You Gotta Want It

A former boss of mine used to ALWAYS say “You gotta want it.” Sometimes he’d refer to business, sometimes he’d be referring to fitness. 

When I quit CrossFit (LOL remember that time I briefly did CrossFit?), another coworker said “You gotta want it.”

“Yup, and I don’t.” I said. 

If we’re being perfectly honest here, I’ve gained about 15 pounds from my lowest weight ever.


That was about five pounds less than my goal weight when I lost weight, and my face looks too gaunt for me. (Also hi, apparently I used to be a d-bag who walked around Hawaii in “It’s not fitness, it’s life” shirts.)

That lifestyle required constant sacrifice, and constant thinking about what I was eating, how much I was working out. Thinking about my health took up too much of my brainpower.

Sometimes I wonder how the hell I lost 50 pounds, or how I took an hour off my marathon. Will I ever have that kind of willpower again? Will I ever PR again? Can I ever lose weight again?

After being sooo strict with myself losing weight, then being unhappy for a number of reasons and then becoming absurdly happy, leading the fulfilling life I’ve always wanted, I lost the will to make sacrifices and started making a gazillion excuses. 

Kath had an amazing post up the other day about how to gain and lose five pounds. Last weekend, while watching a friend log her glasses of wine in her Weight Watchers app, I decided I was ready again to make the sacrifices that will make me happier, and I’ve set some guidelines for myself.

Go out less. And when you do, no more than two glasses of wine on a weeknight, three on a weekend, alternating with water.

No more fried food. Not that I eat it that much, but no more.

More vegetables on your plate than carbsss and no more white carbs.

Think about the office celebrations that are worth it. Cupcakes with an explosion of cake batter? HELL YES, but only have half. 

Don’t say yes to food you don’t really want just to be polite. Those calories still count.

Missed workouts only put you farther back mentally and physically.

Sometimes it’s frustrating to look at the women that don’t watch what they eat and still stay small. Well, that’s not me. If I want to stay at a healthy, happy weight, I need to watch what I eat for the rest of my life. 

I’m back in that weight loss mentality, with a massive test in my face immediately: my best friend is getting married tomorrow! The rehearsal dinner is tonight, and the wedding (duh) is tomorrow. I could say I’ll wait until Sunday to start making the right decisions, but I’m not going to let this wedding derail healthy habits. Less wine, make better food choices. I don’t have to eat all of the hors d’ouerves (unless they’re really good…jk.)  Pick the food that’s most important to me, don’t graze just because there’s lots of food in the bridal suite.

I’ve got this.

What changes do you make when you start prioritizing your health again? 

20 comments on “You Gotta Want It

  1. Nicole

    Agree with you on everything. If you want to start, you gotta just start. I think you’re going to rock it. I also think your outlook on moderation is smart and healthy. Good luck!!

  2. Annie @ Annie Get Your Run

    I’ve been reading your blog for over a year now and I’d say this is easily the most inspiring post you’ve ever written. This situation is so easy to identify with. I recently rejoined Weight Watchers and it hasn’t been easy, but it’s been worth it. It’s so hard to be a fun and active 20-30 something and not overstep when it comes to healthy eating/drinking habits and working out. All about balance! I know you’ll accomplish your goals and look and feel great doing it. Know that you’re not alone! 🙂

  3. Annette

    I love this post. Yesterday, I was just having a similar conversation with my friend about getting started. She wants to start running, but she keeps saying she’ll start tomorrow. I used to be that girl too, so I can relate. I am getting better, and reading things like this helps inspire me to keep going….because it’s REALLY easy for me to fall off. And eat pizza…..lots and lots of pizza.
    I journal my “journey” when I try to start something new…or just need to keep myself going. I have a planner that documents all of my runs, or lack there of. I should probably start doing that to get myself to eat more veggies….

  4. Cheri @ Overactive Blogger

    Such a great post. I’m small, but sometimes, when I’m thinking about candy, I’m like, “how the hell did I discipline myself enough to lose that weight when I’m having to talk myself out of a Reese’s daily?!”

    I’m not sure that I necessarily need to get back to obsessively gnawing on celery and counting calories, but I definitely have to smack myself when it comes to alcohol!

  5. stephanie @ sparkles and sweat

    ugh, the struggle of balancing weight loss with real life. i think i do best when i’m REALLY tracking my calories with myfitnesspal. having to add that second or third beer to my daily intake can usually(not always) help me to make a healthier decision.

  6. Jillie

    I love this post. I also read Kath’s post and shared equal feelings for it.

