Weight Loss Wake-Up Call (cont.)

Finding Your Own Motivators

In the process of helping to supply people with a motivational "kick in the tush," Taylor says one thing she's learned is that the motivation is different for everybody.

"You have to find out what's missing in your life -- what you personally need to succeed," she says.

While this can certainly come in the form of a "magic moment," experts say not to worry if it doesn't. You can create your own magic if you look to your personal value system as a guide.

"Just look towards what you want to accomplish in your life, and then ask yourself how your weight may be stopping or preventing that -- or how it will prevent it in the future," says Menard. "That's where you can find the motivation that really means something to you."

For some, she says, it will be vanity -- wanting to express a sense of style but being frustrated because weight gets in the way. For others, it will be family love: the desire to live long enough to see grandchildren get married, to be able to play ball with your kids, or to participate in a family ski trip. For still others it might be a doctor's warning about a health condition that does the trick.

"If people want to move themselves towards the magic moment they really should assess what their values are - and try to work within that framework to find their motivation," Menard says.

Another tip for getting and staying motivated, says Taylor, is to set out to discover the simple things that bring you happiness every day -- then do what you can to snatch a little piece of that for yourself every day.

She tells WebMD: "If other things are filling up your life with happiness, then food will have a smaller place to occupy in your mind and in your life."

Published April 28, 2006.

SOURCES: Janet Taylor, weight loss coach; founder, OurLadyofWeightLoss.com; author, Our Lady of Weight Loss: Miraculous and Motivational Musings From The Patron Saint of Permanent Fat Removal. Lyssa Menard, PhD, founder, StrategiesForChange.net; clinical health psychologist, Northwestern Memorial Hospital Wellness Institute, Chicago. Dorothy ("Diet4Me") and Mary ("TexasK"), WebMD Weight Loss Clinic members.

©2006 WebMD Inc. All rights reserved.

Last Editorial Review: 5/2/2006