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Your Motivation and Commitment

What is your motivation – who are you doing this for? and commitment level – how much/what are you willing to change?

Today I want you take some time to think about why you want to lose weight and adopt a healthier lifestyle. This will require some introspection and thought. Don’t just jot down five reasons in five minutes! Dig deeper. Also, think about whether you are more motivated to achieve something positive or to avoid something negative. To get you thinking, I’ve provided a few reasons people have listed in the past.

I want to be able to walk into any clothing store and buy off the rack in my size. This is an example of achieving the positive. I don’t want to ever have to buy clothes in the fat lady store again. This is an example of avoiding the negative.

I want to be comfortable at the beach in a bathing suit.

I want my husband to be proud of me and how I look.

I want to prove to myself that I can do it.

I want to set an example for my children.

I want to be healthier/live longer.

I want to go through a day without really thinking about food.

I want to be comfortable in my own skin.

Here are some additional thoughts to help you build your own list.

Mental/Emotional – This is a big one. If you lost weight, how would it change how you feel about yourself? Your self-esteem? Your confidence?

Physical – When you think about losing weight and being at a comfortable weight for you, what does that mean (in physical terms)? Does it enable you to wear certain clothes you don’t feel comfortable in now? Will it mean you can then train for a marathon, which you wouldn’t dream of doing now? How will weight loss change your physical being?

Spiritual – Do you see any relationship between your weight and your religious or spiritual beliefs? If you reach your end goal, how will this relationship be affected?

Relationships – What personal relationships suffer because of your weight? Perhaps you even have relationships that you would lose if you lost the weight. Is there a romantic relationship you would pursue if you lost weight? 

Career – Would losing weight affect your job or your career path? How so?

While we’re on a roll, here’s more food for thought:

Why now?

Who are you doing this for?

What will be different this time?

Are you ready to change?

Chances are good that if you have paid for this online course you are ready to make at least some changes in your lifestyle. But then again, we see people often in our office who seek us out and say they want help to lose weight. When you make suggestions about changes they need to make such as getting up earlier to exercise, taking their lunch to work instead of eating out, or reserving alcohol for weekends only, they are very resistant to change. Take this attached quiz and see if you are really ready to embark on this journey.

Lastly, let’s talk about what you are willing to change. Make a list of some unhealthy habits you currently have. Examples may include:

I skip breakfast Mon – Fri.

I eat dessert every night.

I drink Mountain Dew whenever I want it.

I refuse to exercise when it’s cold or hot outside.

Now, take those unhealthy habits and think about which you are willing to change.

For example,

I skip breakfast.

I am willing to get up 15 minutes earlier and fix a healthy breakfast.

I eat dessert every night.

I am willing to cut out dessert except on weekends.

I drink Mountain Dew whenever I want it.

I am willing to cut down my Mountain Dew consumption to 12 ounces a week.

I refuse to exercise when it’s cold or hot outside.

I am willing to look at ways I can exercise indoors when the weather is too cold/hot.

You will undoubtedly have more to add to this list. If you find yourself not willing to make ANY changes then ask yourself how you are going to be successful at weight loss. You can’t keep doing the same things you are doing now and expect to lose weight.

Recently I was seeing a client Leigh. She had lost .5 lbs in the last 2 weeks. Our goal was 1-2 lbs per week. “I’m frustrated. I feel like I should be losing more weight.” When we sat down and discussed the possible reasons that she was not losing more weight Leigh admitted:

I went out with co-workers after work twice and had several beers, chicken wings, onion rings and shared a pizza.

My boyfriend and I made dinner one Saturday: sweet potato fries, fried catfish, coleslaw and fried hush puppies.

I have not measured any of my portions. I have just eyeballed them.

I have not increased my exercise like I planned. I am still only doing some weight lifting 2-3 times per week.

No wonder she hasn’t lost more weight! Leigh is enrolled in our 42 day intensive weight loss program. I had to have a frank talk with her. If you say you want to lose weight and you have a sound plan to make that happen BUT you are only half way following it TAKE PAUSE. Ask yourself why. You have to figure out what you are willing to do. Leigh can go out with co-workers and she can make dinner with her boyfriend. I’m not saying she has to give these things up. I’m saying she has to order different food and cook different food. If you aren’t willing to do that, do not be frustrated when you have minimal weight loss.

The most successful participants write down the reasons they want to lose weight and commit to reading these reasons and read them EVERY MORNING. There’s an app called Quizlet where you can put your reasons on your phone if you prefer. Otherwise you can put them in your journal. The reason this helps you stay on track is that repetition helps ingrain your desires in your brain. Then when you go to have that extra helping when you are already full you can more easily recall these reasons and make a different choice.

When you have completed your list and written them down move on to the next step.