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What's your WHY?

Friday, April 23, 2010

I'd first heard the concept of having a "WHY" from David Greenwalt, a fitness expert who has helped many with his program "The Leanness Lifestyle". He emphatically stresses that until you have good, solid, concrete reasons for taking superb care of yourself (he calls these reasons your "WHY") it's going to be a struggle to find the motivation to stick with it.

David Greenwalt and I butted heads (we are both very strong personalities), but he was right about a lot of stuff. This was one of them.

Until I finally found my true motivation last November I went through the motions, and that was good. Without going through the motions I'd weigh easily 100 pounds more than I do now and have cholesterol through the roof. More than likely I'd be a diabetic headed strait for heart disease. But if I was going to be successful at this over a lifetime, I knew I was going to have to find my true WHY.

In the course of mulling this all over (which, by the way, took about 5 years since first hearing the concept of a WHY) I did some counseling about weight-related issues and the counselor observed something that was revealing to me: I am more motivated by running FROM something than TOWARDS something.

I just had to find something that scared me bad enough to run from it for the rest of my life.

Then, something shifted: I started to acknowledge my family history of heart disease and diabetes. The reality that these things were more than likely eventually going to kill me sunk in. And when it sank in, it scared the devil out of me! I started doing whatever was necessary to keep these things at bay and maybe even avoid them all together:

-I upped my game and got more organized and methodical about how I lifted weight
-I started incorporating more aerobic activity into my workout regime
-I cut back drastically on white flour, sugar, and diet sodas (I'm not convinced enough research has been done on diet sodas to have a steady stream of them pouring through my body.)
-I stopped drinking alcohol
-I started eating less processed foods
-Probably most importantly, I joined Weight Watchers and began the process of losing weight.

I had finally found something truly worth running from.

I'd heard the term "Lifestyle", and phrases like "It's not a diet, it's a lifestyle", countless times. But it wasn't until my first trainer, Ross, said that he wanted to work with me because he could tell I have a passion for this lifestyle that it finally clicked for me. I really HAD made it a lifestyle- he saw it, and now I see it. I have found my core reasons for taking care of myself. Not something I do just because I should, but something I do because I want to. Now, it's a part of me.

And finally, after 5 years of contemplation, last November I was able to write out my true WHY. I revisit and re-read it from time to time, but it's pretty much engraved in my memory now, since it's pretty concise. I wasn't going to share it, but enough people are interested in it that here it is. Maybe this will help to give you an idea and get you started:


1. I have an unshakable desire to do everything I can to at the least delay, and if at all possible completely avoid, my family history of heart disease and diabetes. I donít want to deal with it, and even more so I donít want my family to deal with me dealing with it.
2. I fully acknowledge my responsibly to my Creator to take the best care possible of this body He has entrusted me with.
3. I want to be an active, attractive, and vivacious grandma for my future grandchildren, able to enjoy them fully in every way while at the same time setting an example of how proper diet and an active lifestyle can benefit for a lifetime.
4. I feel a responsibility to be maximally healthy and therefore fully able to care for my adult handicapped son for the rest of his life.
5. I want to rock a bikini in midlife and beyond. :-D

This wasn't my first WHY. My first one was a couple of pages long, in paragraph form, and more wordy. That's Okay. This is just the one was concise enough to finally hit the nail on the head- this is my TRUE Why. And it will evolve as time goes on. Over time I am sure I'll tweak it, and more points may be added or some taken away.

The point is, there is no right and wrong way to do your own WHY. It belongs to YOU. It is simply very clearly stating your motivating reasons for wanting to be your healthiest you. Like I said, there is nothing wrong with going through the motions of taking excellent care of yourself, if you can't pinpoint your WHY. It will come eventually, and any effort you make is not wasted efort. Having a solid WHY is a very powerful tool in your aresenal of weight loss weapons, but not a good enough excuse to not try if you don't have one.

I realize that me sharing this is not going to help anyone to immediately figure out their WHY, but it may be the seed that starts the process growing within you. People tend to want quick solutions, and for me there was nothing quick about arriving at my WHY. I'm relieved I've finally found my WHY, but by the same token I'm grateful for the process it took to get me here.

