Uncover the REAL Reason You Want to Lose Weight (It’s Not What You Think!)

Uncover the REAL Reason You Want to Lose Weight (It's Not What You Think!)

So you want to lose 10 pounds. Or 20. Or 30. Or whatever. The amount of weight you want to lose really isn’t the important thing here (although it probably seems like the most important thing in the world sometimes–especially in those two minutes after you step off the scale in the morning). What I want to talk about today are  your reasons to lose weight. The REAL reasons, not the surface level reasons we rattle off to ourselves every day.

You see, we all have reasons for wanting to trim of a few pounds or fit into a smaller pair of jeans. Sometimes we just don’t realize what they are. And we don’t realize that how these reasons can actually steal the joy of living away from us–even if they seem like “positive” reasons at first glance.

We want to believe that losing some weight will change our lives. We tell ourselves that when we finally lose X amount of pounds, it will make XYZ happen. So instead of focusing on making XYZ happen, we put all our time, energy and passion into the X number on the scale–sometimes to the detriment of XYZ and other important areas of our lives.

What are your reasons to lose weight?

Here are some of the top reasons people normally say they want to lose weight:

  • I want to feel fit and healthy.
  • I want to be confident in myself.
  • I want to be respected.
  • I want to be appreciated.
  • I want to be loved.
  • I want to wear clothes I love.
  • I want to get a better job.

Honestly, these all sound pretty great. But when you add weight into the equation, the water starts to get muddy. Because here’s what you’re REALLY thinking:

  • When I lose 10 lbs, I’ll feel fit and healthy.
  • When I lose 10 lbs, I’ll be confident in myself.
  • When I lose 10 lbs, I’ll be respected.
  • When I lose 10 lbs, I’ll be appreciated.
  • When I lose 10 lbs, I’ll be loved.
  • When I lose 10 lbs, I’ll wear clothes I love.
  • When I lose 10 lbs, I’ll get a better job.

And after a while, it actually starts to sound like this:

  • If I don’t lose 10 lbs, then I CAN’T feel fit and healthy.
  • If I don’t lose 10 lbs, then I CAN’T be confident in myself.
  • If I don’t lose 10 lbs, then I CAN’T be respected.
  • If I don’t lose 10 lbs, then I CAN’T be appreciated.
  • If I don’t lose 10 lbs, then I CAN’T be loved.
  • If I don’t lose 10 lbs, then I CAN’T wear clothes I love.
  • If I don’t lose 10 lbs, then I CAN’T get a better job.

All the sudden you’ve turned a few positive aspirations into a BIG and OVERWHELMING blockade in your life. You feel trapped by your weight. It feels like you can’t enjoy any part of your life until you see X number on the scale. Feelings of self-loathing, stress, and panic are right around the corner. You start feeling obsessed about what you’re eating and how much you’re exercising. You binge because you’re starving and you starve yourself because you binge. It’s a vicious cycle that goes around and around… all because of all the things you tell yourself you CAN’T do UNTIL you lose the weight.

It’s time to unravel this mess and separate your weight from everything else you want in life. It’s a simple process, but these thought patterns can be hard habits to break.

Let’s go back to our original list of reasons to lose weight:

  • I want to feel fit and healthy.
  • I want to be confident in myself.
  • I want to be respected.
  • I want to be appreciated.
  • I want to be loved.
  • I want to wear clothes I love.
  • I want to get a better job.

Now, instead of connecting all of these to a goal of losing X number of pounds, keep them separate.

For instance, how might you feel fit and healthy right now, regardless of your weight? Is eating out a lot making you feel sluggish? Are you stuck at a desk all day, and doing a few sets of squats or pushups throughout the day might help you feel more energized? Are you getting enough sleep to feel focused during the day? These are all areas you can examine and improve–making changes in these areas might in fact lead to a little weight loss, or it might not. But it can sure make you feel better either way.

One important thing: losing weight does NOT guarantee you’ll reach any of these goals. There are plenty of people who are thinner than you who don’t feel confident or loved or respected, who have jobs they hate, or feel like they can’t find clothes that look good on their bodies. These issues aren’t tied to weight alone–they have a lot more to do with the way you think about yourself and your life.

The important thing here is to remember not to allow your reasons and goals in life to be tied solely to your weight–as if that number on the scale determines the joy you can have in life. It’s not true. You can be miserable and thin (trust me) and you can be overweight and happy (also trust me). Weight is a piece of the puzzle, sure, but it’s just one piece. Don’t let everything hinge on it.