The Secret to Weight Loss Success is NOT the Diet Program
It’s no secret that there are millions of people trying to lose weight every day. The diet and weight loss programs available range from good (steady and slow, eat right and exercise) to terrible (try the “lose weight by not eating” diet. I hear it works wonders). The weight loss program choices are endless: Lose 10 pounds in 10 days (Count me in!). Carb up. Carb down. Nothing but fruit. Never eat fruit. Take a pill. Eat soup. Eat fast food. Eat these pre-packaged foods. Healthy or not, every one of these “programs” can lead to weight loss success. And every one of these programs is destined to fail if your head and heart is not in the right place to make it happen.
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The First Secret to Weight Loss Success: DesireCredit: photosteve101: http://www.flickr.com/photos/42931449@N07/5217748702
The best part about the first “secret” to weight loss success is that it is the easiest. So many of us have this in spades. And that is having the desire to lose weight. How many of us desire it so much that we use a lot of brain energy thinking about it. “If only I could lose (fill in the blank) pounds.” “I want to lose weight so(ooooooo) badly.” “I wish I could just lose this weight.” “If I just lost this weight….” The desire is there. But if desire is all we needed, we’d all be at our goal weight and maintaining it right now. What gets us beyond this stage and headed towards weight loss success?
The Second Secret to Weight Loss Success: Motivation
What exactly is motivation? According to my trusty hard copy (gift from my dad) dictionary, motivation means “some inner drive, impulse, intention, etc. that causes a person to do something or act in a certain way.” In other words, what moves you? What is the thing that changes your inertia and helps you move from point A to point B? Finding the motivation to lose weight is often more difficult than we think it will be.
Sometimes desire to lose weight is confused with motivation to lose weight. We have a goal weight in mind. We have a timeline. Our incentive to lose weight could be to get healthy or to feel more attractive. However, until we find that “inner drive,” that “intention,” that “impulse,” to move us, all of the incentives dangled in front of us or all the goals written on Credit: pensourceway: http://www.flickr.com/photos/47691521@N07/4504724163/our vision boards will not motivate us to lose weight. So what will? That is part of the work that each of us needs to do on our own because what one person finds motivating may not be motivating for someone else.
What gets you moving towards your goal? Are motivational books or CDs your thing? If they are, go for it! Does buying clothes a few sizes smaller than your current size motivate you to lose weight? Or are you like me and moved more by discomfort? When I was gaining weight I refused to buy the next clothing size up. The constant discomfort I felt in my clothes (and the ring around my belly at night when I took them off) motivated me to lose weight. It doesn’t matter what it is. What’s important is that it resonates with you and moves you to act.
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The Third Secret to Weight Loss Success: Willpower
Willpower by far tends to be the strongest challenge to weight loss success. To have willpower means to have “strength of will, mind or determination; self-control.” It is married to motivation. They are in many ways opposite sides of the same coin. When you are motivated to lose weight it is easier to have willpower. When your willpower is strong, it helps you stay motivated. Conversely, lack of motivation is going to negatively affect your willpower, and trouble maintaining willpower is going to challenge your motivation. The problem is that temptation is always around the corner. Our senses betray us. The aroma of freshly popped, buttery popcorn, the sight of yummy food advertisements, hearing mouth-watering descriptions of off limit nibbles, getting bad news that stresses us out – it’s enough to derail one’s willpower and motivation to lose weight. So how do you stay strong?
Like motivation, maintaining and sustaining willpower is a personal journey. We each have to find what works for us. For some people it’s a support group, a group of friends losing weight together, or an organized program such as Weight Watchers. For others a steely re
solve and gritting of the teeth gets them through the tough moments. Whatever it is that works for you, call on it in times of need.
Desire. Motivation. Willpower. Three things needed to help you achieve your weight loss goal, regardless of the type of weight loss program you choose. It’s not just for weight loss success either. It’s for any goal. Find what works for you. It’s not always easy, and there will be times when we stumble. Luckily we don’t need to perfect. We just need to keep working at it. Never give up because you CAN do it.
What has worked (and not worked) for you? Please share in the comments section.
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