This lifestyle is who I am. It will be until the day I die. I'm sure of it now. I want you to be sure of it, too.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TANYAP71 8/9/2011 1:53PM

    I've never heard of a 'WHY' before. A few days I blogged about 'what's the secret?' in which I reflected on how there must be something MORE than 'eat less, move more, love yourself' that had made everything gel this time. I talked about my arm injury. I don't EVER what to go back 'there' - in pain (muscular and neuropathic), with severely restricted activity, dependent on other people for so much (just meeting my personal grooming/dressing needs was a painful workout). It's not my whole WHY but it was the WHY that got me into PT and into the gym. Thank you for sharing.

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SUNSHINE667 4/25/2010 10:06PM

    Great blog Nancy Anne! I have so many why's, many of what you wrote as well. I think more importantly, I want to be healthy and for vanity purposes, look hot in a bikini (as you said).

I'd be interested in learning more about the Why concept.
Thanks for sharing and as always, I LOVE your blogs!!!


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STRONG-FIT-GIRL 4/23/2010 9:09PM

    I could not begin losing weight despite desperately wanting to until I physically wrote down a list of my "whys."

The big two were:
1) I was over 300 pounds and did not want to die.
2) I was having mobility issues and did not want to continue missing out on opportunities to do social activities with my friends and play with my young nieces and nephews.

Once I got that straight, for me, it became relatively easy to make healthy choices.

Thanks NancyAnne for another great blog.

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NANCYANNE55 4/23/2010 4:09PM

    I added my WHY to the blog, and changed some of it to answer questions I felt people were wondering, based on the posts below. I hope this helps everybody! :-)

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LADY_SHERRA 4/23/2010 3:56PM

    Excellent Blog! I love the posts that I have read.

I thought I had a 'why', but after reading this, I sat down a little while to really think about it. The knee-jerk answer I would give was, 'to lose weight' or 'to be healthy' or something generic and pat. Though they were true, after thinking about it, they were not the main 'why' I thought they would be.

I have come up with this - 'Because I CAN do this'. IT IS POSSIBLE! I can have a healthy toned body in my 40s. I am proving to myself (and to others)that I have what it takes to succeed. This is one 'why', maybe I will come up with another. With the pounds & inches coming off, there is a new insight that I have about myself and about living and eating healthy. I learning more each day.

Thanks again NANCYANNE

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SQUINKLY 4/23/2010 3:11PM

    Great Blog! I think you should write about your Why! I am interested in hearing it!

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FUNKYMONKEY302 4/23/2010 2:40PM

  I agree with the other posts here. I would love to hear more about the WHY and the guy who focuses on this concept. I have been asked that question before and I think I have a concrete why but I'm not sure if it is detailed enough or if it is REALLY my reason why. I think my why might have to do with the person i want to be. I want to lose weight and be healthy because I want to be the kind of person who can run a half marathon, eat healthy without obsessing about it, and fit into non-plus size clothing. Is that the right idea?

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BIRDONFIRE 4/23/2010 12:55PM

  My original WHY this time was coming to the realization that life is short and time is passing by. Hitting 50 shocked me into motivation to do what I'd always been starting to do, but never following through on. Now my WHY has been evolving and refining itself from that starting place into something else.

Discipline for it's own sake?

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PAULAMARIEF 4/23/2010 11:50AM

    I guess part of my "why" if I'm understanding it correctly is almost my whole life struggle with liking myself and having an ED that made me so unhealthy, but mostly when 2 years ago my cholesterol was rising and I didn't want to be on more medicine than I am. Also in November I was in ICU and well, almost died. It's on my page, I won't rehash that. I guess I run from things too and it takes some drastic things to happen to ME not just others I love to make me change.

Is this kind of what your status is reflecting? I would like to know your "why"!



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TRINITY4001 4/23/2010 11:43AM

    This is a great blog and I would also love to hear more about the WHY. I am currently journaling trying to identify and understand what keeps holding me back. Hard work! emoticon

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TESENISIS1 4/23/2010 11:15AM

    This sounds like a great revelation and one we all need to come to...could you share more with me and more about David Greenwalt. I think I need to read his book or follow-up on his plan/idea to help me move along in the right direction. I think I am like you as is easier for me to avoid things than to hit them head on.

Thank you for sharing.

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The Gift of Self-Forgiveness

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

In my last blog I started out by saying that it's hard to help someone you don't like. Wouldn't you agree it's just as hard to help, or be good to, someone who continually holds a grudge against you?

For me, self-forgiveness was just as important as talking positively about myself. I needed to forgive myself for the mistreatment I'd committed against my body in the first place.

