I’m part of a 60 Day Challenge for my gym during May and June, and last week I ran across the following post on a favourite author’s page on Instagram:
So I got my philosophical cap on and posted to the Facebook page for my local challenge. Obviously it resonated with some people. Not only that, it turned out that this week for the country-wide Coaches was, “Find your why.” And then the local nutrition coach at my gym turned it into a discussion point during our discussion group.
All this is the set up for finding my own why. I posted about it in that Facebook post, but I didn’t really get to expand on it (I don’t need everyone to know how long-winded I am). Weight loss…of course weight loss started this. Weight loss is the constant. It’s obvious. But it’s not really the “only.” And I don’t know that it is sufficient for it to be the only.
One of the big reasons for “why…now?” is how comfortable I was with myself when I looked in the mirror. No, I didn’t like my stomach, or how much the scale read, but when I looked in the mirror I still liked what I saw. It has always been a bit in the back of my mind, ever since I first heard someone say it when I was quite young, that once I liked me at any weight, I would have an easier time working on adjusting that. It almost seems counterintuitive, doesn’t it? If you like yourself, then why change? But I am a perfectionist, I think most people are. And knowing that even if I don’t get anywhere that I am still happy where I am, it takes away the feeling of “failure” that sometimes bogs me (all of us?) down, and that takes away a lot of the stress of losing weight for me. I’m pretty fucking awesome as is, so might as well see how much more awesome I can be when I am at my healthiest and with a (hopefully, at some point) flatter stomach.
I was thinking of how weight loss falls into my priority list. It’s always there for me. It has always been there for me, since I knew what it meant when kids called me “fat” (still abhor that word). But it’s not always front of my mind anymore. At most points in my life it was all I saw–it was Earth, sun, sky, house, and a point of comparison for every person I interacted with (and many that I didn’t). Now…it’s like the roof of a building. It’s keeping rain out, it’s still a hugely important part of the structure of my health and fitness journey, but it isn’t what keeps the whole thing together. It isn’t what I’m looking at most of the time—unless there is hail and I need to check for damage.
I’m taking the roof analogy too far now.
But the real structure holding the whole thing together, and ultimately holding the roof up, are the walls–feeling more energetic, seeing weird little changes that only I will ever notice (like my veins being visible under my skin, my clavicle bones showing, feeling my muscles, seeing how prominent my cheekbones are, my Fitbit needing to be tightened on my wrist, my jeans sagging in the waist, etc), not beating myself around the head when I don’t have a perfect day of eating or the number on the scale doesn’t change for a week (or month), and being excited to get up to exercise and try something new that I saw someone do or heard about. There are at least a dozen more that make up the windows and doors and other crap that is important to a building running efficiently.
So really, my why is knowing that the longer I keep going the less important the weight loss part becomes to the overall structure that is me. And that is a pretty amazing feeling to know that at some point in my life it may not be necessary at all. Seven-year-old me would be pretty delighted to hear that.