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Weight Loss and Fitness Goals: Check Your Motivation


When I look back on my past and recall all the desperate and disordered attempts I made at losing weight and keeping it off, I never felt at peace. Even when the weight came off, I was worried about putting weight back on.  My identity was all wrapped-up in what I made my size and shape mean.  At times, being thin meant I had a shot at a dance career, at other times it meant attempting to please a man who cautioned me never to gain weight if I expected him to remain attracted to me (it’s no coincidence that I attracted a man into my life who mirrored my lack of body confidence at the time) and still other times my fitness drew attention and compliments from others and made me feel validated. At none of those times did I feel genuinely happy—I was constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop. I was motivated by fear (of not being good enough) and lack (never getting enough approval or attention). It took me a while, but eventually I learned that nothing outside of myself (compliments, boyfriends, career, thinness and even my own body) could give me lasting happiness, that was a choice I would have to make in my own mind.

When I let go of looking outside myself for my happiness, I was free to discover what really turned me on, what truly filled me up.  I started to participate in activities for no other reason than they looked like a good time, I wasn’t trying to take anything from the experience, I was giving myself  the gift of fun.  One of the many things I  discovered is that I am an athletic girl who loves and appreciates her body for it’s strength, abilities and good health, no longer because I hope my body will buy me approval or acceptance.  So when I get on my pole, practice yoga, swim, surf or dance, my motivation is abundance and excitement: I want to play!  With that motivation, it feels good to be in my body enjoying these activities–the activities and my body don’t bring me joy, I bring joy to my activities through my body. And because I’m enjoying myself so much, the only people who show up in my life are other people who reflect back my own joy—at least, those are the only people I am aware of!  I’m not so evolved that I don’t have days where I see myself or my body with a critical eye, but I have learned and created some pretty fierce tools for snapping myself out fear and lack mode and bringing my focus back to all the abundant and exciting stuff going on in my life.

If pursuing your weight loss or fitness goals makes you feel stressed and anxious, your actions are being driven by fear and lack.  Take a long hard look at your goals and be sure your desire comes from a place of abundance and excitement, and  you’re not just afraid of what will or won’t happen if you don’t achieve them. Signs that your motivation is abundance and excitement are:  you stride confidently toward your goal knowing it’s just a matter of when–not if– you get there, the journey is as much fun (if not more fun than) arriving at your goal, your actions are inspired and you look forward to having what you want without grasping or neediness.  If you are impatient, frustrated or worried then you are counting on your goal to give you something it cannot: peace and happiness.  Use the meantime to cultivate peace and happiness for yourself now.  One way you can do this is by keeping a gratitude journal and write five things for which you are grateful every night–this is very powerful. This way, you will have what you truly want now and after you reach your goal, too.

  1. January 25, 2011 at 3:30 am

    “;- I am really thankful to this topic because it really gives up to date information -;~

  1. January 4, 2010 at 6:43 pm

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