Motivation for Losing Weight

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I’ve been motivated lately to work daily towards my newly-defined life goals. One of these over-arching goals is “to honor my body as the temple of the Holy Spirit.” The big area where I was not doing that is with my weight, particularly with what I ate.

Next week I’ll be sharing how I’m losing weight on a budget, but I want to spend time this week talking about my motivations first. While this is not and will not be a weight loss blog, I very much believe that being a good steward covers using our bodies properly.

In March of this year, I weighed 252 pounds. At 5’3″, a healthy weight would be under 140 pounds, so I was 112 pounds overweight.

Taken in January, I'll consider this my before pic.
Taken in January, I’ll consider this my before pic.

How did I get here?

Weight is something that I have struggled with–or should have, when I wasn’t resigned to it–my whole adult life. In college thanks to a Dr Pepper habit and “free” access to every form or fast food or junk food I could want, I gained the stereotypical freshman 15…and a sophomore 15, junior 15 and senior 15. When I left college, I continued to gain weight.

I’m very thankful that I’ve always been encouraged to have a positive body image by my family and friends, but I’ve abused that to enable my overeating habits. I felt little motivation to forego the immediate satisfaction of a bowl of chocolate chip ice cream for a smaller waist, let alone long-term health.

Where am I now?

Since March, I have lost 22 pounds, most of that in the last month. I’ve been here before. There have been several periods of time that I have made better choices and worked backwards, losing up to 20 pounds at a time. But something would happen, or I’d get busy, and that weight would sneak back on.

Motivation for the long term

Anyone who has struggled with weight understands that it is truly a struggle. Currently, the burden seems light, but I know that it will not always be so. In order to keep going down the narrow path, I will need to keep reminding myself of my motivations to walk this way:

1. To honor my body as the temple of the Holy Spirit (from 1 Corinthians 6:19). First Corinthians 9:27 has been a huge motivator for me in this as well: “but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.” I cannot worship the idol of food (comfort) and God.

2. To have the energy and flexibility to do the things I need and want to do. Ten years ago I suffered a lower back injury (slipped disc) that has plagued me since. While I’ll never have full movement, the less excess weight I carry decreases the likelihood of complications from this back injury.

Bad knees also run in my family. If I do not take care of my weight now, I will have pain and mobility issues.

3. To be a good witness to others. If I truly believe that God is better than anything else, why do I so often reach for that piece of junk food?

These are all things that I have spelled out in the life plan I read regularly. Reading it regularly helps me to remember the why behind what I know that I need to do.

Next week, I’ll talk about what I have been doing to get healthy without spending outside my budget.

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