I've heard it said that you can't change what you won't acknowledge. I've found this to be true, so for me the first step came in admitting that I'd done this to myself, not anyone else:

-I couldn't blame my kids because I had to cook for them all of the time.

-I couldn't blame my husband because he frequently took me out to eat, brought ice cream home, or his favorite activities to do with me were sedentary.

-I couldn't blame my mother because she forced me to clean my plate when I was a kid or my grandma because she fed me goodies to the point where I wanted to vomit when I was young.

The fact is that I was fat and out of shape because I had not used self-control or good judgment in a myriad of circumstances over a long period of time.

Once I arrived at the firm conclusion that my overweight body was MY fault, I started to experience a lot of anger towards myself. I was plain old mad that I'd let myself get into the condition I was in. This went on for quite some time, but I finally came to the conclusion that it was time to forgive myself for getting into rotten shape. I literally had in inner dialogue with myself that went something like this:

"I am sorry, Body, for what I have put you through after all you have done for me. You have carried, delivered into this world, and nursed four other human beings. You have taken me through boot camp and seen me through abusive relationships. You have put up with me under-exercising and not only over-feeding you, but feeding you garbage. You've sustained me throughout life, and I am sorry for abusing you."

Yep, another silly conversation with myself, but one that I felt was necessary.

I'm not going to say that the changes came quickly or instantly, but because of being able to forgive myself I was able to grasp the concept of positive self-talk (blog prior to this) and begin to move on and genuinely embrace the other aspects of getting fit.

If you are anything like me, you won't be able to forgive yourself all at once. Like positive self-talk, self-forgiveness takes time. But forgiveness is a choice, whether towards yourself or another human being. Once you have started the process of forgiveness you will start to move ahead in the journey of getting fit: Good things will follow.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_RAMONA 1/11/2012 11:22AM

    I've been sparking for four years now, between what seemed like one crisis after another, not losing the weight, but definitly losing a lot of emotional clutter. It's sort of funny that though I haven't eliminated any fat, I feel lighter and leaner than I have in years... yet it's not surprising, is it?

I began this past December with the realization that despite all of the chaos, I could have been doing more to get to where I say I want to go (I completely agree with the assertion on your page that *everything* is simply an excuse in disguise)... and I feel pretty angry with myself for that. This blog entry is going to help me move on.

Also germaine: "I was fat and out of shape because I had not used self-control or good judgment in a myriad of circumstances over a long period of time."

I have not used self control or good judgement *in a myriad of circumstances OVER A LONG PERIOD OF TIME*. I find myself feeling so impatient right now... I want to be under 200 lbs yesterday! Never mnind that my jeans are now falling off my own "can you say hips" or that I am moving effortlessly out of chairs and off the floor, and that last month I actually RAN up 12 flights of streps without breaking a sweat. If I allow it to, time will tell a new story about me.

This is my beginning of self-control and good judgement ina myriad of circumstances for the rest of my life.

THANK YOU, once again, Nancy!
{{{{{{{{{ HUGS }}}}}}}}}}

Comment edited on: 1/11/2012 1:16:52 PM

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MISSYGEEN 4/24/2010 1:47PM

    Great blog! Last year I started going to the gym and would sometimes use a personal trainer but would leave in tears because of what I have done to myself and how I let this get so out of control. But since I've joined spark, I've read so much about food and calories, This gave me permission to stop beating myself up, acknowledge my mistakes and move on. This emotional shift has let me go back to the gym without so much guilt. I still find those feelings starting to creep up sometimes but being able to come to this site and learn about the journey that other people take, I do not let these feeling take over. Each day is another step of my journey.

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MARCYNA 4/22/2010 11:06AM

    Yes, I do agree emoticon emoticon emoticon

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STRONG-FIT-GIRL 4/21/2010 10:02AM

    Another excellent blog. It as if you know just where I am at and what I need most to hear. Thank you!

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MRSAWILEY 4/21/2010 7:27AM

    You always have such inspirational blogs! You are truly a gem in this world. Keep up the great work!

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SUNSHINE667 4/20/2010 9:05PM

    FANTASTIC BLOG!!! I love love love it!!

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RAEVENSWING 4/20/2010 8:37PM

    Great blog! I am still working on the self forgiveness part, but as you say
it will not happen in 1 day. Every day is a fresh start and another chance...
Another choice...

