(Source: Angela Miller Photography, via Pinterest)
There are a lot of reasons to lose weight. Some of them are good, some aren't. Trying to look like a model isn't really a good reason, in my opinion. Neither is wanting a "thigh gap."
I think it's important to pinpoint exactly why we want to lose weight and figure out if our reasons are healthy or not. I believe that we become what we focus on and put our energy into. If our motivation for doing something is superficial or unhealthy, we will become superficial and unhealthy.
On the other hand, by knowing exactly why we're doing what we're doing, we have an endless supply of motivation and self-encouragement. When things get tough, we can remind ourselves that we have a purpose and an end goal. It causes us to push ourselves and work harder.
So why do I want to lose weight? For a long time my reasoning was simply, "Because I should." It was expected of me. I was overweight, thus I "should" lose weight. It was the right thing to do.
Guess what? That's not a good enough reason. It wasn't for me and it probably won't be for you, either. It's vague and impersonal. There was nothing there to motivate me. And in the end, I failed over and over because the fact of the matter is, if we all did what we "should" do, we'd all be pretty near perfect.
Guess what else? I don't care about being "skinny." I thought I should lose weight so I could be skinny like everyone else. I realized that I didn't really care too much about being skinny because I don't ever remember being skinny. I've been heavy my whole life. It's one of those things that I don't know what I'm missing because I never had it. I couldn't find any motivation there either. Oh sure, it's a nice fantasy to be slim and gorgeous but hello, it's also a nice fantasy to be rich and famous. One seemed as realistic as the other.
But there ARE real and true reasons and motivations to workout and lose weight. Everyone is different and everyone has different reasons, but I think it's critical to really know and understand yourself and what motivates you.
So what motivates me? A couple things. Number one is my husband. He works his butt off in the gym. His muscles are huge and he puts a lot of time and effort into not only muscle building, but being healthy as well. I want to make him proud of me. I want working out to be something we have in common. I want us both to be healthy so that we can have a long, healthy life together.
Number 2 and 3 are my kids. I want to be able to play sports with them. I want to be able to hike and bike and run and spend time outdoors with them. I want to go canoeing down a river with them. I want them to know from example that living a healthy and active lifestyle is fun and rewarding. How can I do that when I'm overweight and unhealthy? I want to be an example for them and that means getting my butt in gear and in the gym!
Number 4 is myself. I want it for me. I want to look in the mirror and feel good about myself. I'm not worried about being beautiful, but I want to be able to look at myself and feel pride. I want to know that I'm doing everything I can to be my best self. I want to feel strong.
Finally, number 5 is..well, it's clothes. Yes. I said clothes. Now that we're past all the warm fuzzies, I'll just tell you that I love clothes. I think they're awesome. I want to be able to wear whatever I want. They don't make cute clothes in my size. Well, they do, but they're pretty expensive. I hate my clothes and I don't want them anymore! Is that superficial? Maybe, but I guess a little bit of superficiality never hurt anyone, did it? =)
Sticking to a workout plan or diet is hard. Once you have a list of reasons why you want to do it, you have all the motivation you need. So when you're just not feeling it, or you want to give up, reread your list. Remember what's really important and maybe it will be a bit easier to push on.