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what motivates me

Monday, September 03, 2007

A lot of things motivate me to lose weight, but unfortunately not all of the things that motivate me are positive. Living in a society that inundates individuals with disdain and even hatred beyond reason for all things associated with fatness and obesity, I can't escape the programming that leads me to hate myself and my weight. Because of this it's difficult to extricate the desire to be healthy from the desire to be "thin" and thus acceptable in our culture. I'm in no way saying that it is healthful to be 100 pounds overweight, just that there is a lot of ingrained prejudice to people who are overweight--at least in the Western world. I was incredibly unhappy and unhealthy at 200 lbs, but I think that a lot of the problems I was having was due more to intense yo-yo dieting over a long period rather than them being problems inherently associated with being overweight.

For instance, I feel that I will have better self esteem when I am thin--but I know that even when I did weigh 130 once upon a time I still felt fat and miserable and ugly. So I know that losing weight is not going to fix my head, so to speak. It's a bit bizarre, because I know that I put far too much of my self-esteem in my external appearance and not who I *really* am inside, which leads to days where I'm down and depressed because I'm bloated, or because my hair won't style the way I want.

On the other hand, I want to be *fit*, not just thin. I spent a lot of time in late spring and early summer doing strength training, and I loved it. I could see the results in my body, especially my calves, in weeks and I truly relished the well-used feeling it gave my muscles. (Now I just need to get over myself and weightlight with the boys in the university gym--I was at an all women's gym this summer) Because this desire to be fit lies largely with overall well-being I consider it more positive than a desire to be not fat so people can say I'm pretty, but your mileage may vary.

The biggest motivator in my life right now is my mom. She set out to lose weight and be fit on January 1, 2007 with two friends and she lost 50 lbs. as of Saturday, and is wearing a size 10 jean for the first time since before I was born. She is what motivates me to keep trudging along when I can't take it anymore, and I honestly would have not changed my life in the way I have without her influence. Her simple email she sent me this weekend saying she was proud of me meant so much more than results on the scale ever could.

It's so important to me to have a support group of people who will encourage me on my journey, and my mom is my biggest cheerleader. She is such an inspiration--real proof that I can do it too. I love knowing that if I need it, I have someone to call about my healthy-living problems who can really help me.

When I'm having a bad day like yesterday and it's all I can do to not eat a heaping bowl of ice cream in the cafe, I think of the picture by my desk of me at my most unhealthy, the one that makes me cringe every time. I think of how great I will feel physically, how far I will be able to run when I reach my goal. I think of how low my heart rate and blood pressure will be. But most of all, I think of my mom and her amazing story, and how proud she is of me.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    As a women's studies minor in college during most of my significant weight loss, it was hard for me to discern between how much of the journey was about being healthy and how much was about my need to feel beautiful in a world that seems to only lavish attention on good-looking people.
    I realized though, that I had made the decision and no one had forced me into it. I lost weight on my own schedule, still ate the things I wanted to. Sure this meant my weight loss was a lot slower than it could have been, but it was on my own terms. When one of my friends said that she hadn't even noticed how much weight I had lost, I was initially hurt, but then she went on to explain that I always had so much confidence and seemed to take pride in my body no matter what weight I was, I knew that I was doing this for the right reasons. I have never hated my body, even when I was overweight. I made the decision to lose the extra pounds because they were hurting the body that I honestly cared about.
    Hope this helps, good luck on YOUR journey!
    4923 days ago
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