Losing weight is the most common New Year's Resolution in the United States. We know we have an obesity epidemic in our country. Many of us have an overabundance of food, especially delicious desserts. And to top it off, we're coming off the holiday season. We couldn't turn around the last few weeks without someone offering us a cookie.
With the new year, many of us set goals to lose weight or to try a new diet.
Year after year, we set the same goal. And many of us abandon these goals by the time February rolls around. It's cold and dark for many of us in these months. All the inspiration seems to have evaporated. Part of why that happens is our thought process behind losing weight.
We think we should lose weight for the following reasons:
Our doctor told us to lose weight
All those fitspo women on Instagram are thin
Our mom told us we're looking heavy
We think we'll be happier when we're thinner
We used to weigh that much in our twenties
The list goes on. Shoulds are everywhere. But shoulds are rarely motivation to actually do the work and lose the weight. They just hang around, making us feel guilty and down on ourselves.
What if this year, you wanted to lose weight for the right reasons?
What if you kept those reasons in the forefront, instead of all the "should" reasons?
Defining a "right reason" is an individual process. Inside, you know what works best for you. It's really easy to listen to all of the outside noise instead of your inner voice.
The good news is that inner voices have a lot in common. They speak a common truth for all of us. That's how we end up with common "right" reasons to accomplish our goals, like losing weight.
So ask yourself and spend some time journaling or talking it through with a life coach.
Why do you want to lose weight?
1. Make an unfiltered list. Get it all down.
2. When you think you're out of reasons, write five more.
3. Separate out the reasons into shoulds and reasons that feel like truth.
How do you tell the difference between shoulds and true reasons?
Should reasons feel heavy and down.
Example of a "should" reason to lose weight:
Circumstance - Goal to lose 20 pounds.
Thought - My doctor said I should do this, but I don't know if I can.
Feeling - Anxious
Action - Reading all of the weight loss plan books, but not really doing anything about it. Not really taking action, just worrying.
Result - Not losing any weight
See how that unintentional model holds us back from our goals? It started with a "should" reason rather than a real reason.
Reasons that feel like truth inspire and motivate you.
You feel connected and excited about the right reasons. Maybe you're smiling when you think about the right reasons.
Your right reasons will connect you to your end goal. You'll have thoughts that work in your favor. Those thoughts will generate positive feelings. Positive feelings generate forward moving action, which then lead to results.
For example, here’s an intentional model with a "right" reason thought:
Circumstance - Goal to lose weight.
Thought - I want to do this for my future health.
Feeling - Motivated
Action - Sticking to a protocol
Result - Losing weight, helping future health.
Other examples of positive thoughts to lose weight (if they resonate with you):
I am becoming a better version of myself everyday.
I want to be a role model for my children.
I am enjoying the journey of weight loss.
I like treating my body with respect.
I know I like eating healthy food in the long-term.
Take your reasons and put them somewhere you can see them every single day.
Maybe that's on your phone as a reminder. Or a piece of paper near your bed. A note on your bathroom mirror. A list in your car. Wherever you spend time every day.
These are the reasons that will keep you going. Not because I said so. Not because Jillian Michaels or your favorite fitspo person on Instagram said so. Because you said so. Because these reasons are your truth.