We talk alot on this forum about being HEALTHY and FIT and so on and LIFESTYLE.
I do this too. But with a recent absolutely unexpected jump UP the scales, why oh why am I so discouraged? I mean, if it is about HEALTH, then why am I even weighing myself? Why do the numbers BUG me so much if I'm that much healthier? Would this jump up the scale mean less to me if I was, say, within 10 lbs of my goal weight? And I KNOW that when I was 244lbs, it was all about the numbers, baby, because lower numbers meant better health (blood pressure, risk of obesity related diseases and so on). But have I redefined HEALTH the smaller I get? So I'm questioning myself...and you too :D
SO, be HONEST! Is it REALLY all about health? Or are the numbers important to you? And did they get LESS important to you as you approached goal or were within normal weight boundaries -- and do you redefine HEALTH the smaller you get? And if you are MAINTAINING, would a 5 lb jump UP the scale, even if it was exercise-related, bother you?
It was, but it's not anymore. If I ever gain the weight back, it will be about health again. Maybe it's about a healthy mindset? I think it's about control too.
07-02-2009, 09:06 PM
I've posted freely many times that I'm in love with clothes and shopping. I may be happy I have more energy and confidence, but I am ecstatic over my closet full of cute size 6 clothes!
As a maintainer - I have been within my red-line weight for over 4 years (with one blip that I corrected). I wouldn't want to gain 5 lbs - none of my clothes would fit.
I do have to say though - when I was heavy, I was so tired and lethargic all the time, depressed, falling asleep. There is a lot of vanity involved, but I am so happy with how I FEEL - I really can't underestimate the health portion of my transformation. I feel GREAT most of the time, whereas before I felt lousy.
07-02-2009, 09:10 PM
I don't pay a whole lot of attention to the numbers... I mean, I use them as a general way to keep track of my progress, but I don't get depressed when the scale goes up or particularly excited when it goes down. They're just numbers to me.
But I can't say it's all about health, either... there's a huge "looks" component for me. In just a few pounds I'll be out of the "overweight" BMI range, but still have a lot to lose before I'm satisfied with how my body looks.
And yes, I know what you mean about redefining health... I think most of us do that! Think about people who started out 100+ pounds overweight, and now run marathons or do other amazing athletic things... maybe "healthy" initially meant being able to walk up stairs without being winded and not eating an entire half-gallon of ice ream, but now they might think of their health in terms of their latest race time and taking in just the right combination of nutrients each day.
I will say that if the numbers bother you, maybe it's worth it to stop weighing for a while! Put the scale away for a month and focus on the process, not the results.
07-02-2009, 09:11 PM
The numbers are a method of measuring how I am doing. I like concrete data. Instead of being happy with walking 30 minutes, I want to wear a pedometer and see how many steps I walk in a day. Then I can challenge myself to increase those steps and to increase the number of steps that I make in that 30 minute walk.
Concrete data that I can analyze and compare. I guess that is why I like calorie counting.
Those numbers encourage me. When I was at my highest weight, I could not really tell that I had lost 10 pounds. Seeing it on the scale encouraged me.
However, I am not kidding myself. I want to look better but feeling better and moving better is more important.
07-02-2009, 09:21 PM
nope..... I just wanna look HOT!! :devil:
07-02-2009, 09:27 PM
Yes, it is about health.
Would a 5 lb. gain bother me? Like Glory said, as long as my clothes still fit, and the gain was because I increased muscle and not fat - no.
The number on the scale is not important. I weigh myself daily so that I do not end up where I was before. The scale is a tool that I use to help assess how I am doing.
As I approached goal, the number DID become less important. In fact, I reset my goal three times, and then lost an additional 10 lbs after I declared "goal". Since health and fitness were my ultimate goal, the weight goal had to be "tweaked".
When I reached my first weight goal (140 lbs), I did not feel that I was at a healthy weight, so I lowered my goal by 5 lbs. I did this again when I reached 135. When I reached 130, I continued to exercise and experimented with finding my maintenance level of calories. My body finally settled into 120 ish, and I have stayed at 118-122 ever since.
Now, please note that I am 51 years old. And, I do believe that my age is a factor in how I answer this question. Health and fitness are a lot more important to me now, than 20 years ago. Only in the last few years did my weight start affecting my health.
