16 Jan 2013
If you ask 100 people who have successfully lost weight what motivated them to finally shed those pounds, get off the couch, and become motivated to change their lives, you’d find a lot of different answers. Within those answers, however, I think you might find some broad categories that are common to everyone who wants to lose weight.
3) Life Goals
My own motivation to lose weight came from each of these categories.
Although I hadn’t yet suffered from irreversible health problems such as heart disease because of my weight, I was starting to see my blood pressure inch up and my legs always seemed to hurt. I was constantly frustrated by my appearance. People told me all the time that I had a “pretty face” and I mentally finished the sentence for them, “which would only look better if you lost weight.” I also found motivation from my life goals, which included seeing my children grow up and having them remember me as an active mother rather than one who sat on the couch while they played.
The truth is, there is no wrong reason to lose weight. I’ve known people who lost weight to fit into a wedding dress, to look better for a high school reunion, or who felt forced into losing weight by their doctor. In some cases, those people kept the weight off, and in some cases, they did not.
Whatever your motivation is, the most important part of the weight loss process isn’t so much the motivation but the continuation of that healthy lifestyle. Who cares if you decided to lose weight for a purely vanity-driven reason if you manage to keep that weight off and develop a healthy lifestyle in the process?
The motivation is the first step, the continuation is the second, third, fourth, fifth, and hundredth step. After I lost the weight, the continuation phase brought a lot of challenges and a lot of opportunities to learn new things about healthy eating, sustainable exercise, and personal discovery.
While I did rely on traditional “diet” foods for part of my early journey, I gradually learned that a truly healthy lifestyle also involved discovering the joy of eating and preparing foods that were more natural and less processed. I discovered that regular exercise was a joy rather than a chore, and I didn’t have to exercise for hours at a time, but rather 30 to 45 minutes was enough for me to feel fit and strong. I also discovered that I still had work to do on the emotional part of my weight loss journey, and that work continues today – 14 plus years after I reached my goal weight.
Whatever your motivation for losing weight is, I’d encourage you to not only think about the why’s of your desire to lose weight, but to prepare yourself for the continuation of that healthy living journey.
What was your initial motivation and has it changed over time?
DianeCheck out my latest posts here