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Here’s a Way to Check On Your Motivation for Losing A Lot of Weight and Your Motivation for Keeping the Weight Off

Posted Dec 01 2012 5:00am

Just how motivated are you to reduce your weight? And once at goal weight, how motivated are you to maintain lost weight?

You should know that your motivation doesn’t have to be fixed. It can change from week to week. Things like your emotional state, the method you’re using to lose weight, competing goals, life circumstances, and many other factors may affect your motivation.

When it comes to doing something about your weight, you may operate on the basis of positive motivation or the value and importance of controlling your weight. Expecting to feel better, look better, and be happier are examples of positive motivation. You could also operate on negative motivation or what you think the emotional costs will be for controlling your weight. Regretting the loss of pleasure and doubts about succeeding are examples of negative motivation.

In reality, you might have a mixture of positive and negative motivation when it comes to losing your unwanted weight and maintaining permanent weight loss. It’s best to check your motivation out over time: before you start, when you start, and from time to time during the weight-loss process, since motivation can fluctuate. You can use the Weight Control Motivation Scale below to do this.


                                  Weight Control Motivation Scale
                                                     by Stephen Stotland and colleagues

During the past week, how often did you think or feel each of the following:

Never      A few times      Every day      Several times a day
(1point)     (2 points)            (3 points)         (4 points)

1 Thought about the physical benefits (increased fitness, better health, more energy) of weight control.

2 Thought about the psychological benefits (increased self-esteem, look better, feel happier) of weight control.

3 Thought about the physical pain (illness, disability) or fear of pain associated with my current weight.

4 Thought about the psychological pain (guilt, depression, embarrassment) associated with my current weight.

5 Had feelings of resentment about weight control.

6 Felt regretful about all the things I must give up for weight control (e.g., foods I like, old and comfortable habits, favorite restaurants, parties, etc.).

7 Felt doubtful about succeeding in weight control.

8 Thought that trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight was too big of an effort.


Scoring:
Positive motivation=sum of items 1, 2, 3, 4.
Negative motivation=sum of items 5, 6, 7, 8.


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