Being your own cheerleader.

Monday, August 18, 2008

I've talked a bit in the past about my motivations for wanting to lose weight, and I wanted to delve into it a bit more.

Now that I've really thought about it, I've only tried to diet three times in my life; current effort not included as it's not a diet, it's a LIFESTYLE READJUSTMENT PROJECT. See the difference? Good! Two of those attempts were using Weight Watchers. The first being when I was 10-12 years old. I remember I was older, but not in high school yet. I joined with my mom, I guess to help motivate her. I certainly don't remember asking to go. If I did, it's a repressed memory. As I was completely dependent on her to adhere to the program, when she gave up a month or two later, so did I. The next attempt with Weight Watchers came when I was around 25. Some girlfriends had joined and I had followed along as a show of solidarity. The problem with that was I lived 100 miles away, and without the support from them, I quickly lost interest. Sometime in between those, I tried an Atkins type diet. Again, this was also short lived. I really don't recall how much I lost with any of these, but I know that it was never very much, not enough to even warrant buying smaller sized clothes.

My forays into fitness and exercise have been longer lasting though still sporadic. This is due to the attitude that I had; I was exercising for the fun of it, not to lose weight. An example of this is when I lived in Indianapolis, prior to moving to Buffalo. Indianapolis has many very nice trails and I had always enjoyed riding my bike as a kid. So I bought a bike and started riding. It was hard at first, but also completely enjoyable. One mile became two, and I worked up to being able to ride 10 miles three times a week, and 20 miles on a weekend. I'm sure that the pounds would have flow off had I actually watched what I was eating.

I've never seriously thought about weight and losing some of it until now. Sure, I was aware that I was larger than most women, but I accepted it as just one of those things that was. I didn't dwell on it, nor did I wonder what other people thought of me for looking like I did. I just went about my own life doing what I enjoyed. And here I am, trying to change the way I look. Why? I started getting fatter in places I didn't like, and started getting out of breath doing things I shouldn't get out of breath doing. I looked at my fat, in as much an unbiased way as I could, and decided to change it.

Many women, and some men as well, tie their emotions into how much they weigh and how fit their body is. I get why this happens, there is WAY TOO MUCH media influence, but it doesn't make it any less right. Imagine being completely self-conscious, beating and berating yourself every day about how your hair looks, or the color of your eyes, or the size of your feet. Sounds silly right? It saddens me to imagine how many people do this exact thing every day about the size of their waist. It saddens me even more to see them put all of their hopes and happiness into this one aspect of themselves. I pity the fantastic parts of them that get pushed aside, and know that even if they do get to be the size they want, they'll still be the sad, self-critical person on the inside.

I have confidence in myself, this is nothing new. I am a strong person, and have done lesser and greater things through my sheer desire and will to accomplish a goal. I know that in time I will meet my end result. I try not to think about it too much though, long goals by their nature are far away. I focus on the positives that are happening in my life now. Each day I weigh a little less than the day before, and each day I grow a little stronger.

In the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." Not even yourself.