It’s The New Year (Almost), Why Do You Want to Lose Weight?

Author: Dr. Quinte Naturopathic Centre on 30 December 2013

Here is a great Guest Post by Carolyn Coffin, Physiotherapist and Health Coach with Living Primal as you start thinking about the New Year. Thank-you Carolyn for sharing.

I understand that many people aspire to lose weight.
But if you've ever been my client or followed my blog, you know that I'm not crazy about weight loss goals. Why? Because they rarely work.
I can't tell you how many times I've worked with a client whose main motivation for seeking my services is to shed unwanted pounds. The really progressive ones will even be quite specific -- I want to lose 30 pounds in six months -- no doubt applying the basic fundamentals of all 'goal setting 101' teachings.
Sometimes they go on to note that this works out to be five pounds a month, or roughly a pound a week. At this point they are usually quite proud to have effectively addressed each letter in their SMART goal.
I want to be clear that setting specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely goals are, indeed, a worthwhile exercise. In fact, what almost all high achievers have in common is that they set goals for themselves. But...

Goals aren't always the same thing as habits.

Losing 30 pounds in six months is not a habit. And it's really our day-to-day habits that are going to determine whether or not we achieve virtually anything in life worth pursuing.
So I usually probe a little deeper at this point. "You want to lose 30 pounds, that's great! I'm excited to help you get there. But I need to ask you one more question."

Why Do You Want to Lose 30 Pounds?

This question can produce pin-drop silence like nobody's business! People seem to have no problem recognizing that they want to lose 30 pounds, but clam up at the thought of articulating why.
Think about it: Why do you want to lose weight? Because of the way you imagine you'dfeel by freeing yourself of those unwanted pounds:

  • Maybe you dream about having more energy and vitality to make it through your busy days.
  • Maybe you'd feel more attractive to others, boosting your confidence or self-esteem.
  • Maybe you long to have control over intense food cravings.

Virtually everything we do is to change the way we feel.

There is no right or wrong "why" to your weight loss goal. It will be as unique as you are. But in my opinion, you must have one or else it lacks any kind of real passion, juice or substance to get you through in inevitable rough patches. Like when you gain -- instead of lose -- a pound that week. And now you have to figure out how you're going to lose two the following week, which also happens to be your birthday week!
Because we are emotional beings, our behaviour is always driven by an attempt to change the way we feel. If we can identify exactly what we're hoping to feel as a result of our weight loss efforts, we stand a much greater chance of seeing them through.

Now let's imagine you want to lose 30 pounds in six months because that would put you at the weight you were in high school, a time in your life when you felt especially comfortable in your own skin.
Great. But this feeling of being comfortable in your own skin -- whatever that means to you -- needs to be thoroughly explored. Perhaps back then you ate healthy home cooked meals, played sports that you loved, and connected with your friends in a way that you've completely lost touch with today.

Bingo! Now we have some direction.
This quick exercise has already shed more light on that person's intrinsic motivation than a pure weight loss goal ever could.

Be curious.

You will never regret the time you spend being curious as to why you want the things you want in your life. This exercise ultimately guides how you determine the specific habits that will help you achieve what we're all really after ... true happiness.

Eat Real Food Boot Camp

Need some help exploring the motivation behind some of your most important health goals? Why not join an Eat Real Food Boot Camp, a 30 day group challenge with Carolynfrom Living Primal and Dr. Michelle Durkin, a local naturopathic doctor and owner of Quinte Naturopathic Centre. It could be the most important investment you make in yourself!

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