Motivation and the Comfort Zone

by Annie on April 8, 2008 · 2 comments

in Eating Healthy

What is your main reason for wanting to loose weight? What is your initial decision as to why you want to loose weight? When we are in our comfort zone, it is hard to stay motivated for long periods of time. We have been overweight for so long, we have forgotten how wonderful it feels to be active and healthy. So we commit for 3 weeks, fully intending for it to be longer, but leaving ourselves a back door to stop at any time when the going gets tough. Exercising and changing our eating habits make us uncomfortable, and after 3 weeks or so of discomfort, we throw our hands up and think that we are meant to be slightly overweight.

The two strongest motivating factors to continue a healthy active lifestyle is pain and pleasure. These two emotions are prevalent in our lives, just look at how many songs and movies are about love and heartbreak.

Our motivation to change our life is strongest when we are in pain. My mother turned into a fitness enthusiast when her sister was diagnosed with cancer. She easily logs in 15 miles a week with her daily aerobic walk with her friends. When you search out stories of people who lost 100+ pounds, it is usually for some life or death reason they change their lifestyle around.

For those of us with less than 25 pounds to loose, we cannot find that lasting motivation because we have not hit rock bottom yet. So when we decide to loose weight, we know that we can stop at any time since we are only slightly overweight, not enough to have serious immediate impact. But do you want to find yourself at the bottom of the hill and look at the long steep journey up before deciding to make that change? Or do you want to do it when you have just slip a bit from the top? You power through whatever discomfort you feel with the changes of a healthier lifestyle when you are in pain because death or disability is not an option.

Pleasure is also a strong motivator in for weight loss. I am talking about the pleasure of living, of moving. Since my car accident, I recognized how important physical health is to me. I do not lack motivation to workout, but that is only one component of the three legged stool that I talked about in a previous post. I still need to work on my eating. Being able to physically move at a rapid pace when I cross the street brings me real pleasure because for a time I was unable to do that. Then there are the stories of grandmothers and new mothers who loss a large amount of weight so that they can chase around the small munchkins and care for them. Is there someone in your life that brings you joy? Can you loose weight for them if you cannot do it for yourself? What do you enjoy doing that has been limited by your excess weight? Can you find motivation from that? Maybe it is easier to just get a dog.

Until next time and thanks for stopping by.

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