Over the past year, I have had people ask questions about my weight loss. Two of those questions have been asked over and over, and by many different people. The first is: what made this time different, and why were you able to be successful in your weight loss now when you had not been successful in the past? The second is: how do you get motivated and stay motivated? I can only answer these questions from my experience and this may not be the answer for everyone. In the next few posts, I will be talking about individual factors that led to my change. I also want to talk about that important topic of motivation. So today I will start from the beginning and post more of my story as we go.
The "why now" question: I really believe there were four things that came together at a close proximity of time that moved me in the right direction. I will talk about the first two now. In the next few posts, I will talk about the other two. The first was the trip I took to California for my cousin's funeral. The plane ride was, to say the least, "tight." I feared the trip for days before my flight, and I remember praying for open seats on the plane so I would not cramp the other passengers! I was surprised at how much space I took up! I thought to myself, this is crazy! You must do SOMETHING different! My brother flew with me on the trip out, so he took the brunt of the cramped quarters. His patience and kindness are what I am thankful for still to this day. He was not able to fly back with me, but took a flight directly back to the city he lived in, leaving me alone on a packed flight back east. I realize that the person beside me had to be uncomfortable, but I imagine he was not nearly as uncomfortable as I felt both emotionally and physically. Along with the painful plane ride was the reality of why I was on this trip to begin with, which leads me to the second event that moved me in the right direction. I was going to my cousin's funeral who had died at the young age of 50. My cousin, Mike, had endured a battle with cancer after other struggles within in his life. Mike succumbed to complications from cancer, but his choices in life had contributed to his early death. So, there I was on a similar track in life: my choices affecting my health, my choices affecting my emotional and physical comfort, my choices were hurting my family and those I loved dearly. I said "let's face it Travis, you are killing yourself! You are on a path that you will be lucky to even see 5o years old! You will be dead if this continues! Come on, you have to make a change!" It was this reality that helped move toward healing. I was confronted with the fact that my family was in grief due to one of us dying way too soon. I truly felt that if I did not make some major changes, that this same grief was coming again as a result of me.
So, why now? It had to be now. I had considered this reality before, so the idea that I was killing myself slowly was not a new one for me. Having said that, this reality combined with my cousin's death was very profound. This was the beginning of my transformation. At the time, I had no idea how powerful this would be, nor the role it would play in my journey.
Now, everyone does not have to have such an experience to get their attention, but I do believe we all have to understand that there is a sense of urgency. Our motivation can be rooted in the fact that today can be a day for change and there must be change! Whether you want to lose 10 pounds or 100 pounds it starts with your desire to change and an urgency to make it happen. Yet there is more, urgency may be enough to get you up and moving, but it is not the entire key to your motivation. Change must be and can be. It will bring you to your feet, but our motivation can be short lived. In the future I will be talking about two more things that helped motivate me and kept me sustained past the feeling of urgency. If you have a feeling deep down that you need a change then you are on the right track! Celebrate that today and let your change begin! Thanks for taking the time to read my story and I hope what I post here can be tools for your health and wellness.