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WALEB1002 4/20/2010 7:23PM

    awesome blog! a great lesson we should all know: self forgiveness. In the past I have had a huge problem with this, but I am learning to not be so hard on myself and that the past is the past and I can make tomorrow whatever I want it to be. Thanks for the great reminder! Have a great week!

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Love Yourself in Your Current Condition

Thursday, April 15, 2010

It's really hard to help someone you don't like. Wouldn't you agree?

So why then do we say cruel things to ourselves?

When I stopped criticizing myself for being fat, I started losing weight.

My reasoning for saying negative things to myself was, in part, that I didn't want to like myself where I was and get comfortable at an unhealthy weight. But it backfired: My subconscious believed I was as worthless as I was telling myself I was, and I lost the gumption to do the hard work needed to make myself healthy again.

It was a struggle to stop the negative self-talk, both in my head and out loud. The things in my head, of course, I said to myself. The things out loud I said to others ABOUT myself. Well...... Most of the time. Sometimes I would actually look into the mirror and berate myself out loud for how overweight I'd become. Hard to admit, but it's true. Regardless, my subconscious heard all of it and took it to heart. (Or brain, as the case may be.)

I had to learn to interrupt myself and replace the negative thoughts with positive ones. Here are a few examples:

- When I would look in the mirror and think "Look at what you have let yourself become! You are disgusting!", I made myself stop the thought and would say (out loud if possible) "No, I am not disgusting. I have weight to lose, but I am worth the long journey it will take to get there, and I will come out a better person for it."

- When I thought "I am NEVER going to be able to lose all this weight!", I would stop myself and say "It is entirely possible to lose this weight and I am totally worth the time and effort it will take."

- When I would say to myself "There is not one redeemable part of my body left" I would interrupt myself and say "I have beautiful eyes and wonderful hair. My hands are lovely and thin. My waist is small in comparison to the rest of me and I have a feminine shape. I may not be as thin as I want, but I am going to get there and look beautiful as I do."

I didn't usually believe myself, but I said it anyway.

It felt kinda silly, but it worked. Soon after I started doing this, I found the determination within me to start the journey towards being thin and healthy again. And throughout the journey I have had to remind myself that although the road was long, I was NOT going to quit and it was worth the deprivation, time, hunger, and hard work put in at the gym.

I thought I had mastered this, but then my trainer called me on the carpet for negative comments I had made about myself that I wasn't aware were negative. I just thought they were realistic. He told me that I was going to sabotage my own efforts if I didn't stop it. It was hard to hear, and at first I bristled, but then I let it soak in and took the advice to heart.

That day I learned a valuable lesson: There is a difference between being full of yourself and loving yourself. The former is a sin. The latter is a blessing.

Now that I am ounces away from my off-season goal weight I can tell you one thing for sure: Every last minute of the struggle, both mentally and physically, was worth it.

YOU are worth it. YOU deserve to be loved by YOU.

Stopping negative self-talk is paramount to losing weight. Beating yourself up accomplishes nothing positive. Sometimes we are the only positive voice we have. So listen to yourself loving yourself. Your sense of self-worth and desire to change for the better will follow. I promise.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUPERKHAN 7/12/2012 8:41AM

    Thank you for sharing this blog. It comes so natural for some women to scrutinize and nitpick at everything, especially themselves. I am a repeat offender. Reevaluating and reflecting on oneself is crucial in making progress, but being kind in the process is hard. I will be nicer to me, and realize my accomplishments.

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_RAMONA 1/11/2012 11:05AM

    "There is a difference between being full of yourself and loving yourself. The former is a sin. The latter is a blessing."

THANK YOU! I grew up in a very toxic environment, and I learned very early how to berrate and diminish myself. I am also obliged to expose myself to it occasionally still... and I take a lot of flack for the positive, encouraging comments I say out loud to both myslef and my daughter. Next time I crumble in the face of the negativity, I will hear these words of yours.

I am not at all 'full of myself'... and that insidiously evil little voice in my head better look out (I'm putting these words of yours on my bathroom mirror)!

God bless!

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TANYAP71 8/9/2011 1:24PM

    Your 3rd and 4th paragraphs? OMG... could have been me! As my weight climbed last summer when I was sidelined by an injury that had me under doctor's orders to not do *anything* that made my arm/hand numb or swell or hurt I, somehow, came to accept my heavier body. I started dressing it well, playing up what I liked about it, but with the knowledge that when my arm got better I HAD to do something about the weight. And - for the first time in my adult life - when I started doing something it WORKED. Now I'm sure there are more than a few people who think I love myself a little too much. Oh well. Maybe they should love themselves more.

