Howdy all! Been a weird few days over here in Tara-land, and I figured it was a good time to get caught up. I thought I’d talk about one of those awkward topics today: weight loss and fitness. Now, I’m not saying you need to lose weight (I mean, look at you, you look FANTASTIC! I really don’t know how you do it), but some of us are getting a little thick around the middle, for whatever reason. I’m definitely in need of a kick in the pants to get down to fighting weight.
I must start with a little admission: I’m fat. This is not something I am proud of, but it’s the way it is. I’m a big (haha, big, get it?) believer in accepting your body as-is, but at this point, I am just not feeling good about my body in it’s current state. It’s not so much about the way my body looks, but more about the way I feel. I don’t feel healthy. Not in the least. BLAH.
I wasn’t always big. In fact, I was chronically underweight for most of my childhood, and my doctor said I’d likely battle to keep enough weight on for rest of my life. He was wrong. Very, very wrong. I started weight training in my teens, and somewhere along the way, my body changed. Add to that a life long love of food, and lots of it. This girl can eat, let me tell you!
In my early twenties, I joined the Y. I discovered a passion for exercise in all it’s forms, specifically weight training. I learned that I am blessed (or cursed) with one of those bodies that is capable of putting on a good deal of muscle, and I fell in love with the way a strong body feels. Motivation was no issue for me, day in and day out, I was at the gym, either before or after work. To this day, it’s one of the only places I feel truly myself.
Then, I started a long battle with an injured shoulder, and health issues, and by the end of it, I had lost my passion. I’m a stress eater by nature, so it’s really no wonder I put on weight. I had never really had good self esteem, and the little bit of weight I put on only made it worse. I started starving myself, and before I knew it, I was dealing with an eating disorder (which I’m still not entirely comfortable talking about), and all sorts of other issues.
ANYWAY… fast forward to a couple of years ago, and I’m heavier than I’ve ever been, recently diagnosed with a condition that affects my balance and sometimes prevents me from exercising. I’m fat and unhappy. Someone introduced me to Sparkpeople and it completely changed my life. I went to the website, dove right in, and within a couple of months, I had lost 40lbs. It was a lot of work, but it felt great.
Of course, the older I get, the more issue I have with motivation in that way, so I kind of got a little derailed, and I gained back some of the weight within a few months. And, by this year, I had gained it all back. With reinforcements.
So, I’m getting back on the wagon, and I feel really good about it. I went back to Sparkpeople, and I think this time I’ll get this weight off for good. I like Sparkpeople, because they have food and fitness trackers, and I really need that. I am not learning anything I don’t already know (I know what to eat, and I’m quite at home in the gym), but what they DO provide me is a sense of accountability, and I really need that. This blog will provide me accountability too, because now that it’s out there, I’m forced to stick with it!
Another thing I love about Sparkpeople is that it’s adaptable to your level of fitness/knowledge/motivation. There literally is something for everyone. I’m a little more self directed, so I don’t use the meal or exercise plans. I know what I’m doing in that regard. I do however use the trackers, and I read a lot of the motivational articles, because sometimes I just need a little help in that regard. I also bought the creator of the site’s book The Spark, and I make sure I pass it around. Again, it’s all stuff I know already, but it helps to see it, and know that someone knows what you’re going through. And, there is stuff in there about working fitness into your life whether you have a lot of free time, or very little. Whether you go to the gym, or prefer to work out alone.
Last time around, I tracked every last bite of food that went in my mouth, good or bad, and every exercise I did, I tracked that too. I’m a people pleaser by nature, and for some reason, it extends to technology too, so I really really felt good about seeing my hard work before me.
So far, so good, I must say. I’ve been back at it about a week, been to the gym almost every day (lost one day to vertigo, and I took the weekend off from the gym, but I walked extensively both of those days, so I was still active). I feel really good. I’m down about 4LBS already, and I’m ready for more. I love the slightly sore feeling after a good workout. As I write this actually, I’m sitting up really straight because I worked my abs really hard last night.
Working out for me is it’s own motivation. Sometimes I feel like I don’t want to go to the gym, but once I’m there, I wonder why I stayed away. It just calls me, and I love it. Every day, I can’t wait to get back.
So what motivates you? Are you self motivated, or sometimes need a little shove? Not just for fitness, but in other areas of your life? Let me know in the comments below!