07-02-2009, 09:30 PM
In this order:
1.To look hot
I know that order might not make sense to alot of you,but that is just the way it is!:D
07-02-2009, 09:30 PM
It is about health, sure, but I think most of us have a packaged deal. I mean I have goals, dreams, things I want to do and I can't right because of my weight. I also do want to look nice, you know normal and all. I want to feel better too and tackle some core issues I have with food. I do pay attention to the scale, sometimes I downright obsess over those numbers. I get upset if it skips up and I even cry about it on occasion.
I think it is a number of things and to me health is the top one. I want to loose my weight so my skin is better. I want to change my lifestyle, settle in to being happy and living. And I want to look nice. :D And I want to wear things I want to wear. :D Hehe..
07-02-2009, 09:31 PM
Health IS important to me, but I've always been honest about wanting to look better. I want to feel better about how I look, and I want to be attractive to the opposite sex. Sometimes I feel like people think that's a shallow reason for wanting to lose (nobody in this thread has implied that!), but I don't feel that way at all. I think that how we feel about how we look is a really important factor in how we relate to others, so it's a totally legit reason to want to lose.
So, honestly speaking--for me, it's looks first, with health running a close second. I just really hated the way I felt when I was heavier. I felt like a lumberjack, heavy and slow and totally unattractive. I still feel a little like that, but much, much better.
07-02-2009, 09:32 PM
Mostly vanity for me, lol. My pants stopped fitting and I started feeling fat. I want to fit into my clothes. I had to buy a pair of size 8 pants yesterday, when before I was a size 4 or 6. *sigh* I know some people would say 8 is small, but I'm not a tall person. If I started fitting into my clothes and smaller sizes though, but wasn't at my goal weight, I'd be okay.
07-02-2009, 09:39 PM
For me, this journey is mostly about health, as my moniker says -- my health got very bad when I got very heavy and I hated how terrible I felt. There is no doubt that we all want to look better when we look in the mirror: but for me, that will be the bonus, or icing on the cake (becuz I don't eat icing anymore).
I want to feel more comfortable in my skin, but more so, I don't want to feel so tired and I want all the pain to go away. I believe that if I lose more weight, then my health will improve immensely (as that is but one means by which we can gauge ourselves to see how we are doing).
I prefer to be a bit more focused on NSV's like smaller clothes, which was how I always gauged how I was doing in the past. My main goal is to get into a ladies size 18, then a 14, and then we'll see from there. I have hit a couple of plateaus along the way, but I'm in this for life. I am looking for a healthier today and tomorrow ...
07-02-2009, 10:43 PM
I think I am "healthy" in the basic sense of the word. I eat local organic stuff for the most part and I am very active. I can climb mountains and run and ski and bike and feel great.
So I am struggling with this journey, bc part of me feels like I need to lose weight to reach the societal ideal, and part of me wants to be happy where I am now. I can buy cute clothes and look cute in a 12. In fact I just did this morning :) But when I see people around me I feel like that is not good enough.
Looks-wise, there are advantages to where I am now (c-cup, voluptuosity) and looks-wise there would be advantages if I were a 6 (no muffin-top). So I really just want to get to a place where I can accept myself at any weight.
So I guess I don't know what the journey is about for me. Sometimes I wonder what Kate Harding (Shapely Prose) would have to say about this site.
07-02-2009, 10:47 PM
I started this journey all about how I wanted to LOOK. I mean, let's face it, my big "Oh my goodness this must be taken care of" moment was when I first tried on a wedding dress and realized that I'd be looking like -that- on my wedding day.
But now, it really is about being the healthiest me I can be. As I got closer to goal, this started becoming more and more my primary focus. Once I hit goal, when my body gave me the choice between a sustainable, well-exercised, nutrient-fortified "overweight" me and a starving, unsustainable, too-tired-to-exercise "normal weight" me, I went with the first one. That means I'm still bigger than a lot of folks, but I know that I am healthy, and that's my goal at this point.
07-02-2009, 10:49 PM
Uhhh ... I'd LIKE to be more healthy so that when I start a family, I am at my best. However, right now? It's totally about looking good in whatever I want to wear, when I want to wear it. I'm tired of carrying around this belly fat & I'm tired of looking at myself sideways in a mirror to see if I look as horrible as I think I do.
Anyway ... yeah, healthy is important, but for me ... it's like third.
