One of the keys to weight loss is understanding it. I’m not just talking about the cellular reactions that take place within the brain and body needed to burn fat. I’m talking about the psychological issues at play. Weight loss is perhaps the most emotional journey a person can take. Weight loss and hormones go hand in hand; you cannot have one without the other. Without the proper hormones cellular reactions cannot take place, and without the emotional drive, there will be no success. A person cannot simply say, “I want to tone,” or “I want to be healthy.” It is why you want to tone up and why you want to be healthy. Perhaps your father or mother died of a heart attack or disease when you were young, and now you are fighting so your own children will never have to go through that. Perhaps, you think your spouse has been looking at the opposite sex, and you’re fighting to become more attractive in his or her eyes. Whatever the reason is, seemingly trivial or not, embrace it. You are in fact the lucky one because you are the one who has felt the hurt so deeply that you are willing to work long and hard to succeed. Mental health, stability, and discipline are a big part of the body’s well being. Without them, it will be that much harder for you to achieve any weight loss. However, by facing these emotional drives and using them as fuel, you can successfully conquer them and your problems, weight loss ones included.
This new year, instead of setting the usual resolutions of “I want to lose 25 pounds” or “ I want toned abs,” confront your demon. Even if you don’t share these reasons, write them down. “I want my wife or husband to look at me like he or she did when we first met.” “I want to be able to ride that amusement park ride with my kid this summer and not worry about fitting in it.” Or, “I want the courage to ask my long time friend out on a date.” As humans, we strive for perfection but for some reason, when it comes to our image, we hide our true reasons and emotional desires. Until you are honest about them, it will be difficult to embrace and utilize the emotional side of your weight loss journey. This new year, when all the hustle and bustle of the season is over, take a quiet moment and write down why you want to achieve the fitness goals you want; what emotional pleasure will they bring you? Then, read them every morning. If you live alone, hang them on a mirror or on your fridge. There is no shame in what you want. Embrace your emotional struggles so you can deal with them honestly. More than anything, use them as the fuel you need to reach whatever your definition of success and happiness is.