|This was the trigger...my personal NIGHTMARE!|
Everyone has a trigger.
My weight was fairly "normal" in high school. I certainly wasn't thin by anyone's standards, but I wore regular sized clothes and could do all the activities I wanted to do. I wouldn't call myself "fit", but I certainly wasn't obese. College was the beginning of that change in my life. Some kids have the "Freshman 15"...not me! Mine was more like the "Freshman 50"! And it just kept piling on. Most of the reason for that was a change to a sedentary lifestyle (sitting and studying for hours on end...really!) combined with horrible food choices (LOTS of fast food!). By the time I graduated, I was overweight. Still not obese, but definitely not at a healthy weight. But as time passed, I got that way by continuing those same choices.
As you can imagine, many, many times over the years, I've tried to get this weight off my body. I've stared longingly at my senior picture from high school and wished, hoped, PRAYED that I'd look like that again one day. I've had so many great reasons that I could have used as my motivation for that kind of lifestyle change, too...
...my self esteem was attacked every single time I walked by a mirror and caught sight of my reflection,
...my body became much more subject to random injury the more weight I gained,
...my cholesterol and blood pressure were affected by the food choices I made,
...my favorite leisure activities - like riding roller coasters - became difficult, if not impossible, and perhaps most importantly,
...my children and husband faced the very real possibility that I could be taken from them prematurely by my own choices!
Quite a list of possible motivation, isn't it? And honestly, at one time or another each of those things DID motivate me...temporarily. I'd start a diet, commit myself to exercise, lose 10-15 pounds, and then yo-yo right back up to where I was, or in most cases, add on even more weight. Diets and lifestyle changes that worked for others - even some of my friends - failed to make a change for me. Until I found my trigger.
A motorized scooter.
When one of my doctors (no, not Angie!) casually suggested to me that if the knee pain was too bad for me to continue walking, I could be given a prescription to get a motorized scooter, that was it. Something clicked in my head and I refused...REFUSED...to even consider this possibility!!! I remember the day. I remember the thought that went through my head. The exact thought...
"I am 43 years old. There is NO WAY I'm using a scooter to get around. Not because of choices I made myself. Not now, not ever!"
Don't get me wrong. I'm very, very glad that people who truly need those scooters because of medical conditions or other injuries have them available. They are very useful for people who have no other way of gaining mobility and independence because of those reasons. But I'm telling you right now, there is NO WAY ON EARTH that you will find me in one of those scooters because of things I did to my own body. It's just not going to happen. Period.
That image of the scooter you see up there at the top of this post HAUNTS me! It's what gets me up out of bed on cold, rainy, dark mornings to workout in the swimming pool before I go to work. It's what drags my tired body up off the couch in the evenings to get to the gym when I'd much rather just spend time chilling out after a long day teaching. It's my trigger.
So my question to you is this....what's yours?
It's different for every person, I've found. Any number of things in my life could have been the trigger that marked the difference between the Old Angie and the New Angie. I'm still not sure why this was it. But I know it was. It still is. Something very elemental in my character and personality changed that day. And it will not ever be the same again.
If you've found your trigger, I'd love to hear about it. If you haven't, I'm praying for you that it comes soon and propels you to make changes in your thoughts and habits that will enable you to reach whatever goals you are aiming at in your life!