What is motivation?

It is consistent focus over time, determination, effort, devotion, drive, working through challenges, being creative, noticing results and feeling inspired to keep going to achieve the desired outcome.

What motivates us?

We are motivated by our values.  Values are things that are very important to us, e.g. family, career, health, happiness, relaxation, body image, etc.  Values determine how we spend our time and we measure our failure or success against our values.

If losing weight is very important, why do people start and then give up? 

We are motivated by values in 2 ways; towards or away from.  For example, “I am motivated towards being healthy and I can see the many benefits of that, one of which is being slim”; this is a positive commitment that I’m prepared to work towards. Or “I’m motivated away from being/feeling fat, i.e. I want to avoid/stop feeling fat”; negatively focused and generally when we don’t get instant results, the bad feeling persists and we give up.  Notice how different those two statements feel?

I’ve heard people say “fat people have no motivation” – NOT TRUE.  It takes a lot of effort and devotion to get fat – two ingredients of motivation!  When we give up the diet, we’re still motivated; e.g. “I’ve had a bad day, I need a treat to relieve the stress” – relief becomes more important, etc.

What do you use food for? 

If we just used food for nourishment, then we’d know when we had enough.  Many of us, however, use food for other values, i.e. comfort, relief, reward, relaxation, love.  If you are someone who uses food for comfort and you’ve had a very bad day, what do you do?  How do you treat yourself then?
If you were compassionate to you, an alternative could be to engage with your “bad day feeling” to understand what happened to upset you and identify
how you could manage that “situation” in the future, and start the diet again tomorrow.

Solution Suggestions?

  1. Identify what for you; is the opposite of being fat/overweight?  How might it feel if you were that?  How would your life change? Would you enjoy the changes?  Is there a part of you that feels safer as you are?  If necessary change the outcome to something you would be happy with.
  2. Identify how you use food. If you use it for emotional support, then think about how you could honour that need in a different way.  Everyone      deserves love, appreciation and acceptance but it starts with you doing it for yourself.
  3. From the above answers, identify your objective.  Ensure your desire is to “achieve” something realistic, that you can commit to and devote your efforts to deliver.

Go for it, you are worth the effort!  And Good Luck!

Let me know how you get on.

Therese Hackett, Ciúnas, 086 819 3005


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