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Being Motivated to Lose Weight Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be

Posted Jan 29 2011 5:00am

Just because you are strongly motivated to get to your weight-loss goal doesn’t mean this gives you a big advantage. That’s surprising, isn’t it? Because it’s almost cliché to think that if you really want something and you have the motivation, you’ll achieve it.

But hanging on to high motivation once the reality of the endeavor sets in—in this case, to lose a lot of weight—is, as you well know, not a given. Losing excess weight is hard, and you can easily find yourself distracted from what is hard. Not only that, the stressful nature of trying to lose weight can make you susceptible to interfering goals, such as family, work, and even social responsibilities. Being tempted can be another motivation buster. Being tempted can come from feeling more restricted because you are making such a big effort to stick to the diet.

What can you do to keep your motivation high, and flowing? One thing you can do right away is to spell out the details of your motivation: your goal(s) and how you plan to get there. You can start by stating the opportunities you have to reach your weight-loss goal. Then take each one of these opportunities, examine it carefully, and make plans for how you will cope given the nature of the opportunity.

For example: One of your opportunities to keep motivated and working toward your goal, might be to keep your spirits up after a “mess up” at work. How will you do this? It calls for a plan. What if you felt ashamed of yourself for “messing up”, and you deal with feelings like this by having a big snack while you relax after dinner? In this case, you’ll need a plan for handling your feelings without resorting to eating fattening food snacks. Your plan could take into consideration that changing behavior can take time.

Good planning for upcoming opportunities makes it easier to deal with these opportunities because you’re prepared; you have a plan. Being prepared makes it easier not to violate your highly motivated intention—to lose weight and keep it off.

Being highly motivated is good, but only if you can implement this motivation so you can reach your goal. 


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