Why is losing weight so hard? Why is keeping it off even harder? Why do you start off full force and then lose steam after a short while?
Habits are hard to change. Eating habits are particularly hard because you have to make choices everyday and several times a day, at that. It's not like quitting smoking or drinking. With almost any other abusable substance, you can just stop using completely. Not so with food. You have to learn to manage it.
One way to keep your focus and motivation strong is to make a list of the reasons why you want to be thinner. Keep the list posted on your fridge, at your computer, on the bathroom mirror...wherever you will see it regularly. Here are some samples to get you started:
I want to be healthy. Obesity continues to be a risk factor for high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, diabetes and cancer. A new study just came out suggesting a possible link between obesity and several cancers we didn't know were linked before. As the authors of the study said, "We may not have a smoking gun, but we have bullets all over the floor."
I want to look good. This means different things to different people so it's good to flesh this one out for yourself. Looking good may mean you want to wear a shirt tucked in with a belt, or you want to get into your smaller, more stylish clothes. When I was losing weight I found a picture of Christie Brinkley running down the beach in a bikini. I put a photo of my face on her bikini clad body and kept it on the fridge.
I want to fit in. Whether it's right or not, being fat in our society today is not a good thing. If we were living in the time that Rubens was painting women, then Delta Burke, Emme and Anna Nicole Smith (at her heaviest) would have been the supermodels. Most of us aren't interested in trying to look like supermodels, we just don't want to need the seat belt extension on the plane. We don't want to have to shop at Lane Bryant. We don't want to be the fattest one in the room and we don't want to get glared at when we eat in public.
I want to be able to walk, run, ski, bike, hike and/or skate. All physical activity is more difficult when you carry around a lot of extra weight.
I want to date. Of course you can date when you are heavy but your choices will be fewer. If it is motivating to you, put a picture of a hot guy/gal on your fridge.
I want to get off my diabetes / high blood pressure medication. Many of the patients I work with are able to get off these types of medications when they bring their weight down to a healthy range.
I want to be able to get up and down easily. When you are heavy every time you get up and down you are lifting all that weight. This takes a toll.
I want to sleep better. Extra weight can cause sleep related problems. When you are very heavy and lay down the pressure of the weight can make breathing difficult. Even turning over in bed is hard when you are very big.
I want to feel good about myself. There are few things one can do in life as dramatic as losing 100 pounds. I work with people who have lost up to l80 lbs. and have gone from not being able to walk, to running and riding a bike. The joy these people feel in getting their lives back is amazing. They not only feel better physically but they love themselves. Sometimes for the first time in their lives and many of these people are in their 60's.
If you are motivated by the good things you will get by losing weight, then try making your own list. Motivation can come and go. In order to lose weight and keep it off, it helps to keep your motivation strong.
That's it for now. Good luck and let me know how you're doing!