Lose weight, gain weight. Repeat. If this is your story of unsuccessful weight loss attempts, there may be one thing you are overlooking. It’s not the fact you haven’t reduced your calorie intake enough or didn’t keep a detailed enough food diary or failed to increase physical activity. It’s something else you forgot to consider and many people do when going on a weight loss diet. What’s missing is your answer as to why you really want to lose weight. Yes, do you know why and is this the right time for you do be doing so?
To lose pounds, a smart diet plan of a modest reduction in food intake while gradually increasing exercise substantially is a must for weight loss. As the numbers on the scale go down, the trick is now to keep it off – permanently. Something much easier said than done. This is where the all-important missing element comes in many people seeking a healthier weight fail to address - the emotional/mental reasons why you want to lose weight and why now?
One of the first questions of someone seeking weight loss is often, “What should I eat or how should I eat?” That is not the first question to be asking. Start with “Why do I want to lose weight?”
Many people will answer by saying to get in better shape or to improve their health. Ask yourself why do I want to improve my health and why now? If your response is on the line of “to reduce the number of prescription medications I take,” then ask yourself again, why. Dig deep until you uncover the real reason or emotion that you have stuffed away probably for years that is keeping you from being successful. It’s when you get personal and authentic about what truly motivates you, is what will trigger you to put in an extra 5 minutes of walking or skipping your nightly bag of chips. Once you figure this out is when you will be stoked to want to continue to follow a lifelong healthy pattern of eating and consistent exercise shedding excess weight for good.
Every single one of us has motivators keeping us on track for success in whatever you may be trying to achieve. Weight loss is no different. Maybe you had a parent who fell ill dying young leaving you without their guidance and you want to keep yourself healthy for your family. Or maybe you want to be a parent actively participating with your kids instead of being sidelined due to morbid obesity.
Slow down, keep calm, and listen to your inner voice. It’s the healthiest part of you that will drive the internal “why” keeping your motivational fire going.
Another big part of being successful at losing and maintaining weight loss is the belief you can do this. Concentrate on what you can do and not on what you can’t do or can’t accomplish. Instead of listing all the reasons why weight loss feels impossible (bad knees, bad genetics, job, family, money, your mother), make a list of the possibilities. The list of “I can’ts” go on and on. Put your energy, your soul into being successful. Simply put, expect success. Believing you can has far more power than wallowing in “I can’t.”
What motivates one person will not motivate another. And that’s okay. All of us have different things that trip our trigger and what works for one person will not necessarily work for you. Understanding your motivation is critical to your long-term success but so is your mental attitude to weight loss. Have an attitude of believing healthy living is a nourishing, happy, self-affirming way of life. Treat healthy eating and exercise as wonderful pleasures you look forward to every single day. Get to the point in your life where eating nutritious, health-promoting foods and participating in physical activity are vital parts of who you are. Once that becomes your mantra you live by, you’ll find you have no desire to ever go back to poor eating habits or finding excuses not to exercise.
Losing weight means change. Changes can be scary or unsettling or perhaps the best thing you’ve ever done with your life. Are you ready for changes? If your answer is yes, then only you can make change happen. Only you can take the risk for what you need to do to make yourself healthier. Think of how much better you will feel physically, mentally and emotionally. Weight loss can be a game changer because if you don’t take care of you first, you can’t be there for anyone else.