Finding reasons to eat only a few cookies

Photo Credits: Copyright: Public Domain

Staying motivated was always the most difficult part of dieting whenever I’ve joined Weight Watchers. Eventually, my well-intentioned efforts would slow down and whatever motivated me to start the program wasn’t able to keep me motivated to persist.

After years of yo-yo dieting, I’ve realize I need to work at identifying what motivates me to eat sensibly.

At least, I’ve learned what doesn’t motivate me.

Friends try to encourage dieting by saying, “You’ll live longer.” Sorry. That image never motivated me. Why would I want to be a freckle-faced, crooked and creaky, grey-haired octogenarian who races around in a track suit and sneakers some day? I’m not that brave, not yet.

Other friends say, “You’ll feel better.” Hmm. Yes, that might motivate me except, ya’ know, for years I wanted something yummy after a long commute and a busy day. Sipping on a chocolate frosty from Wendy’s or munching cookies was so what I wanted.

Then there are those who say, “You’ll look better.” Okay, there may be some truth in that, but when you’re over, (cough) um, thirty, and you know you’ll never look like Marilyn Monroe, why try?

Great attitudes, huh? I know, I wish these adages worked for me as well as they work for other people, but they don’t. That has been the problem.

Let’s face it. For some time I was operating on the full knowledge that I’d rather eat something tasty that night than live longer, feel better, and look better in the distant future.

I don’t think I’m the only one who has entertained some of these non-productive attitudes. But, for years, I didn’t hear too many comments that could motivate me.

I hate to admit it, but even knowing that my body was the temple of God . . . . Yeah, I'm embarrassed about that one. I felt defeated.

Then, one day at work, about three years or four years ago, a co-worker expressed concern about an older women we both cared about who was struggling with weight problems that were affecting her energy and health. He had championed her efforts to eat well and lose weight and he worried when she didn’t make much progress. I was agreeing with his concerns during a break when he turned his eyes on me. (Cringe.) And he started using the same motivational statements that never worked for me before. (Sigh.) Then he asked, “Wouldn’t you like to keep up with your grandchildren?”

That question made me think. Yes, that was something I wanted to do. I didn’t have any grandchildren at that time, but I knew I’d want to keep up with them when they came along.

So, that’s where Alea comes into all this. Alea is crawling now. I need to get moving if I want to keep up with her because it won’t be long before she’s walking … and then running.

Alea adds crawling to her resume. Photo Credit: Jeremiah Crank (c)2008 Cranks. Used by permission.

I’d like to be able to chase a giggling Alea around the house with pretend growls, not breathless panting. She’s not there yet. I’m not there either. She’s only just started to crawl, but I’m getting worried. Her mom said recently that Alea is picking up speed. She’s not wasting time.

I need to get moving. It seems persistence may be easier this time around because I now have several motivations that have hooked deep into desires I value. Now all the motivations are pulling together into a winning team, or should I say losing team? It's all in the perspective. It always has been.

Okay, Alea. I’m motivated to eat healthier and to get these arms and legs moving more. If you can make a game out of standing up and sitting down over and over and over and get a little stronger each day, maybe I can too.

I’m getting ready for our race someday. Then, we’ll celebrate with a tea party and munch a cookie or two.

Photo Credits: Copyright: Public Domain


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