motivational article from

"The thing is, we have to want it enough AND we need to work with ourselves, not against ourselves."

There seem to be 2 age old questions to do with losing weight -

1. What's the “secret” to losing weight?
2. Why is it so hard to lose weight?

Question 1 can be answered straight away. The secret to losing weight is to Eat Less and Move More. That's it in a nutshell. However the answer to question 2 is a bit more challenging. You see needing to lose weight isn't enough to make it happen. Even wanting to lose weight won't necessarily do it either. The thing is, we have to want it enough AND we need to work with ourselves, not against ourselves.

What do I mean? Well, every single person on the planet, whether they realise it or not, is fundamentally driven by one of two desires – the desire to get away from pain or to go towards pleasure. Furthermore, it turns out that more of us are driven by the desire to get away from pain than towards pleasure. That is an amazingly powerful piece of information to have about how our mind works. It means that instead of telling ourselves something we need to know, we start telling ourselves the things we need to know the most.

This month, I thought we'd put this piece of wisdom to practical use.

STEP 1: Take out a sheet of paper and across the top write, “10 Reasons for Me to Lose Weight” and then start writing. Don't stop to think too much about what you are going to write. When we do, we tend to make judgements on what we are going to say. You aren't going to be showing this list to anyone (unless you want to), so you can be as honest or as blunt as you want to be. Here's a mix of some of the reasons people have given me:

1. Look better
2. Feel great
3. Live Longer
4. Have more confidence
5. Feel more attractive
6. Help me in work
7. Smaller clothes
8. Save me money
9. Finally shut some of my family and friends up
10. Stop going on all the time about being overweight

Ok, so that's an example of what some people had to say. Now it's over to you. Get writing...

Welcome back. I'm assuming you've now written your own personal 10 reasons for losing weight. Now these 10 reasons are your motivators if you are someone who is drawn to pleasure more than away from pain. But what if you belong to the other, bigger group – the group of people who are driven more by the thought of getting away from what hurts than towards the things that bring pleasure? This brings us nicely to...

STEP 2: This time, I'd like you to take another sheet of paper and across the top write, “10 Outcomes for Me If I Don’t Lose Weight”. This time, I want you to stop and think because I want you to take the 10 reasons for losing weight, and turn them into negatives. So, for example, taking the list above, it would now read something like this:

1. I would look just like I do today
2. I wouldn't feel any better/happier in myself
3. Maybe I wouldn't live as long as I would like to
4. My confidence will stay as low as it is today
5. I won't feel anymore attractive than I do right this minute
6. I won't look the part in work
7. I'll be searching for size X clothes for the rest of my life
8. I'll be a paying member of Weight Watchers forever
9. Everyone will be on my case about needing to lose weight
10. Being overweight is going to shadow me every day for the rest of my life

So it's eyes down and pen out and off you go again.

Now you need to ask yourself which of these lists produces the strongest reaction in you? Which would make you say “NO” to a really tempting treat right now? Everything you write on both lists will motivate you, but what you've written on one list will motivate you more than the other and that's the list you want to consciously focus on as you make your journey to goal weight.

Two more lists to go and we're done...

STEP 3: The heading for this list is “Good Reasons For Not Losing Weight”. You'll notice I haven't put any particular number on this list, because I've learned that people very often can only think of 1 or 2 reasons. Here's the list one person made:

1. I can eat anything I like
2. ?????

Other than being able to eat anything she liked, this person could think of no other good reasons for not losing weight. She said the funny thing was that even as she wrote the words, somehow the idea of eating anything she liked didn't seem as big a deal anymore. So, see what you come up with and whether it feels as exciting as you thought it would.

And finally...

STEP 4: On this final list, write the heading, “10 Things I Can Do To Lose Weight”. Again, don't think too much about it, let your heart, rather than your logical brain do the talking. As before, here's an example of what others have written:

1. Cut out suppers on week nights
2. Get out for a 'clear my head' walk during my lunch break
3. Stop pressuring myself thinking of the stones I've to lose and think of the next 3 or 4 pounds
4. Tell myself how great I am instead of how awful I am
5. Only share my goal with people who will support me the way I need to be supported
6. Make honest changes in my portion sizes
7. Buy and eat fruit/vegetables when I want a snack
8. When I'm out, I could 'Think before I drink'
9. Plan my new size X wardrobe
10. Make, “I Am Worth It”, my mantra

If you're serious about losing weight, then you must be willing to put in the effort it takes, so begin using the information you have gathered since you started reading this article and create your dream future. Work with yourself and make the journey as easy as possible and then you will have your own answer to the 2nd question I mentioned at the start of this article.


  • thanks for this!
  • kvcarden
    kvcarden Posts: 175
    I like the idea of making several lists....just may help me see the big picture clearer! Thanks for sharing!
  • tiffanygil
    tiffanygil Posts: 478 Member
  • Peschuntz
    Peschuntz Posts: 270 Member
    A thoroughly relevant and enjoyable post. Thanks.
  • raincloud
    raincloud Posts: 405 Member
    Wow. "I can eat anything I want". SO TRUE!! What else would you put on that list? NOTHING? So why does it matter!

    Wow, that was like a light bulb going off for me.
  • oEmmao
    oEmmao Posts: 466 Member
    glad you all like the article, i just thought that it made sense to me!