Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Finding Your Motivation -- Guest Post by Laura DeFilippo

30 Day Mediterranean Lifestyle Challenge

Laura is my BFF. We met at the University of South Carolina. She recently lost a lot of weight and I thought you'd enjoy hearing from her, so I asked her to help us with our challenge. We spent last weekend together and she looks great. It's wonderful to see her happy and full of energy. Laura is an attorney and she lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

Laura and I in Savannah last weekend.
Finding your motivation to eat and live well can happen in a second. Three years ago, I decided to quit a long-time habit of smoking cigarettes.  Other habits – such as overeating – crept in, as is the case with many who quit smoking.  Couple quitting smoking and not watching what I ate with a foot surgery, a knee surgery and an ugly divorce, and in a short period of time I had gained 30 plus pounds.  

While I was unhappy with my weight gain, I was unwilling to change some of the things I enjoyed, such as eating, drinking alcohol and lazing around.  “Wasn’t quitting smoking enough?”  My love for cooking, and for using rich oils and butters, were far from healthy choices.  

Despite the best intentioned common sense prodding over months, if not a year, to eliminate the extra empty calories and exercise more, I was in a defensive and unrealistic state of mind.  I had a “story” - no one quits smoking without weight gain - I’m so much healthier not smoking even if I’m overweight.  I was defensive, and certain comments from and exchanges with concerned loved ones, including my children, turned into hostile and volatile spirited discussions.  

About 2 years later, I found myself in my doctor’s office having routine blood work done.  My motivation to make a drastic change came the next day when I was delivered the results of my blood tests.  “Your triglycerides and cholesterol are dangerously high.”  (My triglycerides were 3050; my total cholesterol 453 (normal for both is under 200).  I went through a rush of emotions – simply put, I was horrified.  Terrified.  It was in that moment I decided to change my life, literally.  I limited my alcohol intake to a glass of red wine, I cut out all of the bad fats and carbohydrates, the empty calories, and got serious immediately about my health and losing weight.  My state of mind changed with news that my health was in danger - it was this sobering realization that really shook me to my core and hit me on an entirely different level.  

There were several things that could have and should have motivated me prior to the health scare, but didn’t.  A short 8 weeks later I was back for a cholesterol follow-up visit with my doctor.  I had lost 30 pounds.  My triglycerides fell to 81.  My total cholesterol fell to 118.  My skin and complexion had cleared up dramatically.  I was sleeping better and had tons of energy with less sleep.  My mind was clear.  I was so much happier.  

Each person needs to find what shakes their core – whether it be looking into their children’s eyes and wanting to be with them and healthy for a long time, an upcoming high school reunion, an illness …. Ponder what will cause you pain if you don’t change – loss of a job due to inability to perform or repeated illnesses?  Loss of a significant other who is dissatisfied with habits and image?  Illness?  Getting the results from my doctor was my threshold at that moment in time... enough was enough.  Contemplate your motivation.  I promise you that the pain of not changing is greater than the pain of changing.  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your personal story and motivation, Laura. As I am at 30 pounds overweight, I am struggling to find my own motivation and trigger point, and my kids and wanting to be active and healthy with them, is it so far! Great article.