By the time my weight loss clients finally seek out my guidance to help them lose their unwanted body fat, most have been trying unsuccessfully on their own for months, even years, to accomplish their goals.
There’s many reasons why these people fail to lose weight.
Some of them “think” they’re eating a diet appropriate for weight loss.
Some are still sitting on the couch hoping to lose weight without any physical activity.
Many people are in chronic research mode. They just keep reading books about how to lose weight and scouring the internet for that one tip that has somehow eluded them. They never really shift into action mode and actually put into practice anything they’ve learned.
Others are tire kickers – they jump from one “miracle” weight loss plan to the next, without giving much time for any of them to actually work.
There’s even a few who really haven’t tried very much at all and still claim they “can’t lose weight”?
Over time though, I’ve started to notice a trend among these people – a common theme that bonds all of them together. It’s the fact that they’re all lacking this one ingredient in the recipe for losing weight.
It’s unfortunate too, because I consider this missing ingredient the absolute foundation of an effective weight loss program. Meaning, without it their efforts won’t be sustained for very long before the whole plan crumbles.
Laying a Proper Weight Loss Foundation
This missing ingredient that I’m referring to is weight loss motivation.
Now I’m not talking about the average motivators, such as your doctor telling you that you should lose a few pounds or your pants don’t fit anymore.
Those are fine reasons to want to lose weight and, for some people, they might be significant enough to make a difference. However, for the majority of us they won’t be powerful enough to make us do the work.
I’m talking about intrinsic motivation, the kind of motivation that you’re really passionate about. An internal drive so strong that you will not let any obstacle get in the way of you accomplishing your weight loss goals.
An intrinsic motivator is your significant reason for taking your weight loss journey, and it’s the difference between you succeeding or failing to meet your weight loss goals.
Do you have this internal drive?
Let me share with you a brief story about a former weight loss client of mine, I will call her Olivia.
Olivia was a 38-year-old wife and mother of two young daughters, ages 3 and 5. She worked as an elementary school teacher.
Olivia was overweight by about 50 pounds – and counting. At her most recent physical, her doctor informed her that she was pre-diabetic and that she needed to lose quite a bit of weight.
She had gained a decent amount of weight with both pregnancies, but after the birth of her second daughter she really didn’t lose much of the weight she’d gained during that time around.
Naturally, with two children the time you take for yourself becomes non-existent. Therefore, she didn’t get enough time to workout, let alone have the energy to do so. Her diet was unfortunately built around convenience food.
Once the kids started to be more independent, however, she did find more time to be healthier and do all of the things necessary to finally lose her unwanted body fat. She made a good effort for about 1 year, losing a few pounds here and there, but didn’t see the results she desired.
After that, her desire and efforts waned. She went back to old habits and started making poor food choices once again. She began to get used to the idea of being pre-diabetic and accepted the prognosis as her fate. There was nothing she could do about it.
It wasn’t long after that until Olivia sought out my help.
Apparently, her oldest daughter had recently gotten a similar diagnosis of pre-diabetes. Naturally, children look to their parents as models for appropriate behavior. What she saw from her mom is that she could eat what she wanted, when she wanted and that it was ok to spend the majority of her free time sitting inside watching TV.
This really opened Olivia’s eyes.
She knew she needed to make drastic diet and exercise changes for not only herself but for her entire family. And this time was going to be different, because she had a strong, intrinsic motivator to help keep her headed in the right direction.
Before her daughter’s diagnosis, Olivia didn’t have a passionate reason to lose her excess weight, despite being told by her doctor to do so. But once she identified with a reason significant enough to get her to do the work, there wasn’t anything going to get in her way of success.
Finding Your Internal Motivation
If you have extra body fat you have been working to get rid of for any length of time but haven’t succeeded I suggest you take a deeper look into the reasons you’re making the attempt.
See if you can change your average motivator (that really hasn’t been significant enough to drive you to make changes to start a diet and exercise program) into one that you could be passionate about.
Here are a few examples, just to name a few:
- you want to be a healthy role model for your kids.
- you want to be alive for your child’s wedding.
- your wedding is in a few months and you want to look foxy.
- you want to live a long, but healthy life.
- you want to get back into the pants you wore in college.
These are just a few examples I could think of, maybe you can think of a few more.
There are a few other things you can do to help you get and keep the motivation you need to lose weight, I wrote about them in another blog post that you can check out here:
In any case, have a reason for losing weight that you can be passionate about. With a strong motivation foundation and a few tweaks to your diet and exercise program there will be no way you will fail at meeting your weight loss goals.