Since sharing the story of my hundred pound weight loss, I’ve been inundated with questions about how I did it. Most focus on what I ate and how I worked out. But before diving into the process of it all, I think we have to talk about getting started in the first place.
It’s not about IF you want it. It’s about how badly. It’s about why.
There’s no point in discussing low-cal recipes or running shoes if you’re not in a frame of mind that will allow you to reach your goals.
Losing a lot of weight takes a long time. It means enduring weeks – even months – of not seeing any change, and stubbornly refusing to give up. If your motivation is a high school reunion or a bikini season, you might be doomed to yo-yo or just throw your hands up in defeat.
I wasn’t able to do it when my motivation was to look smokin’ hot on my wedding day.
I couldn’t do it when the way I looked in clothes reduced me to tears in dressing rooms.
I couldn’t do it for vanity. And trust me, I’ve got enough to go around.
It took decades of yo-yo dieting before it clicked: Your motivator needs to be big & strong enough to beat the crap out of your daily, momentary desires.
I wanted to look hot in a bikini. But I didn’t want it more than I wanted to avoid physical exertion on any given day.
I wanted my husband to find me totally irresistible. But I didn’t want it more than I wanted to eat and drink anything that struck my fancy when we went out to dinner together.
My long-term motivators were too weak to overcome my right-this-minute desires for comfort and consumption.
My addiction to the yumminess is powerful, as is my general aversion to working til I sweat. These predispositions are hard to fight. Without powerful motivation to defeat them, it’s easy to rationalize, justify, and excuse unhealthy choices ‘just for today/this week/this holiday season’.
If you want to lose a lot of weight, but are well trained in the art of making excuses for yourself (I hold an advanced degree in this department) Step One is to find a kick-ass form of motivation. You need a motivator with the power to take on addictions and aversions.
Dig deeper than the pretty. Find something visceral, something without an expiration date.
You need something big, because you need to inspire your own full-scale lifestyle change.
Stop thinking about your diet. Start thinking about your top-to-bottom healthier new life.
There’s no way for me to know what will motivate you all the way down to your toes, only you know that. But here are a few things to consider:
Think about the people that you love. How many healthy years do you want to spend with them?
How about your family history? Are you genetically predisposed to Diabetes? Heart disease? Stroke? Wouldn’t it be nice to head that off at the pass while you still can?
Do you have people around you who look up to you? Kids maybe? Think you’d inspire them by modeling an active and healthy lifestyle?
I hate to put it like this, but you should consider scaring yourself a little.
The fear of sacrificing healthy years with my kids on the altar of my laziness lit a fire under me that even my wedding dress couldn’t ignite.
My 100 pound weight loss was driven by survival instinct. Vanity’s got nothin’ on this mama’s compulsion to be around for her kids for as many decades as possible.
When you find motivation that comes from your soul instead of from your vanity, you will be ready to do the hard work.
You’ll stop making excuses.