I have been slightly to moderately overweight for decades. I know it. The doctors and others who help me with my health know it. Those around me that take time to observe know it. It is not as if anyone is totally silent. My doctors have talked about it every year during my annual physical. Friends would see me after a break and comment that I had put on a bit of weight. Clothes no longer fit like they used to.
Until recently I did little except as a brother noted, buy clothes that were a size larger. It was a simply solution where I gave myself permission to ignore what I had the opportunity to see, hear, and know.
Now that I have brought healthier eating and exercise back into my life, there are two standout themes everywhere I look. First, negative motivation was not a motivator for me. While on occasion the negative stopped or slowed my course of action, they did not leave any sustained mark on my life. I did not change my eating habits. I did not drink more water. Exercise was not an important part of my routine. Pushing and stretching was limited to belated deliverables.
It seemed like I was being hit with a wide range of negative motivation tools. At the top of the list was guilt. The words came in from all directions.
“You should know better.”
“Do you realize ________?” (Any negative implication from a poor choice can be used)
“Have you looked at yourself in the mirror?”
“You have put on weight, not that you are too heavy though.”
It was as if someone had sent out an instruction, “Pile on the guilt, don’t let them off the hook,” (Psalm 69.27) with my name at the top of the list!
Nothing made a real difference until I decided that I wanted something. When I really wanted flexibility (deal with my back), less weight (deal with my trousers), and fitness (energy, endurance, and endorphins), I found myself wanting help, tools, and results.
Positive trumps negative, again.