07-02-2009, 10:50 PM
It's definitely about looks for me. The health is a nice added benefit, so is the self-confidence, but when it comes down to it, it's about how I look.
When I first started exercising, it was about my health. I had some medical issues and I thought exercising would help. But I also didn't think it was possible for me to lose weight or change my appearance. So, since I didn't think those goals were possible, so, of course, they weren't my motivation. But now that I know what is possible in terms of my appearance--that's what it's all about.
07-02-2009, 11:04 PM
For me, it was primarily mental/emotional health then secondarily physical health. Of course, I didn't really process how bad my physical health WAS at 369 lbs until I'd lost the first 80-90 or so.
My appearance definitely factored large into the mental/emotional health aspect, and looks were the catalyst that jump-started this process. But looks alone aren't enough. Physical health, how I feel physically, is just as important if not more so.
So for me, it was all about health - but two different aspects of it.
07-02-2009, 11:13 PM
I am definitely not afraid to admit that I want to look good. I want to be able to wear the clothes I have from when I was smaller a few years ago. I want to feel sexy for my husband. Now the health is important, but the forerunner in this for me is how I feel about the way my body looks. I've lost only 1/3 of what I overall want to lose, so my view has not yet changed. Ask again in a couple months and we'll see. :)
07-02-2009, 11:17 PM
Vanity was my main driving force :) Being healthy is something that is an added perk. I've never had any major medical problems to spur me into action though.
07-02-2009, 11:44 PM
To me, its about being healthy. When i started, it was about the numbers on the scale.. but now its about feeling great from the inside out, looking in the mirror and liking what i see, having the long lasting energy(not just the quick sugar buzz) to keep up with my children, and to be here when the all get married.
But i will also agree..i want to look hot and sexy..and have all the guys spin thier heads...
07-03-2009, 12:00 AM
Hi all! I'd LOVE to hear from some of the other maintainers, too, as to what happened during their journey -- it sure would be useful for those of us along the way! :)
Shannon in ATL
07-03-2009, 12:23 AM
Well, I'm a new maintainer, just at ten months, but here goes.
I started the weight loss journey unofficially back in 2005 when I was at my high weight of 174. I lost down to the high 130 range when DH & I first got together, because I stopped snacking and had a lot of extra exercise that I didn't have before. ;) Didn't plan to lose weight, but loved the way I looked slimmer. Maintained at the 135-137 range for close to two years, then bam... 10 pounds in what felt like two weeks. Then 10 more... then I found my way here. I said I wanted to be healthy and didn't want to be out of breath on the stairs, but lets be honest - I was mad that my pants were too tight again and I looked bad.
So, is it about health or vanity now... both. During my weight loss journey last year I started paying attention to what I ate and really upped the good stuff.. Now I get sick less, feel stronger, and I've noticed the weaknesses and weight related sickness in my family members (mom specifically). I don't want to be there. Not at all. So on that hand, about health. On the other, I am still very driven by the number. I weigh every day and chart it. I have a six pound spread for my maintenance and after a bad weekend and upped exercise I'm right at the high mark today. My clothes still fit just fine, and I'm pretty sure I've added some muscle since I set the redlines, but I haven't changed them. Probably won't. If my weight doesn't swing back down next week I'll cut my calories for a couple of weeks to come back down. I've not let myself stay at redline more than a week so far this last ten months. Don't want to gain five pounds, though maybe if I did all the sixes I bought at goal would fit! :) I went and bought lots of pants at goal, then lost another 8 pounds and an entire pants size...
I'd like to say it is all about health, because I feel like that would be a good sound reason that doesn't sound like ego. Can't do it though, because I just bought my first ever bikini and a lot of it is about staying hot for that. I may settle down some as maintenance goes on longer, but I don't think so. I believe it will always be some health, some vanity.
Hope that made sense. :)
07-03-2009, 12:32 AM
Health reasons because I have asthma that is a little better with weight loss.
And to look good also.
And yes a 5lb gain would make me Very mad! I have worked to hard to gain back 5lbs ...I wanna continue to lose then maintain for health and Hotness!
07-03-2009, 10:09 AM
I hear this little voice in the back of my head that is saying I do this all for health, but who am I kidding....it's for the size 8's
07-03-2009, 10:12 AM
In the end it's 99% about appearance for me. But to GET that appearance I need to improve my health so right now I focus mainly on how much healthier I am and how much better I feel. I'm just shy of having lost 50 pounds and I see inches lost on the tape measure but other than a more slender face, when I look in the mirror I don't see an improvement on the body yet. I know the improvement is there, I just can't see it.