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CYNTHIAMINUS40 2/15/2011 1:24PM

    So hard to do but, you're right, so necessary to be kind to ourselves regardless of where we are in our weightloss journey. great blog!

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THEHONESTME 2/15/2011 12:42PM

    Terrific Blog! I think it's especially hard for women (maybe of the older generation) to say they like themselves. We weren't brought up that way -- at least I wasn't. We were expected to be modest and any sign of self-confidence was considered conceit. I HOPE -- I PRAY -- that the younger generation was raised differently. I want them to embrace their bodies, large or small, short or tall, and to love themselves as they are RIGHT NOW! Thanks for bringing this subject to the forefront again! emoticon Kathy

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FLEXCHEF 2/14/2011 2:56PM

    Once again word to; enjoy, believe in, and live by.

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DEBO1202 2/14/2011 2:41PM

    Fantastic blog! Thanks for that!

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BECKY_ROWE1984 9/5/2010 6:40PM

    I love this blog and I think I will keep coming back to this to remind myself of these important facts...

Thank you!

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NATKITA 7/21/2010 12:31PM

    SO true! What a great post! Even if you don't believe yourself when you first begin with positive self-talk, sometimes you just have to "fake it til you make it!"

Love your body, and it will love you back! Tell it, sister! emoticon emoticon

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AMC120 7/21/2010 12:28PM


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ALESHABEE 6/26/2010 7:26PM


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RUSTBUCKET1 6/26/2010 7:13PM

    This is inspirational and powerful. Great advice. emoticon

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MAZZMLANI 5/21/2010 5:17PM

    believing the positive self talk: now that's the challenge! recently I have just begun to interrupt my negative self talk as well. and what's pleasant is that nowadays, I actually believe it. what a relief!!!! to hate myself a little bit less (some days I have a lot further to go, but I'm working on it).

anyway, thanks so much for the post! I believe you and am happy to be on the same path now!

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C-MERRIE11 5/10/2010 3:04PM

  Great post! I tell myself negative things all the time and I was wondering what would happen if I should be so bold as to be kind to myself at where I am. I was worried that kind words would make me quit being healthy- so it is REALLY nice to hear that being kind to yourself actually has the reverse effect, as in it HELPS you reach your goals. Thanks so much for the inspiration!

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LUCY419 4/28/2010 1:44PM

    So true.. when i fill my head with negative thoughts very little effort in fitness gets done, and then more negative happens it's a spiral of never ending day after day, when you stop the love comes back.. but it really was there the whole time just waiting for me, you have to be your best friend and love yourself no matter what... after all who spends the most time with me? I DO! Hugs... lucy

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FOXYBROWN1 4/23/2010 4:07PM

    Hard to do, but very true! Thanks for this!

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LINDY2202 4/22/2010 4:21AM

    Thanks for posting this blog. I am horrible about talking bad about myself, my boyfriend will tell me how beautiful or great I look or compliment my body and I look at him like he is full of you know what. He gets frusturated and I can see why. I am making it a goal to stop the bad mouthing myself and accepting his compliments as being true. Thank you for this blog, I needed it. emoticon

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SUZEQ09 4/21/2010 8:49PM

    Eye opening read for alot of people I'm sure. Thanks for posting.

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KAKIPOPUP 4/21/2010 6:52AM

    So true - and so inspiring! thanks!

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RONNIEKAY 4/20/2010 8:57PM

    I really needed to hear this. But, I have to admit, I don't quite no how to stop. I've spent the last 23 years of my life - at least - criticizing my body, sometimes for the reasons you mentioned, sometimes to say it before someone else had a chance to - and heaven knows other people have. If there is a secret to stop this cycle, to be able to see my self in any kind of positive light, I sure wish someone would tell me what it is.

BTW - you look AWESOME!

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TONJOTA 4/20/2010 6:07PM

    Yeah I agree with you. I do not know why anyone would insult themselves. I love myself and make sure that I am saying positive things to myself and others.

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BIZZYBRITT 4/20/2010 5:17PM

    Thank you for this blog: It was inspiring and touching!

