“But Mary, why do I need a WHY?”
These are comments I’ve heard from weight loss surgery friends and clients when we first connected.
1. “I was so motivated after surgery. I don’t know how to keep that going.”
2. “I’ve had so many setbacks, but I just need to make myself do it.”
3. “If I’m going to get this extra weight off I need to work harder. I need to want it more.”
Now, you might think, “Mary, what’s wrong with that? I’m supposed to make myself do it, and I do have to want it more so I can work harder.”
Before you had weight loss surgery, even before you thought about having surgery, didn’t you hear these same messages?
YOU HAVE TO WANT IT.
YOU HAVE TO WORK HARDER.
YOU’RE WORTH IT SO MAKE IT HAPPEN.
But how? It’s not like these are new concepts. I heard them too. But they didn’t exactly have that magical effect on me before surgery either, even with insulin injections and multiple medications rearing their ugly heads. Why would I think, “Just do it!” could help me now?
Why would you?
You need a WHY.
Let’s be honest here. For most weight loss surgery patients there are so many dramatic changes during the first year:
· Pounds and inches dropping off
· Smaller clothing sizes
· Medical issues improving or completely resolved
· Less or no medication
· Your surgeon and team telling you how awesome you are
· High-fives and “Way to go!” coming at you from every direction
Tell me, how could you NOT stay motivated?
I remember what a new client told me when I asked him what he thought contributed to his 40-pound regain. “That first year you’ve got everybody telling you what a great job you’re doing. And heck you don’t even need them to tell you because you wake up practically every day weighing less than the day before. And after a lot of years feeling horrible with your health and yourself, you finally have something to be proud of. But then the weight loss stops, people don’t mention it anymore, all the changes are pretty much over and life just goes back to the way it was before.”
All of this my friend, is why you need a WHY.
Your WHY is why you set out your walking shoes and workout clothes before you go to bed, and get up at 5AM instead of sleeping until 6AM.
Your WHY is why you call your surgeon or physician and schedule a follow-up appointment.
Your WHY is why you ask your best friend to come over on Sunday afternoon to help you meal prep for the week.
Your WHY is why you practice heart and mindset shifts so you can reduce and eventually eliminate using food to distract, numb or comfort yourself.
“He who has a WHY to live for can bear almost any how.”
When I ask weight loss surgery friends and clients WHY they want to reach their healthy weight, these are their top answers:
- I need to do this so I can prove to myself I’m not a failure.
- I want to look and feel healthier because I don’t want to deal with the effects of the extra weight anymore.
- I want to be healthier for my family so I can be there for them.
My friend, my hunch is these answers are similar to yours.
We ended Get to the heart of it with, “The reasons I want to be healthier are…”
My reasons were:
1. “To have the courage to stand up for myself in all areas of my life.”
2. “To be the woman I’d always hoped to be until I allowed my lack of self-confidence and zero self-compassion to determine my life.”
Now, look back at what your wrote when you dug a little deeper. No, really, go look. Okay, got it? Great!
Here’s the magic question(s): WHY? Really, WHY?
“Why do I want to have the courage to stand up for myself in all areas of my life?”
It’s’ not enough. Once I have that courage, what do I plan on doing with it?
Okay, I want to be courageous in that particular situation, but Why did I pick that particular situation?
What will “being courageous” in that situation do for me, or someone I love?
Why do I want that outcome for myself or someone I love?
When that outcome happens, what will come of it?
I know, this is really digging deeper.
Sometimes we don’t want to do that – or know how to do that. Let me give you an example of a coach working with a client who’s a small business owner:
What are you doing tomorrow? I’m going to a business conference.
Why are you going to the business conference? I’m going because it’s a good place to connect with potential employees for my company.
Why do you want to connect with potential employees? Because I need fresh thinkers to create new products.
Why do you want to create new products? Because my company is stagnant and the new products could spark growth.
Why do you want to spark growth? Well because we need to improve our cash flow.
Why do you want to improve your cash flow? Because with a steady cash flow I can take care of my employees and my family.
Why do you want to take care of your family? I don’t want them to worry about anything. I want to make sure they have everything they need.
Why do you want to make sure your family has everything they need? Because I want them to be happy.
Why do you want your family to be happy? Because I love them and they make me happy.
Why do you want to be happy? Because I love my family.
When you hit the wall with the WHY questions, you’ve found your WHY.
Because I love my family.
What if you could go from “I’m going to a business conference” to “Because I love my family” without having to go through all those WHY questions?
Although for you it may be more like,
“Why am I cooking the chicken and mushrooms in my refrigerator instead of going out for Chinese?”
“Why am I passing on Mexican food with my colleagues and instead eating the high protein lunch I packed?”
“Why am I opting to make a roast chicken and vegetables when Sharon comes for dinner instead of fettuccine alfredo, even though I’ve been dying to make it for weeks?”
WHY? Well, that’s what you’re going to discover.
You don’t have to do the WHY exercise every time you’re facing a situation, but you’ve got to write it out at least once, and then re-read it every day until your WHY is crystal clear.