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Publication: Diet Buddy
Let's Get Motivated!

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         Diet Buddy - Monday, January, 22, 2007

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Let's Get Motivated!

Hi There Buddies...

It always seems that after the holidays when winter gets 
into full swing and we're not outside as much, we have that 
tendency to sit around more and adopt the bear's philosophy 
and hibernate for the season. While it's comforting to be 
indoors and relaxing to cozy up to a burning fireplace with 
a good book and some hot chocolate on those cold snowy days, 
most of us NEED to get into action mode, but don't quite 
know or want to get started. And with all the comforts of 
home surrounding us and the cold weather outside, it's easy 
to become a bit lazy about motivating ourselves to start 
that New Year's resolution we made.

Just for a moment...let's get a mental picture of losing 
that extra weight and what it would feel like to fit into 
those jeans that you haven't worn in a while. What about 
all those tops hanging in your closet that are feeling just 
a tad too snug? Wouldn't it be nice to slip them on and 
have them fit again? Not to mention your self-confidence 
soaring having accomplished something you set your mind to, 
and have achieved!  

How fantastic would it be next time you ran into a neighbor 
or friend who just can't believe how fabulous you look 
these days. But most important, let's not forget the health 
benfits that come along with losing those extra pounds...
lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels, less risk 
of heart disease and stroke, just to mention a few. 

So how are we going to make that mental image a reality?  
And what can we do to get motivated and stay motivated?  

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In an interview with eDiets, Dr. Howard Rankin a 
psychological advisor for T.O.P.S. (Take Off Pounds 
Sensibly), a non-profit support organization, has seen 
plenty of clients that just can't seem to get motivated to 
lose weight...even if it means compromising ones health.

"The mind is very creative, it will come up with all sorts 
of reasons why you can't do this right now. Frankly, people 
are busy. They do lead stressful lives. The time and 
attention a good program needs is a real challenge. That's 
why you need to make the commitment to make time and stay 
connected to motivation."

Dr. Rankin says the first step is often the hardest. Many 
people never get started simply because they are confused 
about the many choices out there. They wonder if they 
should follow the low-carb plan, the low-fat routine, the 
no-sugar program or any of the many other diets.

Dr. Rankin says too many men and women make it more 
complicated than it needs to be. The simple answer: eat 
less and move more.

Of course the proper motivation helps. Most people go 
through stages of motivation. There's pre-contemplation 
where people are either in denial or not even thinking 
about the problem or addressing it. Then there's 
comtemplation where you need to do something, but are not 
ready yet. What follows is preparation when you are going 
to get ready to do something. Maybe you sign up with a 
group or a program. Finally, you take action and actually 
do something about your problem.

It's interesting what gets people to move from one stage 
to the next. What usually gets people to move is fear and 
pain" Dr. Rankin says. "There's a quote 'pain is God's 
megaphone.' I think some people aren't listening so He has 
to shout. Those are the people who have heart attacks or 
diabetes and then take notice. For other people, their 
belt might be too tight they can't get into their clothing."

Don't expect to always be motivated, Dr. Rankin warns. He 
compares motivation to the tide - it comes and it goes.  
However, many people see this as a sign of weakness in 
themselves when in actuality it's perfectly normal.

Dr. Rankin says the biggest push often comes from having 
the right support group. "You need accountability with 
other people. You can't be accountable to yourself. It's 
important that you report to another person on a regular 

Rankin isn't alone in his beliefs. A recent study from the 
University of Minnesota School of Public Health concluded 
that the buddy system works.

"The main finding in this study was that recruiting 
participants with friends decreased the number of dropouts 
and markedly increased the percentage of participants who 
maintained their weight loss in full over a six-month 
follow-up period." Dr. Rankin says. 

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Having a hard time getting started on your diet? Dr. Rankin 
suggests giving the following seven steps a try:

1. Find a positive support group. Self-esteem can only be 
   improved through positive interaction with others.

2. Remove yourself from the company of negative, judgmental 
   people. They will hook your self-doubt and the sense of 
   inadequacy and bring you down.

3. Don't set yourself up for failure. You are primed to 
   jump to negative conclusions about yourself. Set small, 
   attainable goals and focus on the short term. Think 
   about losing the next pound, not the next 50.

