done looking for the critics (week 11)

There are many things I love about the blogging world, and one of those things is interaction. On Thursday, a few questions were asked on one of the blogs I frequent, and I've considered my answer since Thursday morning.

What keeps you motivated? What keeps you inspired? Why do you continue to fight over and over again for your healthiness? Is the reason you started different than the reason you keep fighting?

I thought about my answer for roughly thirty seconds, read through some of the already posted answers, considered everything I've written about on my blog, and then typed out I do it because...

  • I feel better about myself.
  • I’m less stressed (and less bitchy to be honest) when I’m exercising.
  • I’m healthier.
  • I like seeing the diminishing number on the scale.
  • Once I hit 100 pounds lost, I get a new wardrobe.
  • I deserve to love myself.
  • I want to be the woman God intended me to be – and that means healthy.
  • I know I am not alone.
  • I’m worthy of feeling beautiful.
  • It is time to stop hiding behind the weight and start living my life for all to see.

Those answers are true, but there's more to it than just that. Of course, I didn't realize that until I started "shaking my ass" in zumba at 12:00pm that day. Watching some of the girls in the class, I realized how much I wanted to feel comfortable in workout attire and in a workout class. It reminded me that I don't want to feel like the fat girl any more. I want to feel, and look like and be, the fit girl.

I want to be able to wear cute workout clothes from Lululemon (as well as from Nike and Jillian Michaels line). I want to shop in any store I wish because I know the clothes are likely to fit. I want to be proud of my body and no longer ashamed. But I didn't mention any of those things in my original answer to the question because I was ashamed and didn't want to seem vain.

If vanity were the only reason I was losing weight, I would have quite by now. I might look better than I did when I started in April, but I'm so far from where I want to be that I sometimes wonder if I will ever get there. So I remember the other reasons - that I feel better about myself, that I'm a nicer person, that I'm healthier.

I get comments from people that I look so much better than I did months ago - that the changes are evident. I believe them, but I struggle to see those changes myself. Because I want to be at my ideal weight, wearing clothes from J. Crew and Express and Lululemon - not in the process of getting there.

Still, it's good to be reminded of why I am doing what I am doing. It's good to remember all of the reasons I have to get off of the couch and into the gym. It's necessary to hold onto the reasons I cook dinner instead of stopping at Taco Bell or Wendy's.

Reading the responses to the questions was also inspiring. It reminded me that we all started with a reason to work out and to eat better. Even the cute girls in zumba started with a reason. For all I know, they started where I was: unhealthy and needing a change. And it's essential that I remember that rather than look at everyone else with frustration because they are where I want to be.

I'll get there. Slowly but surely I will get there. And I'll remember that just because the scale doesn't reflect my effort does not mean that my body isn't changing. Muscle takes up less space than fat, and I'd rather be a higher, healthier weight with lean muscle than a lower weight with lots of flab.

Because while it is about the diminishing number on the scale, I have to remember that a 5 pound loss on the scale may look more like a 10 pound loss on my body  - especially considering how much more room fat takes versus muscle. Until recently, I didn't really think about that, but now I try to remember it every time I step onto the scale and pass by a mirror.

Eating makes a huge difference in weight loss - a bigger difference than exercise really as you can't out exercise a bad diet, but exercise makes a bigger difference, for me, in every day life.

What does it for you? What keeps you motivated? Why do you continue to fight over and over again for your healthiness?

(title from "f*ckin perfect" by pink)

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