When I first decided to lose weight, I did it for one, crystal clear reason—health. Honestly, I never really had much of an issue with my weight when it came to my confidence. Sure, I was obviously larger than the average woman, but I always felt comfortable and confident in my skin. Even though I was decidedly plus-sized, I never had any problems finding a dress that made me feel beautiful. I rarely felt out-of-place or hindered by my larger size. It was just apart of who I was, and the motivation to “feel better about myself” was never driving enough, because the truth was, I was pretty damn happy being me.
Then, I came to the sudden and abrupt realization that I was unhealthy. Not just overweight, but actually, by the numbers, unhealthy. I cleared the fog of my disillusioned mind and began to realized that my unhealthy lifestyle was not only affecting me, but also my family, my friends and most-heartbreakingly, my husband. What kind of person does that to man they love? I was slowly killing myself and he was the one that would eventually pay the painful price for it.
So I changed. At first, I thought that shedding pounds=gaining health, and so I operated under that pretense. Every time the scale would drop another number, I figured I’d gained months and months worth of healthy living. It felt good to see the tangible results of my hard work. My shrinking waistline meant that my health was growing. My confidence was growing too, but not because I had a smaller dress size, but because I was proud of tackling this demon that torments so many.
And then, at some point, between running double-digit miles and eating kale chips, I realized I wasn’t “becoming” healthy, I was healthy. Right then. Right there. It had nothing to do with my weight or size. It had everything to do with my new lifestyle. I was proud of this realization. I didn’t have to be a size six to be healthy. I could be (and am) a healthy size 16. The number on the scale didn’t define my health, it was just an indication of a larger change.
With that realization, my only motivation to lose weight—getting healthy— went right out the window. My weight loss stalled and I just basked for a few months in the glory of being a healthy 20-something. I ran, ate chocolate, hiked, drank beer, lifted weights and made healthy dinners with no other purpose than to be my awesome, healthy self. I was happy. Content that I’d “conquered” it, I continued on with the tiny thought in my head that I might like to lose more weight some day, but with the understanding that I was pretty happy where I was. And in no rush to see the scale budge.
Then, I did the Warrior Dash. It was fun, but really, really difficult. I couldn’t lift my body weight over obstacles. I struggled climbing across ropes. Did I under train? Not really, after all, I had just completed a half marathon. I was in the best shape of my life, but the truth was, that wasn’t good enough. My extra body weight literally made moving and doing what I wanted to do more difficult. And with that, I suddenly had a new weight loss catalyst. I wanted to lose weight just to make my life easier.
I want to be able to bound up a flight of stairs and roll over in bed easily. I want to do the things I want to do. Which sounds simple and obvious, but the truth is, life is just physically more taxing when you strap 50 extra pounds to your back (and tummy and legs and bum). It has nothing to do with buying smaller clothes and has everything to do with being stronger, leaner and fitter. I want to be efficient. And right now, carrying extra weight, regardless of how healthy I am, is not efficient.
So here I am, with a renewed desire to lose weight, because having an efficient body is my new weight loss catalyst.