Weight loss motivation is crucial in order to create and sustain the deep changes in behavior that can result in permanent weight loss.
Perhaps the most common way to summon weight loss motivation is through reward, hoping to elicit better behavior with a big reward.
On TV, the contestants on “The Biggest Loser” vie for money and other prizes. The long-term weight loss success is nil. (See Why I Hate “The Biggest Loser.”)
Many people attempt weight loss motivation through pleasurable rewards like trips, new wardrobes or, yes, food extravaganzas.
Every single client of mine who tried the Weight Watchers approach (hundreds of my clients through the years have attempted the diet) drove straight from their GOAL CELEBRATION WEIGH-IN to a fast food drive-thru restaurant and binged. The client who held the record among those folks tried Weight Watchers 22 times. SHE (not me) repeated the old definition of insanity – doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result – at our first consultation.
Movie and television stars are paid to be weight loss spokespeople, but quickly regain the weight when the contract runs out. Financial rewards motivate in other ways, with one spouse or partner often attempting to reward the other for pursuing a healthier weight.
All of these are utter failures as motivating techniques, because they are extrinsic, or coming from outside of us. They can also seem far away, or we can lose interest in them, especially if we encounter pain in the form of deprivation, hunger denial, and lack of enjoyment with food.
Also, when we feel the need to be repeatedly rewarded for something, we actually begin to wonder how much value it holds. In other words, sabotaging thoughts like “is it really worth it, if I have to be rewarded for doing it?” begin to derail motivation. Surprisingly, even children stop playing with their favorite toy, after they are given a treat for doing it several times!
Weight Loss Motivation that Works
Studies show risk aversion is more powerful than extrinsic factors. We naturally don’t want to lose something… so, for example, if you pay for a personal trainer or a coach up front, you are more likely to follow through and show up. The more paid, the better the results!
It’s easy to ignore the $59 fitbit when we don’t want to know the day’s results… but ignoring a big ticket coaching session or class feels wrong. We hate to lose our money!
Another aid to success is intrinsic motivation. This is where we are motivated by how we feel on the inside when we behave in desired ways. For instance, runners love the endorphin high they feel after running long distances. Hot yoga students who grow to crave their yoga class have developed an awareness of what detoxification of the body feels like – clean, light, sleek.
Long-term, permanent weight loss has its own inherent reward. The feeling of satisfaction in knowing that you beat the odds, and did something that will benefit the quality of your days throughout life, and most likely lengthen life, is something not many people can claim.
As I maintained my own weight loss of 90+ lbs, I became more and more attuned to my body, following body cues for hunger and satiation. My clients in my enLIGHTen Your Life! Mastermind Course for Permanent Weight Loss learn to follow body cues to truly nourish their bodies.
It may sound simple, but it’s not that easy!
After all, our culture encourages us to eat fast, eat fat and eat again when we don’t have sustainable energy.
How does your plate look when you are following the body cues, eating only when hungry, and stopping when satiated?
We hear the phrase “Fat Shaming” quite often today. The subject is in the news again due to a Facebook post by Rachel Taylor on her experience in an Old Navy clothing store.
Here’s part of her post:
Today I was shopping in Old Navy, standing in between a teenage girl and her mom. The girl picked up a plus-size tank top, showed it to her mom and said, “Look! Me and So-and-so can fit in this tank top!” Her mom laughed and said, “Yeah, you could! That thing is huge!”
I couldn’t help it; I started crying. I guess the girl and her mom walked away. I have no idea. My husband walked me out of the store to the car. I sat in the car crying for a long time but eventually went back inside to finish my shopping.
Rachel went on to buy the tank top and posted a picture of herself wearing it. She said she looked fierce in it. Here’s the picture:
It’s true! She looks great!
But, is this really an example of fat shaming?
Non-Diet Weight Loss Tip #13
Quite often, clients tell me their bodies have gone beserk and are putting on fat at an alarming rate.
Well, yes and no. The body is NOT a fat-making machine.
When assaulted by poor eating habits, excessive dieting, fasts and cleanses, or any other fad… it seeks to regain balance.
It’s common knowledge being a couch potato is not healthy.
But, even if you exercise regularly, your job may be forcing you into couch potato condition and endangering your health.
Today’s computer, once merely convenient, is now essential to most jobs, and has absorbed a lot of other tasks that used to require running around on two feet: scanning, printing, emailing, faxing, interoffice delivery….
Sitting now dominates our work days and the ramifications are approaching the danger zone, according to new research at Harvard University.
Yes, sitting is the new smoking.
Computer use has tied us to seated position, and many of us don’t move for hours. Even if you exercise regularly, but sit the rest of the day, you are described as a sedentary individual. The danger zone starts at sitting 8 hours a day.
What’s the effect of this phenomenon on our bodies? Research has linked excessive sitting to obesity, diabetes, some cancers, heart disease and higher death rates.
It may be hard to believe, but the push for body diversity in media’s portrayal of women started over twenty years ago.
In the 1990s, plus size beauty Emme became the first model to earn a supermodel salary at a size 16 or 18. Despite two decades, change seemed to be crawling slowly until Australian actress Rebel Wilson lit up the screen in the Pitch Perfect movies.
Advertising has embraced race and sexual identity more easily than age or size. However, women of varying sizes and shapes are slowly creeping into advertising, the runway, and even movies.
I was eagerly awaiting the release of “Pitch Perfect 2″, to see the irrepressible actress who gravitates towards playing women with high self-esteem and a wicked sense of humor.
And, she IS most definitely the the hot one.
I witnessed violence at Starbucks last week.
Fists didn’t fly. No weapons were present. No blood.
But violence nevertheless.
When I arrived, I heard a terrible screaming and crying. A little girl – I would estimate her to be between two and three years old – was in a full-blown meltdown. If you’ve ever been around a child, you’ve heard that mix of scream and sob that sounds bigger than any adult can make.
The scene went on for over five minutes, but here’s part of what I saw:
As I celebrate my 15th anniversary of sustaining a 92-pound weight loss, I feel unimaginable sweetness in my life.
My journey to my own sweet spot began as a tiny girl when my grandmother and I would sneak candy as a secret.
I couldn’t admit to my mother I had developed a taste for candy, cookies, cake, pie, brownies – the list was endless – because my grandmother was diabetic and was not supposed to be eating sugary things!
Not only did I get the message that sweet things weren’t good for you, it had to be hidden. It was shameful!
As I developed a serious sugar addiction, I felt an outright fear around sweet foods – I craved them and I loathed them – quite a double message – and I hated myself for loving sweet things so much.
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