Think Thin

Part I: Creating a Burning Desire
By Dr. Michael Tobin PhD.

A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that it makes no ‎difference what kind of a diet you’re on. They all work, or they all don’t. ‎

Only motivation matters. ‎

Sometimes it takes a bunch of scientists, spending millions of dollars on a research project to ‎tell us what we already know: To succeed at anything you have to really, really want it. ‎

To understand burning desire think Olympic athlete, not a glamour athlete like superstar ‎gymnast, Simone Biles, or mega-celebrity, Usain Bolt, but an out-of-the-limelight, unknown like ‎Matej Toth, the 50km, Slovakian race walker, who won the 2016 gold medal. Outside of ‎Slovakia and the small international community of race walkers, no one knows about Mr. Toth ‎except his wife and mother. Fame and wealth are not what gets him to lace up at 5:00 am. ‎

So, what motivates Mr. Toth to dedicate more than 20 hours per week to a grueling training ‎regimen? Since there are no lucrative endorsements for his efforts, no interviews with late ‎night hosts, no pictures of him on the back of a Wheaties box, then we can only assume that his ‎extraordinary efforts are a result of either a burning desire for excellence, a fiercely competitive ‎spirit, or maybe Mr. Toth just loves to walk fast. Whatever motivates Mr. Toth to speed walk ‎‎45 K 3 times per week, it’s what we psychologists would call intrinsic motivation. ‎

The psychology and medical departments of the University of Rochester conducted a study on ‎weight loss and motivation. For the study, the researchers recruited 128 men and women who ‎were severely obese. Each participant was asked a series of questions assessing whether they ‎were internally or externally motivated:‎

Did they decide to participate in this weight loss study because of an intrinsic desire to be ‎healthy and in control of their lives? Or, were they motivated to partake because of external ‎expectations and pressures from others? In other words, did they choose to participate or did ‎they feel pressured?‎

The researchers discovered that those participants who identified strong powerful reasons for ‎losing weight (intrinsic motivation):‎
‎•‎ Attended the program regularly
‎•‎ Lost more weight during the program
‎•‎ Were more successful in maintaining weight loss at follow up

What Might a Burning Desire for Weight Loss Look Like? ‎

Read these 6 brief stories about weight loss motivation and see if you can identify the common ‎trigger that compelled them to begin their weight loss journey: ‎

When the doctor told me a month ago that she couldn’t classify it as pre-diabetes, but diabetes… ‎That day I looked really looked in the mirror for the first time and didn’t like what I saw. I decided ‎right then and there that I didn’t want to be that woman anymore. I want to be able to climb the ‎stairs at home without my heart racing. I’M DOING IT! ‎

I have struggled with my weight my entire life. I am getting older now, so It’s all about living ‎longer and being healthy. My mother has NEVER exercised and she’s a total mess. She has no ‎strength and she can’t walk down her driveway. I don’t want that for me.‎

I’ve always been overweight, but I thought, it’s one thing to put myself at risk for health ‎complications, but to do so to my baby is unthinkable. And I also want to be able to keep up with ‎him or her after they are born and be able to run and have fun with them too.‎

I couldn’t bear to look in the mirror ever. Not to mention over dressing everywhere I went, no ‎matter the temperature outside, just so i can hide all of my fat. Then I told myself, I can’t ‎complain about how I look if I am not going to do anything about it. ‎

I had found one of my old photos of a younger, happier, fit me and I remembered how that use to ‎feel. I looked at the picture while I looked at myself in the mirror… I had gone from dresses and ‎smiles to sweat pants and sweatshirts… anything to cover up my body. I felt like I wanted to cry. s ‎I knew I needed to change. So I did! ‎

‎2 moments really… the first was looking in the mirror and realizing I just didn’t want to look like ‎that anymore and the second was thinking of all the big moments I have coming up in life and ‎how I imagine myself looking and it was not going to happen on its own!‎
‎ ‎
Did you notice that all of our 6 weight loss heroes started their journey from a place of pain? ‎Each hero literally felt a “burning” (painful) desire to change her life. The awareness of that ‎burning pain coupled with a powerful desire to achieve health is what motivated each one of ‎them to succeed. ‎

So ask yourself, “What’s your burning pain?” When you can answer that question, then ask ‎yourself, “Do I have a burning desire to lose weight?” If yes, you’re ready to change your life ‎and ReSelf is here to help.‎

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