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RAINDROP2000 4/20/2010 3:48PM

    Great blog....I tend to do the negative talk often and it definetely does not help. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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PETLOVERJ 4/20/2010 3:34PM

    Thank you so much, I had been feeling a bit overwhelmed by my goal but this was very helpful.

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NANCYCER 4/20/2010 2:29PM

  Wow, this is great. I'm new here and I just don't want to read or participate in anything negative. I only want to put myself in bright light, new ideas and positive thinking. I too need to conquer negative self talk. So, I surround myself with the likes of you.

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CLSSWAN 4/20/2010 11:54AM

    Thank you for your encouragement, I'm working too to stop the negative talk, I appreciate your honesty and information to stop the tape from running in my head.

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SCHNAUZERGIRL 4/20/2010 8:51AM

    Thank you! I really need to start doing what you do because I put myself down constantly and that's not productive.


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JUSTFOXXY 4/20/2010 5:23AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

Nicely done. We are worth it. We just need to get over ourselves and start realizing it.

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CAMROLA 4/19/2010 10:38PM

    So well put--thank you for sharing!!! Now, we all just need to play this on repeat relay in our collective heads until it sticks, for good.


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MCOGIRL 4/19/2010 8:38PM

    Very well put!!

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MCOGIRL 4/19/2010 8:38PM

    Very well put!!

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WILSLM70 4/19/2010 8:21PM

    I was an expert at beating myself up but I am slowly learning to talk to myself in a positive way. It really does make a huge difference.
Thank you for sharing your blog

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STRONG-FIT-GIRL 4/19/2010 5:48PM

    I've just lost 100+ pounds and am really beating myself up right now about how far I still have to go. I really needed to read your blog today. I will try to be kinder to myself over the next few days.

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JANIEWWJD 4/19/2010 5:22PM

    This is true. Be kind to yourself. Remember: nobody is perfect. emoticon

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LINDA29513 4/19/2010 4:00PM

  THANK YOU!!! I have to remind myself constantly to stop being so negative! There are enough "stressors" around me that are negative and I shouldn't add to it. So, today, I will look in the mirror, again, and remind myself that I AM SPECIAL! emoticon

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GARDENMARIE1 4/19/2010 4:00PM

    Awesome blog, Good for you and Thanks for sharing good solid common sense advice. Too bad for so many of us this does not seem natural . But we pray we learn and know better we do better. I liked the way you broke it down and shared your success formula we can all benefit from using this thought process in all areas of our life. Happy Monday to you and may many many blessing be coming your way. Marie

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GRAMMAELLEN 4/19/2010 3:58PM

    Absolutely awesome! Thanks!

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BREEVES3 4/19/2010 12:05PM

    Very well said! I'm always amazed how much is changed by our internal dialogue and attitude.

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CAROLYN1213 4/19/2010 9:36AM

    So awesomely true! The more I learn to love me, the more value I place on my health, the better choices I may, the better results I get and the cycle repeats! I love it! It is amazingly simple once you set new patterns and learn to love who you are in the process. . . . not waiting until you 'arrive', but loving yourself today!

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MSLADY327 4/19/2010 9:26AM

    Thanks. I myself and trying to realize the same thing. I actually wrote a letter to my body to say thanks for hanging in there with me and to thank it for still being strong. Together with our positive spirits and our actions we will be healthier.

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TONISTRELEC 4/19/2010 8:45AM

    I enjoyed this emoticon

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SARAHFANCY 4/19/2010 4:46AM

    Thanks for this. How often I forget, and how many little comments I make to myself and otherwise about my weight and unworthiness! It is soo hard to accept myself the way I am in order to lose weight. How many of us have had a coach who motivated with negativity. I hated it! I am not motivating myself that way either. You really made me think.

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TRABOLD8567 4/19/2010 1:04AM

  Very insightful, thank you!

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JUICYBABY 4/18/2010 10:58PM

    You have no idea how bad I needed to hear every word of this blog. I am currently doing what you used to do. If asked what I love about myself, I can give you maybe 2 things and I can still find something wrong with those 2 things. I too believed that saying negative things would help me do better, but it has only made me lazy and want to just sleep instead of deal with what is really going on with me. Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this blog. It has really touched me. I will be using a lot of what you said in this blog to better myself and I will also be sharing with friends.

This was so wonderful to read. You are a blessing. Thanks again.

