I mentioned Katie’s recent post about motivation in weight loss and weight maintenance a couple of weeks ago and I confess, the idea has been on my mind ever since. It’s undoubtedly true that I am not as motivated to lose the 15-ish pounds I’ve regained in the last year as I was to lose 100 pounds in the first place. Losing that 100 pounds was largely motivated by serious and scary health concerns. Those things aren’t there anymore. I know I’m healthy. So why do I care?
I really loved Mariana’s post on her blog Project Unfluff a couple of weeks ago (go give her some support!) about why she is getting back in care. For her, it isn’t about the scale or the size of her clothes but rather that the change in the number on the scale and the tightness of her clothes mean that she isn’t taking care of herself the way she has in the past. Those things serve as her signal to re-evaluate her self-care and I think that’s a brilliant way to look at this. That really resonated with me, because that’s definitely part of my concern. I know that I feel better in so many ways when I’m eating well and exercising and the scale is really just a tiny reflection of that. I don’t know that I can really trust myself to eat well and exercise just because it makes me feel good, however. I know myself well enough to know that it is easy to convince myself that “one little treat” is okay and yet it will also slide into lots of little treats that make me feel disgusting.
I’m accepting that I’m always going to need to scale as a clue that I’m on the right track in terms of taking care of myself and I’m accepting that this is going to be something I have to think about on some level forever (see Kelly’s post here at No Thanks to Cake a great post on the never-ending nature of this). However, I also need to remind myself of why. Why do I do this, why does it matter, why is it worth it?
– While my blood sugar is normal for now, my history of gestational diabetes and high fasting glucose and strong family history of diabetes mean those risks will always be there for me at a greater degree than it is for other people. Three months of finger sticks was enough to reinforce to me that I don’t want that life any sooner than I have to (if ever!). Taking care of myself and staying at a healthy weight is a huge part of minimizing that risk.
– I bought a lot of clothes when I was at my goal size. I don’t want to buy bigger ones if I don’t have to.
– Honestly, my self-image is fragile. It’s getting better all the time, but I confess that as I regain weight, my self-image plummets. That is its own problem that I’m working on, because I shouldn’t let the number on the scale or the size of my clothes affect my sense of self so much, but I’m human and it does. I want to continue to focus on how strong I feel and all the things that are great about me rather than feeling like a failure because I’m one of the many people who regained weight after losing it. I would never call any of those people a failure, but if I’m being honest, I’d see myself that way and I hate it.
– I feel so much better when I’m eating well and exercising. I wish that was motivation enough to stay on this train, but it isn’t in itself. It’s a huge thing for me to remember though. I have more energy, fewer headaches and less reflux. I don’t need to take medications anymore and worry about those side effects. My quality of life is SO much better now. As I get farther away from the size I was before, I tend to forget just how many aches and pains and irritations came along with those extra hundred pounds. I need to remind myself how much better I feel.
Do you struggle with maintaining motivation? How do you deal with it?