Thursday, May 17, 2012

Finding your WHY

Inspiration board I made to remind me of my "whys"
One of the biggest myths about weight loss is that those who are successful long term have somehow developed an ironclad willpower that makes them immune to temptations. As someone who has been on this weight loss journey for 16 months, let me tell you that is not the case! Even though I have lost 111 lbs, I have not developed a magic shield of immunity from temptation; there is a very good reason why I go out for ice cream on Saturdays instead of taking the cheaper option of having a half-gallon of it in my freezer! While there is no magical willpower pill that will make you lose 4 jean sizes in 2 days by eating whatever you want, there is something you can do which will help immensely in making healthy choices and that is to find a “why” that you want more than you want a bag of chips.

Recently I was listening to one of Jillian Michaels’ podcasts (these podcasts are fantastic by the way- check them out!) in which Jillian debunked the myth that willpower is the key to successful weight loss; in fact, Jillian compared willpower to a muscle that gets fatigued and fails if overused.  Instead, Jillian stated the key to long term success is discovering the true motivation behind why you want to lose weight. According to Jillian, the problem is that all too often we use cliché pat responses such as “I want to be healthy” or “I want to lose weight” as our motivation instead of digging deeper and coming up with specific tangible goals that we REALLY want (some of Jillian’s suggestions were “I want to have sex with the lights on” or “I want to rock a pair of skinny jeans.”)

The truth is that you and I are not always going to want to exercise or eat healthy foods.  If we really want to succeed, we need to stop answering the question of “why are you doing this” with politically correct answers! Jillian’s illustration really hit home to me, because let’s be honest here, 9 times out of 10 I am not going to be able to convince myself that I want “to be healthy” more than I want a piece of chocolate cheesecake!

So the question I need to ask is what do I want more than a stack of oreos? What do I want enough to make me put on my running shoes even when it is cold or raining?

Here are a few of my answers:
Love collecting medals from races!
  •  I want to be described as “sexy” and “hot” instead of “cute” or “nice personality”
  •  I want to be able to wear shorts
  •  I want to be able to go into any store in the mall and try on clothes without worrying if they have plus sizes
  • I want to not be the heaviest female in my family
  • I like the feeling that comes with knowing a guy is flirting with me because he finds me physically attractive
  • I want to be self-assured and confident
  • I want to never shop at Lane Bryant again
  • I want to have a whole wall full of medals from races that I have run all over the country
  •  I love saying, “this size 8 is too big, do you have it in a size 6?”
  • I never want to not be able to cross my legs again
  • I love looking in the mirror and seeing the outline of my abs
  •   I love when I shave my legs that I can actually see and feel how strong my calf and hamstring muscles are
What are your “non-politically” correct reasons for wanting to lose weight or get healthy? Please share them with us in the comments

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