Need More Motivation?

If Motivation were a person, I think he or she would feel highly misunderstood.  I have the privilege of working with men and women who are trying to lose weight.  Of course, weight loss isn’t just about losing weight and hitting a magic number. Weight gain, and specifically obesity, is complex and highly inter-related to stress, sleep, social and environmental factors, in addition to diet and exercise. One of the things I here so often is a version of, “I need more motivation and more willpower.”  But motivation waxes and wanes, and willpower is limited.  The problem really isn’t about have MORE, but HOW to harness the power of motivation and use willpower wisely.

Intrinsic motivation is the type of motivation needed to sustain change.  Ironically, extrinsic motivation is the type that most health professionals are fluent in using. Extrinsic motivation is driven by external rewards such as accolades or can be fear-based.  It could be some version of, “if you don’t follow the advice I give, you will not achieve your desired results.”  With weight loss, I believe it’s essential to take a holistic approach where the patient is an active participant in designing and planning their treatment.

WHY do you want to lose weight? And don’t give a simple answer of “better health,” or to “feel better.” I promise that those answers won’t motivate you to change deeply ingrained habits. Change is hard. Of course, staying the same is also hard.  As the saying goes, choose your hard.  When you work hard to change behaviors (so that you can be the best, most vibrant version of your true self), then you feel empowered and strong.

Motivation comes from realizing that there is no one else on the planet that lives, breathes, eats, thinks and moves just like you. None of us are the same, and yet all of us are really the same. We struggle with the same basic challenges and insecurities.  If you know you need to lose weight, your first step will be to admit that it’s really not just about the weight.  It’s about the habits, choices and circumstances that caused you to gain weight. Let me be emphatic:  there are bodies that are large, beautiful and healthy, just as there are slender and fit-looking bodies that are unhealthy.  If you have let your health take a backseat and  you want to reclaim it, then you’ll need to find your motivation.  Motivation can come from external sources, but the kind that keeps you going is intrinsic motivation and only you can make it happen.  Here’s the thing though, you don’t have to do it alone.  You should surround yourself with people and professionals who will challenge you to grow and expand.  If you want more motivation, start with doing a thorough self-assessment and be honest with yourself.  And then put that bad boy on repeat!  And along the way, reach out for support.  We’d love to come along side you and help.

Nutrition Solutions

Losing Weight.. And Keeping It Off

Weekly Class Overview:  “Ongoing Weight Management”

Losing weight is challenging; Keeping it off is even harder.
Most diets will work for short-term weight loss, and really you have so many options to choose from. Evidence to date supports that many different types of diets can work for weight loss, but regardless of the type of diet used, a negative energy balance must be present for fat loss to occur.  In other words, caloric deficit is still the foundation for weight loss.  The bigger question remains:  how do people maintain that weight loss long-term?  The answer lies somewhere between, “it’s personal” and “it’s extremely nuanced.”

Losing weight and keeping it off requires nothing less than a complete lifestyle transformation.  Losing weight sustainably involves managing stress, getting quality sleep, and creating new habits around diet and exercise.  This proves easier said than done considering many of our existing habits began in early childhood. We live in a culture that promotes sedentary behavior–a culture where it’s often cheaper to eat junk food than it is whole, natural foods.  We live in a culture where it’s OK, and even encouraged to medicate strong emotions with junk food.

Individuals looking to lose or maintain weight MUST arrange their world for success.  Meal planning must become priority.  Physical activity must become a priority.  Managing stress and sleeping well must become a priority.  First, a person must recognize the extreme importance of self-care and arrange their environment in a way that supports the health behaviors they need to succeed.

Finally, any good plan must be supported.  Build your team with expert nutritionists, fitness trainers, counselors or psychologists and culinary experts.  Build your friend base to include friends who want to do active things, and friends that are making health and nutrition choices that you wish to emulate.  What are the health habits of those around you?  Do these people have health, vibrancy and energy?  Do they live to eat, or eat to live?  You are a product of those people you spend the most time with.  Don’t believe me? Test it out.  Look at the 5 people that you spend the most time with.  If you are struggling to maintain your healthy habits, look no further than your peers, friends, family and coworkers.  Either you must be the change you wish to see, or you will have to set appropriate boundaries.

Check back often.  We love to do cooking classes and we love to be out at grocery stores, teaching people how to shop smart.  Here’s our schedule:  Nutrition Solutions Schedule