Thursday, December 6, 2012

What drives you to the wagon?

Of the women I know, nearly all are either on the wagon, trying to get back on the wagon, or actively trying to maintain so as to not need to worry so much about the weight loss wagon.  That is a lot of women concerned with the number on the scale going up or down... and that small numeric detail oftentimes has an enormous effect on our moods, motivation, and even our happiness.

But what drives us to lose weight?

Is it for health?

The media?

A boyfriend? Girlfriend? Spouse?  Mother?  Father?  Grandparent?

Is it to look "good" naked?

I recently had a conversation with a good old (guy) friend after I shared a recent picture of myself with him, and in response he asked me to go eat a cheesecake.  LOL!  This man (and bless his heart) is a BIG FAN of curves on a woman.  And he feels like I'm losing mine.  *light bulb* the definition of looking "good" naked is much like the saying -- Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
As the conversation continued I realized, and shared as much, that for the first time in my life.... I am not primarily working at losing weight for vanity reasons.  I don't care what a boy or my mom or the media might say... I look in the mirror and do more praise than criticism.  I comfortably wear a (typically) medium tee and size 28 Lucky Brand jeans (and fill them out quite nicely I might add) without wishing for a smaller size or a better fit or an idealized body that I may never realistically achieve.

But I am still on the weight loss wagon.....  Why you might ask?  Because my drive is athletic ambition.  I have dreams (whether I scream them from the rooftops or keep them quietly to myself) of making a run at qualifying for Kona one day.  Achieving a Boston Qualifying marathon time.  Running an ultramarathon and qualifying for the Western States Endurance Run.  I may find that I am not physically capable of achieving some or any of these goals.... but carrying around extra weight while trying to do so will only make it less likely.  As I see it, from my "ideal" racing weight to today's weight it's like I do all my training carrying a minimum 10 pound backpack.  All.  The.  Time.

The best part about not being on the weight loss wagon for vanity reasons...? I really have learned over the years to love myself.  Scale goes up, scale goes down, it has little impact on how my day is going to go -- truth be told, I have hopped on the scale the morning after pizza or Chinese food or Mexican (read: Salt Heaven) just to see HOW MUCH water weight I've managed to gain overnight.  I smile, I chuckle, and the move on with my day.

I've come to realize that the number on the scale has nothing to do with my intelligence, my sense of humor, my witty commentary, or my love for my friends and family.  I am not worth more as I weigh less.  I take pride in my training, the time and hard work I put into it, and the goal has nothing to do with the scale and everything to do with those dreams listed above.  I can only start from where I am today (like preparing for my first Ironman or planning my first marathon or thinking about my first ultra).

So, what drives you to the wagon?  Does it build you up or tear you down?


quicklikeabunny said...

I *love* this post and agree completely that the number on the scale does not define who we are in any way.

My only goal? Health. I want to be active and strong and able to achieve new physical goals (not quite as ambitious as yours though). I step on the scale once a year at the dr office. As long as my clothes fit I figure I'm doing okay. If I lose a few pounds that's fine but I'm happy with me and my accomplishments. I understand wanting to drop a few pounds to help with training in a long event - I think it does make a difference. But I tend to drop when I'm training heavily anyway so unless my dr tells me I need to lose weight, I'm fine with my not skinny/not fat but very healthy body.

Bari said...

I'm with you in the "doing it for my health" mindset, but I also want to see less jiggle while I'm at it. It's strange to me, though, that my fastest 5k times EVER are at what is my highest weight since I started running. That, my friend, makes no sense to me whatsoever.

Kirsten said...

I've been lucky in the sense that I've never worried (or had to worry) about the number on the scale. And I didn't own a scale for most of my adult life. I only got one at Fitbloggin'11. And now? The batteries have died and I've yet to get around to replacing them. Do I notice how my clothes fit and how my muscles look when they are showing? Hell yeah. I enjoy knowing that what hard work I do in the exercise realm, makes my body look amazing. :)

Love you, Ash. I'm so proud of how far you've come since we first met. You have taken ownership over your life in all aspects. That's something to be commended. (((HUGS)))