After years of continually losing weight, then putting it back on, I reached a point where I stopped believing in my own ability to be successful. I no longer believed that I could lose weight and keep it off and I found myself wondering if I should just roll over and accept my fate. Life was moving ahead without me, and as sad as it is to now say, I had lost my motivation. This was a pivotal point for me since I had to decide whether I was going to accept my fate or whether I was going to pick myself up and try to create the healthy, fit lifestyle I wanted. Thankfully, I decided to try again, and in doing so, it allowed me to recognize the power of creating self-motivation in my life. Although I didn’t realize it at the time, motivation wasn’t just something for getting started; it allowed me to work through my eating issues and was the reason that I was able to continue losing weight. If you are at the same point where I once was, I completely understand. I know what it feels like to feel frustrated, to feel out of control with your eating, and to feel that you’ll never be able to lose the weight. But, I want you understand this one simple thing:
Through your own motivation, you have the power to lose weight, work through your issues, and keep the weight off.
You can absolutely do this, I have no doubt and I now want you to unburden yourself with any thoughts that you aren’t going to be successful. However, it’s going to require you to break out from your own self sabotaging behaviors, and begin manifesting your personal motivations.
It’s now been over 12 years since I lost the weight and I’m pleased to say that finding my own motivation wasn’t just what got me started, its what’s allowed me to continue to be successful. When I think back on how I was feeling 12 years ago, I remember feeling very annoyed at myself and disappointed that I had allowed myself to gain so much weight. I can also remember being very scared that I didn’t have the answers and I lacked the faith that I could be successful. It’s obviously painful to think back on those times, but it’s also incredibly motivating to remind myself of just how far I’ve come.
It took me years to figure out my own issues and it certainly wasn’t all smooth sailing. I know how hard the process of change can be, but that’s especially true when you’re doing it on your own. But, this is where your path is going to be different from mine. By reading So Damn Hungry, you’re now going to change your life. In conjunction, I created the New Lifestyle Diet to provide people with a vehicle to rapidly lose weight. While the lessons in So Damn Hungry can be applied to any diet or program, the facts remain the same, you can lose weight on any diet, but if you don’t learn to address and manage your behaviors, you’ll put the weight back on. See this statement as your call of action and a source of motivation as you move forward.
It’s extremely important to realize that motivation is fleeting. In fact, motivating ourselves is like taking a shower, it’s something that we need to do every day. The motivations that you have today will change over time. They will ebb and flow, and as a result, it’s important to learn how to create new sources of motivation over time. But for right now, we are going to now focus on getting you motivated to lose weight. And, that’s exactly what you are now going to learn to do.
Get Motivated to Lose Weight
When I was asked what my biggest motivation was for losing weight, I had two separate answers. I had an answer that I would give to my friends and family and I had the one I would tell myself. To everyone around me, I would tell them that I wanted to lose weight because I wanted to be healthy and to live a long time. Of course, while this was true, it wasn’t my real motivation. The bottom line was that I wanted to look good. To be brutally honest, I was tired of being overweight and tired of the implications that came along with it. I was exhausted of the looks, the “big guy” comments, and worn-out from having to shop at stores that only carried XXL and XXXL size clothing.
While I would tell everyone I was losing weight for health reasons (everyone loves that answer), my personal motivations were based mainly on vanity. Now, don’t get me wrong, I did appreciate the health aspects of losing the weight and I did understand that by losing weight, I was saving my own life. But, I cannot deny that my motivations were based on my own narcissism. Call me hedonistic, but for me, my looks were very motivating. As I said earlier, I had reached a point that I stopped believing in my own ability to be successful. So, in order to get past this, I had to reach down deep and find the motivation within me that would get me going again. I wanted so badly to look good again and get my life back, that this single thing was the spark that allowed me to get going. I now want you to think about your own personal motivation for getting started by answering the following question:
What is the single biggest reason that you want to lose weight?
Notice how this is not a complicated question. In thinking about this, I want you to focus on the immediate answer that comes into your mind and recognize the power of this. For each of us, the answer is going to be different, but might include things like:
- I want to look great.
- I don’t want to be the biggest one in the room.
- I want my health back.
