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My "why"

Monday, August 27, 2018

I was thinking about the blog I wrote yesterday, and my motivation for staying in weight maintenance here in Spark, when I saw that one of the featured articles on the start page today was about figuring out your "why?" for your motivation for weight loss. I figure the why is just as important for maintenance.

So, why do I want to keep working at maintaining a healthy lifestyle and weight? Especially when it would be easier at times to just eat whatever, whenever, without regard for nutritional value or its benefits as fuel for my body. I mean, get real, emotional eating would soothe me in the short term, and it would feel good... in the short term. Maybe remembering the minutiae of the details of living day to day as a morbidly obese woman is not as important as remembering the why of the motivation for the change, the transformation that my life has undergone. (and it has been more than my weight that has been affected!)

To be perfectly honest the initial motivating factor was probably vanity, and disgust at being unable to do the "fun" stuff anymore... because I was too heavy, too big to fit or maneuver. I know, I know, not a great motivation. But, I quickly saw the health benefits of losing 5 or 10% of my weight, and set an ambitious overall goal of losing 50% of my overall bodyweight. No fancy gimmicks, no special products... just determination, consistency (Sparkstreaks!), and of course the demands of the Cooper-dog (I adopted him about 3 months after joining Sparkpeople). I set smaller goals for the short term, 5 pounds at a time, and rewarded myself for each success. And I discovered that success begets success. Also that walking outside on a daily basis (getting out of my apartment and MOVING) improved my moods immensely.

But why stick with Spark? Why stick with maintenance? I have "done it" after all...

I stay with Spark, because it gives me a community of like-minded people, many of them I proud to say have become good friends. Some I have met in person, and some I have only chatted with online, but the ones who have stuck around I definitely consider my friends. There have, of course, been some who just disappear overnight, but that is the nature of online communities I think.

And why stick with maintenance? Because I like being mobile, and walking with my little dog on a daily basis. Because, despite recent health issues, I AM healthier than I once was. I am NOT at risk of dying in the near future. My future is not nearly as fraught or as uncertain health-wise. That is a definite relief. It takes a certain pressure off. I can choose to walk to my dad's house in the early morning, to have breakfast with him. Being in maintenance for me, is really about maintaining my ability to make choices... not just healthy choices, but any choices. The way I was seven and a half years ago my choices were so limited (by my own accumulated actions) that the only real choice I made each day was whether to get out of bed... or not. And there were a number of days when the choice was "not".

I think I am a better (more interesting and engaged) person, daughter, friend, now than I was then. (Which is not to say that there aren't some people IRL who preferred me that way, and try to pigeonhole me back into that place...) I LIKE who I am now, better than I do the me of that previous self. Not to say that I was a bad person. I just like this different person I have metamorphosed into with more intensity, more joy. (Joy is an active state, and I have more energy now to be joyous!)

So, I guess that is my longwinded motivating "Why" for staying in maintenance, and staying with Spark. To be more succinct: Joy, and friendships! (Not to say that a faint touch of fear is out of place on a occasion!)
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