Finding My Motivation to Megamorph – Part 1 of 2

Almost everyone says they could stand to lose a few pounds, and almost all of them are right.  But saying it and doing it are vastly different things, as I’m sure you know.

I don’t think many would argue that the lynchpin in the successful weight loss mechanism is a powerful internal motivation.  But the lynchpin alone won’t get you there – you also have to consider what your external support system will consist of and evaluate how you got to being the size person you are.  (I’ll write more about the importance of the support system and self-evaluation in future posts).

First, here’s a brief synopsis of my story:

I’m a musician who has spent the majority of my life “behind the scenes” as a sideman, not in the spotlight, or has been completely unseen by my audience in an orchestra pit.  I’ve spent my life concentrating on how I sound, not on how I look.

Two years ago, after gaining so much weight I weighed nearly 200 pounds, I knew I had to do something about it.  Not because I didn’t feel good about my life or wasn’t happy; I was and remain in the best personal relationship with my new-ish husband that I’ve ever been in and our combined financial situation was (and remains) the most stable I’ve ever enjoyed.  And except for getting a little out of breath sooner in exertion than I thought I should, I still felt physically good overall.

So what happened?  Well, the types of gigs I was used to getting, where I wasn’t seen, had all but vanished.  Shortly thereafter the community college I’d taught at for twenty years started drastically reducing my classes (in fact, I may be technically unemployed by them – that is a situation we will have to wait and see about).  Our financial situation could not really take a near complete loss of my income.  If I wanted to continue working in my field, I was going to have to branch out, and market myself.

That meant pictures.  That meant videos.

I was then forced to be brutally honest about what I was seeing in the mirror and the camera lens.  I had to face the fact that as accomplished a musician as I am, looks are at least as important and perhaps even more important for a woman musician (oh, we will talk about that later!) in getting oneself hired than actual musical skills.

Whether that is right or wrong can be debated, but I could no longer act as if how I looked was not an important component to my ability to be hired for the kinds of jobs I truly did want to do but had not needed to do in the past – jobs where I was going to be seen.

Since that mini-epiphany I have lost nearly twenty pounds, but that is where I got stalled. As proud of that accomplishment as I am, it is simply not enough.  So I have had to re-motivate myself to finish the job I started two years ago, and that’s why I’ve started this Twenty-Five Pounds in Twenty Weeks experiment.

Keeping this blog helps keep me motivated too.  Not reaching the goal (or not getting at least really, really, really close to it) is simply Not An Option.  I am convinced I have all the pieces of the puzzle I need to be successful, I just have to find the right order that works for me.  I already have made a few slight tweeks to the plan and will be honing it even more.  I will identify what is and is not working, and at the end will then have everything all lined up for me to know I will never gain that weight back again!


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