"Trick" to Staying Motivated on a Weight Loss Program


A health magazine is asking for tricks men and women can use to stay motivated on a weight loss program. (sigh).  The real trick in losing and maintaining weight loss is to engage with your illogical emotional mind.

If you are overweight, reaching and sustaining a healthy weight requires you to develop and embrace the patience and stamina of the long distance runner.  A sprint will get you far fast and then leave you exhausted in a heap, probably reaching for chocolate.

Scales, tape measures, and calorie journals make logical sense as weight loss program aids, but eating more than your body needs is not logical.  Eventually these aids feel like controlling abusers that require you to rebel. And when you rebel and gain weight you feel defeated. 

Skip the logical control systems and make friendly visits to your emotional and illogical self. That's what governs your emotional eating. If you want to be lighter yet you eat in a way that makes you heavier then you have a conflict going on in your psyche. The solution to conflict is peace.

Here's how to begin:

Write in your journal in the morning and before you go to bed. This will remind you of what you genuinely care about and offer you non food solutions to your emotional needs.  Your own words will alert your emotional self to the price you pay for going off your weight loss plan. Then you can discover and create plans for caring well for yourself with life practices that do not include eating.  You can commit to fulfilling uses of your time. Living well instead of eating too much is your long distance practice.

Don't wait to live the life you want until you've lost weight.  Go for what you want right now, before you lose weight and as you lose weight.  Being active in a life you care about while taking care of your emotional needs is the "trick" that will bring you to your healthy weight. This will give you more happiness and freedom than you can imagine.

Use the exercises and activities in Healing Your Hungry Heart to find more ways of engaging with your illogical self to create your sustained healthy weight.

Can you befriend your illogical self?  A peaceful partnership within yourself can accomplish wonders and is the best "trick" in town.


0 # Joanna, your phrase "Don't wait to liveshh 2012-02-15 15:58
Joanna, your phrase "Don't wait to live the life you want until you've lost weight" makes sense on so many levels...but there is one level that is a real sticking point for me, and that is clothing & appearance.

I started my uni course, I've made a real effort to improve my social life, I'm more open and welcoming to the girls' friends and invite them round to play instead of dreading the girls asking to bring friends home, I stand up for myself more, I am more confident in many ways...and in all those ways Ive got past my weight/size as a barrier...butI feel a mess, and I look a mess...I bought the new car last spring, and now I wear it like an overcoat to give me false confidence...but outside of my car, I am nothing.

How can you live confidently, when you see the clothes/shoes/hair that you want to wear, but on you they look ridiculous because you're so fat. My therapist had a go at me saying "why don't you buy and wear the clothes that you like?" and the answer is, because how they look on other people, and how they look on me, are 2 completely different things - when I try on something I like and I look awful in it, it really knocks my confidence...and I don't know what to do differently
0 # How come no one writes about ways to staPTC 2012-02-15 16:30
How come no one writes about ways to stay (or get) motivated to recover from and ED??? That would be interesting. I guess it has to come from within, but it has to for everything, but again, those articles don't exist.
0 # I guess we have to google those types ofmylifex2 2012-02-15 18:46
I guess we have to google those types of articles, PTC..I see your point. Atleast we can come here for some healthy, positive articles, blogs and support :-)
The solution to conflict is peace. I had a therapy appointment this morning. We discussed my irritation with the fact that my new medication is causing me to crave sugary items for which I normally have no desire. I am having to work out everyday to keep from gaining weight. The flipside is that the medication is making me less depressed and anxious. So my therapist and I decided that feeling less depressed and anxious is the most important thing right now.
I am trying to have this peaceful partnership with myself. I had a conversation about this in my head tonight as I drove thru the drive thru to get chicken for my kids. I decided to get something too. I did my usual bread removal from the sandwich but generally ate a "normal" dinner. My goal today is to be ok with keeping my weight stable, and not being so preoccupied with losing weight. I think if I can do this, I will feel less crazy and obsessed.
0 # Dear PTC and Tracy, I was surprised tpinkjoanna 2012-02-15 20:43
Dear PTC and Tracy,

I was surprised to read your comments about motivation for recovery. In my mind I believe that everything on this site plays a major role in motivating, inspiring and supporting people to recovery. That's the pretty much the mission statement and guidelines for my work, on and off the Internet and includes my private practice, my speaking and my book.

What am I missing here? Maybe we mean something different by the word.

Please tell me what you mean by ways to stay (or get) motivated to recover from an eating disorder.

I would greatly appreciate hearing from you on this. Others, please chime in.
0 # Dear Shh, Sounds like you are makingpinkjoanna 2012-02-15 20:58
Dear Shh,

Sounds like you are making positive strides by being generous with your girls and their friends.

About confidence, we all have to build from where we are. Self confidence shows in how you carry yourself, the expression on your face and how you move regardless of the clothes you are wearing.

Simple clothing that fits and is clean, pressed and coordinated is really all you need. It's the self confidence and expressions in your expression and movements that show you enjoy being who and where you are that creates attraction.

