In my last blog I talked about two attributes we need to accomplish our weight loss goals (although they could apply to nearly anything we know would be a challenge): Perseverance and Patience (P&P).
My point was that people are always looking for the quick fix, the easy solution, and as far as I’m concerned, there is no such thing.
At the end of the blog I also mentioned there’s one more, essential, part needed to bring your journey to a successful conclusion. It’s so important, in fact, I decided it needed its own blog.
As I said earlier, Perseverance and Patience are the gears that will get the vehicle up and over the hill (or up and over the many hills you will face).
Motivation is the ignition that gets the engine started in the first place. And, just like P&P, there are no easy answers on how to achieve it.
Motivation is something that comes from within. You can’t talk yourself into it. You can’t trick yourself into thinking you’re motivated.
So where does that initial spark come from?
We often think that before someone is ready to make any life changing decisions they have to hit rock bottom or face a do-or-die moment. While that is certainly how it works for a lot of people, like everything else in life, that’s not the only way to approach it. Instead of waiting for that all or nothing showdown, there might be a way to ease yourself (or back-door your way) into the right state of mind.
In my last blog I told the story about how my boyfriend, Michael, when we met, started out as an adorable butterball of 195 pounds. Once he began to apply himself, over the course of several months he succeeded in dropping forty pounds. And he’s been able to keep it off ever since.
Through Perseverance and Patience he succeeded in sticking to his plan, which meant working out, either at the gym or at home, at least three or four times a week, and a new nutrition plan, including some of the better protein bars and shakes on the market.
But, you may ask, what was his Motivation? What was it that got him off the couch in the first place? He likes to tell people I kicked him off the couch and then burned it so he had no choice but to do something else.
The truth, while not nearly as combustible, is no less interesting.
Michael already knew he needed to lose weight, but for reasons even he could not articulate, he never made an effort to try.
I suggested he join me on my workouts. He agreed, but with some reluctance. He didn’t really feel any compulsion to do this. Nor did he see anything to suggest he would stay with it in the long run.
In other words, he lacked true motivation.
But, as a favor to me, mostly, he promised to stick it out for a short while.
That “short while” turned into several weeks, which extended to a few months; and to this day he continues to maintain the weight loss he achieved three years ago.
And here’s the thing: He never really experienced that do-or-die moment. It came to him gradually, over time. And this is what I mean by easing yourself into the right mindset, or reaching it through the back door.
While he wasn’t ready to commit himself, Michael’s willingness to stick it out (Perseverance & Patience again) afforded him the time to see the beginning of a change.
From there his confidence grew. He didn’t want to stop. And a genuine commitment was born.
Once more, I will say this over and over and over again: No two people are alike. Some of us will never make that first step without a rock-bottom moment. For some reason, there are those who won’t make a move until they reach that point of do or die.
However, there are some—and I like to think the majority of us—who can ease our way into a commitment toward weight loss; gradually, one step, one squat, one press, one protein shake at