When losing weight, you must answer a series of questions and make choices on a daily basis. Examples:
Should I eat that cheeseburger? No
Should I track the cheeseburger that I was not supposed to eat? Yes so I can keep my habit and know where I stand.
Should I get up and go to the gym at 5 AM? Of course, etc. etc.
These are the type of granular questions that you must answer each day as you proceed on your weight loss journey. Besides these day to day questions however, there are more fundamental questions that will drive you as you change your habits and get healthy. Chiefly these – Why and Why Not?
My Weight Watcher’s lead has a saying: “You must keep your why nearby!”. What this means is you should have a compelling reason that drives you as you make the daily difficult choices to get better. Indeed, you need motivation when you begin waking up at 5 am for a walk or turning away from your daily cheeseburger,
My “whys” have changed over time. When I first started out, I had two Whys:
- Treat and improve my health condition brought on by my weight gain.
- Lose sufficient weight prior to my 30th West Point reunion so I did not look totally out of place.
To keep my Why Nearby, I made the following Vision Board with reminders of my motivation to move forward. It was on my phone so I could look at it instead of a Quarter Pounder.
The pictures all relate to my two Whys. At the top is my Class Motto, then clockwise are the following:
- A picture of my parents who supported me through West Point and also both had a health problem which I inherited
- A picture of me and a West Point classmate when I was peak weight
- Closer to the reunion with the new workout clothes my youngest gave me.
- My family which I wanted to get healthy so I could stay around
- My Firstie picture
- My company mates from C-1.
I looked at this each day and made it to my first goal! But I still had a way to go to get to my suggested weight for my height. That is when I moved to my next critical question “Why Not?”.
Your Why Not is to do something that you would never have thought to do. It needs to be big to push you forward. My Why Not was to perform a Kennedy Walk.
A Kennedy Walk was implemented by President Kennedy to inspire fitness in the military. The requirement is to walk 50 miles in 20 or less hours. Since I had begun to be able to walk 3 miles comfortably, so as Bobby Kennedy said Some say WHY, I said WHY NOT! (As aside, Bobby Kennedy was the first one to do a Kennedy Walk in his suit and loafers no less!) With this Why Not, I began walking daily and 10 to 20 miles every weekend (with a beer or two thrown in). Then in November 2016, I completed the walk in 17 hours. Here is the picture of me finishing.
One last thing before I close. A Why Not can also be a Why. That was indeed my case here. The impetus for this walk was to honor and raise money for vets and in particular a colleague that was killed in Afghanistan. I thought of him and all that support our country.
So there you have it Know your Why and Say Why Not!