Finding Motivation to Lose Weight

Finding Motivation to Lose WeightFinding motivation to lose weight after that initial burst of excitement that comes when you first start a weight loss program is one of the biggest hurdles we have to overcome. To make it worse, your motivation is likely to fade more than once, so it’s a hurdle that has to be jumped over and over again if you expect to ever get to the level of fitness that you’re looking for.

The good news is that finding motivation to lose weight isn’t as hard as most people think. You just have to know where to look for it.

Contrary to popular belief, motivation does not come from will power.

You decided you wanted to get in shape because you were looking for a specific result. Making progress towards that end result is where most of your motivation is going to come from.

I’m sure you’ve never seen someone steadily make progress towards their ultimate goal and still get discouraged. Discouragement never happens until you get to a point where you stop making progress, otherwise known as hitting a plateau.

That being said, first we need to know the true reason why you want to be fit. Then you have to track how your weight loss routine is getting you closer to that end result.

Most people have trouble finding motivation to loss weight because they either haven’t figured out why they really want to lose weight or they are focused on results that have absolutely nothing to do with their true goal because they don’t really know what their true goal is.

Finding Motivation to Lose Weight: The Process Revealed

Write down your “Why.”

Why do you want to get in shape? You have to be honest with yourself. Sometimes you have to go three or four questions deep to find your real motivation.

For example, let’s say we know a woman named Jane, and Jane wants to lose weight. Jane would need to ask herself, “Why do I want to lose weight?”

Jane may think she just wants to fit in a size six.

Not good enough, Jane.

Now she has to ask herself, “Why do I want to fit a size six?”

It may be because Jane likes a certain style of clothing that won’t look good unless she’s a size six.

The next question would be, “Why do you want to look good in those particular clothes, Jane?”

She thinks it over and she writes that it is because when she goes out on weekends, she’s noticed that women who are around a size six and wear that particular style of clothing tend to get approached by men a lot more than anyone else.

Jane is almost there. She just needs to take it another level deeper and ask herself, “Why am I concerned with getting attention from men?”

Jane realizes she’s been single for too long and is starting to miss having a special someone in her life. She feels losing weight will make her more attractive and give her a bigger selection of men to choose from so she’d have a better chance of finding the right one.

Jane just made a vital discovery for her success. Now that she knows what truly motivates her, she can stay focused on it and let it fuel her fitness program.

She doesn’t really care about wearing a size six or even the clothes that she wants to fit into. Jane’s true motivation to lose weight is that she wants a boyfriend. (If she wanted to, she could even take it another level deeper and ask why she wants a boyfriend.)

Tracking results is important, but Instead of obsessing solely over the size she wears, she can also pay attention to how many men flirt with her each day for added motivation since that’s what she’s really after.

Side note: I know looks aren’t the only thing that’s important when attracting a mate. This was just an example. Read my story if you want a real-life example of why this is so important. Not knowing on my true goals robbed me of my motivation shortly after I got certified as a personal trainer and then I blew up to 34% body fat over the next ten years.

Finding Motivation to Lose Weight: on Autopilot

Lastly, and some will agree that it’s probably the most important, you need to identify and reshape your diet and exercise habits. This one is probably the toughest challenge, but it’s critical. Reshape your habits and you may find yourself working out when you’re not feeling motivated to do it just because it’s what you’re used to doing at a certain time and day of the week.

I recently started reading a book about habits. One of the lessons in the book led me to attacking one bad habit that eventually led to me getting back into fitness.

Today’s Homework Assignment. Do This Now

  1. Habits are a major force behind everything we do. We’re going to attack and reshape our habits. One of the best books on this topic is The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg. I will be referring to it often so you want to buy the book right away and apply what you learn about habits.
  2. Ask yourself, “Why do I want to get fit?” Then take that question 4-5 levels deep until you discover the true motivation behind your fitness goals. If you still think it’s hard staying motivated after you’ve found it, start over. It means you probably haven’t really found it yet.
  3. Leave what you come up with in the comments below so we can work on them together as a community. I’d love to know what’s truly motivating you.

This Post Has 16 Comments

  1. I totally agree that figuring out your “why” is the most important step in the process of weight loss and even if it is to attract a mate that’s a valid reason. Like you said, while looks are not the most important I think looks are a big part in initially attracting a mate. It’s just biology.

    Also I read somewhere that being fit is sign of health and vitality and it’s in our programming to be attracted to people like that because they can produce healthy children.

    Yes we should love ourselves for who we are but loving ourselves includes taking care of our body. If we don’t take care of it, our body will not take care of us. It will give into illness and other diseases that come with being overweight and obese.

