Here’s a story for you: I once had a client who told me she hated to go to her child’s school meetings because they would have everyone sit on the floor. When the meeting adjourned, her weight would not allow her to get off of the floor on her own and she would have to ask a teacher or one of the other parents to help her up. Most people come to me for weight loss services because they “want to be healthy,” but more often than not, I find that this is not the case. It’s experiences like what I’ve described above that often push people to really want to put effort into losing weight — they want to be able to do the things in life many of us take for granted. This is powerful motivation.
Now in my experience, when people start on their weight loss journey the motivation is typically strong. However, after they lose their first 10-20 pounds and notice the pants getting looser and the ability to see their toes again, the urgency starts to fade rapidly even if they still have 20, 25 or even 50 more pounds to lose. People begin to loosen up, stop measuring their food and make more unhealthful food choices. They start feeling good and enjoying their new weight and want to get back to “normal” life. When this begins to happen, it is because the reason they called or emailed me for a weight loss program, the original motivator that pushed them to ask for help, is not strong enough anymore. So, when those motivations disappear, it becomes a part of my job to hold a conversation and find new motivators. For example, one client I had wanted to lose enough weight to be able to run a mile in 11 minutes. Once he achieved this goal, we had a conversation of getting that mile down to 9 minutes. That motivated him to continue exercise and healthy eating habits because running was something he genuinely enjoyed doing and was passionate about. So, getting better at something he already enjoyed doing was a powerful motivator for him.
Find those intrinsic motivators or motivations that may not be so obvious to others. Many people want to lose weight for many reasons. Some as simple and common as wanting to look good in a bikini and some as serious and emotional as wanting to get off of diabetes medication or play with their children without becoming short of breath. The deeper you can dig, the more likely you’ll stay on your path and, once that motivation is not strong enough, work to find a new one.
If you already have a reason in mind to begin a journey of better eating and improved health or if you need help in finding your weight loss motivation, click here to book some time with me.