- I want to feel good about having my picture taken.
- I want to be attractive and look and feel my best.
- I want to be able to fit into my clothes and look amazing.
- I want to be able to move and enjoy my body.
- I want to be able to play with my kids or grandkids.
- I want to be able to travel and live life.
- I want to get control over my eating.
In asking yourself this question, don’t worry about how you may sound or what other people might think, your answer isn’t for them. Your answer is just for you. This is your time to get to the root of your motivation, to acknowledge it, learn to hold onto it, and never let it go. Keep in mind that your motivation will always change over time, but the more you make a point of keeping it in front of you and at the root of all your actions, the more you can draw strength from it.
Changing your life isn’t easy and losing weight is one of the most challenging things that you can ever ask of yourself. However, it all starts with being motivated and finding your own fire within. So, to help you do this, the following are six points of motivation that I want you to think about and begin applying in your life right now:
1. Envision Your Life Ahead:
It’s time to “fake it till you make it”. Who do you know in your life that you can emulate? One of the hard things about changing or reprogramming is that we’re so filled with problems, issues and doubt that we cannot imagine being successful at anything. That’s just life, isn’t it? So in order to be successful, we need to step out of our way. Take a look around and find the people that are doing the things you hope to be doing and living the life that you want. Sure, you may have a long way to go in terms of losing weight and overcoming your own behaviors, but use that time to watch and observe the behaviors of other people who are being successful with their weight loss, craving or even fitness. “Joe is really good at going to the gym every day, Mary is really good at not giving into her craving, and Sue is really good at cooking healthy for her family”. View the way they are living their lives and moving their bodies and make it a point to follow in their footsteps. It could be a family member, a friend, a church member or even a neighbor. If you do it long enough, those behaviors will become your own. You will evolve to becoming the best of all those people.
2. Never Allow Others to Hold You Back:
Never allow anyone to hold you back and take away your ability to lose weight or change your life. Your ability to change your life is a power that you control and anyone that tries to take this from you is not someone that is looking out for your best interest. These people will exist and it’s critical you have the ability to recognize them and remove them from your life. Always make it a point to surround yourself with the people that are not only looking out for your best interest, but are willing to give you their best in life. Most people will sabotage your success. Never give someone else the power to influence your decisions, even when they feel they can dictate how much you can eat or how you’re going to live. When you hear the term “oh, go ahead, eat that other piece” “my husband is a twig and he can eat like a pig and I have to cook for him”. These are all just excuses. YOU dictate your life and maintain that power. It’s called WILL POWER for a reason. It’s of your free will. You can maintain that will or give it away to someone else. People will encourage you to eat foods that are not in your best interest. You don’t have to give up that power. Be the one making the decisions and not being talked into something you don’t want. Worrying about constantly offending people because you’re turning them down is also going to hold you back. Say “no” politely and if they insist, put your foot down. Take back your power, smile and realize you’re moving forward and not being held back.
3. Healthy Birds of a Feather Flock Together:
You can tell a lot about a person by the three of four people that they spend the most time with. Be very aware of the people that you are surrounding yourself with and if they are not supporting your new lifestyle, then make it a point to change the relationships. This may be very hard, but our closest relationships in life are the ones that either hold us back or allow us to grow. As you start losing weight, you will notice that you may start losing friends. This is when you’ll discover who your true friends are. You’ll be amazed to find out that most of those friends are simply “eating buddies”. When you remove the food, you‘ll see if there is a really friendship there or if it’s based mostly on food. When you aren’t a “fun eating buddy” anymore, many of them will start to move away from you. That’s when you have the opportunity to make new friends and keep the ones in your life who are supportive about your commitment to health and that are willing to take the journey with you.
