Well I am really happy with my results this week. I have worked really hard and it did pay off. Drum roll please.......I LOST 4.2 POUNDS!! Even better, I now weigh 219.8 Which means I'm no longer in my 220s AND I'm only 7.8 pounds from achieving my first goal of 212 lbs. (the lowest weight I've been in the last 10 years.)
Speaking of goals. I see a lot of bloggers writing about goals and rewards. A lot of them do these challenges or set goals each week, like "I'm going to exercise 4 times or eat at least 4 veggies each day." This morning as I was trying to ignore the pain in my left hamstring while running my second 8 min interval in C25K W 5 D2, I thought about these goals and rewards. I'd weighed in yesterday and knew I'd hit that 30 pound mark. Maybe I should be rewarding myself? Maybe I should come up with a list of rewards for different milestones and post them on my blog? Then I realized that this is old thinking.... Maybe I should do what all the cool kids are doing?
Let me first say that I'm not criticizing anyone for having a list of goals or doing these challenges. If it works for you and you like it, you should do it. But, today I realized that on every unsuccessful diet I've ever done, I've had some reward in mind for the end. The last one was that when I get to "goal weight" (whatever the hell that is) I would get my eyeballs fixed and finally get up the nerve to have LASIK. A lot of times in the past I've used food as a reward. "Since I ate so well all week, I deserve that cookie or piece of pie or french fries." Or more likely all three. That's obviously not the point of goals and rewards.
Then, the new part of me spoke up and said, "What are you talking about? Every time you complete a day on C25K, that's a reward. You hiked in the mountains and never had an asthma attack. You're reward is how you feel" Wow. That's a big one for me. Basing my rewards as inwardly motivated rather than an external motivation. That's totally new thinking.
I've wanted to lose weight to look like the cool kids, to get a boyfriend, to wear cool jeans, to shop in the "normal" stores, to avoid ridicule, to please my family or friends, to motivate my spouse to lose weight, to be a good example for my kids. This time is different. I'm eating healthy and exercising because I want to. Because it feels good. Because I'm proud of being able to do all those cool things in the gym. I proud of being able to do an hour on the elliptical. But NOT because I'm getting external praise or rewards, because I want to for me. My reward is how I feel.
Will there be external and tangible rewards? Yes. But that comes as a result of what I'm doing. I'm not doing this to get the reward. Do you see the difference? Losing weight will broaden my possibilities. My choices in life. If I want to go to Costa Rico and zip line, I can. If I want to buy a new outfit, I will. I'm not losing weight so I can zip line or get new clothes. In the past this has led to disappointment. You see, I never got to "goal weight" and I never got any of those reward dreams I had. To me, all that just played into my belief that everything would be better if I were thin.
So I feel happy and rewarded today. Because I went to the gym yesterday with my son and we worked out with my trainer. (Of course I went back to work afterward and he slept on my sofa in my office. Hee hee) Because I got on the treadmill this am and got through that C25K, even though my legs were sore from yesterday. Because I am wearing a size 18/20 skirt that I haven't worn in 3 years. But mostly because I set out to change my lifestyle and the way I think and feel about diet and exercise and I'm doing it.
This blog is an accounting of my personal journey to find fitness. All the content on this blog should be read as a biographical piece of literature, not a medical resource. I am a physician, but I am in no way giving medical advice or establishing doctor patient relationships with my readers. I am simply keeping a diary. If you are starting a diet or exercise program or require medical evaluation or advice, please see your own family physician.