Ready to mentally prepare for weight loss in the New Year?
I know, you are not ready to start that diet now. It’s almost the week of Christmas for crying out loud.
And then, in just a few weeks, it will be January. And you will be ready to hit the gym. Change the diet. New year, new plan.
So why not do a little big picture mind work now? That way your mind is in a good place come January and you aren’t struggling to start.
10 Questions to Get Your Mind Ready for Weight Loss
1. WHY do you want to lose weight?
This is by far the most important question to ask yourself. Please give it some time to consider. The deeper your answer – the more motivating it will be.
There are the obvious answers: “This is the most I have weighed in my life.” But I bet you can go deeper than that. Are you worried about your health? Do you have kids learning eating habits by watching yours? Do you want to be able to travel without people glaring when you sit beside them?
So much of our self-esteem is tied to weight, especially women. Take a few minutes and get to the heart of your desires – it will work to your benefit in the long run.
2. What are you willing to sacrifice to lose weight?
We all go through seasons in life and that will effect your weight loss journey. As you come into the new year, how much time and effort will you give to weight loss?
Lying to yourself and saying, “It is the perfect time. I will go to the gym 5 days a week and never eat sugar again,” while secretly knowing that will never happen only feeds your brain and your ego another defeat.
If the time is right, go all in. If not, come up with a plan that will still result in weight loss but may not be as constricting. Plan to go to the gym twice a week or just walk outside. Cut the pasta and breads out of your meal. Any plan that lasts is better than the perfect plan that fails or doesn’t even get started.
3. How important is food in your life?
My Life Coach teacher asks the most thought provoking question I have ever heard in regard to your relationship with food. Here it is: If you could eat only 2 bars a day that had little taste but would maintain you at the perfect weight for the rest of your life, would you want that?
I have to admit, my answer is emphatically NO. Some people would answer emphatically YES. Less money, less hassle, perfect weight. And I still would say no. I LIKE food too much for that.
But when you consider your weight, you need to think about your relationship with food. What are you really willing to give up? How important is the taste of food, the celebration of food, and the experience of food to you?
Will you stop going to happy hour cocktails? Will you be happy because of the company at a meal and not eat if you are not hungry? Is pizza on Friday night with the family more important than a size 2 pair of jeans? Who am I kidding – size 6 pair of jeans?
Would adding in 1 planned cheat meal a week fulfill your urges? Or does cutting back in portion size sound more appealing? Think about it and plan accordingly. Unless you really want the bars – and in that case, I just don’t understand you. Sorry.
4. What are the biggest obstacles to your weight loss this year?
After years as a family physician who practices A LOT of obesity medicine, I know that everyone has obstacles to weight loss. What are yours?
Do you struggle when family is in town? Do you fall off the wagon when you get sick? Do you eat emotionally when you fight with your spouse? Do you reward yourself with wine after a hard day at work? Which leads to…
5. How can you be prepared for the tough times?
Weight loss is a journey. It is not a straight line for anyone. Being prepared for the plateaus, the holidays, and the busy weeks will help you be successful in the long-term.
Will you buckle down further when the scale has stayed the same for 2 weeks? Will you have healthy options in the freezer for busy weeks? Will you not take leftovers home from holidays? Come up with a plan and write it down now.
6. What is your goal weight?
Setting real, attainable goals is key and adds another level of accountability. Set a dream goal and a short term goal. And then give yourself a present when you reach the smaller goal. Then set another.
7. In what ways will your life be better at your goal weight?
Picture your life at your goal weight – what will be different? Before I lost my excess weight, I reached the point where I just wanted to be able to buy clothes anywhere. Grab them off the shelf and go. I’m not a big fan of shopping anyway – probably from years of weight battles. So, I wanted to walk through Target and grab something cute. And know if would fit.
I also wanted to be noticed again. When I was heavy, I blended into the background. I would notice people looking at my sisters or my friends, but they didn’t seem to notice me. That hurt.
What are your motivators in terms of a better life through weight loss?
8. How will your relationship with food look different when you are at your goal weight?
Unless we develop a new way to lose weight but still eat the same, your relationship with food will have to look different at your goal weight than it does now. What will that look like for you?
Will you be a person who enjoys hiking more than chocolate? Will you be so active that you forget to eat? Or will you choose the salad and meal prep for your family? Something will need to look different – what will it be?
9. Do you truly believe you can lose this weight?
Are you just saying this again for the 3rd year in a row? What will make this year different?
My husband is notorious for his weight loss journey at our house. He likes to say, “Day One.” And we all giggle that night when he says, “Nevermind, tomorrow will be day one. Today didn’t turn out so well.”
Are you on board for Day One? How will you make this time different?
10. Are you committed to continue no matter what?
I can say one thing about my husband – he still genuinely believes tomorrow will be Day One. He usually wakes up the next day ready to try again. Are you truly committed to change?
Simple Solution: Start a journal with these questions and write out your answers before New Years. Getting your mind in the right place for weight loss is key to success.