Why Weight Loss Isn’t Just About Motivation, but Making a Choice

Apr 13, 2015 at 10:36 am |
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Ah, the elusive component we all chase: motivation. I’m pretty sure 95% of Pinterest is motivational quotes; I know I’ve read hundreds and there’s a reason for it. Most of us believe that if we could just grab on to that magical motivation it would solve most of our weight loss problems. Right? I know I felt that way for years. So, today we talk motivation. Let’s break it down. Webster’s Dictionary defines motivation as “the psychological feature that arouses an organism to action toward a desired goal.” Um, well doesn’t that make it sound like a cake walk? We all know that weight loss is no such thing, although many times we want to just walk to the nearest cake! Right? Right.

I find motivation to be a tricky thing. Let me clarify. I personally believe that motivation lives and is birthed in our emotions. As we all know, emotions change with the wind and are not always that reliable. I don’t know about you, but “motivation” does not wake me up in the morning to go run outside in 30-degree NYC weather. Making a choice does. I remember Jillian told me one time that you can have all the motivation and good intentions in the world, but if you don’t make good choices, it means nothing. So true.

Now, I’m not saying motivation is bad, that is not where I’m going with this at all. As a matter of fact, I think it is a vital part of any health-related journey. The most encouraging thing I can tell you is that it’s really pretty simple. You can really “dumb it down” to simple choices. Ask yourself OUT LOUD in the morning, “Olivia, are you going to get up and workout or are you going to lay here and sleep?” Nine times out of ten when you physically ask yourself to make a choice you will make the right one. If on that occasional morning you say “no,” go one step further and ask yourself “why?” Be honest when you answer. “I just don’t want to,” or “I’m tired,” aren’t specific enough.

If you are serious about achieving a certain goal & you are exhibiting behavior to sabotage that goal, maybe there is something else going on inside. Are you feeling defeated, anxious, or scared? It helps to identify those feelings and work through them. Even if you still decide not to get up, at least there is a victory in identifying what you are feeling. It’s honest and it’s a start.

I also think that journalling is huge. Sometimes it just helps to flesh out what you are feeling on paper. Also, when you are feeling good and on the right track, write it down! Then when you are struggling, you’ll have something tangible to go back to for encouragement. Trust me, your own words will be the most encouraging of anyone’s. I still go back & read my journals from the ranch when I need a good kick in the butt! I am reminded of how hard I worked and how important this journey is.

Now, let’s go back to the emotional side of motivation. Once you have made the choice to get up, you can lean on the motivational part. Make it specific, and specific to only you. Right now I am pregnant with my first baby and I want to be as healthy as I can. So, when I am at SoulCycle or swimming, I think about wanting to have strong legs and arms to carry this baby once he comes because that helps push me further in my workouts! Motivation can be anything: your kids, an item of clothing, a trip, a race, anything. Just pick something special to you. Also, whatever motivates you can change often, and it should to keep your inspiration fresh!

Remember the joy in all of this is that your journey is made up of thousands of simple choices. The great news is if you make a bad one, it’s OK: we ALL do. You will get to redeem yourself with the next choice right around the corner. We can do this!

What motivates you? I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on all things motivation! Let me know in the comments.

Do you have what it takes to lose weight? The answer is YES, and here’s why.