Friday, May 23, 2014

How Do I Find Motivation to Lose Weight and Then Keep It Off?

The most common thing people want to know about my weight loss and transformation is, after all these years, how do I stay motivated.  I would love to figure it all out myself!  I often have wished I would be the one to find that million dollar answer to this most popular question, "How do I lose weight and keep it off?".  

I started to think of a better way articulate the question....."How do I find the motivation to change my overweight condition, and then stay motivated?", and that's when it all made sense.  It's not about motivation, it's about change.

The nature of motivation comes and goes, but you can make change permanent.  What you need to do is to turn the change into habit, because habits are automatic behaviors that you don't ever have to think about, and they will continue on if and when the motivation wanes!  No motivation required!  Those new habits make it all a done deal.

Oh my God....I think I just discovered the answer!  

This all started when I decided to take a deeper look at, and reverse engineer, my own successful permanent weight loss of over 100lbs for almost 10 years now, and I found some interesting consistencies.  I had no idea I would figure it out so quickly! I was kind of kidding about discovering the answer, but I'm serious at the same time.  Kidding because I'm not the first person to look in the direction of behavior and habit and think along these lines, but yet I am serious in the fact that I figured out how I did it, I discovered the answers for me, and maybe I can help you find the answers for you.  

I was so excited and confident about these discoveries that at the last minute (actually a couple of weeks prior) I asked Dan Lona, my host for The Swing Quest Chicago, if I could use the hour in between the two workouts on Saturday to share my thoughts and opinions about losing weight and keeping it off.  I want people that need and want to lose weight to lose it!  I really really do!  Sometimes I ask myself why do I care so much because I can go along in my life saving a ton of energy not worrying about anybody else.  But in a weird kind of way I get energy by talking and writing about this subject.  The subject is not necessarily weight loss, instead I think it's about freedom, because when I talk about being free I feel free!  Freedom, whether it comes in the form of losing weight or anything else that might be keeping you from enjoying your life more fully, comes down to finding the motivation to change a situation that's been making you feel trapped, exhausted, and helpless.  I had never talked  in deep detail about this subject outside of my regular circle of friends and clients before and I really didn't have a plan, I simply tried to start at the beginning!

The beginning; the very first thing I did, the biggest change I made, was that I started making all of my own foods/meals....ALL of them.  For the first 1 1/2 years I never ate any foods or meals that did not come out of my own kitchen.  I remember quite clearly the first meal I reluctantly had to eat out, it was during my April 2006 Kettlebell Instructor Certification in St Paul, and only because I was away from home and I didn't have a choice!  When I got home I resumed only eating my own homemade foods.....  Is the answer to make all of your own foods/meals?  Well, it may or may not be.  Home cooking was not the reason for my success as much as it was the habit of home cooked and prepared meals.  Next I'll write more about this first step/change and how it was a big part my answer relevant to what was causing my "overweightness" in the first place.

I'll stop here for now because cannot possibly write one blog post containing all I know and all I am experiencing through my recent discoveries but I think this is a good start!  I invite and welcome your comments and questions, in fact it's your interest in this subject that motivates me to share more, so please don't be shy.  You may have something to offer another reader or you may have a question some one else is wondering about too!  

Life is Good.


Ponderful said...

keep writing. we are listening.

Maribel said...

Luckily you like to talk about it because we all benefit from your passion on the subject!

I think talking it through is therapeutic and sometimes helps us "work through" thoughts and ideas.

I have my ups and downs with my food and weight loss (not as significant as yours, but it was life changing for me), but continuing to work through it has helped me keep it together. It's been 3 years for me. THREE YEARS!

The best thing is that you give us so much information and that helps each and every one us find what works for us. One of the things I learned from you is to always continue to grow, set goals and if something doesn't work, no biggie, move on.

Diana said...

..."I want people that need and want to lose weight to lose it! I really really do! Sometimes I ask myself why do I care so much because I can go along in my life saving a ton of energy not worrying about anybody else. But in a weird kind of way I get energy by talking and writing about this subject."

Turning your mess into your message is your gift. Of course you care because you TRULY know what it's like living FAT. Not a lot can honestly say that. Living that way SUCKS ASS. You helping us to lose/maintain certainly helps to keep your fire going and that makes it a "win-win" situation for us all. I know for a fact, just knowing you the way I know you, that if you gave up caring for us and wanting us to be our best, a little part of your soul inside would die!

Tracy Reifkind said...


Thank you very much for your comment. It's much easier to find the motivation to write, when I know someone is reading ;)

Tracy Reifkind said...


Three years! Wow! I can only imagine what might have happened had you not found kettlebell training with me...or should I say what might NOT have ever happened without the training we've done for 3 years now.

Look at you now! A serious success story. 16kg 5 minutes snatch here you come!

Tracy Reifkind said...


Living life fat totally SUCKS ASS! And I'm not afraid to agree! One of the next subjects I want to write about is that "self acceptance" does not mean "settling".

In a way I owe much of these latest discoveries to you! I don't know if you remember sitting at your dining room table with Tracy M when I said that I knew I was going to figure it all out someday. That's when you said, "No you're not!" And I said, "Oh yes I am!" I will never forget it because it was at that moment that I realized I was much closer than even I thought!

I can't wait to share more details with you because this will help you and your family in ways that will hardly be noticed, but will eventually be very noticeable!

Diana said...

I definitely remember the "no you won't" - "yes I will" conversation!

I love to be proven wrong!

Look forward to hear what you've figured out!

PS/If you need a photo of my table for your next book, just let me know! ;)

Kathleen Meraz said...

I think changing our eating habits by eating real food prepared by us is definately the way to start overcoming obesity. When you find out just what "non-food" we eat when we eat out, its enough to keep me out of restaurants! My own theory of why so many people are obese is because so many of us are not eating real food, so we eat and eat and eat.

Just bought your book "The Swing" and am on my second week. Down 5 lbs! I became aware of you when I purchased "The Four Hour Body" a couple of years ago and purchased a 25 lb kettlebell where it sat and collected dust.

I am 53 years old and something inside of me just had enough. I've been carrying around this extra 30 lbs for most of my adult life. I love your program because you were not a sweet young thing going in and showed the rest of us it can be done.

Already showing progress. You are my guruette! All the best, Kathleen

Kathleen Meraz said...

Sorry about the double post.... I am new to all this blogging posting!

Tracy Reifkind said...


no problem, I totally understand about the double post thing...I went ahead and deleted one of them ;) Thank you sooooo much for commenting, especially since you aren't a regular blog commenter!

I completely respect your opinions based on your experience, but I have to caution about a couple of things. MY experience is not about making judgements on the definition of "real foods" or "clean eating". In fact if I never heard any of those trendy catch phrases it'll be too soon. I'm over it based on bigger and more important things to focus on.

Do I think most people need to improve the quality of the ingredients that are in their foods/meals? Maybe. But that has got little to do with overweightness, (that's a new word I'm using by the way!) In fact there is research that shows healthier foods may be overeaten just as much, if not more because of the false sense of security "clean foods" give. The habit of overeating is the culprit. The HABIT of overeating, NOT what we are overeating.

Just my opinion, and I will continue to expand on this very subject. You made a very important comment and I thank you for bringing up the subject. It may seem like a minor detail, but it's not! It's a major misconception, and one I'd love the chance to explain, and share with you further.

Robin said...

I would really appreciate it if you would address the issue of loosing and keeping weight of during perimenopause and menpopause. Even with good nutrition and adequate exercise , I see my body shape changing. Arms and legs are toned but the middle seems to be getting softer and fatter.

rida habib chorfa said...

it is good to share your thoughts and opinions on weight loss