For quite a few of us, at some stage in our life someone has encouraged us to try and lose weight be that a few pounds to several stones.
Also whilst some 'encourage' there are others around us that downright try to bully us into losing weight.
Sometimes these people are family and friends, other times it will be strangers on the street.
For me as I was growing up my family would refer to my weight as 'puppy fat' but of course strangers would just see me as "the fat kid". Did that see me lose weight, no it didn't.
Over the years my family members and friends have hinted to me about losing the weight, from the gentle "are you sure you want to eat that?" to the outright "come on Stu, don't you think it's about time you lost some weight?" I know that they were only saying it to try and encourage me but looking back, I think they could have offered me a million pounds to lose weight but I know that I still wouldn't have lost it successfully (as I wasn't doing it for me).
From the gentle encouragement of family and friends we go to the other side of the extremity with strangers in the street shouting abuse at me because of my size. Many times when I was overweight I suffered abuse from strangers on the street, from the point and snigger to the shouting verbal abuse. Did they really think that by shouting this abuse at me I'd think 'you know what, that person is right, I'd better lose some weight.' Of course I wouldn't, it would make me feel quite low and worthless and of course I'd go and eat another 5,000 calories of chocolate and crisps just in order to try and cheer myself up. This partly made me a recluse and other than going to work or football I generally stayed in the house surrounded by unhealthy food keeping myself to myself. Whilst I might have portrayed myself as happy in life I can honestly say now that I wasn't. A very good friend I have met through losing weight said once that when she looked at photographs of herself at her biggest, whilst she was smiling she wasn't really happy at all and at looking at the few photographs there are with me at my biggest I can see that I was the same. Very often if there were photographs being taken I would either be the one taking them or the head at the back hiding behind everyone else.
Over the years, the number of times people have encouraged me to try and lose weight were futile. My mind wasn't buying in to it. My weight loss only occurred once my head had decided I wanted to lose weight, I was doing it for me and what I wanted in life not because someone was telling me to. For me, the straw that broke the camels back (or my epiphany) was the stark realisation that the car crash mentioned in my previous post together with my size at that time could have meant that I could have been dead and this really made me think about my future and to me this really was my wake up call.
I decided I wanted to lose my weight to increase my longevity and to enjoy life to the fullest, spending good quality time with family members and potentially find a loving relationship (I had never had a long term relationship whilst I was overweight). Others lose weight for many reasons, wanting to be more active, for medical reasons (to have an operation or to get pregnant), for family, better role model for their children, weddings/family events, confidence and so on. The only thing is that in my experience gives a person has more chance of successfully losing weight is when they are doing it for themselves and the reasons they believe in and that it is right in their mind.
Whatever your reasons for losing weight and whatever it is that motivates you, I wish you luck. For me I think you need to be sure in your own mind it is what YOU want to do, you are doing it for YOU, make the time for YOU, enjoy YOUR weight loss journey stay focused. YOU will achieve YOUR goals.