How can I get my desire to lose weight? If figuring out why you want to lose weight is the first step, how do you do it?
Let’s explore this based on the book title “Think and Grow Rich” (Hill, 1937). Since the concepts in that book are relevant to weight loss mastery, they are definitely worth exploring.
But can someone really just think and lose weight easily? Let’s think about what “easily” means to someone in the weight loss community for a moment.
What I would have thought of as “Easily” before my gastric bypass surgery was no intense everyday workouts. Or being able to eat whatever I wanted. Easy means not a lot of effort, in my mind.
At some point in your life, you will need to make some kind of effort to lose weight. There’s no getting around that one. And for most people, this happens in their early or teenage years.
Maybe they joined an athletic team in high school where they worked really hard. Or they decided to lose weight in their early twenties, and really committed to it.
Long story short, they were skinny at some point in their life, and they have an advantage now to lose weight without effort. Or at least the same kind of effort. Though, they might not know it.
But that never was the case for me. I was always fat, and just kept getting fatter. That’s why gastric bypass was the option that worked for me. It’s not for everyone, and that’s ok. We all take different paths in life.
However, what I learned going through weight loss surgery (RNY, specifically) is applicable to any weight loss journey. Not just those on the path toward gastric bypass.
So, let’s jump in, with the first principle in Think and Lose Weight Easily – Desire.
Think and Lose Weight Easily – Principle 1: Desire
You’ve got to want it, so bad, that it’s almost an obsession. The desire must be so great, that when your feet meet the fire the first time, the second time, or the millionth time, you don’t turn back.
This one is so flipping tricky, and the easiest one for others to manipulate you through. Because, don’t you desire to lose weight?
If you’re not losing weight, obviously you must not want it enough. Tough love wellness coaches can take a painfully hard line here. And honestly, I’m not sure how I feel on that one.
See, my gut reaction is to face punch anyone who tells me I didn’t want weight loss enough or wasn’t trying hard enough. (The Not-Trying-Hard-Enough one might have been true, but only because I didn’t know HOW to try hard enough… more on that later.)
So, in an effort to minimize any potential restraining orders, I’ll just say I’ve got mixed feelings.
If I am struggling to lose weight, does that mean I don’t Desire it enough?
No, and I cannot emphasize that enough.
That is 100% unacceptable. The weight loss community must do better to educate and support each other. (That’s my “Why” behind all the content on This Authentic Life, by the way. You know, in case you want to add that to your trivia list.)
Tell me how someone who is willing to face possible death on the surgery table in order to lose weight doesn’t WANT IT enough.
To de-escalate my own triggered feelings, I’ll just recommend reading my blog post The “Secret” First Step No One Tells You About Weight Loss where I go more in depth on what’s really behind the Desire principle. Because it’s kind of heavy. Yet, worth the investment of your time.
So, without re-stating that blog here, let’s look at it from a different perspective.
How Can I Get My Desire To Lose Weight?
There has to be a reason to get off the couch. There has to be some kind of reward at the end of the yellow brick road. What’s yours?
Take some time to figure out your “Why”. Write down why you think you want to lose weight.
Then ask yourself why that is important to you. Then ask yourself why THAT answer is important to you. After the 3rd one, you’re going to get getting into the real meat and potatoes behind a good “Why”.
That’s the “Why” that will give you the willpower you need to overcome your mountains. Any reason past the third one has a better chance at helping you power through than the first two.
So, its worth doing.
Make your why something that is foundationally unshakable, and you’re going to be flying through weight loss mastery.
But the hard part is finding the foundation. It means you have to roll over some rocks and look at the bugs hiding underneath.
That’s a major roadblock for a lot of people.
How Do I Succeed at Principle 1: Desire
Looking at the skeletons in the closet and cleaning it out is not something everyone is ready to do. So, just because you desire to lose weight, your desire may not be great enough to overcome the internal conflicts we all have to face.
So, it’s easier and more comfortable to just turn back to the comfort food. We’ve trained ourselves to feel good through eating.
Food is a reward or even a relationship (sounds weird, right?). We self-soothe with food, not even conscious we are doing it.
Ok, fine. I’ve found my why, I’ve looked at the dark corners of my soul. But I’ve been a food addict too long, you say. I do great during the day, but it all falls apart at night when I binge.
I know. Me too, and you can stop doing that. I’ll show you how through self-care.
What is self-care?
Self-care is the secret to really effective and long-lasting happiness, as well as weight loss. It is taking care of your spirit, through non-food related tasks, routines, or rituals that center around self-soothing your soul.
This may include actions focused around the body (i.e. exercise, facials, getting your nails done, etc…), but the actions themselves actually need to be something that calms your spirit.
Have you checked in on your spirit lately?
Your spirit needs attention, as does your body and mental health. These are the three parts that make up our whole, as woo-woo or pseudo-science as that sounds.
Embrace the idea, and start making actual progress.
This was a painful lesson for me as I detoxed my spirit off of emotional eating. Before I started weight loss in earnest, I’d trained myself to cope through eating food.
Whenever I was happy, sad, or triggered you can bet food was nearby. Too often I’d reinforced this idea that eating was the way to soothe my spirit, not just to fuel my body.
Eating releases small doses of dopamine (check out the article from Scientific America on this topic here), and we can get addicted to it just like a drug or sex addict.
One day Google/YouTube will realize this and treat recorded binge eating episodes the same as they do with watching someone shoot up with drugs.
In my mind, as a recovering food addict, they are the same thing, and neither should be treated like entertainment.
How to use self-care to beat the nighttime binge
To beat the nighttime binge, there has to be a self-care routine. It’s done every night before bed. And it must be done like a ritual, meaning the joy comes from completing tasks well to the smallest detail every time.
It takes as long as it takes. When I’m triggered at work, I can tell myself I will get to have my self-care routine before bed and that promise will calm my soul.
Or if I’m in crisis at the moment, and the bedtime promise isn’t enough, I chew a stick of gum. Rosemaling doodles on paper to calm down and self-soothe is another in the moment coping mechanism I use.
But I do not turn to food anymore. I might eat some candy at times, but it’s by choice, not habit.
Set yourself up for success by knowing yourself, and blocking off the access routes to the habits that got you where you are. Give yourself room to fail at this.
Changing a routine or habit takes time and repetition to get it right and make it unconscious competency. Especially if you have an awesome streak, and then it ends because life got in the way.
Aim to get this routine done 4 times the first week. That leaves 3 other days where life has time to get in the way without you failing and giving up.
If you get to do your routine the other 3 nights, well that’s a win-win-win. You hit your goal of 4, plus you got to have 3 more days of amazing self-care on top of it, plus you figured out how to make it work every single night even though it was probably hard.
Bedtime can be the hardest time to remember your desire to lose weight.
Especially when we are so used to capping the night off with sugars, carbs, and fats.
Desire is the first step in achieving whatever you want in life. But remembering how important that desire is to you is the next thing to do when faced with choice. It’s step one in Think and Lose Weight Without Effort for a reason.
Choose self-care instead of food when faced with stress or in times of crisis. Find what you like, because YOU like it. Then do those small, non-food related things to self-soothe your spirit. Remember that you are eating to live, not eating to calm yourself. Your spirit needs attention, as does your mental health.
No one deserves to be stuck in the prison of morbid obesity. Especially not now that I’ve got the keys, guys.
Happy weight loss <3