This month we are focusing on our "Whys", which is essentially our motivation, the reason we want to lose weight. I would like to share my "Why" with you.
I have been a "dieter" most of my adult life. I've done just about every program out there so you can say Yo-Yo is my middle name. I've lost, and gained, more weight than I even care to imagine. I used to joke and say I was a professional "dieter". Needless to say, this "diet mentality" has caused a lot of health problems and has wrecked havoc on my metabolism. Having a career in the diet and fitness industry as an aquatic fitness instructor, I felt pressure to "look the part" which reinforced the diet mentality. Being in this industry, i had gained a lot of knowledge as to HOW to lose weight. It's also important to note that knowledge doesn't always translate into action and not having a solid "Why" was a main contribution to my lack of continued success.
I had a life changing moment 2 years ago. I was not in a good place mentality and health wise. I had stopped caring and picked up some very unhealthy habits. This resulted in a very scary situation. I stayed sick and I was miserable. I had developed pneumonia and ended up in the ER for treatment. I then suffered from an anaphylactic reaction to an antibiotic, which because of my current health, resulted in respiratory failure. 2 weeks on life support and in a medically induced coma caused complete muscle atrophy and then a tracheotomy resulted in me having to relearn how to sit up, stand, walk, talk, and eat again. You can read more about my story here https://www.healthiapp.com/blog/how-almost-dying-changed-my-attitude-about-weight-loss
Needless to say, I was completely dependent upon my family for a good while. After a one month stay in the hospital, I was able to come home but I still couldn't walk on my own much less fix my own food, or take care of other basic necessities. This dependent state coupled with the thought of turning 50 in a year really caused me to prioritize my health and lead me to my current "Why".
To age as gracefully as possible as to have the best quality of life as I age and not be a burden on my family. In order for me to do that I had to
1. Change my mindset and ditch the diet mentality for sustainable weight loss.
2. Prioritize my health so weight loss will happen gradually.
3. Learn to love myself so weight loss will happen naturally (We take care of the things we love).
4. Reinvest and further my career in the health and fitness industry.
After reviewing my "Why" I took courses to become certified in Health and Nutrition, Weight Loss, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for weight loss. Now that I have some great tools to help me overcome those diet mentality Cognitive Distortions, such as All or Nothing Thinking and Self Sabotage , I coach others and teach them the same principles. This leads to the 2nd part of my "Why"; To be an inspiration to others and lead by example.
I still have a ways to go but thinking of the 60 lbs I have already lost and remembering how far I've come helps me stay focused. I revisit my Why often and add to it occasionally but the core of my "Why" never changes. I want to be independent and continue being independent as I age. And I'm actually aging backwards which was a nice surprise.
While this is a much slower process versus the "quick fix" methods of weight loss from the past, I know that this will be my last weight loss journey because I'm focusing on actual habit change. And because ive chosen the long road, I have my "Why Statement" to keep me motivated.