Now that I’m 36 pounds into my weight loss journey, sometimes I skip the diet and exercise articles when I’m thumbing through magazines. But not yesterday. I think it was the title that grabbed my attention – "What’s My Motivation: Identifying Why Weight Loss Matters," by Caroline J. Cederquist, M.D. in the May/June 2007 issue of LDS Living.
You could say that my motivation to lose more pounds has evaporated. I guess I’ve been telling myself that 36 pounds is enough. My goal weight at Weight Watchers is 150 pounds, but four or so years ago when I was doing T.O.P.S. (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) my family doctor and I arrived at 168 pounds as a reasonable weight for me to shoot for. And I’ve been stuck right there at 168 pounds since October. (I have dipped down as low as 163, but went right back up.)
I can’t honestly say that I’ve been strictly following the Weight Watchers guidelines. I’ve been fudging a bit. But after reading that article yesterday, I’m reviving my motivation.
I followed Cederquist’s advice to take a pile of index cards, think about what benefits I hope to gain from losing weight and reaching my Weight Watcher’s goal, and then write as many benefits as I can think of on the cards – one benefit per card. I came up with 21 benefits. Next, Cederquist advised organizing the cards in order from most motivating to least. Then once they’re in order, write the top five reasons on another set of cards to keep in your wallet or purse, on the fridge, at work, in the kitchen, etc.
Here is my list of what I hope to gain by losing weight and reaching my Weight Watcher’s goal (in reverse order).
21. I will have eliminated my risks for diabetes and heart disease.
20. When I hear about the obesity epidemic on the news or in the paper, I’ll know that they’re not talking about me.
19. My clothes will take up less space in the suitcase when I travel. (More room for souvenirs.)
18. Just imagine how I’ll look shwooshing down the ski slopes this winter. (Hot! Hot! Hot!)
17. I’ll get to buy a "wonder bra" at Victoria’s Secret. (As in, I wonder where my bust went.)
16. My rear end will look really great while I’m sitting on my bicycle seat.
15. I’ll have legs that look great in heels.
14. I can get a new driver’s license with a cute photo and an honest weight.
13. I’ll get to buy a cute, new swimming suit from Land’s End.
12. I’ll need to acquire a stylish new wardrobe.
11. My knees and hips will thank me, and toned legs will help prevent future knee injuries.
10. I’ll buy cute square-neck shirts to show off my clavicles.
9. I’ll live a loooooong, happy and healthy life!
8. I will have firm, fit, tones and muscular arms, legs, abs, and . . . well . . . buns.
7. Who knows, maybe I’ll be able to generate a story or two and some publicity for my blog and future website.
6. I won’t have rolls on my stomach when I sit down.
5. I’ll have a great reason to smile, laugh and encourage others to follow my lead.
4. I’ll be qualified to work for Weight Watchers. (Not a possibility with a doctor prescribed weight goal.)
3. I will have set a good example for my family of determination and commitment.
2. I’ll look like I did when I got married . . . maybe even better!
1. I’ll have gained an iron will and the knowledge that I can do ANYTHING!
Now, here comes the beautiful part – what I think will really help me stay motivated. Cederquist counsels readers to review the large deck of personal motivators daily, perhaps starting your day by flipping through the cards or even reading them aloud sometimes.
I took her advice a step further. Yesterday I glued old buttons to the tops of empty Altoid mint containers. (It’s a multi-layered, kitchy sort of look.) Anyway, I selected my favorite button box and cut my cards to fit inside it. Now I have a cute container to keep my cards in to boot!
I’ll keep you posted regarding my efforts. I have high hopes that they’ll succeed!