Why Lose Weight? Internal Motivation
By Shauna Reid, aka Dietgirl
I saw my first human brain the other day. It was floating in a jar at the Surgeon's Hall Museum in Edinburgh; all pale and lumpy like a cauliflower. My husband and I had only gone inside to escape a rainy day, but it turned out to be an unforgettable visit that left me feeling philosophical about life and lard, and why I want to lose weight.
Why did I start to think about the reasons for weight loss?
I'd never really thought much about my brain before. It was more of an abstract concept, that thing I cursed for not having enough willpower to lose weight and be healthy and for failing to remember my mother-in-law's birthday.
To see a brain in a jar was so humbling. This powerful organ had once pulsed with thoughts, ideas, memories; hopes and dreams. It is this that drives us to lose weight and question why.
There were also many skulls on display, the protective shells for those little brains of ours. One had been slashed by a saber in the 1700s. Another featured a musket-ball hole from Culloden; another was fractured in the Battle of Ypres in World War I. It was a shocking reminder of how vulnerable we are; how easily we can break.
Internally we are all the same
Moving on, further down the body, I saw a hand blackened by gangrene. A thigh bone with a bullet lodged in it. A diseased lung, murky with tar. There was even a foot from the 1800s - the blood vessels had been injected with coloured wax and the soft tissues corroded with acid, so you could just see the complicated mass of arteries.
It was mind-boggling to think about the action going on beneath the surface of my own peely-wally skin; the blood coursing through all sorts of twisted paths.
Once we'd ooh and ahhed at all the specimens we headed back onto the street.
"Look at all these people!" my husband said in awed tones, "Underneath their clothes they're all just skeletons and guts and stuff!"
Reasons why we lose weight
It got me thinking about this weight loss malarkey. Here on Weight Loss Resources, we're all on a path to healthier living. We log our calories, track our exercise and show up to the scale each week. But why do we want to lose weight and be healthy?
For me, it's often been about the exterior. I wanted to fit into a wedding dress. I wanted to buy jeans from a "normal" shop. I wanted to blend into a crowd instead of feeling like the elephant in the room. But my trip to the Museum reminded me of the bigger picture...
Why should I lose weight?
I've only got one body. It's a fragile, wonderous and intricate machine. It's composed of many different parts, all of which could malfunction or be shattered by a musket ball in a flash. During my weight loss phase I'd vow it was about healthy living and lifestyle changes while secretly hoping for smaller thighs. But now? I really want to look after my body!
Every minute I'm getting older. I'll only get so many chances to say, "I'll start again tomorrow". I need to plan now to contribute to the overall state of my innards. I've got to savour my body while I can and celebrate its full potential.
My internal motivation to lose weight
I'm still a sucker for the external rewards of getting fit and healthy, but I'm more mindful of the internal reasons. When I go to my weekly counselling appointment, I think of it as caring for my cauliflower brain. When I hoist a dumbbell, I think of my 206 bones getting stronger for my old age. When I shimmy along in Zumba class, I picture my heart pumping happily and my lungs expanding and contracting.
If you need motivation to lose weight and be healthy
I can highly recommend a visit to the Surgeon's Hall Museum in Edinburgh if you're looking for the most basic kind of weight loss motivation. Nothing says "enjoy your life and your body right now" quite like a post-heart attack heart in a jar.
Try Weight Loss Resources motivational tools and articles to help you lose weight. You can keep a food diary and journal to help you identify problem areas and learn how to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle, plus track your weight loss and get support from other members. Try it free for 24 hours.