OK. So you want to fit into your skinny jeans or the nice polo that now decorates your closet. You’re on a mission to look fabulous for your upcoming birthday celebration (and for men, you want to look nice!). Or you want to lose 50-75 lbs because your doctor tells you this will place you within the normal BMI range. Although motivating in theory, these scenarios only provide temporary inspiration for change.
Motivations of superficial vanity and fear of death are great for giving you a nudge, but 9 times out of 10, these changes are fleeting–leaving you gung ho for the first three weeks (if that!) followed by the temporary guilt-provoking slip up (a guilt which needs to be abolished!!! Read more). In most cases, these motivations plunge us into drastic and unsustainable diets that leave us feeling upset with ourselves if we don’t meet our goals (although everyone may not feel upset, negative feelings manifest nevertheless).
Don’t get me wrong. It’s not as if the mentioned motivations are not valid. Because who wants to be forced to buy more clothes because they put on 5, 15, or even 50-100+ lbs more than their normal size. And who wants to prematurely leave their friends and family because of an untimely death.
This is hopefully where the Gain Great Health blog comes in. The aforementioned motivations must be solidified and strengthened by the motivational and inspiring power of knowledge. We must have something more to fall back on besides–“I want to get back to the old me” or “I don’t want to be diagnosed with a potentially deadly disease.” The hope is that my discussion of food industry practices will not only incite feelings of anger, astonishment, and betrayal, but likewise inspiration to take back control and not succumb to the power- and money-driven system. Likewise, my presentation of research studies showing the relationship between diet and health should validate the timeless recommendations that we constantly hear. (If I heard eat your fruits and vegetables one more time when I was in grade school, I probably would have never eaten a carrot again.) My suggestions and tips (see here) provide realistic steps toward permanent change which should leave you feeling empowered instead of discouraged.
The important thing is to be realistic with how you will meet your end goal. No change will happen overnight and any book, website, or person who tells you otherwise is most likely trying to make a dollar from your vulnerable desire for a healthier (and depending on your motivation–smaller) you. Knowing that getting healthier is a process is motivation in itself, allowing us to be human and providing acceptance of our imperfections, meanwhile acknowledging that we still need to improve. This may mean drinking a Coke or eating a slice of pepperoni pizza from time to time or taking the elevator instead of the stairs. And in the beginning stages of your journey, perhaps minor slip ups will happen more than just from time to time. That’s a part of the process!
The bottom line is to find your true motivation so that you still have a “Fire to Your Flame” when your eating or physical activity habits go to the wayside. Be patient with yourself, and your motivations will continue to inspire true, lifelong change in your journey to a healthier you!