. If nothing else, I've had my therapy session for the week. :o) Best of luck to you all in this journey!