I have been talking about motivation with some of the members of our community. It is an interesting and complex topic! What motivates us to want to reduce our weight? Increase our fitness level? Change our eating habits? Drink less alcohol? Get more sleep? Get off of a drug that isn't healthy for us to use? Minimizing or stopping any behavior that is not healthy should be easy, but it's not, is it????
Classic motivators can be categorized as intrinsic (coming from within) or extrinsic (external influences). Some people say that all motivation can come down to two categories: fear and greed. Other researchers say that motivation is more complex involving motivators such as recognition, money, autonomy and other things. The one thing everyone agrees on is that motivation is highly personal to each person. So, if you are trying to find motivation to begin your healthy journey or to jumpstart a stalled healthy journey or to just keep going on your healthy journey, in my eyes, the only answer is to look within.
You have to ask yourself some tough questions. How is my behavior serving me? Because, when we choose to repeat a behavior, it is serving us in some way. If you are eating a bowl of ice cream or a plate of french fries or (insert your favorite example here) when you know you should be avoiding that food, then you are serving something inside of you that needs your attention. So ask yourself, are you feeding the little child inside who was denied treats? Are you feeding some emotional need that you have yet to come to terms with? Food motivators are almost always connected to emotional needs.
So often your hear advice that we have to learn to love ourselves. Could it be that easy to have greater control over food if we simply love ourselves more than we love an unhealthy food choice? I think so. So next time you are facing temptation, ask yourself - do I really want to eat the "Snickers bar", or can I put it down and decide I love myself more than I love the "Snickers bar" instead. That definitely falls within the intrinsic category of motivators!
So keep asking yourself the questions. The answers will emerge for you when you are ready to hear them. Just know that you are worth the time and the effort. You have the answers within you.
Desire to figure it out. Dedication to learn your triggers. Discipline to keep asking the good questions.