When you care about yourself it shows and invites others to share your opinion and care about you too.

I invite you to stop comparing yourself to other people and focus on being the best you can be from here, where you are now. You might be surprised at what happens gradually, over time, as you become accustomed to caring for yourself well.
0 # Joanna, My comment to PTC was agreeingmylifex2 2012-02-16 04:22
My comment to PTC was agreeing with her observation about articles in general out in the media, such as magazines, etc.,such as what you were talking about with your "tricks to weight loss" magazine article. I followed my initial statement with saying that YES, we do get this type of motivation and support HERE on this site. I didn't realize that wasn't clear :-)
I know I don't have to overdo my praise for your website, but please know that I totally feel the support and motivation from your articles and your blogs. Joanna, your website is helping me to save my life. I don't know where I would be if I had not found this site. I believe my post was misunderstood, and I have a feeling PTC was talking about articles in the media as well, not one's we receive here. :-) Please don't change a thing!!
0 # Joanna, I didn't mean blogs, or anythPTC 2012-02-16 04:38

I didn't mean blogs, or anything write about, I meant more articles out in about for the general public to see, such as magazines. We (us disorders ones) have sought out this blog (and others) for that type of motivation and support, but people who don't have EDs and or loved ones with them, wouldn't seek out such information, while weightloss motivation articles are ALL over the place. You can't escape them.

Did that help you?
0 # Yes, pretty much what Tracy said is whatPTC 2012-02-16 04:40
Yes, pretty much what Tracy said is what I was trying to say!!
0 # poor Joanna, she must have felt prettymylifex2 2012-02-16 05:54
poor Joanna,
she must have felt pretty awful :sad:
we love you :-) !!!!
0 # I know. We definitely didn't mean on hePTC 2012-02-16 07:36
I know. We definitely didn't mean on here, we meant in the general public.
0 # you think she will understand that we lomylifex2 2012-02-16 08:21
you think she will understand that we love her? LOL :-)
0 # way to go, Joanna...we are already ocd amylifex2 2012-02-16 08:23
way to go, Joanna...we are already ocd and worry about hurting the feelings of we are reallllly
0 # Thank you all for your love, appreciatiopinkjoanna 2012-02-16 13:15
Thank you all for your love, appreciation and clarification!

You are also inspiring me. Please let me know the names of the magazines you read and/or subscribe to. Which magazines do you hope will run articles about how to get motivated and stay motivated in eating disorder recovery? Which do you think would be more likely to run such an article?

I'll see if they are interested in what I have to say about you have to say about what I have to say about....... :-)

It's wonderful to receive your love in these comments. Thank you. I appreciate you all so very much.
0 # I don't subscribe to any magazines, butPTC 2012-02-16 14:31
I don't subscribe to any magazines, but every magazine you see on the news stand is about losing weight. Everything is always about losing weight.

With that said, I'm off to teach aerobics. :-)
0 # I am almost ashamed to admit this, but Imylifex2 2012-02-16 18:30
I am almost ashamed to admit this, but I bet other people on here would probably be able to admit to this too.
I have bought magazines with cover stories that focus on celebrities with weight issues just to motivate me to continue dieting. I remember being totally enthralled by the whole Nicole Richie anorexia story. I thought she was beautiful and I was jealous :sad:
I sometimes still just sit and stare at magazines that have articles about celebrities with anorexia and look for methods they use for restricting. I have to remind myself that 1) these people are sick and 2) the photos are airbrushed to make the person look more sickly to sell the story (sometimes).
I don't expect much from tabloid magazines, but I personally set higher expectations from magazines such as People, and a ton of folks subscribe to this.
I think Self Magazine would also be a good forum for such a discussion as eating disorders and ed recovery. Fitness magazines would be a good place as well, and would be a great place to discuss excercise addiction. If you wanted to reach a younger audience such as the 17-30ish age group Glamour Magazine would be a popular one to reach out to young women. the problem with fashion magazines is that your article would be sandwiched inbetween pictures of anorexic models, so the story would be competing with a very strong message from the media about what women should look like despite what you are trying to say.
0 # HECK YA! I totally did that. I still bPTC 2012-02-16 19:09
HECK YA! I totally did that. I still buy anything that has stories about eating disorders too.
0 # and what is NOT GOODmylifex2 2012-02-16 19:19
and what is NOT GOOD
0 # and what is NOT GOOD is when my 11 yeartracy 2012-02-16 19:21
and what is NOT GOOD is when my 11 year old daughter picks these magazines up....
0 # Thankyou Joanna You have given me a lshh 2012-02-19 17:01
Thankyou Joanna

You have given me a little gem here whilst re-reading this artcle, something so simple, yet so precious, that I am going to use as an affirmation - in fact I may stick it up in my kitchen somewhere..."I am going to eat well, because I care about myself and want to care for my body"
0 # Yes, shh. So often it's the little thinpinkjoanna 2012-02-19 23:18
Yes, shh. So often it's the little things that turn out to be the big ones.
:-) Thank you for letting me know.

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