Thursday, September 29, 2005

On a lack of motivation

I constantly seem to have people asking me how I get motivated to do this. I think it's finally hitting home that I've not just lost a lot of weight, I've lost more weight than anyone I know in real life, and in most cases more than anyone else they know. I'm heading towards the level of "my fantastic weight loss success" stories in trashy magazines, and I've done it the old fashioned way, without support, without drugs, without someone constantly telling me what to do. So people think that I must be incredibly motivated and disciplined to do this, and that it must be hard to keep doing it day after day.

But really, motivation seems to mainly be a bit of a non-issue to me. I don't think of myself as being particularly motivated to do this (although I may seem that way to other people). I see it more that my lifestyle gets stuck in a rut from time to time, I like consistency and I don't like change. All I've done is to get it stuck in a healthy rut, so by doing what comes naturally to me (i.e. the same as I did yesterday) I can keep in that rut and keep the weight coming off. Which is illustrated by the increasingly non-breaky "break" I'm meant to be on, I'm actually find it hard to think of what I would do if I wasn't doing this. So I carry on doing this til I remember. Seriously!

I just do it. These are the cards I've been dealt, and I do it. So what if I have to do more exercise or eat less than someone else in order to maintain a healthy weight? Life isn't fair. Maybe I'm a better lawyer than them, or I've travelled more, or I've not had a messed up childhood. Maybe they'd swap something I have for being thin. I might have been born with a crappy metabolism, or messed up messages in my brain that don't tell me to stop eating as soon as I should, but there are far worse things that could have happened. If I'd been born deaf or blind I wouldn't necessarily have this option to put things right just by working a bit harder at it. If I was in a wheelchair do you think I'd enjoy spending my life trying to find accessible workplaces, shops, toilets, transport, hotels, everything, and wheeling myself round all the time? Not having a real chance to look the world in the eye or to give myself a fresh start away from the chair? Probably not, but I'd just have to put up with it and live my life that way, whether I wanted to or not, and regardless of any issue of motivation. Put into context, having to spend some time in the gym most days is hardly the biggest possible hardship in life, and its something that I have to do, much like some people have to take drugs every day to control their illnesses.

I finally got to the stage where I realised it's pointless to sit here and wail that I'm fat and that it's not my fault. Maybe my body isn't ever destined to be effortlessly slim, and maybe I will always be nearer the heavier end of the healthy weight range than other people. But that doesn't condemn me to being quite so horribly obese as I was. I don't have to be tiny to be healthy, but I can sure as hell be a lot healthier than I was, and I have it within my power to do something about it.

So I got into the habit of going to the gym in the morning. I don't wake up in the morning and give myself the decision as to whether I'm going, I get up and go because I get up and go every day. I pick up my lunch from the fridge on the way out, and eat it because that's what's in my bag. I don't think about whether it's healthy or not at that stage, it's just what was in the fridge. Which in turn came from what I buy at the supermarket because that's what I always buy. Simple as that.

Making excuses, putting it off til tomorrow isn't going to change anything. If I don't do it today the weight loss fairy isn't going to visit in the night and decide that I've thought about it, so maybe I deserve a break. Zap! 5 pounds off! It doesn't work like that. I'm fat, and I'll stay fat unless I do something about it. I won't be able to pay my mortgage if I give up work, and I won't be able to fit in my size 14 clothes if I give up exercise. They both sound like appealing options sometimes, until you think of the consequences. Does understanding that fact and acting on it count as motivation? Maybe, but I prefer to see it as plain old common sense.


Blogger Thachayini said...

Well said!

5:06 AM  

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