The intentions behind a diet are always positive. You want to lose weight, feel healthier, prepare for the summer etc..
People often start a diet thinking about the immediate future. In 30 days I want to be X weight. This is a great goal, but it might not stoke the fire long enough to keep the motivation going.
You need a because. I want to lose weight because...
I want to run around with my kids
Someone keeps making fun of me
To prove to myself I can stick at something
I’m out of breath when I go upstairs
The because is powerful. If you don’t have a because you might struggle to keep motivated when obstacles turn up.
Because is very individual and it must be big enough to change your habits. For some people this could be a medical condition, for others, it might be a fitness event they’ve signed up for. All very individual.
I’ve found that the reason some stick at a diet and some don’t is that there isn’t enough of a shock to get going and a because to keep going. They feel “normal” and are comfortable with the way things are.
A shock is great at changing habits quickly. Once changed, other motivations keep you going, but its a good kick start, a big slap in the face, a wake-up call!
I thought I would share a shock that happened 11 years ago which motivated me to change.
My own shock
I was at University for about 2 years when I was asked to come back and play a cricket match at my old school. Old teachers and friends would be there. Some of them had hopes of me turning into a professional cricket player. Things didn’t quite go to plan.
Instead of following the path of a professional athlete, in the 2 years prior to this match, the University life of drinking and eating unhealthy was constant.
When I turned up to the cricket match, one of my old school mates openly made fun of how much weight I had gained. He called me fatty for the whole day. All good banter, but it stuck with me.
I knew I had gained a few extra pounds but I wasn’t aware of how far the other way I had gone. As soon as that match had finished, I changed everything.
This was my shock to kick start me to lose weight. Since then, my because has changed. It wouldn’t be healthy if I held onto this for 11 years!
Initially, it was because I felt embarrassed, now it’s about healthy lifestyles, keeping fit for the long term and helping others make great changes to their lives. Whatever your shock, use it as a positive in the short term and keep using the because to stay on a healthy path.