This BodyTalk 4 Life newsletter is about weight loss. A lot of people dedicate their life to losing weight. They are always trying to lose weight and always failing to do it once and for all and move on to other things in life. If you identify, by all means do read on. In this newsletter, I will lead your thinking in a direction that is likely to help you find the motivation and the will to follow through this time around. I am also sharing my own success story with weight loss. I hope you find that insightful and inspirational.
Weight loss: Ask the right question to get the ultimate answer to weight loss
“When there is a will, there is a way!” I am sure you have heard this one before. And if you haven’t yet found a way to lose weight, it must mean that you don’t have the will, i.e. the right motivation to do so. Yes, that’s right – failing to lose weight is an indication that you are not motivated enough. So how can you motivate yourself and follow through? The right motivation always comes from asking the right questions. Ask yourself the right questions, and the right answers will come to you. Quite often your focus is on the wrong questions and that’s the main problem behind lack of motivation to follow through with a weight loss plan.
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to weight loss:
Questions #1: Why can’t I lose weight?
Ok, so you’ve tried it, you have failed (perhaps not just once) and now you have it in your head that it is difficult. (By the way, “trying” means “failing with grace”. Next time, don’t try to lose weight, just do it!) Anyway, if you haven’t been successful in keeping your weight under control, the question that’s most likely on your mind is “Why can’t I lose weight?” Wrong question! It already states that you can’t do it. Repeating it over and over means you believe you can’t do it. If that’s your belief, of course you will set yourself up for failure. Success will mean your belief is wrong and you don’t want to be wrong. You want to be right! So you continue to fail to lose weight but you get a huge pay off at the same time – you get to be right: “See, I can’t lose weight! I told you so!” Bottom line, you need to ask a smarter question.
Questions #2: How can I lose weight?
Although this may sound like a smarter question to ask, it is actually quite dumb. Everybody knows how to lose weight. It is simple – eat healthier and exercise more! The HOW is not your problem. Remember this: When the WHY is big enough, the HOW takes care of itself! So you need to ask yourself WHY in order to find strong motivation. Once you are motivated enough, you will figure out how to do it very easily. When there is a will, there is a way!
Question #3: Why should I lose weight?
Although this question is concerned with the WHY, it is still not a very motivating one. The word “should” usually evokes resistance. In response to this question you are likely to recite advice you heard or read somewhere. The doctor said you should lose weight to avoid a heart attack. An article in a health magazine suggested that obesity correlates with increased incidences of cancer. Your husband implied that a slimmer version of you would score more brownie points with him. Whatever the case, if you are using an external source for your motivation, you will immediately feel resistant and rebellious. Needless to say, that won’t produce very successful results.
Question #4: Why do I want to lose weight?
This is the kind of question that is most likely to motivate you. This question demands an answer that points to motivation from within. When the WHY is big enough, the HOW takes care of itself! Find reasons that inspire you personally and things will fall into place. Do it for the wrong reasons (e.g. to get approval from someone else), and it will be a struggle.
My personally weight loss journey
When I moved to New Zealand, almost 7 years ago now, I started getting more and more arthritic pain in most of my joints. I had already had arthritis for a number of years but the humidity in New Zealand seemed to trigger it quite badly. Being in pain and not being able to move much meant I couldn’t dance and I couldn’t play the piano. I could hardly think of anything worse – dancing and playing the piano happen to be the two things that I am most passionate about.
I did some research and discovered that toxins in the body are the main trigger for joint inflammation. Once I had a good understanding of how it all worked, cleaning up my diet and introducing appropriate exercises was a no brainer. I considered it a small price to pay in exchange for being able to dance and play the piano again. I gave up all processed food, sugar, cheese, tea and coffee, alcohol and smoking. I took up yoga and meditation. I wasn’t even thinking about losing weight. My sole focus was on doing service to my body so my body can return the favour and allow me to enjoy life again.
I lost 7 kilos in the process and that was not even my main goal, it was just a nice bonus. I also gained a greater sense of well being as well as freedom to move, travel and do the things I enjoy doing. The reason why I was successful was because I was very clear on WHY I was doing it and the WHY was indeed big enough. I was doing it for myself, I simply wanted to be happy.
Don’t get me wrong though! You don’t have to manifest a painful condition in order to find motivation. Although getting out of pain can be a powerful motivating factor, focusing on something positive will have better results. What are the things you will be able to do, what are the feelings that you will be able to feel, who would you be and what would that mean to you personally if you lost weight? If you find yourself truly inspired by some of the answers you give to these questions, use that as a source of your motivation. If you don’t feel particularly inspired, then eitherkeep searching until you find a big enough WHY, or face it: maybe you really don’t want to lose weight. There is nothing wrong with that. Simply give yourself permission to be exactly the way you are and move on with life feeling happy. It is never about the weight per se anyway. It is all about what makes you happy.