“Everyone needs weight loss motivation in order to reach their weight loss goals. Get motivated by modeling successful people as detailed here.”
Most attempts to change unwanted behavior fail. Even in the most successful clinical weight-loss programs, . . .
- most patients who succeed in losing 10 percent of their body weight, they gain back two-thirds of that weight in a year.
- And end up gaining all of it back in five years.
The task of modifying one’s behavior, however, is neither impossible nor hopeless.
Our research has shown that one way the overweight and those who lead sedentary lifestyles can mend their ways is . . .
- to model their behavior after someone who has already successfully made a change in the desired direction.
One of the most valuable aspects of this website—and I hope you use it this way—is that it can be followed as if the advice contained in it were being given to you by your personal mentor.
I’ve mentored many people in my life. And perhaps the most surprising (indeed flattering!) trait I’ve seen in each of my successful clients/students/friends is their willingness to adopt most, if not all, of what I do and to follow my lead in aspects of their life that pertain to health and fitness.
As pointed out in an earlier article, I’ve spent years distilling all of the successful weight loss methods I’ve encountered over the years. With the help of many clients, I’ve tested these methods. So I can ensure that the results people obtained in their quest for better health and fitness could be duplicated. Finally, I’ve documented them in this website.
Until you find your own models, I suggest using this website as your mentor and source of weight loss motivation. Bookmark it for your repeated reference. And make sure that whomever you choose as a mentor understands everything that’s outlined herein.
When you model the behavior of a successful person, you learn from their accomplishments as well as their mistakes. You can build upon their accomplishments and avoid the pitfalls that they encountered, thereby cutting years off of your efforts!
Making A Change Is Lonely
Let’s face it, changing our behavior is often a lonely business. Oftentimes, when we look for weight loss motivation we can’t find it, even—perhaps especially—from family members. In fact, family members often turn out to be far more of a hindrance than a help.
One study showed that . . .
- the majority of survey respondents (74 percent) believed their mate was more likely to hinder their progress than to help.
When queried about specific non-supportive types of behavior, the respondents were sweepingly disheartened:
- 78 percent claimed that their partner snacked in front of them, despite the partner’s realization that observing the snacking behavior made it more difficult for them to stick to their healthful diet
- 47 percent said their partner insulted them about their physical faults
- 70 percent felt that their partner “didn’t seem to care” whether they were in shape or not
What About Active Support?
A remarkable 81 percent of partners “rarely compliment” them on their achievements.
If you can’t get support at home, then where can you get the help you need to fully utilize the techniques outlined in this website? Well, there are two answers to this question.
First, you can buddy up with someone. Email/Text a willing friend a link to this website, and ask them to read it concurrently with you. Then, after reading it through once, review each article together. And hold each other accountable for following everything in that article.
Use A Role Model, But Avoid These Pitfalls
The second answer is to find someone who has successfully done what you want to do and model your behavior after their winning ways.
There are two possible pitfalls, however, that you should beware of:
First, you shouldn’t set out to model the behavior of someone who has just recently lost a ton of weight, gained ten pounds of muscle, or adopted a healthful lifestyle.
People like that have not yet had time to demonstrate long-term success; they have only just begun.
Although getting on track is your first goal—and these would-be mentors may have your best interests at heart in trying to help you get there—your main goal is to reach your intended weight and then remain there by mastering your metabolism.
You shouldn’t stay stuck on emulating the behavior of someone who has yet to prove their perseverance over the long haul.
Second, when people know that you’re using them as a role model or a mentor, they tend to act like an expert and may offer their input to too great an extent, or in areas you don’t want help in.
There are several ways to handle the mentoring of a person who wants to help you but may not know where to draw the line. My suggestion is to silently observe them. Don’t let them in on your plan to use them as a role model.
Just watch and interact with them. Feed off their energy for weight loss motivation, but use what you’re learning here as your bible. So that you can identify their shortcomings and avoid following suit. But by all means, don’t hesitate to absorb all of their positive traits.
Fictitious Mentoring Group
You can also build your own fictitious mentoring group to gain weight loss motivation. This process may seem foolish. But it has helped hundreds of my clients reach their weight loss goals when they didn’t have a coach to help them, or when I was already too booked up with personal clients to take on any more.
To build your group, simply go to someplace that’s quiet and mentally build a group of four or five “fictitious” people (it usually helps to have both men and women in the group). Give each of the members of your fictitious group a distinct personality that will help you reach your goals.
- For example, one member may have reached his/her goal weight years ago and may still look incredible.
- That person is the one who should tell you what you can expect and how to avoid all the pitfalls you may encounter along the way.
- Such a person may also be a bit more critical of you, and may try to get you to reach beyond your goals—simply because they did it, they succeeded in keeping off their excess weight.
- Give personalities to each of the members of your fictitious group, and make them all very positive thinkers who use only helpful motivational advice to guide you.
Now that you have your fictitious mentoring group, you must set up regular meetings with them. Never show up late for a meeting, and they’ll never let you down.
They’ll always be there if you need to have an emergency meeting before you go out to eat with your friends, or if your spouse has just prepared a big, greasy meal for dinner and there’s nothing healthful for you to eat.
Use Your Group For Weight Loss Motivation
Use your group to give you all the positive support and weight loss motivation you need.
And never tell anyone else about your group.
The fictitious mentoring group is one of the most powerful health and fitness techniques ever studied. Use it wisely and often, and you’ll soon see why so many people can attribute their success to this process.
If you have family members or friends who are well informed about weight loss and the role that metabolism plays in it and are clearly supportive in helping you achieve your goals, use them for weight loss motivation as well.
- D.R. Black demonstrated that couples lost significantly more weight than individual participants in a controlled weight-loss study (Health Psychology, 1990, 9:330–347).