07-03-2009, 11:58 AM
For the first time in my life, it was all about health. I seriously thought I was going to die at any moment 16 months ago. I NEVER want to feel like that again. I never want to struggle to get out of bed and walk like a 70 year old Parkinson's victim for the first hour after rising. I could go on and on, but you morbidly obese people know what I'm talking about. MY health has greatly improved and I am forever grateful. I used to get cold/flu's that lasted for days on end, major body and back aches, foot/leg pain...ALL GONE! I haven't had a cold in over a year. It's a miracle.
07-03-2009, 12:30 PM
I'm going to be honest, it all started with LOOKS. I wanted to LOOK better. Health wasn't really the issue (I was only 21).... Now that I have been doing this for almost a year, health is very important to me. Looking hot is just an added perk :)
07-03-2009, 12:30 PM
I think at my highest weight, I started because I wanted to be healthier. I started eating healthier and feeling healthier. I struggle now because I feel I am very healthy, I eat a very healthy diet and I'm comfortable with my weight. I may still be considered overweight but I really don't care. I feel that health has to do with many factors and if you are eating healthy and exercising then you are being healthy.
07-03-2009, 01:14 PM
For me, health is a big motivator. A while ago, my doctor read me the riot act in the most gentle way possible, i.e. "Lisa, you're a grown up now and only you can be responsible for your choices, but I want you to understand the consequences of your choices: ." Utterly terrifying!:fr: She wisely avoided talking about other obesity related diseases that wouldn't hit for 15+ years and focused on the ones that could come in the next 5.
All that being said, let's not kid ourselves: I'm 22 years old. I want to look good and for guys to find me attractive. ;) But, I really, really, [I]really don't want to deal with all of those scary diseases either!
07-03-2009, 01:41 PM
For me, it's 90% about looks. Health is 10%. Don't get me wrong, health is important to me, but I am tired of being the one with the pretty face. It's old. I want to have a great figure so I can wear cute clothes and feel good about how I look when I go out.
07-03-2009, 01:42 PM
well, I still have a ways to go, but Lori Bell's answer rang true with me. Now, I don't have many of those problems I had when I was larger.
since my health feels like it's less of an issue, and as I lose weight, and can wear nicer clothes and feel like I look better in them, the vanity is starting to play a bigger part. though I still feel like I need to get my weight down to be really healthy.
there's a trainer at my local Y, a woman in her late 20s or 30s. she's not a skinny woman, very curvy with extra weight. I'm sure she's very fit. is nice to see that.
07-03-2009, 01:45 PM
I would have to say looks and health probably play equal roles in why I am doing this. On one side I couldn't stand shopping in the fat stores anymore. I was constantly frustrated. This lent to a lot of health problems, and social ones too.. not wanting to go out, not wanting to participate in things.. I also knew continuing on the path I was going was only going to end me up more miserable and more isolated. So here I am, 35lbs less and I already feel such a huge difference in how much energy I have and how much I am enjoying life. The difference in my looks has given me more confidence and that for me is what I really needed.
07-03-2009, 02:16 PM
Some of mine is definitely vanity, clothing choices, and male attention. :)
07-03-2009, 02:26 PM
I was 46 when I started this and it was all about health. I actually was very comfortable with the way I looked. For years I had convinced myself that you could be overweight (obese) and still be fit, and that worked for awhile. Eventually though all that weight on your joints does catch-up with you and I reached that point.
There is definitely some vanity now though. I love, love, love trying on clothes that almost always fit and look good. And I really like never worrying about fitting into seats, doorways, or other narrow spots.
07-03-2009, 02:41 PM
"Is it REALLY all about health? Or are the numbers important to you? And did they get LESS important to you as you approached goal or were within normal weight boundaries -- and do you redefine HEALTH the smaller you get? And if you are MAINTAINING, would a 5 lb jump UP the scale, even if it was exercise-related, bother you?"
- I started exercise when i gained 20 lbs. I still in normal weight range by then, but I see myself not doing anything but just skipping meals to get a lower weight. At that time i realized no matter how many kgs i weight, if my body isn't lean then it's just a waste of time and a waste of health. So i decided to start exercise and eating properly. As the journey continue, I want to keep this habit so i can teach my children in the future - because i don't want to have that "anorexia" thoughts like i did when i was younger.
