Have you ever had the experience of wanting to lose weight so badly, having so many great reasons to eat better and exercise more… and then the second you get stressed out or find yourself in front of your favorite food all that flies out the window? This is actually a very common experience. Your behavioral patterns are so wired in that they are almost automatic, and in the moment all the reasons for making healthier choices seem to evaporate.
To change this, you need to crystallize in your mind your reasons for changing and arm yourself for those times when you forget.
Take a few minutes to write down all of the reasons you have to lose weight. Answer the following questions
- Why do you want to lose weight?
- How might losing weight affect your social connections (friends, love life, family, career)?
- How might losing weight impact your energy & engagement in activities (like hobbies, sports, outdoor activities, dancing)
- How might losing weight affect your physical and psychological health?
- How might losing weight impact how you feel about yourself & your body?
Once you have written everything down, you want to record the most compelling reasons in list form in order of importance. This can be in any form that will be easy for you to refer back to regularly, such as an index card or daily texts from your phone.
To help crystallize your reasons, make a habit to read through the list 2-3 times a day. You can add post it notes in places you frequent to help remind you like your car or office or even post in areas you are likely to go for a treat like the fridge or snack shelf. You can even add post it notes to remind you to do regular activities such as exercise and planning healthy meals.
Additionally, you want to read this list whenever the urge hits to go back to old behaviors or overeat.
I also encourage you to take a minute and share your reasons with people you trust and are supporting your success. This could be family members or a support group. This will help others to support your reasons for wanting to get healthy, plus declaring them “out loud” will help even further to cement your reasons in your mind.