I get this question all the time. I LOVE IT. I love getting to share my personal stories about issues that seems to effect everyone: weight and self image. I wanted to take a few minutes and answer this question:
What motivated you to start losing weight?
To fully answer this question, let me back up and give you way too much backstory. Growing up, I always knew that I was bigger. I honestly didn’t really care. I liked ice cream and bread too much to give it up. I realize now that I should never say that I “struggled” with my weight because I didn’t struggle, I ignored it. There’s a big difference.
I always knew that I was bigger. In elementary school I prided myself on being the tallest girl in the class, got picked early for dodgeball and kickball during P.E., and was the clean-up batter when I played softball. I was tall, athletic, and big. To me, it wasn’t an issue because I was succeeding. My size and elementary school strength didn’t hinder me from doing anything, but actually helped me. I played as hard and had just as much fun as any other kid.
Moving onto middle school, I had a lot of friends and the teachers liked me. I was in show choir and loved it! I was still the tall, athletic, big girl who could now sing and dance in heels. I had a lot of FUN.
When I was in high school I played on the tennis team, continued to be in show choir, and had an amazing group of friends. I was active and had a lot of energy. My size didn’t stop me from anything. Overall I had a great high school experience!
I played on the tennis team in junior college and the years I was on the team we did well! I was in choir and involved in everything. When I transferred to MC, I rushed a tribe (MC’s version of a sorority) and was voted Miss MC. I was in a healthy and steady relationship (and got married 4 years later). My weight didn’t stop me from doing anything that I wanted to do.
Do you see the common thread here? My weight never hindered me from anything, so I didn’t see it as a problem. As the numbers on the scale kept rising, I never once stopped to think if I was healthy or not. I was having fun. That’s all that mattered right?
I continued to live like this until this year. All I cared about was having fun, but then I started noticing that I wasn’t having fun anymore. I was tired all the time. My knees hurt just from walking up stairs. I didn’t want to go out and have fun. I hadn’t run in forever and wasn’t sure that I could actually run anymore. Every day activities started to become uncomfortable and the more uncomfortable I became the lazier I was.
Health wasn’t a priority. I want to point out that I’m not talking solely talking about about weight as a number. I’m talking about health. I believe that it’s more important to be healthy than to be a certain number on the scale. I wasn’t taking care of myself by exercising or eating nutritious, good for you food. That resulted in weight gain; therefore, the extra weight was a problem.
It wasn’t until I saw this picture, that I knew I was in major trouble if I didn’t do something about my health / weight.
I’m embarrassed of this picture. I really don’t want to be showing it to you right now, but I made a promise to myself that I would publicly reveal this picture of me at my heaviest so that I would never go back. It’s when we keep secrets no matter how hurtful or embarrassing that we set ourselves up for failure.
As soon as I saw this picture when I was flipping through my phone, my mind didn’t instantly click over to negative self talk. Instead I thought, “this is going to be my before picture.” This is going to be the picture on the left side that shows how far I’ve come. This picture was taken at the end of May on a beach trip. The following week I had my first Ideal Protein appointment at The Women’s Clinic.
Long story long, there are a number of reasons that motivate me. I physically feel better, I have a better outlook on life, I’ve grown so much spiritually, etc. But this picture was the start. It was the moment that clicked in my mind that I knew I was mentally ready to make major changes and be healthy.
What about you? Have you ever had that moment when you knew that you desperately needed to do something? I’d love to hear about it! – JJ