Why Weight Loss Motivation Doesn’t Matter As Much As Just Doing It

Your motivation for losing weight might seem like the most important decision you have to make. But in fact, it isn't. The most important decision is taking the actions needed to actually lose the weight.

January 22, 2016
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There are a lot of really fine-sounding motivations for losing weight. You might say you are losing weight for your self-esteem, losing weight for your health, losing weight for your wedding, or even losing weight for your kids. All of those motivators are noble and important, but at the end of the day, your motivation matters less than just getting the job done.

If I had a nickel for every time someone told me they were having difficulty finding a new motivation for losing weight, I’d be rich. Truly I would.

Oftentimes the person was trying to lose weight for one of the reasons I listed above. For example, one lovely woman in my weight loss class wanted to drop 25 pounds before her daughter’s wedding the following year. She hadn’t lost much weight in six months, despite the wedding date quickly approaching.

Why not?

Because her motivation wasn’t strong enough? No, she really was motivated to lose weight.

What wasn’t happening was action.

Her motivation was terrific. It was a great reason to lose weight. But her actions weren’t falling in line with her motivation.

I am often asked what my motivation was for losing weight. The truth is my motivation changed over time. At first, I was just tired of being fat. As the weight started to come off and I was no longer officially morbidly obese, my motivation shifted to feeling better about myself, being able to do more with my kids, and looking better.

Motivation shifts like the wind but actions stay constant.

In order to lose weight, you’ve got to find a motivator and make your actions match what you want to accomplish.

For instance, if you want to lose weight for your health but don’t exercise, change the types of foods you eat, or cut your calories, all the health-related motivation in the world won’t cause you to drop pounds.

On the flip side, if you make the changes required to lose weight for your health, the weight will begin to come off, even if your motivation changes over time.

To help you out, I’ve created this action checklist as a way for you to quit focusing solely on motivation and instead focus more on actions.

– Ask yourself what your motivation for losing weight is. Write it down.

– Analyze your weight loss plan. Does it have all you need to successfully lose weight? For example, do you know how many calories you need, how much exercise you should be doing, and what to do if you mess up?

– Accept that motivation alone is not enough to lose weight.

– Set up an accountability system for your weight loss. Find a group of like-minded friends, join a Facebook group, or join a weight loss community online.

– Check in with yourself regularly to see if your motivation for losing weight is still the same or if it has shifted. Accept the shift if it happens, but keep doing what it takes to lose weight.

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