its mail time!

I rarely show my email responses publicly, but as I was answering a recent email I realized that I was answering my own question. It's weird how knowledge unfolds when we are least expecting it.

Hi, my name is Carrie and I ran across your blog about a little over a month ago. I try to get on and look at it every so often however, with my work I am very busy and time just seems to get away from me. I'm 31 about to be 32 next month and I also feel like the token fat girl.

I have always been bigger but now I am close to the heaviest i have ever been (currently 259). I was just wondering if you can give me any tips on how to stay motivated. This is my biggest problem. I know that me being fat is the ONLY thing holding me back from having everything I want. I just can't seem to get up early and by the time I get off of work I am so mentally exhausted that all I want to do is go home. Any advise you can give me would be great.

Hey Carrie,
Thanks for taking the time to send me an email! I know what you mean about being short on time, where does it go?! As far as motivation, I'd love to know where I can find some myself! The truth is, I think if we wait to find the motivation to lose weight, we may never lose it.

What I mean is this: successful weight loss comes when we make an agreement with ourselves to exercise and eat right even when we don't want to. I can tell you that I've followed blogs of those who have successfully lost weight and the common thread between all of them is the drive to lose weight when motivation is lost.

Losing weight is not comfortable or easy.

I believe that weight loss can and will happen when we commit to real change and being consistent. Something that I am finding now is that when I am fulfilled in my life (with my work, artwork, relationships etc.) my focus on food goes away. I know that when I eat too much it is because I am not happy with how I'm leading my life and it becomes a vicious cycle. It's easy for me to get into the cycle of not doing anything which at the time seems to feel better then going to the gym, but it catches up with me and only makes me feel worse in the long run.

I've noticed that when I start exercising, the first 20 minutes are the hardest. I always want to give up, but then suddenly it becomes much easier and I can keep going. I don't know if it ever becomes fun, but I think we have to understand on some level that those who are physically fit exercise when they don't want to and don't always eat what they crave. Its hard to get out of the habit of allowing ourselves to eat everything we crave and making food the main focal point of our lives.

I find that the most obvious lessons are the hardest to learn. For example I've been really wanting to take care of my skin. For most of my life I have had mild acne, which is mostly hereditary. For some reason that I haven't totally acknowledged, I thought that my skin should take care of itself. In my mind, I thought because I wanted it to happen it would somehow happen. What I wasn't connected was that when I take care of my skin on a daily basis, that is when it looks the best. I think this applies with weight loss, on some level I think I truly believe that it will happen on its own and part of me is living a divided life in my head where I am currently obese, but some future version of myself finally lost weight. The disconnect is that I actually have to do something today to get what I want tomorrow.

My advice isn't easy, because I have a hard time following it myself. I just know that we have to understand that our health and livelihood is more important then the temporary satisfaction that comes from eating too much food and not going to the gym.

My final thoughts are this: to live your life now at the weight that you are. Not doing what you love to do will only prevent you from experiencing happiness. This could be why you lacking the motivation and drive to take care of your health. When we are doing the things that make us proud, feel happy and fulfilled it's easier to take care of yourself. I'm an advocate of being the person we want to be right now. I don't believe in buying clothing in sizes too small only to enjoy them once the weight is off.

Best of luck!

PS: As I wrote this, I really started answering my own questions. The last part really hit home for me, I really believe that when we have passion and enthusiasm the less we depend on food to make us feel happy.

Side note: I've been updating my "Inspiring Links" page today. If you don't see your link and you want to be added please send me an email : tokenfatgirl@gmail.com

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Blogger Marshmallow said...

I don't know if it ever becomes fun

It does! The key is being willing to explore new exercises and find out something that you enjoy doing. For me, it's swimming, running, Body Jam, Body Pump, and RPM.

Hope Carrie gets as much benefit from the response as you did :-)

2:54 PM  
Blogger KK said...

Great email response!!!!

I think you are right on with the part about having to become satisfied and happy with yourself before you can successfully commit to a lifestyle change. For me, I had to change my life. I joined a running club, I coach a running club, and I go to the gym BEFORE I come home from work.

As for the "fun" part, I agree with marshmallow, I DOES BECOME FUN! However, you have to find what fulfills you and stick to it. And, it may not become "fun" for awhile. For example, I started running in March 2007. Yesterday, I had an amazing race where all of my hard work and training totally paid off and running was FUN the entire time. Even when I was going up hills and my body hurt, I had fun.
Hang in there!

4:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for the re-add!

And I totally agree with continuing on even when you are not motivated, but man is it tough. Sometimes I can't even believe how easy it is to gain a few pounds and get stuck back in the old life again, heck it only takes one stressful day. I still hope that one day it just become second nature and we won't have to think so much about it... ahh.. to dream..

6:51 PM  
Anonymous Alan Turnberry said...

I never thought I would find it fun to run, but after losing 45 lbs running has become something I enjoy doing. I have now completed my second 5K and I hope to keep going. It's tough to stay motivated, so congrats on helping others keep up the fight.

8:39 PM  
Anonymous Mama M said...

Great response and great attitude! You are an inspiration to me!

9:12 AM  
Anonymous MizFit said...

GREAT RESPONSE and I love this new addition to your blog!!

11:39 AM  

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