Whenever I meet with new clients the first thing we do is chat about what they want to get out of personal training. It is important for me to understand their WHY.
It also gives the client the opportunity to talk to me about what the motivation is. That initial conversation is all about stripping back what the client wants and understanding where that comes from.
One of the most common responses I hear from clients is “I want to lose weight”
There’s nothing wrong with that, but that isn’t the WHY.
The desire to lose weight is always part of a much bigger picture and it is key to strip that goal back to find out more.
Are you someone who wants to lose weight? If so, do you fully understand your motivation for why?
Here’s how to dig down into the real reason you think you want to lose weight.
Ask yourself WHY
Not once, or twice even – Keep asking until you have no more answers to give. Like this:
I want to lose weight to look better.
I want to look better to feel more confident.
I struggle with my self-confidence.
What this process does is allows you to see what else is going on underneath what you think is the solution, weight loss.
Will weight loss help boost your self-confidence, yes probably. Will it cure your issues around self-confidence? No. There are lots of other ways that you can work on your self confidence that have nothing to do with losing weight.
Weight loss can have a number of benefits for people; however, it isn’t a cure all for everything else going on under the surface. If you’re not fully understanding what is driving you, you could lose weight and still not be happy with what you see in the mirror looking back at you.
If you’ve started exercising and one of your goals is weight loss, ask yourself these questions.
Who Are You Doing It For?
Are you doing it for you or for someone else? Are you doing it because of how social media makes you think you should look?
Deciding you want to lose weight to get validation from others will be a hollow victory. I think a lot of us have an underlying feeling that the smaller we are the more accepted we become. Thankfully a new wave of body beautiful women are leading the way in challenging what society deems to be our goal physique.
Don’t forget you can only go so far to make yourself smaller and if there’s other stuff going on under the surface – that will still be there if you don’t address it.
Have Other Goals
There is nothing wrong with setting yourself other goals alongside the want to lose weight. Maybe you’ve always wanted to know how to deadlift or you fancy challenging yourself to a 10k. Those are the things that will keep you going if you hit a plateau with your weight loss.
Weight loss is never a linear process and so for many people it gets very frustrating very quickly. Once the initially big weight loss has been and gone, it gets harder and harder to shift the extra pounds. It will require fewer calories and more exercise and daily movement if you’re determined to get there. That takes a lot of time and sacrifice.
Something else to focus on will keep you motivated and feeling that you’re achieving in other ways.
How Much Weight Loss is Enough?
Do you have a figure in mind? A goal weight or a clothes size you want to fit in?
It is important that you have a realistic and achievable figure in mind to aim for, wanting to ‘lose weight’ is too vague and doesn’t give you anything to measure against.
It is also worth considering what the plan is once you hit your target. What next?
Maintaining the weight, you have achieved will mean making the short-term diet a permanent lifestyle change. How will that impact on you?
So many times, I have attempted a diet plan with an ambitious number in mind that is impossible to achieve and each time I failed at making my target, the worse I felt about myself and my ability to reach the goal. Be conscious of how that could impact on you long term and decide if it is really worth it.
The message I really want to get across is that wanting to lose weight is not necessarily the issue. Understanding your motivation is key and being able to celebrate other measures of success will help keep you on track along the way.
Make sure that the reasons you have are worthwhile.
Make sure you understand your WHY.
Remember, you are more than a number on a scale.