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ELIZABETH525 4/18/2010 10:49PM

    Thank you so much for your words. Sometimes it is hard to love yourself when you have abused yourself so long with food! I have only been on my hourney for a week and am already opening my eyes to so many things. I have come to realize that weight loss is not only about eating right and exersizing but also a mental break of habits! And down grading yourself is one of those habits!!!

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MAYBER 4/18/2010 10:40PM

    so much agree you have to accept yourself as you are and be content that you have come to the realization that I would look and feel better if lost some weight and firmed up my body. Thanks for sharing your thoughts
One day at a time.

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LEANVIXEN 4/18/2010 9:40PM

    Thank you for this blog. It is so important to hear. Negative self-talk really is the demise of any good program. I'm going to make a list of positive affirmations to say to myself. Keep at it babe!

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GONABFIT 4/18/2010 9:24PM

    Love this blog!

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NANFACEMIRE1 4/18/2010 9:20PM

    Made me stop and think, thank you.

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FUNKYMONKEY302 4/18/2010 9:20PM

  Thank you so much for writing about this. This is definitely my biggest challenge - learning to love myself and communicate positively with myself. I spend so much of my time berating myself that there is no space for self-love. This blog was a great reminder of what needs to be my #1 goal - learning to love myself and accept myself for who I am at every weight.

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In Spite Of, not Because Of

Thursday, April 08, 2010

If you are waiting for life's circumstances to be "just right" before you start eating right and exercising, you are in for a long wait. They never will be.

Why is it that we view taking care of ourselves as an added burden?

Why do we look at ordering a Big Mac and large fries with a McFlurry as easier than ordering a Grilled chicken sandwich, hold the mayo, with a side salad and unsweetened tea?

Why do we look at exercise as something that takes "too much time", but we have time to sit down and spend 2 hours watching The Biggest Loser?

Why do we look at over eating, or eating crap, as an acceptable way of burning off some stress? Has over eating ever really HELPED your stress?

Look, folks, it's a change of mindset.

Since last Ocbober, when I made the decision to make the changes to my lifestyle that would enable me to have a body I am proud of, a lot of stressful things have happened. Here are a few: I got braces on my teeth, a family member died, I had seven immediate family birthdays and four major holidays take place (one of which family members came in and stayed with us for- which was a pure pleasure!), my daughter had an emergency with and then surgery on her feet to include recovery from it, another daughter is being sued in a big way, my son wound up in the ER with a dislocated knee, the step-kids and my husband came back over Christmas vacation....... Oh, and not to mention my husband lives and works 1200 miles away and I am acting essentially as a single Mom to my kids, one of whom is a mentally handicapped adult and living with me.

There's more, but you get the idea.

The point is, taking care of yourself has to be a PART of life, not an optional and disposable add-on.

Yeah, I know you're tired. I'm tired. And I know you have a lot going on. I have a lot going on. But when I decided I was going to make changes despite my circumstances and that taking care of myself needed to be a part of my life just like showering or brushing my teeth, THAT's when the changes came. And now I have more energy to do all of life's stressful stuff because I have less body weight to haul around. I am handling life's stresses BETTER with a more fit body.

It's a change of mindset. Not a change of circumstances.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LUVYA04 8/9/2011 11:38PM

Wow Nancy thanks for writing that. emoticon

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TANYAP71 8/9/2011 1:26PM

    Thank you for sharing your 'stuff'. I have my own set of 'stuff' and sometimes I need the wake-up call of having someone else lay all theirs out so I can see that it *IS* possible to handle all that AND take care of myself. I spent 10 years thinking I couldn't and I need all the encouragement I can to remember I CAN.

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SCHNAUZERGIRL 4/20/2010 8:53AM

    You really have a great way of putting things in perspective!!! Thank you for sharing :)

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KLC1017 4/17/2010 12:40PM

    I love the part where you mention like showering and brushing your teeth -- I would NEVER skip these EVER so why do we put of healthful eating and working out?

For me I get nervous energy sometimes and instead of running on a treadmill or track outside, I literally sprint to the kitchen and eat a lot .. and then the next day I stay within my caloric range until I get the anxiety feeling .. Even after I exercise I'm super hungry but it's not about NOT eating at all, it's about making the RIGHT choice!! Very moving article keep writing, but most of all keep DOING and TAKING STEPS toward your life and body goals!

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    Thank you for the inspiration - I've got WAY less going on in my life right now. Time to let go of all of the excuses!