    I’m having a hard time realizing that it’s going to have to be a completely lifestyle change. I’m almost through a Whole30, but as I get closer to the end date, I’m nervous of putting weight back on and my clothes getting tighter as I reintroduce foods back into my diet. I’m always the type of person who is balls to the wall, guns blaring, head first obsessed with a fitness goal but I definitely get discouraged when I realize how many sacrifices it takes to get there once I near the end. It’s a daily struggle and it’s hard to find a healthy balance.

  7. Caitlin

    I love how honest this is. The part that really resonated with me is the part where you wonder how you had the willpower to get to your lowest weight and also the reflection on all you sacrificed to do so. At this point I can’t imagine restricting as I did a few years ago and don’t really know how I did it. I also try to tell myself when I beat myself up over how I look that at least now I can live a life where I’m not entering calories from wine glasses into an app or wearing the douchey tshirts (that comment cracked me up). But I also find it hard t o have a balance between being too intense and being practical and making careful decisions. The whole alcohol thing on weeknights/weekends is tough for me and I try to set limits on that like you are, but then I end up in a bad place mentally when I don’t follow those “rules”. It may take some trial and error but I’m sure you’ll find the right balance and at least you’re living a happy life right now and realize that at your lowest weight, it wasn’t your happiest life!

  8. Gianna @ Run, Lift, Repeat

    I think the truth is that in weight loss you just have to want it or else it really just won’t happen. When I saw the frightening number a couple months ago on the scale I knew I was done and it was time to take charge again. And when you set your mind to it (especially when you have lost the weight prior) I think it really is fairly easy! I am down over 10 pounds already and am definitely not being that strict.
    I think the best thing I do now is not eating impulsively. I tend to mindlessly eat but now I actually think about it (donuts in the morning at work cupcakes candy dish etc I generally never actually WANT or ENJOY them) instead of just eating. I can say no to sweets a million times but never to champagne or wine I will always choose them – in moderation 🙂

  9. Victoria

    Well for as much as my opinion counts, I thought you looked great 2 weeks ago, but I understand wanting to lose a little weight to feel *your* best.

    Maintenance is a LOT harder than anybody makes it out to be. I’ve been trying to get myself back under 150 lbs for I don’t even know how long and man is it hard to get those last 5-7 lbs off.

  10. Nikki@will run for pizza

    I can relate to you on this SO much. I gained about 10-15 pounds when I had surgery (a year and a half ago!) and never lost it. Prob put another 5 on, so I would like/need to lose about 15-20 pounds. But what I did the first time to lose 40 pounds, isn’t working this time!!! Things have changed, ya know, and I don’t have as much to lose. And i’m like you – I don’t wanna be so strict that I’m unhappy and I live, eat, breathe calories in, calories out…BUT! I know that I need to get strictER for the time it takes to lose the weight. I need the deficit for a little while, then I already know maintenance is fairly easy. You can do this. I’m doin it with ya girl!

  11. Annie

    I love your honesty (and the guidelines) you outline here!

    My new thing I’m trying, as of Friday, is to replace after-dinner sweets with mint tea. Somewhere during the freezing-cold-never-ending winter, my sweet tooth came back with a vengeance. Fried food I should lose, too, except I have to make an exception for Thursday night sweet potato fries after rec soccer … I want to feel my all-time healthiest, but not at the expense of that tradition! Haha.

  12. Carrie Miller

    Agree with you 100%, I really admire your determination. Very inspiring to all us beginners out there!

  13. Angie

    Great post! I struggle with these same questions. I lost 88 pounds 10 years ago and have kept them off (or lost some of them again after the 2 subsequent pregnancies), well most of them off. In November I was 3 pounds over my lowest weight and then I had knee surgery and had a little pity party over the holidays. Now I’m 8 pounds over my lowest weight and having trouble finding the food control I need. I still want my wine, and I want to show my kids that it’s OK to indulge on occasion. But a handful of pretzels or crackers in the afternoon is not necessary! My motivation has got to be that it will be easier to haul less of myself around on my bike during tri season! Here’s to recommitting!

  14. Aimee

    This was such a genuine post. I stumbled on your blog a while ago and keep reading because I think you live a fun life and I wish more young women would challenge themselves to really experience life. I’m in my 40s and despite having struggled with weight most of life I refuse to let it hold me back. After a 70 pound weight loss I hit a slump and bit of a gain last year. I refuse to give up. The new behaviors are there in the back of my mind which is why I didn’t gain all of the weight back and I believe that goes for you too. I will get back down to a more comfortable weight and so will you. Great post. Keep being real!

    1. Theodora Blanchfield Post author

      Thank you for such a heartfelt comment. I agree – there definitely are a lot of women who miss out on life because they’re calorie-counting. It is such a fine line between taking care of yourself and it taking over your life. And you’re right – once those new behaviors and habits are there, even if you slip, you know how hard it was the first time around and just don’t want to do that all over again 🙂


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