Now, if you’re anything like I was way back when, you happen to have about eleventy million reasons why you want to lose weight.
Maybe you want to fit into a smaller size.
Or, you want to look GOOD in your clothes, and look amazing while you are working out.
It could be that you just want to FEEL good. That you want to feel strong!
Maybe an event is coming up, and you want to feel confident at that event.
Or (my least favorite) perhaps someone is harassing you about your weight and you want to show them you can lose it and keep it off.
Again, if you are anything like me, you are going through that list above and thinking YUP! Uh huh, and HELLO NO! You are judging those reasons as either good ones or bad ones.
You are thinking about whether or not those reasons mirror yours, work for you, or are even good reasons (Hint: Someone else harassing you about your weight? Absolutely NOT! Your weight is none of their damn business!).
What you might not realize is that your thoughts about those examples I gave are actually the most important part of losing weight for the last time.
Stay with me here. Your thoughts, your reasons? They are yours. No one else’s. And discovering YOUR reason, that burning, deep reason, for losing weight? THAT is the best reason to lose weight riding a bike.
Not my reason. Or your friend’s reasons. Not your partner’s, or your mom’s. YOURS.
OK, so now that you know YOUR reason is the best reason, how on earth do you actually figure out what that is? How do you sort through all of your thoughts and use your reason to help you lose weight for the last time? Read on and I will share my simple process for figuring out your reason to lose weight riding a bike.
Why Does The Reason Have to be YOUR reason?
The reason has to be your reason because it has to resonate with you.
This has to be the kind of thing that is more important to you than whatever distractions life throws at your weight loss efforts at any moment.
For example, if you feel like you should lose weight because someone else told you that you should “be healthier?” Or they told you “you really should ride your bike more?”
You probably felt something kind of like shame. Possibly frustration. I personally would be pretty freaking angry (again, none of their damn business?!).
None of those feelings are particularly positive. And when faced with a terrible day when everything has been absolute crap and you want some comfort in the form of a cookie or a glass of wine?
It’s just not going to hold up. You are never going to buy into someone else’s reason for losing weight. At the end of the day it has to be your own.
How to Find Your Reason
Before I lost my weight I identified as someone who had struggled with weight loss pretty much forever.
I just kind of took for granted that losing weight was something I always wanted, and that sometimes I wanted it more than others.
When I finally lost my weight for the last time, I realized that I had been doing myself a huge disservice by looking at weight loss in this vague manner for so long.
I was just thinking about what others might want to see me as. I wasn’t really thinking about myself. And I also wasn’t making myself a priority.
Once I got very clear on exactly why I wanted to lose weight, I had specific reasons in my head to remind me of why on earth I was doing all of this in the first place.
Those reasons are literally everything, my friend. Here is how to come up with them.
Ask the Question and Write Down Your Answer
Grab yourself a pen and paper (or an open google doc if that’s your thing) and ask yourself this question.
“Why do I want to lose weight?”
That’s it. Ask the question. Then right down the VERY first thing that comes to mind. Don’t censor it. Just write it down.
When I asked this the first thing I came up with was “I want to fit in a smaller size.”
I mean that’s pretty typical right? So many people who want to lose weight want to fit into smaller clothes. I was hovering in that plus size/not plus size range and was thinking that I wanted to fit into smaller sizes.
Ask it again. And again.
The next step is to ask why. Ask it again. And again.
Whatever you wrote down first…ask WHY you want that?
So I asked myself “Why do I want to fit into a smaller size?”
And my answer was “Because I want to look and feel good.”
OK. Awesome. Now we are getting somewhere. Keep going!!!
I asked, “Why do I want to look and feel good?” Well, because I want to be able to more easily ride my bike!
Why did I want THAT?!
“To feel healthy and strong!”
“To keep up with my son. To live a long time and to be alive for him for a long time.”
Now here’s the deal. You keep asking yourself WHY you want this until you are practically in TEARS. Or maybe you are actually in tears. I truly cannot talk about my reason for losing weight without tearing up.
I am freaking crying right now.
Your final reason why you want to lose weight should give you chills. It should make you feel emotional. It should absolutely light you up.
This, my friend, is your reason for losing weight. At the end of the day is fitting into a smaller size great? Sure! Do I love it that I can get up hills easier when I am riding because I weigh less? Of course!
But what is most important to me of all is being on this earth as long as I can be for my son. I lost my dad to a heart attack when I was in my early 30s and I will do anything I can to make sure that my kid doesn’t have to go through that anytime soon.
And please do notice it’s not just for him, it’s for me. It’s the kind of mom that I want to be. It’s how I want to show up in my life and be there for him.
It’s just as much about me and what I want as it is about him, and THAT is why this was the best reason for me to lose weight. It was about me. There is literally no shame in making your reason about YOU.
Keep going. Keep asking yourself why until you have those chills, until you are emotional. Some will say the magic comes when you ask “why” five times, others will say it’s seven, but I say however many times it takes. When you hit that reason, trust me, you will know.
Put it Where You Can See It
OK, now that you have poured your heart out to yourself and you are PUMPED, make sure you put that reason where you can see it! Put it in multiple places! Put the whole darn list somewhere with that last one circled!
You need to keep your reason front of mind at all times. This is the kind of reason where when you’re standing in front of your fridge/pantry at the end of a hard day your brain is going to actually take notice…so make it noticeable!
Make it the screensaver on your phone. Put it on a post it on your computer. Shove it on the fridge or in the pantry. Put it in all of those places if you have to.
When you see something visually it helps you keep it top of mind.
What to Do When Your Reason Isn’t Enough
Honestly this is less about what you do, and more about what you DON’T do.
There are going to be times you screw up. There will be times when you reason, no matter how wonderful it is, just isn’t enough.
You will find yourself eating your face off anyway. You will find yourself skipping a ride because you just don’t feel like riding.
Do NOT beat yourself up over this. You are human. Even when you are 100% on it, chances are you are only going to do the “right” thing about 80% of the time.
Yup. That means that even though I have lost my weight I still mess things up from time to time, and I messed up ALL along the way.
Forgive yourself. Take note. Ask yourself why you put your reasons aside. Brainstorm how you can set yourself up for success next time and MOVE ON.
You can’t do anything about the past. You absolutely can do something about the future. The kindest thing you can do for yourself is to be kind and gentle, and focus on your next steps.
A Final Note
Remember, there is no going backwards. My friend, you are never going to be just like you were in high school, and my goodness why would you want to?
You have grown. You have evolved. And, so has your body. Be grateful for that, and be kind to yourself.
You have LIVED in those years since, embrace it! Embrace who you are right now.
When you are looking through your thoughts, and your reasons, make sure you are focusing on the future version of you.
When you have a real, solid reason to lose weight, when it’s YOUR reason, you have taken one of the first and most important steps towards losing weight for the last time.
Remember, we aren’t doing anything crazy here. We aren’t going on this fad diet or that. Sustained weight loss comes from making small changes that over time lead to big results. You aren’t doing anything today that you won’t be willing to do for the rest of your life.
You’ve got this. I believe in you. Find your reason. Write it down. Keep it with you.