Saturday, March 8, 2008

Motivation - Part 2

In my last entry, I talked about how to get to the heart of my motivation. I discovered a series of questions, asked by Tom Venuto, designed to help get down to issues at hand. I decided to work through them in this forum.

  1. What do I want? Oh jeez! I want so much! With regards to my mind/body, what I really want is to feel really good about myself. I really am enjoying who I am, as I am. But when I look in the mirror, what I see absolutely does NOT match up with my own self-image. I want to weigh 175 lbs. and achieve a body fat percentage of 24%. This is a healthy goal for me. I'm 5' 11" tall and 47 years old. I have a large frame. I don't want to look totally ripped. I also don't want to be a sell-out to all this frenzy over appearance. I think that's one big reason why I've held out for so long. I'm not pursuing weight loss at the pleasure of humanity's need to be around pretty people. I'm doing it for me. But on the other hand, I am a normal woman with normal needs, and I want to be wanted, to be desired.

  2. Why do I want it? I want it because I really want to be strong and healthy in every way. I want it because I want to feel completely confident with who I am. I want it because there are a lot of things I want to get done during the rest of my life which requires me to live longer with my health intact for as long as possible. I want it because there are moments when I want someone to look at me and appreciate my beauty for what it is, a part of the whole package of me. I want the state of my body and my health to be a visual manifestation of who I really am, so that when I look in the mirror, I see the complete package looking back at me.

  3. What's most important to me about achieving it? What's most important to me is to create and preserve my good health for as long as possible, and to feel good about myself. I don't want to be marginalized because I look old or feeble. I don't want to be discounted because I'm not strong. Additionally, I want an opportunity to get over my issues with everyone who has had issues with my body and what it looks like. It's important that I achieve this when it's right for me, in my own way, when it's of most value to me.

  4. What will I get when I achieve it? I will get a strong body without a lot of joint pain and muscle aches to contend with on a daily basis. I will get a body that does what I want when I want it to. I will get all new clothes that I really love to wear! (Jeez, that sounds so...lame! But it's what I want!) I will get to dance the tango with grace and poise and attitude!

  5. What will happen/what will it cost me if I don't achieve it? I will never be at peace with my body. I will not live long enough to accomplish everything I really want to do. And I will be stuck with shopping at Catherine's for the rest of my life. And I won't be valued as much as I want to be valued.

  6. What am I willing to give/sacrifice to get it? I am willing to give up leisure time, time on the computer not accomplishing anything meaningful and even watching TV! I am willing to give up old habits that comfort me (like eating and other methods of checking-out) when I'm caught up in moments of fear and anxiety and replace those bad coping mechanisms with good ones. I am willing to push myself outside of my comfort zone to achieve the results I am seeking. I am willing to experience muscle soreness due to exercise on a daily basis because I can manage it and learn to live with it.

  7. What's preventing me from getting it? Staying within my emotional comfort zone is what is preventing me from achieving what I want. Fear is what is preventing me from stepping out into new territory, into living life a whole new way.

  8. Is there any part of me that objects to achieving my new goal? If I achieve my goal, which I believe will be an amazing achievement for me, then there is no goal that I can't achieve...and that leads to fear of growing and achieving beyond what I am capable of handling. What if I become this accomplished person that I so long to be...and then I can't manage it all? What if I become a really attractive woman (for the first time in my life) and I don't know how to manage myself as a result of that? What if there are people who are in my life now who won't be able to handle that? What if there are people in my life who didn't pay attention to me before but are suddenly so much more attentive after I lose weight and I'm just thoroughly angry with them?

I think I'm experiencing a lot of fear around losing weight and getting fit. I still have a lot of things to consider. A friend suggested I read some of the works of Susan Jeffers, Ph.D. She writes a lot about dealing with fear. I just bought Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway. I think I'll settle into that book this weekend and address my fears in a future blog entry.


AngelaA said...

The fear of not being able to manage myself once I've lost my weight has been a huge one for me. And as it turned out, once I had lost 70# and was getting attention from men, I didn't handle it well, which has really contributed to the 55# re-gain! I am going to set my goals for myself, so I feel good about ME, not for some man out there (which was my motivation last time) who may or may not exist. I always tole myself that I am single cause I'm fat, if I lose the weight and am still single, then what? Must be ME. So it's easier to have the fat to blame. But I HATE being fat. I don't equate myself with looking like I do, I look in the mirror and am disgusted with what I see. I don't have a full length mirror and definately need to get one so I am connected with how I really look.

Thanks for the blog. It helps me too!

Principessa said...

Angela, I was just talking to someone about this yesterday, about how the image of who I am inside my head absolutely does not match the image I see in the mirror. She said that my goal was to find my authentic self, and I agree. It's that whole image that we're looking for.

I'm absolutely repulsed by what I see in the mirror. And at the same time, I'm thoroughly pissed that my husband isn't attracted to me. But other men are. A couple of weeks ago, when I was all sweaty and didn't have any makeup on, I was walking home from the gym and I was feeling so good about myself. A guy drove past me, then turned his car around in the middle of the street and drove up to me to ask me out. Hello! I'm 47! And I weigh 300+ lbs.! I have to say, I was totally flattered. I thanked him, told him I was married and then walked home. What a fun thing to have happen to me!

But, within a couple of hours, I started foraging in the kitchen, looking for foods to self medicate. I was freaked out! I really thought that being fat kept me from being attractive and having to deal with men, about which I am so clueless! But I can be attractive from the inside, and men can spot that and say to themselves "Hey! I want a piece of that!"

Self-image and body-image are two distinct entities. After years of work on my self-image, I believe in the power of me more than ever before. The image I see in the mirror, that's who I thought I looked like nearly 30 years ago, when I actually weighed what I want to weigh now. I think when we learn to really believe in ourselves, the image on the outside will catch up to who we are inside.