The largest obstacle in any weight loss journey is finding the “motivation” to stick with your program. Time and time again, people struggle with staying active and making proper food choices because they have lost their motivation to commit. Motivation comes in many different forms for many different people. We know our families and friends will benefit if we are healthier. We know there are obvious health benefits of staying in shape. We know your sex appeal can increase dramatically when you shed a few pounds and feel better about yourself. What we often forget to realize however, is that true motivation stems from within!
I hear all the time about people who want to lose weight to see their daughters walk down the isle one day. They do not want to shorten their life span so they can be around to enjoy their spouses, their families, and their friends. Others just want to wear a bikini, fit into a smaller pair of jeans, or strongly desire finding their soulmate. But at what point in your journey do you start making the change for yourself?
My journey through “The Biggest Loser” and beyond has certainly been subject to the same struggles with finding motivation. It is the main reason why I have experienced the “yo-yo dieting” effect that millions of other people face each and everyday. You lose a few pounds, gain it back; lose a few again, and gain back even more. To be honest with you, my involvement with “Biggest Loser” was for the sake of other people in my life at the beginning. I wanted to be healthy for my wife Stefanie, my parents, and my friends who were all very concerned I would not see past the age of 30 with my unhealthy lifestyle. I committed to bettering myself, for everyone but myself. How can that be sustainable?
Through my weight loss successes, I now realize the transition was finally made to commit to a healthy lifestyle for me! The light switch was finally flipped in my head that I want this for myself. I am sick of settling for second best. I am sick of needing two seats on an airplane to fly somewhere. I am sick of accepting anything less than what I deserve. I share this story because the key component to your motivation, the integral part of committing yourself, the bare essentials of sustaining your results, comes from you! The truth is, it really does not matter what your motivations are to lose weight at first. If it is for your family or the ability to shop at designer clothing stores, fine. I won’t tell you where to start. The point is, eventually you go through this process, you start seeing the results you are looking for, you gain confidence about yourself, and that allows for your motivation to eventually be YOURSELF. It takes progress to make progress!
I know this may sound simplistic, but believe me it is much harder than it looks. You need to constantly remind yourself that you are better than this. You are better than settling for an unhealthy lifestyle. You do not have to feel bad for yourself anymore. Struggle and obstacles are a part of life. Life throws curve balls at us all the time, whether it is tragedy, hardship, divorce, or being laid off from work during a recession. But the important thing to take with you in finding your motivation is that you have to make a change for you! I am not a big believer in “will power”. If just having will power were enough, everyone would have the beach buff bodies we all long for. It is not that some people have will power and others do not, it is that some people are ready to change and others are not ready to change yet. The fact that you are enrolling in a weight loss challenge, the fact that you have attempted to lose weight in the past, the fact that you have contemplated bettering your health in some capacity, means you are ready to make a change. The key component is to maintain that mindset and find that fire inside you that keeps you on track.
Albert Einstein once said, “Within every great difficulty, lies opportunity”. The task of losing weight and keeping it off is identifying the difficulty in your life, and using it as an opportunity to make an incredible success story for yourself. My weight loss experiences have taught me that you do not need the best trainers nor the best food in the world to be successful. Rather, you just need to find something in your life that creates a mindset that you can’t fail anymore; that you won’t fail anymore! I have had doctors tell me “Neil, you cannot lose more than 200 lbs without weight loss surgery.” That statistics prove 95% of the obese population cannot lose a significant amount of weight and keep it off. My thoughts… 95% of the obese population do not sustain their weight loss because they are being convinced by others that they cannot do it. Do not accept that kind of defeat. Do not be just another weight loss statistic. Apply yourself, be yourself, and most importantly always keep fighting the good fight. Weight loss is a challenge, but I can assure you when you overcome this daunting of a challenge in your life, you are much better prepared mentally and physically for the next time you face one of life’s challenges. But you have to do it for you! The best way we can take care of other people in our lives is by taking care of ourselves first. The road to your success story is right in front of you. It is time to take that first step!
Also, I always recommend HealthyWage to anyone who asks how to make their diet more effective and fun. HealthyWage provides health incentives for everyone and makes accountability exciting. Recent studies show that incentives increase your odds of success. Check it out! And keep up the good work!