03 Jul The First Step Toward Change: What’s Your Why?
When you look at a flight of stairs, do you feel a lumpy dread hit your stomach? Do you pull out every piece of clothing you own each morning, just looking for something that fits and doesn’t make you feel chunky? Does your morning routine include handfuls of pills that only mask symptoms that plague you every day? Finally, does your doctor look over your charts with worry and plead with you to make changes?
Everyone has different reasons for getting healthy. A lot of people want to feel good playing with their kids again, and some just want to have enough energy to make it through the work day. For a real transformation, your desire to change MUST be greater than everything else—greater than your love for unhealthy food, your addiction to Mountain Dew, your hatred of exercise—greater than everything that will hold you back. Before and throughout your weight loss journey/creating a healthy lifestyle, you’ve got to establish and hold on to your “why.”
Think about why you want to lose weight and get healthy. When I talk to clients who are interested in our programs, that’s the first thing I ask them. “Why do you want to lose weight? What made you decide that today is the day you’re ready to make a change?” I’ve heard all kinds of answers. Some people say that they want to look good in their clothes again, some are worried about the risk of diabetes or heart disease, and others tearfully confess that they’ve lost control and just want to remember who they are again.
Talking about your why and verbalizing it to someone else is such an important step towards getting results. It means that you’re finally willing to admit that there is a problem and address it. Discussing the issue makes it real, something you have to face down instead of pushing to the back of your mind. That can be a scary, intimidating moment, but it makes you accountable for the problem and far more likely to conquer it.
You also need to realize that as you progress, your why can and should change. When I first decided to lose weight, I was 14 years old and 200 pounds. My motivation wasn’t to stave off diabetes, it was to finally shop with my friends and get boys to talk to me. Then I lost the weight and my life changed. As I got older, I had to determine why maintaining my health through college was a priority. Because of my family history, I knew that I could have issues getting pregnant. I decided to do everything I could to keep my body healthy enough to carry a child, and that thought helped me overcome temptation every time.
The point is, your motivation should change with your circumstances and your progress. When your doctor tells you you’re no longer in danger of diabetes, have a celebratory dance party and then move on to the next goal!
If you’re looking for ways to implement this, I’ve got a few suggestions. First, come up with a big why. What is your main reason for changing? What is the thought, fear, or goal that’s going to keep you from sneaking into the pantry at midnight? Write it down, tell a friend, post it on Instagram—just do something to keep yourself accountable to that goal. Next, keep a running list about why you love a healthy lifestyle once you have one. Write down how good you feel after meal prepping for the week, how you conquered the stairs to your office, or how great it is to wear your favorite shirt again. Keep the list somewhere where you can see it each day so it can remind you of everything you give up by falling into old habits.
Change is very hard and takes a lot of effort! We see clients who come in with the best intentions, then falter when things get hard. The people who have the most success have a firm grasp on why they are changing and remember it daily. They monitor their progress toward their goals and excitedly share it with others.
Here’s your assignment: Figure out your why. Think long and hard about it, then give me a call so that we can work together to find a plan of action. I know that with the right motivation, anything is possible! (So cheesy, but it’s really true!) Let’s get together and work toward your why today!