My motivation is not what it could be/should be and as a result I continue to hit the same wall over and over again. I get closer to my goals then sabotage myself and balloon back up. This article in the Mind over Body series address the "why" of weight loss and provides an actual activity to make this more validated and in the forefront of your mind.
Weight loss is only one part in the bigger picture of making my life better. Yet, I continue to struggle with the weight loss tunnel vision where I am so stressed from focusing on the end that I end of eating my feelings and making the whole cycle worse.
So how then can I focus on the "why" of losing weight? With a Vision statement of course. (Hence the title). A vision statement provides direction and inspiration which are two factors I am desperately short on at the moment.
So where do we start? Well, this vision statement should detail "why" you want to lose weight and "why" the hard work and effort will be worth it in the end. The answers to these questions should be as specific as possible.
How do I figure these out? A few simple questions can help clarify your bigger picture.
What do I want my life to look like in (1, 5 or 10) years?
As much as I really love my job, I don't want to do this forever. The mental stress is already wearing me down on a daily basis and sitting on my duff certainly does not help my energy/stress/weight. I can't afford to quit or change jobs right now, but I would love to see us living on a farm down the road. I want to care for animals, make crafts and garden in order to make our home as self-sustainable as possible. I certainly cannot do this while carrying around an extra 65 pounds. Or at least not easily.
What would my ideal days look like?
If we had our farm my day would start right before dawn. I would enjoy my coffee watching the sun come up, spending a few moments in quiet contemplation. Then I would get the kids up for school, cook them breakfast, make their lunches and get them off to school. Coming back to the farm would have me busy with feeding chores, letting everyone out for the day and making sure they have fresh water. Milking would have to be done as well as egg gathering. Then I would hit the garden, weed and gather the produce that was ready to be picked. I would finish up my afternoon in the kitchen baking and cooking or making products like soap for the family and to sell. I could also use this time to take photographs or write on my novel. By the time the kids got home, I would be available to help them with homework. We would have dinner as a family and then it would time for evening farm chores where I went down and put everyone up for the night ensuring they have fresh food/water. Spending time with the fam before bed.
What personal values (love, human connection, security, independence, comfort, variety, interest, excitement, contribution to society, family, career success, etc.) do I want my daily life to express and reflect?
I really have a strong need for security, independence, family, fun and comfort as well as success and being noticed for my contributions.
why is losing weight crucial to meeting your "big picture" goals.
It's crucial as I can't ride horses or care for all my animals if my energy levels are zapped or I can't walk to the barns to care for them. Farming is not easy work and being overweight make it even harder. I also think with weight loss will come increased confidence and there is no way I can finish writing a book or start a new business if I am self conscious and lacking confidence.
Now we need to identify WHAT needs to change within myself and within my life to get me to my ideal day. This really needs to focus on what I CAN change and not what I have little control over.
I need to build my self confidence and as a result my willingness to try new ventures will increase. I need to have enough energy to maintain the household so that my DH can take this lineman job he wants. If he gets this apprenticeship then it will be up to me to run this household and I can't do that from the couch. I need to develop a strong a healthy routine that will allow me to manage all household/professional and personal needs more efficiently. I also need to finally set a goal and meet that goal so that I can prove to myself that I can do it and I'm not a flake. This will also go towards improving self esteem and can even assist me in developing my new routine.
I have to admit, when I read through this article the first few times.... I was a skeptic. I didn't think I had a vision. I had NO "why" that I could think of off the top of my head. I wanted to lose weight so I was no longer fat. That's as much as I knew for the "why". But by answering these questions and putting it into writing, I discovered a whole other part of myself that I hadn't even fully realized was there. I have this whole other woman within who is screaming to be free and unfortunately I keep her locked up with junk food, pop, sedentary days and excuses.
Moreover, I have an idea of what I need to do to get back on track and how to focus my motivation when the stress and frustration takes over.
Have you ever written you vision statement? What was helpful for you in identifying your "why" to weight loss????