Wednesday, March 2, 2011

An Aside: My Motivation

I just realized that I never really established what my motivations were to pursuing a healthier lifestyle. Of course, wanting to be fit is enough reason in itself, but there is more to it than just being fit. So here is a little bit on my motivation.

For a long time I was in denial that I needed to lose weight. This is not the first time it happened. I had a reality check when I was 19 years old and trying to enlist with the Air Force. I wanted to get in, but I was overweight at the time. I weighed in a 220 lbs. and I needed to get down to at least 189 lbs. in order to qualify. Fortunately, I had a fast acting metabolism and was able to shed off the weight with minimal difficulty in 2 months time. That, and ephedra was still legal in weight loss supplements. It's almost 9 years later, and there is a completely different dynamic involved. One can look at it as a fight to be able to finally LIVE.

When I reflect on myself two years ago, I can recall looking at myself and being completely disgusted. I was over 220 lbs. again and I had been out of the Air Force for about 2 years. I had a daughter on the way, which I was happy about; I was not happy with myself though. I remember being able to at least hide the pudge in my stomach whenever I would go out on a night with the guys prior to meeting my current girlfriend, but I was also in decent shape because of the military fitness regimen we went by. No, this was definitely different. I was unhealthy, irresponsible, and I lacked any kind of motivation to really do anything about it. This was in 2009. When my girlfriend was pregnant with our daughter, I used the excuse that my weight gain was the result of sympathy symptoms. No, it wasn't that at all; I just liked to eat. The fact that she had more of an appetite gave me more excuses to take her out to eat wherever she wanted.

Now it's 2010. I step on the scale at the very beginning of the year and am shocked at what I see. I have now reached a weight I never thought I would. I hit 230 lbs. I promise there wasn't any muscle gain in that time. We decide to get a gym membership and I started losing weight immediately. I am feeling marginally better, but I am still not feeling good about myself. While I am incorporating a better workout routine, I am still eating the same old trash. As a matter of fact, I start eating more of it because my appetite increased with my workouts. So I plateau at around 215. I try to give myself some kind of pat on the back, but what is there to be proud of? I lost weight, but I feel the same; in that case, I did not achieve success. Bills start to come around, other miscellaneous expenses and a stupid attempt at trying to do an online business bring on a whirlwind of stress because of all the money being thrown away. I give up my gym membership, and start eating more. I close out 2010 thinking to myself, "the last two years have been pretty rough and I am nervous about entering this next year."

So here we are in 2011. I go through a string of nights where I dream of nothing but working out and how much I know I can get in better shape. I can't get this thought out of my head. I've been waking up sweating. I know I have to do something about how I feel, but I need to find my drive. One day I wake up and see my youngest daughter, Amaya. She lets out the most beautiful smile almost as if to say, "Yup, daddy. I think you finally figured it out." I get out of bed, I am sluggish but I muster up just enough energy to lift her up and give her a morning hug and a kiss on the cheek. One can argue that my girls are all the motivation I need, but I need more than that. I decide to think about where I am, and where I want to be.

I want to be able to wake up in the morning, look at myself in the mirror and be proud of what I see in that reflection. I am not necessarily pursuing to be nothing but muscle, but I do want to see results. I want to be able to run around with my girls and not have to stop because I am out of breath after only 5 or 10 minutes. I want to have the endurance I once had when I was younger. Do looks have anything to do with what I am trying to do here? Not as much as one would think. See, I was comfortable with my weight. I was not worried about anyone's perception of me. However, I began having a lot of pain in my knees and ankles; this leads me to my next motivation. I want to run around and jump around without the fear of waking up the next day with sore joints.

Again, I flash back to the Insanity workout infomercials and immediately recall having the link saved on my desktop. I go ahead and take another look at it and read testimonials. I look everywhere for any kind of reviews on Insanity because I want to make sure this is the route I want to go. I get slightly nervous when I see that people recommend to workout for a period of time prior to doing Insanity. Many people say, if you are not physically fit, you should not get into this. I begin to feel a slight hint of reluctance. The fact that there is a diet I should follow is even more intimidating because I have never attempted to change anything about what I eat. I realize I need to give up on soda, the drink I consume more than water. For a minute there, I thought I was going to give up on the IDEA of purchasing Insanity. I reflect on my motivation and then speak with some family to get their input. The decision is made.

Here I am now, in the midst of my 3rd week on Insanity. I haven't looked back. I see who I was as a reminder of where I don't want to be again in the future. I see my girls and realize that I need to be healthy for them. I see my health, and how irresponsible I was with my eating habits. I know I am traveling down the right path. I will be healthy; I will be happy. This is my motivation.

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