Back in October 2012, I wrote a post talking about how I was losing weight after discovering Zumba and making some changes to my nutrition. I happened across that post this morning, and as I read my own words from ten years ago something stuck out to me. Long before I started seeing more favorable numbers on the scale, I noticed awesome changes in my attitude, self-confidence, and outlook on life, I wrote to describe the transformation I had experienced in the time between moving to the Northwest and writing that post.
Over the last two years, my outlook on life definitely hasn’t been the most positive and I know that my self-confidence has plummeted as I continued to gain weight. Like a lot of other people, I fell into eating too much to cope with the stress and anxiety I’ve felt since the beginning of the pandemic, but I can recognize that falling into that unhealthy habit and the subsequent weight gain just gives me more stress and anxiety because I don’t like how I look or feel. Even though the logical way to feel better is to make healthier choices, I’ve conditioned myself to crave comfort food (and too much of it) and so I end up stuck in this cycle where my coping mechanism also fuels the bad feelings that I need to cope with.
It can be extremely difficult to make changes to our behavior and how we show up in the world. It’s one thing to say that I know how I would like to live my life. It’s another to figure out how to shift my behavior accordingly. Motivation comes second to change, meaning that first I have to start changing my lifestyle and that as I begin to reap the benefits, I’ll be motivated to continue even when it feels hard. So where does the initial push to start come from? According to the Internet, the answer to that question is from determination. Being determined to make a change, knowing full well going in that it’s going to be tough.
I’ve found determination to make changes at different points in my life, with varying motivations. I’ve been known to achieve things just because I was told I wouldn’t be able to. Other times, determination came from a place of just being fed up with where I was and knowing that I couldn’t stay on that path. I think that this time, my desire to lose weight and be healthier is coming from a combination of being fed up with my current habits and also wanting to make life easier and more enjoyable for my future self. Often in life I have found myself grateful to my past self for sacrificing to get me where I am now. And yes, it totally does help to think of my past, present, and future selves as independent beings, even if it may sound odd.
I don’t know that I have any profound or insightful reasons for writing this post, but after re-reading my own words from 2012 I felt compelled, if for no other reason than to reflect in writing on the way I used to think and where it got me.