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NEWNARAYAN 4/9/2010 1:41PM

    thanks for sharing all of this. really! u continue to inspire me!

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IM_GETTIN_THIN 4/9/2010 10:37AM

    this is SO true! I chose to finally get with it and change my eating habits for the better when I was at my most ill(est)[is that a word??] time in my life six months ago; I have made so much progress since then there is no going back for me to all that junky food. thanks for posting that sister! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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RAEVENSWING 4/8/2010 5:19PM

    With that outlook, you can do anything. emoticon

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ADRIENNE29 4/8/2010 2:12PM

    I love the last paragraph. We all have a story to tell. Its how we choose to handle it that makes a difference. You have over come a lot. Good job Nancy!

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It's Never Too Late!

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

The title of this blog has become a bit of a mantra for me.

If you think you are too old to change your physique, think again. It's never too late to make a drastic change for the better.

One of the things I love about the human body is that there are many things we can change about our appearances, and I'm not talking hair color. I'm fascinated with the fact that we can drastically alter our bodies to be more of what we'd like them to be: A too-big body can be made smaller, a too-small body can be made bigger, and muscle can be added to change overall body contours.

The wonderful news is that body you have is not the body you are stuck with. You can change it.

Weight lifting has added size to my shoulders and fat loss has deducted size from my hips. Both exercise and fat reduction have given me a small waistline. This combination has converted my bowling-pin shaped body to an hourglass. This is all by choice and design, friends. I have a very slight build through the upper body without muscle, but with it I look much more proportionate and feminine.

I'm not saying it's easy or quick, but YOU have the power to change yourself, too. You just have to claim it.

Yu know the old saying "You can't teach an old dog new tricks"? Not true! Us old dogs CAN learn new tricks. I'm 43, and I'm still learning new things...... and unlearning old, bad things.

I think it's more that old dogs choose to be set in their ways than that they are not able to learn new tricks. If you want to be set in your ways, that's your business and choice. But don't blame the way you look on an inability to change.

Areas of our bodies that are less than perfect are largely the result of our own choices.

The sooner you own the roll of your choices in your appearance, the sooner you'll be ready to start making changes to help yourself out. That's what I'm hoping to accomplish with this blog post: Moving people towards the right place mentally to start becoming healthier.

Not only can you change the shape of your body, but exercise helps to reverse the aging process. Weight bearing exercise makes bone more dense, dramatically reducing the risk of broken bones as we age. It helps to keep one's height from shrinking so much with time. Exercise, to include gentle stretching, keeps our muscles and ligaments supple and therefore less prone to injury. And it actually helps us LOOK younger. People see a fit body and they automatically associate it with youth.

And, as I've found out over the past year, it helps you to recover from surgeries and other traumatic things that happen to your body more quickly. (As any woman who's nursed babies knows, there are some things exercise CAN'T fix- for those you need a good surgeon! ) Ask any doctor- the better shape you are in and the better your diet, the faster you heal.

Look, I don't necessarily want to look younger than 43- I just want to look like a really GOOD 43. And the best way to do that is to take care of myself from the inside out.

I don't care if you are 20 or 70, weigh 700 pounds or 115- YOU have the power to change your own body. Your physique is not destiny: It is a choice.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JENNIFERP23 4/19/2010 6:36PM

    Very good thoughts!

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PAULAMARIEF 4/8/2010 8:32AM

    I hear ya, I'm going to be 46 this year!

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MICHARM 4/7/2010 9:08PM

    Fabulous blog...I am in the process of transforming my 40 year old body right now and I believe everything you have written about!!! Thanks for writing it! I love it!

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RACHEL_MAC 4/7/2010 8:54PM

    Love it! I'm gradually getting MUCH less pear-shaped and much more proportionate. Now if only I could magically grow some boobies, we'd be talking!

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RAEVENSWING 4/7/2010 6:18PM

    It is NEVER to late. The benefits of weight lifting are endless.
You have the ability to shape your body the way YOU want it.
Genetics do play a part, but are not an insurmountable obsticle.
Another great blog Nancy!

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IXCHEL23 4/7/2010 5:19PM

    Great blog! So there is hope for another 43 yr old like me! I have a pear-shaped body too which I've always couldn't stand, I know I have to build up my upper body to look balanced. My thighs are like turkey legs, super chunky on top and thinner on the bottom.

I've added you as a friend if you don't mind. You look great!!


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