In an introspective moment, weight loss may be among your biggest desires. You think of how great it would be to tackle your size issues once and for all, but the next day you may find yourself downing a carton of ice cream or finishing off a bag of chips and wonder where your motivation to lose weight went. You may give up on your diet plans for the day, rationalizing that one more day of overeating won’t hurt and that tomorrow is the perfect day to start your diet for real.
Are you stuck in a dieting rut?
Of course, when tomorrow comes, you find that there’s a new batch of cookies to devour and you may be able to convince yourself that the yummy dessert really is better fresh so you’ll just eat everything now and then, for reals this time, not eat anything but vegetables afterwards. The cycle of wanting to be good but convincing yourself it’s fine either way may go on and on for another few weeks until you again reach another intense and definitive moment where you promise yourself to change for the better. So, how do you make the moment’s worth of motivation actually stick? How do you, day in and day out, say no to that chocolate bar and yes to spinach? How do you find the kind of inspiration, strength, courage, discipline and care to follow a diet every waking minute of every day?
What’s the difference between people who stick with it and people who don’t?
The difference between dieters who reach their goals and dieters who just give up instead seems to be an ability to constantly recognize the many reasons why they actually want to lose weight. My question for you is this: have you written down every reason you want to lose weight and do you reread it every time you need an extra helping of motivation? A single reason why you want to be skinnier isn’t likely to hold up 24/7, but having a full and diverse list of valid explanations always at your fingertips can help you stay grounded and on the path to weight loss, even when the way becomes narrow and hard to navigate.
What kind of a comprehensive list of goals will give me 24/7 protection?
Here are five simple examples of what you could include on your personal motivational list. Think through what really matters to you and what it will take for you to fight for that. Type up your list and place a printout in your wallet and hang additional copies throughout the house, if needed, to keep your willpower strong and your weight loss goals in reach.
1. I want to lose weight to minimize my health problems
Obesity increases the chances of having a multitude of health issues including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis and certain types of cancer. When you eat right and exercise regularly, your muscles become stronger, there is less stress on your joints and you feel better overall. Junk food may taste good in the moment, but you continue to physically pay for the snack every minute of the day. If you can continue to remind yourself that a few good bites isn’t worth the toll on your health, you’ll be that much closer to realizing your weight loss goals soon.
2. I want to be healthier so I can be there for my family
Whether you’re talking about being around in the long-run for the graduations and marriages of each child or grandchild in your family or whether you’re thinking about being in a better position to help out now, thinking about your family and loved ones can help you stay motivated to lose weight. You want to be able to go on the family hike at the reunion and not have to stay at the base of the hill because you’re too out of shape. You want to be there at important events rather than resting in a hospital bed because you never took care of yourself when you had the chance.
3. I want to lose weight to fit into my dress or suit
Having a specific outfit that you want to lose weight to look nice in can be a huge motivating factor to keep your weight down for the next few weeks or months. Whether you have a nice event coming up or you simply want to give yourself some extra incentive to stick to your diet, keep by you a picture of a dress or other clothing piece that you really want to fit into. The article of clothing may be something you already own and used to fit into but can’t anymore or the item may be something you walked past in the store but you knew it wouldn’t work with your body just yet. When you get tempted by a fatty food, think about the clothing you’re shooting to fit into and say no to the distractions.
4. I want to lose weight to hit the scale at X pounds
Although achieving an optimal level of health is so much more important than your size or weight, you can still find motivation by making and working towards diet goals that detail a specific number of pounds to lose. Maybe you want to drop ten pounds by the end of the summer or maybe you have a particular number each week that you want to lose. Figure out what objective is healthy and reasonable given your starting place and schedule a weigh-in every week at the same time to keep other variables minimized.
5. I want to lose weight to show myself I can do it
Part of the joy of losing weight is proving to yourself that you can work to accomplish whatever you really want. There’s such satisfaction in setting goals and achieving them. In the moments when you feel like giving up, think about how much it will mean to you when you actually prove to yourself that you were capable all along. Best wishes!