Losing weight is not an easy goal especially as we get older. We become less active and often eat more than we should…I know I did. If you’re like me you have tried to lose weight over the last 10-20 years as we aged without any lasting results. In fact I have steadily gained weight over the last 20 years. So the question becomes as I approach my 50’s, how will I be successful losing weight this time when I have tried several times in the past with little to no success? The answer to this questions lies in my motivation. What are my motivations for losing weight? As I was approaching my 50’s I had envisioned my life continuing the way it had the last 20 years with weight gain and declining health. Motivation is key to being successful. The list below is my top 6 motivations or reason for losing weight as I was turning 50.
- Serious health risks
One of the most important reasons for losing weight was I knew being overweight put me at risk for different illnesses or diseases like diabetes or cardiovascular problems. I saw my father-in-law die suddenly at 62 before he had a chance to enjoy his retirement. His death was shocking and we miss him every day. He never got a chance to meet my daughter. He had a massive heart attack and died just before he was going to retire as he had planned for years. I don’t want that to happen to me or my children or my future grandchildren.
Being broke when I retire
I was terrified of not being able to physically do my job long enough to fund my retirement. I couldn’t image having to rely on the state to take care of me or worse placing that burden on my children. I want to take responsibility for my physical health so I can take care of my financial health for my retirement. I never thought about these things until I was 50 years old. Now they have become very important to me and continue as a great motivator for staying in shape.
Chronic foot and lower back pain
I had orthotics for my shoes and was unable to stand in the same spot for more than a couple of minutes without having to sit down. My job often has me giving 1-2 hour tours to our customers. This requires me to be on my feet the entire time. Because of my foot and lower back problems I was unable to do this part of my job to my satisfaction so I had to have others help me with the tour so I could find a seat and rest. This made me feel like I was 70 years old! Improving this was a big motivator for me to lose weight.
Not being able to travel when I retire
That’s Positano behind me
One thing I love to do is travel and especially to Italy. I love this beautiful country and its beautiful people. However, any trip to Italy requires a certain level of physical fitness. And for me to fully enjoy Italy the way I want to requires me to be in excellent physical shape. A typical day in Italy has me walking 8-10 miles. I am an active tourist and love to see everything Italy has to offer. With my declining health and being overweight this would not be possible as I got into my 60’s and certainly not into my 70’s if I even lived that long. One of my favorite things to do is visit Italy and I was afraid I would be unable to do that if I didn’t improve my health. This was and is one of my great motivators for getting and staying in shape.
Didn’t like what I saw in the mirror
For years I avoided the scale and mirrors. I knew that I had been overweight but didn’t want to see how far I had let myself go. I hated to see myself in pictures or in the mirror. I couldn’t admit to myself that I was unhealthy. It wasn’t until I was at a family reunion approaching the age of 50 when I admitted to myself that I was unhealthy and needed to do something about it. I was sick of feeling this way about myself. It was a lot of work to avoid being honest with myself. I had finally reached a point where I was ready to take some action. This is not about being vain this about seeing a healthy me. I grew up an athlete in a family that was always involved in physical activity and couldn’t believe I had let myself get to this point. This is a great motivator for me. I want to look in the mirror and be happy with my transformation to a healthy me!
Reduced energy levels
While being overweight I always felt tired, lazy, and sedentary. I had to work harder to do simple tasks like climbing stairs or walking the dogs. Being overweight simply requires more work to do ordinary daily tasks. I also didn’t sleep well which compounded the feeling of being tired. When I’m tired there is no better place than on my couch watching some stupid show on TV. I convinced myself that the reduced energy levels were just a result of getting old. But when I started to get honest with myself about my weight and overall health I knew the laziness was from being too big. If I could lose some of this weight and keep it off I would feel better about myself and have more energy. This I discovered was exactly true.