Last year our resident psychotherapist, Colleen, wrote this post about why we sabotage our efforts at weight loss and healthy living. I have recently been thinking about this a lot, but not from the perspective of why do I sabotage my efforts, but why am I seeking a better lifestyle? My husband is really big on the WHY? I’m usually not much of a why girl. I’m more of a ‘how does this make me feel?’ girl. Recently, I’ve spent some time thinking about why I’m choosing this healthier lifestyle and I thought I would share some of these whys with you. You know, just in case you need to answer the ‘why am I bothering with this?’ question for yourself. If you’ll notice all of my whys also have a strong sense of feeling! That’s just who I am!
Why Do I Want a Healthier Lifestyle?
- I want to feel good about my body, all of my body not just my eyes and hair. I haven’t been happy (or content would be a better word for it) with the way my body looks since I was pregnant was my first son, over 25 years ago! I want to feel that contentment. That feeling of hey, I look good in pretty much whatever I want to get dressed in look. The feeling of walking down the street with confidence that I look good because my body is toned, healthy, and at a good BMI.
- I want to be a good example to my son of what a healthy lifestyle looks like. I have a twelve-year-old son and I homeschool him, which means I spend a lot of time with him during the day. He’s very active in American karate (hello, black belt!), a people-watcher, and very social, which means he is always watching what is going on around him. I want him to see what a healthy lifestyle looks like; that you can change your lifestyle and choose the way you eat, drink, and exercise; that putting health and fitness as a huge priority is one of the best ways to take care of yourself and your family; that it’s not just your weight and body type that make you healthy, but how you take care of yourself; that to be healthy you don’t have to eat ‘next to nothing’, but you do have to feed yourself proper nutrition for your body and exercise!
- I want to be healthy enough to enjoy my senior years. Everywhere you look, you see adults in their 60s, 70s, and 80s and they have set themselves up for health problems in their younger years. They laid the groundwork in their 30s, 40s, and 50s by not taking care of themselves. They have low muscle tone, joint issues, and high pain levels. I think one of the contributing factors to these health issues is lack of taking the time to become healthy and fit in their younger years. I don’t want that to be me as I continue to age, and I don’t want to be on enough pharmaceuticals to open a small pharmacy. I want to address my joint issues now (arthritis sucks, btw), by eating properly and exercising the way I should, before these things get worse. I turned fifty this past summer and I would never have believed all the ways my body has changed over the past ten years, had I not lived it. I know that some of these issues have transpired because of the way I have treated my body over the past thirty years! I am reversing this trend, now. I am finding out what I need to eat, how I need to exercise, and what supplements I need to take so that I can be healthier in my senior years than I was in my younger years! I want to be around for many years to come to spend time with my eventual grandkids and be the kind of grandparent that they can do things with!
- I want to see how I can change my self-image simply by changing my lifestyle. For years (maybe always) I have had a pretty low self-image. Even when I was young, thin, healthy-fit I had low self-esteem. I didn’t believe in myself. I didn’t think I could improve my life in any way. I didn’t have the self-confidence to change anything around me. I always thought, ‘I got what I deserved’, no matter what that was. When I was riding my bike 3+ miles a day, as a teenager, had the metabolism that I would kill for today, and weighed a whopping 100 pounds, I still didn’t believe in myself. I didn’t think I was healthy and fit. Now, I am working on my self-image daily, as I continue working on my lifestyle changes. By the time I reach my health and fitness goals, I hope I have the self-esteem worked out to a suitable level, as well. Little steps every day seem to be what works for me.
- I want to be able to walk my next Susan G. Komen 3-Day more healthy and fit. I have walked the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for five years in a row. I am signed up for my sixth walk to take place in August. I am excited about the walk, as I will be walking in Michigan, a state I have only been in once for a few days in the bitter, cold winter. This will be in early August, and I want to be able to enjoy this state that has so many things to offer outside, in addition to being healthy and fit enough to walk 60 miles. I have walked the previous years, but each year it gets more and more difficult. This year, I would love for it to be easy, because I am fit enough to handle the stress it puts on my body. I know I can do it, but I want to do it better!! (And a little vanity here, I want to look better in the pictures that I am in this year!)
Now it is time for you to ask yourself: Why do I want this healthier lifestyle? Why do I want to lose xxx of pounds? Why am I putting myself through all this exercise and food deprivation? What am I trying to do with the goals that I made for myself this year?
Ask yourself ‘why?’ and when you answer that question I would love to hear your answer!
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Ann is a wife, mom to 2 sons; a 24 year old Marine and a 10 year old who home schools. Ann has been “working” at losing her baby fat for 20+ years and is beginning to find success in that journey. Ann is a huge walker, and walks the Susan G. Komen 3-Day every year to help fight against breast cancer, a disease that killed her grandmother long before she should have died! She’s excited to be a writer on the best support group online, The Sisterhood of Shrinking Jeans.