donate now The Fatty Liver Foundation

Chapter 2: Defining Your Why

Defining your “WHY” can take some time.  This process needs to be at the heart of why you will stick to your exercise and meal plans.  This is the reason for getting up in the morning, the drive to push you through the hard days and is your argument with yourself when you want to quit.  There are no short cuts, no magic potions or pills. No one can do it for you and no one can take your place if you’re not here.  Remember that last line, if anything else, “No can do it for me, and no one can take my place if I’m not here!” Let that be your Motto and your Why if you don’t have or until you find one.

I didn’t tell my family or children for several months about my diagnosis.  I needed to have some control of my body, my health and my weight loss.   I did not want to scare them or give them any unnecessary fear of the 10 year timeline.  So, after meeting with Angie, I decided that I would first cut down on sugar and processed foods with the goal of total elimination in 3 months. 

October, 2018, I started with my guilty pleasure, Pepsi and Dr.Pepper.  I didn’t drink as much as some, but enough to make difference in personality for the first few weeks. I mean was drinking like 3-4 sodas a day.  I began cutting it in half the first week, so only two a day and then one a day for a week.  I had some headaches and was a little tired and grumpy. Then by the third week I cut it back to one soda every other day, and by the forth week I was down to one soda every two or three days.   I was off soda by six weeks.  Yay!  I know what you’re thinking right about now, how did you eliminate sugar right as the holidays began?  Honestly, it was probably the best time to do it.  My “Why” was the strongest, I had more determination to hold to it and being with my family and gave me reasons to hold strong.

My husband Mike and I went to visit our daughter and her family in Phoenix between the Christmas and New Years break.  She had two small boys, Liam almost 2 yrs old and Ben 4 ½ months old.  We decided to go for a small hike one day at “A Mountain” in central Phoenix.  It’s less than a mile round trip and 233 ft elevation gain.  By all means, for a healthy, in shape individual this hike would be a breeze.  For a near 2 year old, he ran back and forth as struggled with every step. Mike made the hike look easy; he even carried the grandbaby and toddler at times on his shoulders like a good Papa would do.  My lungs burned, my legs were on fire.  I labored to catch my breath.  I didn’t know how I was going to make it to the top, but I knew I would make it, because I would not quit in front of my daughter, son-in-law and grandsons.    There were even a few moments I fought back tears of despair, “How could I let myself get this out of shape? Never again! Never would I be this out of shape, which I couldn’t keep up with my gradson(s).”  I did make it to the top. We took some photos and headed down the mountain.

As Mike and I got back to the car, I did get emotional. Well, more than a little. It was an angry, and I cried. I was angry with myself for being in this spot in my life: angry that I couldn’t tell my daughter of my illness, not yet.  It was still too soon.   I had been focusing on my meal plans, what I was eliminating from my diet but had not yet began to exercise.  I had a good handle on food; whole foods, fruits, veggies and lots of water.  I was almost at the 3 month mark since my diagnosis and this was another turning point for me.  I needed to start exercising.  Food modification was not enough.  With the elimination of sugar and processed foods, I was down about 25 pounds, but it didn’t make a difference in my ability to walk less than a mile up hill.  It was time for new goals with my WHY, and stating them out loud makes them real, and helps you commit.  Telling your goals to someone and then writing them down solidifies the goal and holds you accountable. I stated, “I’m going to start exercising.”

Mike looks at me understandingly, not sure how to answer.  He had to choose his words wisely at this point, he usually always does, but my timing has left him open and primed for sarcasm.  He replied, “Yes, you and the rest of the world will begin their fitness goals next week on the 1st of January, BUT (and he had a short pause, as he looked at me and without speaking was telling me with his eyes just wait there’s more), I know you will stick with it.”

So I did.  We returned back to Logan and I did two things.  First, I called a friend Anessa, she was just getting started with schooling for becoming a personal trainer.   I informed her I was ready to start exercising and could she help me with workouts and second I went into our local Planet Fitness and joined.  This is where my fitness journey begins.

Click for our online community