- Absolutely, I didn't start this journey because of HEALTH like most of you did. I started because i just wanted to have smaller number on the scale. But as the journey goes on, I care more about my health and worry about my "anorexia" alike thoughts and worry that without health knowledge like I used to, I would kill myself by skipping meals. So as I continue to work my ways up, it's more about health than the numbers on scale.
- But of course, as i continue, the reason to be able to keep going and not quitting for so many times is because the LOOKS that i get now. I have leaner thighs, I have better image of myself, I fit better than clothes and not to mention, I look good in them. Those things that keep me going and will continue to keep me going. Without them, I definitely can't keep up this journey and probably has quitted a long time ago (like my youth's yoyo-diets).
- I don't weight myself very often. The image I have is now WAY MORE IMPORTANT than the number on scale. I see my thighs and how I look in clothes and how my thighs look, how my belly feels slightly heavier than normal are more important than the 5lbs gained on scale. :) That's why I don't use my scale very much like when i was much younger and worry over my numbers on scale than how i actually look.
Hope this answered your question ^_^
07-03-2009, 03:37 PM
Vanity was my main driving force :) Being healthy is something that is an added perk. I've never had any major medical problems to spur me into action though.
Same here. Though from reading about others' health issues here, I can see that I must've been just about to have health problems as well.
Of course, I have been increasingly concerned with overall health from month #2 on. Nutrition. Fitness level. Dental health. Smoking (I am giving myself a pass throughout losing, but plan to quit while maintaining my goal weight).
07-03-2009, 03:50 PM
That is an interesting question, isn't it. For me, health comes first. My family, both sides, has a history of health problems (high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, etc) so being so overweight increases those risks. Right now I am borderline high blood pressure and cholesterol and I have hypothyroidism. And I can't have kids because of my weight.
After health, looking good and feeling good comes next. When I feel I look good then I feel better about ME. I see bigger smiles and a more outgoing person. I've never been a small person, even as a child, so to see smaller pants, tops and even undies feels great. But that vanity is only a small part of why I need to drop the weight. And I admit I weigh every morning to keep track of my progress. When the number is up I get bummed, sure, but I just need to evaluate what I did (or failed to do) the previous day. When it's down, it's a good feeling that you want to continue.
07-03-2009, 10:51 PM
The only aspect of looks that is important to me is looking "normal." I don't want obesity to be people's first impression of me. Being hot or pretty or whatever-- I couldn't give a rip about that. So mainly I'm doing this because I don't have any health problems, and I don't WANT any.
07-04-2009, 12:43 AM
I think I definitely started my journey mostly for vanity. I felt fairly healthy but the weight was steadily creeping on. I refused to shop in plus size stores but I kept finding larger and larger sizes in the "regular" shops, so I was somewhat fooling myself.
Once I started my journey, I felt better both physically and mentally. I had no idea how much more energy I would get from losing weight. I feel and look fit and healthy now. Now that I am fit and healthy, it is both about my health and vanity. I feel like I'll live forever now and be able to physically get around so much better than people who are much heavier.
Five pounds does make a difference to me mentally. Probably less to me physically but my clothes do fit differently if I gain just a few pounds. My goal is set at 135 but I try to stay around 125. My absolute red line is still 135 though. I weighed 135 when I got married almost 23 years ago at age 20 so I always keep that in the back of my mind.
07-04-2009, 01:54 PM
Absolutely. It was about health for me. Sleep apnea, painful joints, aching back, labored breathing, inability to walk comfortably for any kind of a distance, constantly being hot from all the weight, discomfort during sex not to mention the embarassment I felt being nude in bed, swollen feet and legs, heart palpitations, high blood pressure and the headaches that goes with it, high cholesterol, and that's what I can come up with right now. Yeah it is great to be able to wear smaller clothes and look better but it absolutely was about health for me. I was slowly killing myself in a type of unintentional suicide. I didn't want to kill myself but I was. If it wouldn't have been one thing it would have been another. It was also about my daughter no longer being ashamed of me which she was and didn't want to be seen with me. I understand though because I was very much ashamed of myself. I am healthier now. I even do light jogging/running now. The other things came later such as vanity issues, etc but I had to get my self together or else I was going to self destruct.