So one of the first tasks in the Nerd Fitness Academy is to find your Big Why. This is the motivation that keeps you going. It has to be powerful, and it has to be deep. Sure, I want to look good in a bathing suit, sure I want to shop at “normal” clothing stores, but what’s my REAL reason? Why is it, deep down, that I want to do this?
I don’t want to live my life as a diabetic. I know I will always have diabetes, yes. But there is always a chance of getting off medications and controlling by diet and exercise. This is a huge goal of mine, because it would mean no more needles (just careful testing to make sure everything is okay), no more gulping water at 3am because I can’t quench the thirst, no more being judged for everything I put in my mouth (although I will always have to watch it, at least it can be ME watching and not everyone else), and four fewer pills a day.
I want to feel like I’m not subjecting my partner to intimacy. Because I feel like no one should have to come near me naked, and I feel like that’s not normal in a marriage.
My partner and I are 33 and 34 years old, respectively. We have talked for years about having kids, but never had the money – we still don’t, but are at least actively putting money into savings. At 35 years old, there is an added risk factor to having a baby, and that factor increases with each additional year. I have to be as healthy as possible so that my diabetes and PCOS don’t prevent me from getting pregnant, and I have to be healthy enough to carry a baby safely – for me, the baby, and for my partner – I have to be here for them after all is said and done.
In keeping with my last reason, I want to be an active parent. I didn’t come from an overly active family – my parents were (are) amazing, but they often didn’t have time to do a lot of physical activity outside of work. Meals were often convenience foods, and even the homemade ones were huge portions. I want to give my kids the knowledge that I didn’t have about healthy eating and exercise, and make sure that they grow up loving the outdoors and activities. I don’t want them to go through what I went through.
Hell, I want to stop going through what I went through. That might sound funny, but let me explain: two years ago, I took a couple of Aquafit classes at the local wellness centre. I was in the change room one night after class, changing how I always do in public – making sure I’m covered at all times – when a group of young (probably 12-13 years old) girls came in. They were whispering and laughing, and I could hear them saying things about me. I choked back tears, and finished getting dressed, all the while shaking like a leaf, unable to breathe. Here’s the thing: I don’t know if they were actually saying anything about me, or if I just heard it because my brain was filling it in for me. For those few minutes, I was back on the playground, being taunted to the point of illness (I developed an ulcer in Grade 8 from the stress). Last year, my partner and I were out for a walk, and a car veered off the road up ahead and into a field. There was no impact, but we were concerned that something might have happened to the driver to cause the mishap, so we watched as we approached. As we got closer, we could see that the three occupants were fine, but the car was stuck. We were discussing whether we should go over and help when the girl in the passenger seat started yelling “Take a picture!…Yeah, laugh it up…You’re fat and ugly and I don’t care what you think!” at us. Needless to say, we didn’t go and help, but as much as we tried not to let it bother us, we were both shaken and upset the rest of the evening. I’m 34 years old, and people can still reduce me to an 8 year old child with a word or a look. I want to feel like I’m worth something and that everyone isn’t judging me or disgusted by me. I want to feel like a human being.
Lastly, I am considering a career change – either something to do with animals, or something to do with corrections, and either way, I need to be in better shape. As a wildlife researcher (or a cop, for that matter), I would have to be able to handle working and physically exerting myself outdoors in high temperatures, and for police or correctional officer work I would have to be able to pass rigorous fitness testing. I don’t know where I’ll wind up, but I don’t want my body to limit what I can do with my life.
I think those are my biggest reasons for now, there are lots of other little ones, which I will share later. But these are my deepest ones.