Apologies for being slightly sneaky but this is not a blog about special tips that will guarantee weight loss. This post is about “why” my clients lose weight in other words what motivates them.
“So what” I hear you cry. Well “why” is actually very important because we are much more motivated to work hard at something if we understand why it’s good idea. It’s even more important to understand why it’s specifically a good idea for each of us as individuals. We are all different and my challenge to you if you are thinking about embarking on a weight loss journey is to think about why YOU want to do it. To get you thinking here are 5 of the best stories from my clients over the years. All names have been changed to protect anonymity.
- Angie was just plain tired of feeling tired. She knew she was overweight and the pounds had been piling on for the past couple of years. She had just retired and was looking forward to having some fun and spending time with her grandchildren aged 2 and 4. Instead she started moving less, snacking more and going out to eat a lot. As she got bigger she noticed that she was feeling exhausted all the time. She was just not able to keep up with her grandchildren. So Angie chose to keep a diary to monitor her energy levels as she tried to lose weight. As the weight began to shift she started to feel more energised and this motivated her to keep going and reach her goals. She also put some extra pictures up of the grandchildren on the inside of her fridge and cupboard doors so that she thought about them before she decided whether and what to eat.
- Sarah’s mum and gran had both suffered horribly with osteoarthritis. She knew that they had both been told by their doctors to lose weight. They had struggled because they let the situation get out of control, comfort eating when the pain from the osteoarthritis was at its worse. Sarah had not lost the weight she put on when she had her three children and she was keen to take the weight off her joints now before the extra pressure started to increase the wear and tear. Sarah put photos of her young and slim mum and gran on her fridge to remind her of her motivation.
- Raj was about to renew his wedding vows after 25 years of marriage. His wife was planning to wear the same dress she wore all those years ago and Raj was determined to get into his suit. Sadly he couldn’t quite get the trousers over his hips and there was no way those jacket buttons were going to do up. Raj decided to hang the suit in his bedroom and try it on once a week. This was the motivation he needed.
- Esme was really excited about starting a family but her sister had miscarried at 3 months and her midwife told her that losing some weight would reduce the chances of it happening again. Esme knew that she was overweight too and this did worry her. One day her sister suggested that they go on a weight loss journey together in the hope that one day they would both become Mums. Esme and her sister agreed to check in with each other everyday on WhatsApp and they met every Saturday afternoon to share healthy recipes and make meals to keep in the freezer for the week.
- John had finally qualified as a surgeon but all the pressure of exams had driven him to beer, crisps and take-aways. One day he was operating on a seriously overweight patient. It took longer to get the breathing tube in and every aspect of the operation was more difficult because of the excess weight. One of his colleagues commented that they should have insisted that the patient lost more weight before agreeing to operate. Suddenly John thought this could be me, what if I need an operation? With all this excess weight I’m going to be at huge risk of complications. He made a list of all the extra risks associated with surgery for people who are seriously overweight and stuck it on the back of his phone and in his wallet. Every time he felt tempted to have too much beer, some unhealthy snacks or a greasy take away there it was. John found he grew to really enjoy healthy food and started a Friday bring and share event at the hospital. Instead of bringing cakes on Friday people brought a healthy lunch dish and everyone got to try something new.
Maybe you relate to one of these stories or maybe they have helped you work out your own motivations. I hope some of the strategies are useful to you as you start your own journey.
Motivation is a key issue I explore with all my clients. If you would like to work with me and shift some weight send an enquiry.