4. Remind Yourself Every Day of WHY!
Losing weight and getting into a healthy lifestyle is not an easy thing. This is WHY you need to hold onto the reminding yourself every single day of WHY you’re doing this. Whether you are losing weight because of health reasons or you want to look amazing, never stop reminding yourself of the reasons behind your actions. This is about feeling good about yourself. We want to create a vision around this. This is about a Mind/Body Connection. For some people, imagining how they will look in the future is incredibly motivating, and for others, having visions of growing old and watching their children grow up is equally as powerful. Think hard about your own reasons, hold them tight, and never let them go. This is WHY when many people go to the gym; it’s a constant reminder of what it is they are doing. This is now about building a stronger body and it’s also a reminder of your limitations and how you will continue to get stronger physically. Remind yourself WHY you’re not going to eat that gallon of ice-cream in one sitting. Because you know it makes you feel terrible and weakens your WILL Power. That thing, whatever it is that pops in your head that will make you happier and help you hang onto the vision of WHY you’re doing this, find it and hold onto that vision to reach that goal. Your WHY will change, as you change.
5. Have Patience, Change Happens:
Losing weight and changing your life takes time and an amazing amount of patience. Having patience with yourself and the process will allow it to unfold over time. Although we love to jump to the finish line of our goal weight, the truth is that change is an ongoing process. Going through the process of being overweight, to losing weight, to living a new life will change you. Change is perpetual and the person that you are today will be very different from the person you are when you reach your goal weight and far different from the person you will be as you continue to address and overcome your own behaviors. The process of change really has no finish line. I used to think of losing the weight and keeping off the weight as two separate phases. When in truth it’s, it’s just one life, mine and a life I continue to evolve and get better at. The same will occur for you with patience and as your body and mind connect and change happens.
6. Keep Reaching Higher:
Everyone begins the process of losing weight with some thoughts towards how much weight they want to lose. However, this is only part of the process. Challenge yourself to think beyond just a number on a scale and think in terms or how you want to live your life – whether it is overcoming the burden that food has in your life, changing your cravings and temptations, or exercising each day and creating a fit body. Reaching a number on the scale is great, but your goal with creating a new lifestyle for yourself goes way beyond this. Never forget this and as you continue to evolve and reach your goals, make it a point to reach higher and higher. For example, 10 years ago, I can remember a time when simply exercising and moving my body was hard and painful. But now, I love working out and going to the gym. In fact, it’s no longer just about exercising, I passionately go to the gym each day and love the feeling of shaping my body and pushing myself further and further. Since I continue to reach higher and higher for new goals, after 10 years, I still feel like the fun journey has only just begun. And, in that lies the secret – by pushing ourselves to higher and higher goals, the creation of our new lives really has no finish line.
Finding your own personal motivation is huge, but as you go through the process of doing this, I want you to also be taking some new steps forward. Specifically, the following are two mini goals that I want you to start doing right now:
Mini Goal #1:
As you begin the process of losing weight, I want you to celebrate your weight loss in 5 pounds increments and enjoy the process of change that comes with it. This might sound funny, but too many people make the mistake of focusing on their long term goal weight, instead of what they need to achieve at that given moment. Remember, no one suddenly wakes up at their goal weight; they achieve it by losing one pound at a time, and through the process, are able to work through their issues and learn to create a new way of thinking. By doing this, you aren’t just losing weight; you’re creating a new lifestyle. Always stay focused on the next 5 pounds in front of you and the lessons and behaviors that you can be learning along the way.
Mini Goal #2:
Go for a walk every day. It’s going to be hard at first, but you can do it. Start with walking for 5 minutes a day, then 15, then 20, then get to 30 minutes. Although this may not seem like much, creating the habit of moving your body each day will be the foundation for some amazing things ahead. When you are ready, you can build upon this by joining a gym, participating in exercise classes, doing workouts at home, or seeking out other activities that you might enjoy. Either way, your goal is to no longer just lose weight, you’re goal is to move your body everyday and begin the process of shaping the new you. Your journey starts by walking and all it takes is opening up your front door and putting one step in front of the other.
Moving forward, I want you to take some time and think about your own personal motivation for losing weight. Whatever it might be, I want you to hold onto it and put this at the forefront of your thoughts. Use it as your burning desire to change and don’t let anything step you from creating your new lifestyle or learning how to stop being so damn hungry.
Thank you for allowing me to be part of your journey, and as you read So Damn Hungry, you’re going to learn how to create new forms of motivation, how to seek out and use motivation for creating a balanced life and how to use motivation for achieving long term success.
– Hamilton Erridge, Author of So Damn Hungry