Friday, March 16, 2007
Yesterday SparkPeople promoted me to Stage 3 - Lifestyle Change. I am excited about this because in this stage I'm going to learn how to keep it up (or DOWN in the case of my weight) for life. I have never done a program before that I didn't eventually quit. How pathetic is that. Sorry, that was negative. I didn't have all the tools I needed to succeed before.
I do now.
One of the strategies of this stage is finding my main motivation. Why am I going to keep doing this? Good question, especially because eventually my goal is going to be to maintain, not drop weight, but that doesn't mean my motivation can/should be any less.
I have several motivating factors:
*Health! From the ages of 27-early 29 I went through a rough period. At 27 an incidental find in a medical test caused me HUGE worry. It turned out to be absolutely nothing, but my anxiety was real. I started thinking doom and gloom and often wondered whether I had some horrible ailment. You'd think this would set the wheels in motion for me to get healthier, but it didn't for a while. My motivation was fleeting at best. I wasn't always feeling so good...I had chest pains (which I still don't know the cause of), I used my inhaler several nights a week, my heart rate was too high, my complexion was terrible, and I'd have various other aches and pains and things to worry about, health-wise.
What brought on the 180 degree turn in the right direction, starting in late January, 2007? Thinking back, I have to say it was an email. A teacher in my district was arranging to start a Weight Watchers At Work program. I didn't need any time to decide whether I was participating - I signed right up. I was worried about my ability to stick to the program because I have always been so bad at that before. I'd also been a member of SparkPeople for a long time but never used it. I'd read the articles they'd email me and sometimes get a burst of motivation, but usually just get annoyed with their overflowing "healthiness" that I wasn't a part of.
But when I signed up for Weight Watchers, I suddenly "mentally" signed up for SparkPeople too. I had the brilliant idea to check and see if there was a Weight Watchers team on SparkPeople - there was! Weight Watchers Friends to this day is my only SparkPeople team and a huge part of my success. When I have a SV or a NSV (I didn't even know what those letters stood for until recently), I can't wait to share it with my Weight Watchers Friends. (For the record, that's Scale Victory and Non-Scale Victory - of which I have had MANY!) I also started using many of SparkPeople's other features, of which the nutrition tracker has been most instrumental to my success. I still shudder to think how difficult it would be to calculate my WW points each day without the nutrition tracker telling me about the calorie, fat, and fiber information of my foods.
Fast forward almost two months to the present day, and MAN am I healthier!
*My BMI is comfortably within the healthy weight range - I currently weigh 6 pounds LESS than the maximum weight for my height (I weigh 148). This means I am no longer at-risk for weight-related health problems. This weight has come off so fast - an average of 3 pounds per week! It's hard to truly believe that I am no longer a person with a weight problem. I WAS one just about my entire adult life, and much of my younger life too. Sometimes I actually surprise myself when I run my hands down my torso and don't feel the flab I'm used to feeling, or when I see a hint of hip bone, or when I bend my arm and there's less soft squishy skin popping out. Look at you, Susan. Look at the accomplishment you've achieved. You actually weigh in the 140s now comfortably. Not only is this something you can maintain, you can do even better. Look at you.
*No more aches and pains, and no more worrying about them! It's a positive cycle - I feel better, so I worry less, so my mood is better, so I keep making healthy choices, so I feel better.......and on and on. You would not believe what a change this is for me. I feel young again.
*I just know that every single aspect of preventative health is happening within me. I'm giving myself the correct nutrition in every way (portion size AND nutrients), I am getting plenty of all the right kinds of exercise, and I'm getting enough sleep. Because of this, the good things that are happening to me are so numerous I'm sure I don't even know them all. My resting heart rate is about 48 BPM at night in bed before I fall asleep. I'm sure my blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar level, body fat percentage, etc. are much better, though I haven't had them tested to be sure. I bet even my mind is stronger. And I have a better body for making babies, which is something I'll probably do in the next few years.
*My mental/psychological health are better too. The anxiety and obsessing about medical issues is gone.
*PRIDE. I CREATED this body. I had to work hard for it. I am now amongst the ranks of people who "take good care of themselves." I deserve the best possible treatment I can give myself and I accomplish what I set out to do. I'm not someone who "can't" or someone who makes excuses. I fully deserve to enjoy this fantastic body I now have (well, in progress to being even more fantastic).
*Okay, let's face it, EVERYTHING looks better on you when you're thin. My face looks younger, skin clearer, eyes look bigger. I look adorable in my boyfriend's long-sleeved Abercrombie jersey. I look athletic in a racer-back gym top and windbreaker pants. Clothes that I couldn't squeeze into are now getting baggy. I don't bulge out in the wrong places. I don't have to worry about adjusting myself or my clothes to hide some embarrassing or inappropriate fat bulge. Shirts look cuter on me. I look gooooood.
*I fit in now. Jess LOVES my new look and I'm going to look amazing when we get married. We look right together now - two fit and thin people together. People won't say things. It's also a thrill knowing that I have a body that others find attractive.
As other ideas come to me, I'll add new entries...but I definitely have enough reasons to keep this going for life. Why would I ever give up on something that's so right for me?!?!? I wouldn't.