- A study by J.B. Lassner showed similar results: behavior-change programs based on a family systems approach were more successful than programs without such support (Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 1991, 13:66–72).
A common conclusion among studies of this type is that enhanced social support improves one’s chances of long-term maintenance of weight loss.
Modeling Made Easy
A role model is a person you admire and whose behavior you want to emulate. The most important trait you should be looking for in a role model is . . .
- successful achievement of what you wish to achieve.
This is true in any endeavor you might choose, not just in taking up a diet and exercise program. If you want to be more successful in your work, for example, seek out a person who’s already successfully doing the type of work you do. And learn from that person’s successes—and, yes, even from their failures.
It makes no sense whatsoever for you to bumble and stumble along, learning a new mode of behavior, when there’s an ample supply of successful others out there who may be eager to share the secrets of their accomplishments with you.
When you find such a person, learn as much as you can about how they achieved their goals. And learn to read into each person, so you’ll be able to distinguish between when they’re just bragging and when they’re actually telling you what made them successful.
How much do you know about the person you admire most? His or her success is probably the most obvious trait that you’ve noticed. But that one attribute may not prove to be sufficient for weight loss motivation. Besides having already achieved what you are setting out to achieve, a role model should have the following qualities:
- sense of humor
- good self-image
- high moral values
Things to review and do
- Describe the characteristics of the person you wish to model.
- Do some research on where you’ll most likely find such a mentor.
- Begin looking for the kind of mentor you have in mind.
Keeping Company With Other Successful Individuals
When you keep company with winners in your pursuit of increased metabolism, some of their desire to achieve will rub off on you. That’s one of the reasons given by dieting clubs such as Weight Watchers and Overeaters Anonymous for the higher rates of weight loss among their members than among dieters who try to go it alone.
Let’s face it, getting in shape can be a lonely and difficult business. All too often, the dieter gets little or no help from his or her family and friends. I realize that these people want to help, but frankly, they most likely don’t know how to support your efforts to change.
To improve your chances of success, seek out supportive friends who share your desire to rid themselves of unwanted behavior. Share this website with them. You’ll gain weight loss motivation and begin living in a new, more healthful way.
Books That Offer Models
Just as you can learn to model your behavior after that of others with whom you associate, you can do the same thing by reading about the successful exploits of others.
You’d be surprised at how many others have tried and succeeded at doing precisely what you want to do. Some of them have gone on to write books about their trials, travails, and eventual achievement. Let me point out some of the books I’d recommend as being useful as you attempt to build up your weight loss motivation and a strong will.
- One such book is Psycho-Cybernetics, by Maxwell Maltz.
- This perennial bestseller has helped thousands of people just like you improve their lives through a remarkable program of exercises. Many of these exercises entail modeling the behavior of others who have been successful.
- Maltz suggests that you seek out these people, observe their behavior, and then imagine yourself performing in the same successful way.
- Still another book which is excellent reading is Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich.
- This upbeat work will teach you how to take a new look at yourself. And it will give you a realistic way to achieve your goals, whatever they may be.
- Hill was one of the first of the popular psychologists to recommend that you join what he calls a “master-mind group,” a body of specially selected people who have the same goal in mind. Hill also recommends that you pattern your behavior after group participants that you have specially selected for the successes you wish to emulate.
- Hill’s book is mainly focused on building wealth. But the techniques he uses are powerful. And they can easily be converted and used to help people get into great physical shape.
You might also choose any one of a number of good biographies about outstanding men and women whose salutary qualities you would do well to emulate. Contemporary mentors who have achieved greatness in their area of expertise, such as Lee Iacocca, Oprah Winfrey, Ted Turner, and Sandra Day O’Connor, provide excellent modeling support.
There is something special in reading about the success of others that strengthens one’s will to achieve. Reading, and the images it creates, can awaken the vast inner energy within you, which may have long been dormant and just waiting for such a revival.
I’m sure you’ll find many other books that will inspire you in your quest for better health and fitness. Why not go to your library today and choose a couple of these books for your nightly reading project for the next thirty days?
Books like these will be tremendously effective in helping you switch to your new mode of behavior. Your goal should include reading at least one autobiography of a successful person, or one book on mental training or self-improvement, each month.
What’s A Dieter To Do?
In the course of this program, you can take several steps to improve your social support system for your weight-loss efforts and increase your chances of success.
First, make plans to solicit social support from outside the family.
Help of this sort can come from many different sources . . .
- or your own fictitious mentoring group, just to name a few.
Second, proactively enlist the help of your family.
Include your mate if you believe he or she can provide positive support for you.
When one member of a family is not living healthfully or is physically unfit, that sends a ripple effect through the entire family unit.
The other side of the family-influence coin is that every member of the family can eventually share in the benefits of a proper diet and fitness regimen. That’s motivating for everyone!
Just make sure, as stated earlier, that you first start the ball rolling by yourself.
- First, read all the articles on this website, and then reread it one article at a time, putting the various dieting, exercise, and emotional management techniques into effect as you go.
- Next, start your visualization program (which will be explained in detail in the next article).
- Then, begin your mentoring program.
- Finally, invite your family to share in your new energy and enthusiasm toward your diet.
Third, get active!
Ask for the help you need but are not getting. It will do absolute wonders for your weight loss motivation and self-confidence. Invite compliments, ask for greater help with your challenges, and solicit your partner’s cooperation in your dieting or fitness regimen. At the very minimum, convince your partner to do his/her snacking in private.
One More Note
Bear in mind that role models can motivate, but only if they are people whose achievements we find attainable. Comparing ourselves or our loved ones to super-achievers won’t shame us into performing better. It will simply leave us feeling worse and lacking in weight loss motivation.