Shortly after walking into the informational meeting about the 6 week challenge, the first thing the owner of the gym asked those of us who wanted to accept this challenge was: why do you want to do this? He asked us to really think about our motivation, and he hoped that our answers would be something beyond just wanting to lose weight. For me, a big part of why I'm doing this is to lose weight, but losing weight is a result. Why do I want to put myself through all of this hard work? Getting up at 4:30? Pushing myself through hard workouts? Planning all of these meals, some of which I literally have to choke down... hello egg whites and raspberries. Here are my top 5 reasons for accepting this challenge:
1. To prove to myself that I can do it!
2. To set a good example for my kids.
3. To look better in pictures.
4. To look better in my clothes and to wear clothes I haven't been able to wear.
5. To conquer the Blue Course at the Adventure Park with my son!
First, I need to prove to myself that I can do this. I've tried and failed so many times to lose weight, be healthy, and get fit. Instead of having 24 lbs that I wanted to lose when I weighed 144 lbs, now I have 40 lbs to lose to get to where I'd like to be. I realize it won't happen in one 6 week challenge, but I can get a good start and get back to a better place.
Second, setting a good example for my kids is important to me. I offer them the food that I'm eating, but they still turn their nose up at the veggies and want rice or pasta on the side. Because they are both pretty active, and I figure they'll burn off the carbohydrates, I accommodate their desire for pasta and rice. I require them to eat some sort of vegetables; they like and eat the same ones (cucumbers, carrots, corn, and peas) over and over, but it's better than not eating any veggies, I suppose. I keep telling them that their taste buds will change, and one day they will enjoy the veggies I'm eating.
Third, with the proliferation of Facebook and other social media, I find myself being forced to be in pictures. I don't like the way I look in them. Ironically, in my mind's eye, I don't see myself as "fat" or "overweight," and then I see a photograph of myself, and I'm appalled at what I see. I'm doing this so that I feel better about myself and I how I look and feel when I see myself in the bathroom mirror or in photographs.
Fourth, I want to look better in my clothes. When I first started noticing that I was gaining weight, I taped a note to my night stand near my alarm clock that read, "your pants don't fit!" I was hoping the note would serve as a reminder and motivation to get out of bed and work out. Truth be told, the note didn't work. But, 2 weeks into this challenge, I have noticed that my clothes are fitting better, and I look better in them. That is certainly motivating for me.
Fifth, two summers ago, I took my kids to an Adventure Park. One of those places where you climb and zip line through the trees. The park we went to only had a limited number of lower level (green and yellow) courses. After conquering those, my son was up for a bigger challenge and begged me to try the blue course with him. At eleven years old, he needed an adult to accompany him. I reluctantly obliged. Mind you, blue is not even the highest level, there are 1 if not 2 more levels beyond the blue course. After the first element, which entailed climbing a rope ladder to a platform about 200 feet in the air, I knew this endeavor was not a good idea, but I didn't want to disappoint my son and make him turn around. By the third element, I was in real trouble. This element required me to walk across an expanse (I'm not sure how many feet) between two trees. It was essentially a tight-rope with two ropes at arm-level. Sparing you the gory details, I ended up losing my balance and falling off the tight-rope. Of course, the harness saved me from falling to the ground, but I COULD.NOT.GET.BACK.UP. The Adventure Park lifeguards (not their real title) were wonderful, and a young woman rescued me out of the trees. She tried to encourage me to keep going, but I honestly did not have the arm strength to pull myself back up onto the tight-rope. My son was very disappointed; I, on the other hand, was happy to be alive. Thankfully, there are no pictures to memorialize this failure. Next summer, I hope to be in good enough shape to attempt to conquer the blue course!