We, as human beings, will usually spring into action when we have strong motivations to accomplish something. If an important test needs to be passed and a job promotion and/or raise is dependent on passing that test, we will spend lots of dedicated time preparing for the exam. If we are in a job we despise we will focus greatly on sending our resume out for positions that would be more favorable. If we want to watch our favorite football team play on Sunday 1 PM, we will arrange our schedules and ensure completion of our other tasks so we can be in front of that television set to watch.
There is a subset of new patients that come into our program that have a future date in mind as their motivation to lose weight. Here are some examples:
- An upcoming wedding date for the patient her/himself or a close family member’s wedding. The motivation: Looking great in their attire on the wedding date
- An upcoming school reunion: The motivation: Look younger, healthier and more vibrant than the classmates and make that former Captain of the football team or lead cheerleader jealous.
- Military people that need to be at a certain BMI by a specific date or risk being discharged before retirement and associated benefits
Aside from specific events, there are many other motivating reasons to shed the weight such as:
- Wanting to reduce back, knee or hip pains
- Desirous of coming off of medications being prescribed to treat the co-morbidities of poor weight control
- Wanting to get back to higher energy levels
This entry was inspired that occurred at the office yesterday. I asked one of our patients how her holiday time period went and she proudly took out a picture of her dressed up well, surrounded by her 9 grandchildren. This was an absolutely beautiful family picture. The patient had several copies and offered up one to me which I gratefully took as I LOVE seeing our patients happy and this picture provided me with a great moment.
Our patient has lost a considerable amount of weight but similar to many people, over the past several months from Halloween through New Year, she has been sort of “stuck”. During our “pep talk” yesterday, the patient was seeking a motivation to get back to following the plan in a more focused manner. I immediately showed her the picture she had just provided to me and said: “THIS is your motivation”. Do you wanna be the Grandma that the grandchildren visit in the hospital or nursing home? OR would you like to have those beautiful grandchildren have many more years of taking a picture with their beloved grandmother in front of a holiday decorated fireplace? Losing the weight will enhance the odds of the latter as opposed to the former scenarios.
There are many motivations to control weight. The very best one in my opinion? Increasing the amount of “healthy and happy” times with your loved ones.
And here is Normani singing her hit “Motivation”. (See? I can also post songs other than ones by Frank Sinatra or Neil Diamond!)