    1. Hi Vanessa. The story was to only to give an example of the process of figuring out your Why because many people may need it before they can understand where to begin, but yes, you are absolutely right.

      There are things going on in our subconscious that we aren’t even aware of when it comes to choosing a mate and I’m glad you brought that up. Some people may not be attracted to overweight people because they’re subconsciously associating them with sickness.

      Definitely something to think about. Thanks.

  2. Wow ,this article is well written, it’s very true the reason why we don’t achieve our goals in life is because of lack of the right kind of motivation.

    I’m a good example of this situation, every time when I start some workouts on my stomach, I will end up giving up.

    This is because of not setting a clear vision about why I’m doing that exercise and not tracking records as well .But today I have seen my mistakes. I will correct my mistakes. Thanks a lot.

    1. Hi Lorrinc. You hit on a very important point just now. You said, “….we don’t achieve our goals IN LIFE….”

      Knowing you’re Why isn’t only important for getting results in fitness. It applies to everything else in life as well. Before starting any project, it’s important to not only know how you’re going to do it, but why you’re doing it. Good luck to you, Lorrinc.

  3. Hi Sybull

    I came across your post on behalf of my wife who has always struggled not just with weight loss, but also the motivation to stay focused on her eating habits.

    I showed this to my wife and asked her what her “why” was according to your article. The interesting thing is she really had no clue!

    She will be rereading your article tonight and promises to do some soul searching lol

    Thanks for creating some meaningful dialogue 🙂

    1. Hi, Mike. That comment made me chuckle. lol. I’m glad you brought it to her attention. Now she can put some thought into it and really focus on what she’s trying to accomplish with all that sweating in the gym.

  4. Getting to the real reason behind finding motivation to workout is something that can be hard to do. Of course the obvious reasons are to be healthy or to look better, but I like how you said we need to find deeper motivation than just that. My motivation to lose weight is because I know down the line it will be harder to lose weight. I’m in my late 20’s and don’t want to gain a gut that my dad had. My dad recently lost weight and looks a lot better now but it was really tough for him and he had health issues before that. I don’t want to get to that point so I want to make the change in my life now.

    1. I’m glad you’re doing it and staying motivated at a young age. The trick is to make sure you keep that same enthusiasm up as you get older. People don’t gain weight because they get older. They gain weight because they stop exercising as they get older.

      My dad has always been in shape for as far back as I can remember because he played tennis and rode a bike. I’m glad your dad has taken the weight off. It’s even more important as we get older.

  5. Hey great post! You are right in saying getting to the why is very important, its funny because half the time we don’t even know the real reason why we set the goals we set!

    It is true that results also increase motivation and the will to go on. When I first started I would class a result as getting out of the gym after the workout, that way I kept believing and seeing proof that I could do it!

    1. yes, Kourtney, many people get started simply because they see other people doing it or because it’s a certain time of year like New year’s or Spring. That might be enough to get started but it isn’t going to be enough to keep going. Good for you. I’m glad you’re getting results.

  6. What a great post! I definitely agree with you that the WHY is very important. For me, I know that eating healthy and keeping active are an important lifestyle for me to keep up because of how it makes me feel (and look) but I know that it keeps me on point in life and gives me that zazzle and sparkle that I need to tackle all the things I want to do with my life! My passion is self-development and being the best version of myself so…that is the why and it makes sense that I am motivated to keep going.

    1. You’re an amazing woman, Andrea. Keep it going.

  7. I know real motivation can make a huge difference. But even then I sometimes feel like I am lacking motivation in the gym and don’t concentrate 100% during a session. When that happens, what should I do?

    1. Start with your Why. What’s making you want to get fit in the first place? Second, what’s causing your attention to wander? Whatever it is, remove it.

      If it’s because you have something on your mind that you need to get done, maybe getting those tasks done before you start will help. If it’s because you keep adjusting your music, which is very common, try working out without the music or make a playlist so you don’t have to stop to change songs. It’s also important to have your whole routine planned ahead of time so you’re not figuring out what to do when you get there.

      Hope that helps. If not, do let me know.

  8. Loved your article on finding ways to motivate for weight loss. You are so right when you say the WHY is so important. A great Life Coach of our time, Tony Robbins is a great advocate of using the WHY for motivation.
    Also enjoyed how you say that you sometimes have to go three or four questions deep in order to find the true WHY. I am also in the weight loss game and a huge believer in habits.

    1. Thanks, Roy. I LOVE TONY ROBBINS!!

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