How much of your day do you spend thinking about all the things you think you should be doing about your weight or health but just can’t seem to “make yourself” do? How much of your day do you spend judging and berating yourself for not being “motivated enough” to do them? You’re struggling but no motivation to lose weight or get healthy?
If you’re anything like I was for many years, the answer to both those questions is most of the day.
No worries, keep reading because, in this post, I’m diving into the biggest reasons why we get stuck in that rut and more importantly, what to do about it.
So if you’ve been following my work for any length of time, you know by now I always like to start with asking why.
The two whys we want to start with are why aren’t you motivated and why do you want to lose weight or get healthy or whatever that thing is that you keep telling yourself you want but have no motivation for.
So why are you unmotivated and why do you want it?
Understanding why you’re not motivated is super important because it puts you back in control, rather than spending your time feeling like a helpless victim to your lack of motivation.
AND it helps you stop resisting your reality.
The three biggest reasons people tend to struggle with motivation around this whole weight loss/healthy living thing are:
1. First, you’re stuck believing it even requires motivation in the first place.
We’ve been sold a lie that prioritizing our health requires motivation because it’s hard work and supposed to suck. Punishment, hard work, restriction, deprivation, willpower, suffering, etc.
No wonder you’re not motivated! You have to be pretty desperate to willingly sign up for that and no matter how desperate you are, motivation to stick to that will never last forever. What annoys me the most about this reason is that it’s all lies. Read more on why I say that in my last post, here. Prioritizing your health shouldn’t be hard work.
2. You just don’t have the capacity to do literally anything else.
You’re likely exhausted. You’re working a million hours a week, you’re stressed, you’re not sleeping well, you’re putting every one else’s needs ahead of your own because you feel like it’s selfish to do anything for yourself or that you don’t deserve a spot on your own priority list. This only gets compounded by all the messages that tell us prioritizing our own well-being is supposed to be hard.
3. You just don’t want it bad enough.
This one usually stems from lousy reasons behind why you think you want it and then gets compounded by the first two. What do I mean by lousy reasons behind why you think you want it? Most people obsess over wanting to lose weight or even “get healthy” because of looks.
It’s about looking a certain way, or being a certain size because of what we associate with that – validation and celebration from those around us, being viewed as successful and more respected, etc.
Now, you may be thinking, “no no Roni – I need to lose weight for my health” but I call BS on that if you’re obsessed with external measurements (which almost everyone is).
Your health is not defined by external measurements. I spent 8 years helping women lose weight and 99.9% of the time, their reason for wanting it was related to looks – which is horrible motivation! Why is that horrible motivation? Because you’re not really doing it for you. When you’re obsessed with weight loss because you think you want to look better, it’s about how other people see you.
How can it be for you? You only see yourself for a couple minutes a day.
Again, you have to be superrr desperate to sign up for the hard work you’ve been told it takes just so the people around you see a smaller version of you. Looks, size, scale numbers are also terrible motivation because the choices that you make today cannot affect those things today.
So you have to suffer, restrict and willpower your way through the day so that maybe someday a month or two from now someone will tell you look great and ask if you lost weight? It’s horrible motivation which is why you’re struggling with motivation.
Now that we’ve looked at why you’re probably struggling with motivation to lose weight we’re going to build on that last point and look at the second why.
Why do you think you want motivation to lose weight? Let’s get at your actual core desire.
See, most people want to lose weight or “get healthy” for some surface reason as discussed in point #3 above – smaller pant size, cute summer clothes, a smaller number on the scale, so that mother, sister, friend, etc will be proud of us, etc… but that’s never the real, underlying reason. It’s just the crummy surface reason that we keep focused on but the REAL reason almost always comes down to how we think it will make us feel.
We associate certain feelings with all kinds of external goals and whenever we set goals, it’s almost always because of how we think it’ll make us to feel to reach them.