4. Be aware of those critical inner tapes. Listen to how 
   you are talking to yourself.  Be compassionate with 

5. Eliminate extreme words like "always" and "never", as 
   well as obligation words like "ought" and "should," from 
   your vocabulary.

6. Analyze your hunger. Your thoughts aren't always what 
   they seem to be either - neither is your hunger.

7. Have courage. Fear is natural but cannot be allowed to 
   stop you. 

Keep Your Motivation Going Strong - Robin West, 
                                    Weight Watchers

*  Celebrate The Here And Now - As long as you're committed 
   to your plan today, you're succeeding because you're 
   taking charge of your life.  Focusing on goals that are 
   far in the future can snap motivation.

*  Change Your Language - Scratch negative phrases from 
   your vocabulary. Instead of saying "No," "I can't", or 
   "I'll try," substitute the positive.  Say: "Yes!" "I 
   can" and "I will."

*  Create Visual Inspiration - Find a photo of yourself 
   before you started your weight-loss plan. Tack it on 
   the refrigerator, a bedroom or bathroom mirror or inside 
   the food cupboard. As you reach new goals, take new 
   pictures, visually marking your progress.

*  Believe In Buddy Power - Exercising with friends is 
   always more fun. Schedule days to meet with your buddy, 
   and if one of you tries to bow out, act as the others 

*  Steer Clear Of Sabotage - Avoid people who put you down 
   for trying to lose weight, or who encourage you to eat 
   too much. Often these folks feel threatened by your 
   weight loss.

*  Set Mini Goals - Start with aiming to lose 10 percent 
   of your body weight. By setting realistic goals, you're 
   more likely to reach them, feel successful and move on 
   from there.

*  Reward Yourself - When you've reached a goal (and 
   remember to keep them small), you deserve a treat. 
   Buy a new outfit, small piece of jewelry, a book or 
   a diary, or take yourself to a play or movie.

*  Keep Reminders In Plain Sight - Treadmills, bicycles, 
   weights, even sneakers and exercise outfits should be 
   left where you can see them. Don't store your exercise 
   gear under the bed or in the basement. That will only 
   hide the fact that you need to exercise.

*  Read Success Stories - Inspiration often comes from 
   reading about the way others have found success. Just 
   think: "One day the story is going to be mine!"


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Our health in itself should be motivation enough to shed 
some of those extra pounds, but we all at times make 
excuses for waiting, until we reach a danger point and 
have no other choice but to get started.

Did You Know ???

That if you put yourself in a positive frame of mind, you 
can accomplish anything. If you can clearly see your goal, 
see that it's within your grasp, there's nothing stopping 
you. That's why surrounding yourself with positive images 
and visual reminders can be just what the doctor ordered.

From our reader Teresa:

Hello Libby,
I have a question for ya. How do you get motivated to get 
on a diet? I have one that I was on a couple of years back 
and lost 36 lbs, but the place went out of business and now 
I have gained that back and I am sure more. I just can't 
seem to get started back on some type of diet plan. Can you 

Thanks for any help you can give me. Teresa

Hi Teresa...

There are many weight loss centers that can help you get 
started on your weight loss journey again. Losing 36 
pounds a few years back tells me you were very serious 
and dedicated with what you were doing at that time.

First, try and figure out what would motivate you to lose 
weight again? Is everything too tight on you? Is there a 
special event or trip coming up? Is there a special someone 
you'd like to look good for? Is excess weight causing you 
health problems?

Anyone of these can motivate you to get started, but above 
all remember to do it for yourself because you're worth it, 
and you want to look and feel good. Once you get yourself 
into that mindset and start seeing results, that will be 
motivation enough to keep you going. Just remind yourself 
that you WANT to do this, if for no other reason than to 
keep yourself healthy and your blood pressure and 
cholesterol down. :)

One suggestion, buy yourself something very very sharp 
to wear that you've always wanted, but were waiting until 
you lost weight to buy. Buy it NOW, only buy it one size 
smaller. Invest the money in yourself with the knowledge 
that you WILL be wearing this item in the very near 

You can do it!

Don't have any motivation to start that weight loss plan?
Stop by our Diet Buddy Forum and start a new discussion 
with fellow buddies at... Diet Buddy Forum 

Have a great week everyone !!!

Disclaimer: Since I am not a medical professional any 
statements in this column are strictly based on research I 
have done and should not be misconstrued as medical advice.

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