Sunday, October 10, 2010

Staying Motivated

Entry #27

Every now and then along this journey I've been on since July I've wondered just how long I can stay motivated and hopeful. This past week has been a struggle in this area. Although I did well with exercise, stepping it up and jogging for a good portion (about l5 minutes at different intervals) of my 45 minutes on the treadmill, staying motivated was difficult. Friday I had to force myself to go in to the gym and I ended my time on the treadmill about ten minutes early. On the food front, I've been snacking on small handfuls of cereal a few times each evening when I get home from school. It just seems that everything is loosening up and it scares me because that's how the downward spiral begins.

In one of her blogs early last week Kenz posed and answered some questions that I thought were interesting, so I've decided to repost and answer them here. They will most likely be spread over a few days, so maybe I'll actually get in more than one blog this week.

1. What was your highest weight, what do you weigh right now and what is your goal weight? My highest weight was 270 pounds. I weighed that much in the summer of 2007. It really scared me as I was so close to weighing 300 pounds and at one time in my life I swore I would never weigh even 200 pounds. That fall I started going to the gym every morning, walking the treadmill and began watching what I ate. By the end of the spring of 2008 I had lost fifty pounds. I kept this up for awhile, but as usual, got tired of the discipline and slacked off. Any excuse was good enough for me to skip my workouts and the junk food binges began lasting longer and longer. Eventually I gained back most of what I'd lost. My current weight is 222.5 pounds, so using my heaviest weight as a starting point, I've lost 47.5 pounds since the fall of 2007. My goal weight is between 125 and 130 pounds. I've still got a hundred pounds to lose and that's going to take awhile. When I get a little discouraged about that, I look back to see how far I've come and realize that I don't want to go backwards.

2. What is your #1 motivation for losing weight? In the past I've had a few different motivations for losing weight. The first time I lost a good chunk of weight was in my senior year in high school. Our choir was putting on the musical "Bye, Bye Birdie" and I had been cast as the mayor's wife. At one point in the play I was standing on the second tier of a riser and had to faint and fall straight back where I would be caught by two guys standing nearby. I was concerned about them having to catch me at my current weight, so I went on a diet and exercised and lost between 25 and 30 pounds. I was so hoping that my weight loss would prompt someone to ask me to our Senior Prom. When that didn't happen, I got discouraged, figured "What's the use?" and gained it all back within a year or so. Throughout my 20's, 30's, and 40's my main motivation was to get thin so I could find someone to marry. I've always equated my single state with my being fat. In an earlier post I dealt with that, so I won't go into it here. Now my motivation is for health reasons. Although I've been very lucky that, even though I am considered morbidly obese, it hasn't affected my health to any great degree. My blood pressure is at the low end of normal and my cholesterol is at the high end of normal. But I know that as I get older my luck will start to run pretty thin and eventually run out, if I don't change my eating and exercise habits. The thought of being 65 and weighing 300+ pounds is a scary one, especially if I ever get into a situation where I can't care for myself and have to depend on others to help me get up and around. This reality hit me when I helped care for my dad in the last few weeks of his life. He's never been even slightly overweight and by this time he had lost quite a lot of weight. It took three strong adults to lift and move him. What would it have been like had he weighed 270 pounds?

3. Have you always been overweight? I never thought of myself as being fat until I was in second grade. My teacher often told me that I was chubby and should be careful not to become fat. Before that I had never given it a thought. When I look at pictures of myself at that age I don't consider that little girl to have been fat or even chubby. I remember my mother often speaking about being on a diet and having to lose weight. She would fix our dinner and sometimes fix something different for herself because she was on a diet. Being the child I was, I thought it would be fun to go on a diet. Mom informed me that it wasn't and boy was she right! Eventually I did become overweight and went on my first diet when I was twelve years old. Since then it has been a forty year rollercoaster ride.

4. When you want to give up what inspires you to keep going? I think back on how far I've come this time and realize that if I stop, it may be months or even years before I try again. In that time I will have gained everything I've lost and then some back and it will be an even harder uphill battle to lose the weight. I'm running out of do-overs. Eventually I'll be so old that the effort will seem just too great and I'll give up entirely. That cannot and will not happen. I'm determined to succeed this time. My friends, both local and those I've found as a result of this blog, my family members who have been encouraging, and feeling the responsibility of keeping up this blog are also great motivators for me.

I think I'll end it here for today. I've got to get ready for my nieces who are coming over to spend the day. Be back tomorrow.

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