Motivation To Lose Weight
We all know deep down inside that a clean diet and consistent exercise works. I’ve been doing this for a long time and have seem many times exactly what it takes to lose 10,20,50 even 100 lbs. I’ve also seen people spin their wheels, lie to themselves, lie to me and go nowhere for months and even years on end.
So what’s the difference between success and failure? Motivation, willpower and burning desire!
Getting the motivation to follow through is the most important part of losing weight. The information will always be there, but the motivation....that's the missing piece of the puzzle. How do you get the motivation to get started, stay on track, and most importantly, to get where you want to go?
How To Get To The Core
I talk to many people almost every day sharing their frustrations with weight loss. Many of them say they lack the motivation to stick with their weight loss program. They report that they do well for a while and lose some weight, but inevitably fall off track- whether due to a loss of focus or some other kind of self-sabotage.
What Is The Definition Of Motivation?
"The psychological feature that arouses an organism to action toward a desired goal; the reason for the action; that which gives purpose and the condition of being motivated."
Let’s take a few key words from this definition and break them down.
Action Towards A Desired Goal:
Taking action means that there is a desired goal, so the first thing that you need to be clear on is what’s your goal?'
The challenge here is it's usually not effective to just come up with a number. 20 pounds or 30 pounds isn't going to cut it. You've known for years, that telling yourself "I need to lose 20 pounds" over and over again hasn't worked. Just having a number in mind is not a strong enough of a goal.
The better question to ask is, "Why do you really want to lose weight"? At first, this may sound obvious, but if you're struggling with your weight, you need to ask yourself this question again and again until you have a very clear answer.
Why Do You Want To Lose Weight?
To feel more confident to start dating again?
To get into your favorite pair of jeans?
To feel sexy for your husband or wife?
To look good at your upcoming high school reunion?
Because the doctor told you you're pre-diabetic but that there is still a chance to turn it around?
Because you're sick and tired of feeling sick and tired?
If you remain fat and overweight your heart will pound too hard one time and stop?
You have to become clear on your "Why". This is the first step in establishing a goal.
Now let's look at the first half of that equation which is 'taking action'. When you find your goal write it down. How are you motivated to take action are you? Do you feel your emotions stirring? Are you feeling the pull to get off the couch? Are you feeling the readiness to break your bad habits and make changes to your diet and fitness program?
If you're not, then you probably need to do some more work on your "Why", because your "Why" is the base of your motivation.
Believe it or not, some people are more naturally motivated towards pleasure (the thought of looking great in a summer dress, meeting a guy/girl, running a 10K), while others are more motivated away from pain (being single forever, having to start taking insulin, having to see their high school friends while being heavy).
The trick is to find out which one- "Towards Pleasure" or "Away From Pain"- is more powerful to you in terms of your weight loss, and to focus on that.
Write down all the reasons that cause you to begin to stir and want to take action. This is just for you, so be aggessive and write everything down, even if it's very personal. This is a very important step that cannot be overlooked.
After meeting with over 1000 people to help them transform their physiques, I have heard everything under the sun for why people want to lose weight. And the more questions I ask, usually the deeper and deeper I find more personal and emotional reasons for their wanting to change.
Focus On The One That Stirs You
Building on your "Why", what is your deeper purpose behind losing weight? How will your life be better if you lose the weight?
Create a powerful picture for yourself that is clear in detail of how your life will be better.
What will you be doing?
Who will you be doing it with?
Where will you be?
Will the motivation to exercise come naturally?
How will you feel when you're there?
What clothes will you be wearing- or not wearing ; ) ?
All of the above examples were written in "Towards Pleasure" language. But maybe you'll find that doesn't work well for you- maybe it doesn't give you a sense of purpose.
If not, how about if you change the wording around? Remember, some people are more motivated "Away From Pain". If this is you, you'll be more motivated by this question: "So if you don't lose the weight, or if it continues to get worse and worse, how unhappy and miserable will you be?"
Similarly, you may want to create a compelling negative picture for yourself.
If you don't lose the weight, what are you going to miss out on?
What opportunities will you lose out on? Maybe the ability to enjoy healthy time with your family late into your life? Or maybe it'll mean you continue to go out to go to restaurants and take vacations by yourself.
How will your health deteriorate if you don't lose weight?
What does the hospital room look like where you'll have to go for dialysis treatments?
So create a powerful picture for how your life is going to be better if you lose the weight, or worse if you don't. This will help you take action more forcefully.
Remember, that while uncovering your "Why" and the deeper purpose that motivates you is a first step that cannot be skipped over, we all get busy and stressed, and it's very easy to lose our focus.
At least until you build some positive, forward momentum and get comfortable with your new habits and behaviors, you may have to remind yourself of your "Why" and your deeper purpose again and again every day.
Write down your answers on an index card and put them by your bed stand or tape it to the bathroom mirror. Every morning and every night remind yourself why you really want to lose weight. Remind yourself why you need to begin taking action today, what the payoff will be if you do, and what the cost will be if you don't.
This is not the only step on the you’re way to successful weight loss & fitness improvement of course, but it is an important one that you have to master early on.
Getting the right support in place is also extremely important. One of the reasons that two of the products that I offer PERSONAL PERFORMANCE COACHING and “GET FIT” BOOT CAMP work so well is that they provide support.
Whether it’s one on one coaching or working in a peer group having someone to work with and hold you accountable is amazing once you have defined your why.
Another factor is learning how to handle the stress and challenges of daily life in a healthy, constructive way that doesn't cause you to abandon your weight loss efforts or turn to food for emotional comfort.
One of my very good friends is Dr. Steven Hannant. He is a specialist when it comes to teaching people how to use mental training to change their life using his mental training program. He has a free 35 day challenge at his website.
If you try the mental training program and see great results from it like weight loss, increased motivation, better will power and an improvement in your life, let me know!