Despite the fact that I feel like I'm 29, the calendar says I'm 50. With sons ages 16, 15, 15 and 13, this shouldn't be a surprise, yet it still shocks me.
As I've gotten older, my weight has crept up. I'm 5-foot-2. I weighed in the 120s in my 20s, the 130s in my 30s, the 140s in my 40s and, yikes, suddenly the 160s in my 50s. It's harder and harder to hide this in my yoga pants.
Here's what our head Mommy M.D. guide, Rallie McAllister, M.D., MPH, mom of three, co-author of "The Mommy MD Guide to Your Baby's First Year," nationally recognized health expert and family physician in Lexington, Kentucky, advises for weight loss motivation.
"If wanting to lose weight was all we had to do to succeed, we'd all be wearing our skinniest skinny jeans right this very minute! Unfortunately, as we've all learned from experience, that's just not all there is to it.
"Finding that spark of motivation is the very first step — and the single most important part — of your journey. ... The motivation it provides has to be strong enough to carry you through the tough times, when you're feeling a little down and discouraged and your friend shows up at your house with a bottle of wine and a two-pound box of chocolates. Your motivation has to be superstrong when you've promised yourself you'd go for a jog before work and it's raining cats and dogs and you're wonderfully cozy under the covers. Or when you've been really, really good all week, and the scale shows you've gained a pound rather than lost the two you'd planned on. ...
"Without some powerful motivation, going on a diet is kind of like going to the dentist. You know you need to do it, but you're not exactly looking forward to it, and you're certainly not enthused about it. ... On top of that, I have to go to lots of trouble to make it happen. ... After the hygienist and my dentist are through poking around in my mouth, I have to wait for the news. Do I have a cavity? Are my teeth in danger of falling out? Do I need some scary procedure such as a root canal? The very best I can hope for is to hear: 'Everything looks great! We'll see you back here in six months!'
"Of course, that's always great news, but it's hardly enough motivation to overcome the dread and procrastination I feel when I think about scheduling the next appointment. It's not like something really wonderful is going to happen, like my dentist is going to jump up and shout, 'Oh my gosh! I just found a two-carat diamond in your right molar!' ... In the end, what really motivates me to go is the fear of the consequences of not going. I value my teeth, and I don't want to lose them. So, I go to the dentist as regularly as I can force myself to do it.
"This same kind of logic applies to dieting. If you don't have some really big and powerful and exciting reasons to lose weight, you'll have a hard time going through all the steps necessary — namely, following a diet and making time to exercise — to make it happen. ...
"When I look for that spark of motivation and I ask myself why I want to lose weight, my list looks something like this:
— I'm planning to run a half-marathon, and I can run faster and better at my ideal weight.
— I want to take my horse to the next level in his training, and I need to be leaner and stronger to help him advance.
— I'm hoping to take a skiing trip sometime, and I really want to be as lean, strong and as healthy as I can be. Plus, my ski pants are a bit tight, and I really don't want to buy a bigger size!
" ... If your why is powerful enough, the how is actually the easy part. With enough motivation, determination and excitement, you can accomplish just about anything.
Jennifer Bright is a mom of four sons, co-founder and CEO of family- and veteran- owned custom publisher Momosa Publishing, co-founder of the Mommy MD Guides team of 150+ mommy M.D.s, and co-author of "The Mommy MD Guide to the Toddler Years." She lives in Hellertown, Pennsylvania. To find out more about Jennifer Bright and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
Photo credit: silviarita at Pixabay