Over the past two decades, we’ve coached thousands of people from around the world. They wanted to lose the weight for good and get the confidence and lifestyle they desired.
Below are some of the most common reasons people give for wanting to lose weight:
- To have the confidence to be intimate with my partner and to look at myself naked in the mirror.
- To have the confidence to do what I really want to do, without worrying about what other people think.
- To have the confidence to wear what I want to wear and attend social events without hiding or relying on alcohol.
- To be able to fly without needing a seatbelt extender.
- To not parent from the sidelines and let life pass me by.
- To be happy and healthy.
- To increase my mobility and live a pain-free life.
- To increase my energy and vitality.
- To improve my relationships.
Regardless of what their reason is, how much weight they want to lose, their age, gender, culture or sexuality people who want to lose weight all want the same thing.
Our purpose in writing this blog is to give you clarity on the real reason you want to lose the weight because clarity is power. If you know your WHY, you’ll find your HOW. If you can’t find your HOW, then your WHY isn’t strong enough.
Before we let you in on our WHY hypothesis, let’s take a brief look at why people embark on a weight loss journey and what happens when they’re unclear about what they really want.
Why do people embark on a weight loss journey?
We usually only decide to make a significant change in our life when we hit a snap point and life becomes so painful that we are ready to do something about our circumstances. In regards to being overweight, many of us believe that losing weight is the magic pill that will make everything in our life better. When we embark on a weight loss program and start to see results, we begin to feel happier, and life doesn’t feel as painful as before.
What happens next comes down to one of two things. We feel encouraged and motivated to keep going with our program, or we become complacent and fall back into old habits – happily living in no man’s land until we regain the weight and life becomes unbearable again. This explains why a lot of people stop and start diets, and continue to go around in circles.
The difference between whether we stick with our weight loss journey or not comes down to one thing — our reason for losing weight.
We call it a WHY.
Why you need a WHY
Let’s be honest. Losing weight isn’t as easy as the diet and weight loss industry make it out to be. Most of us rely on willpower to lose weight. However, relying on motivation and willpower doesn’t work long-term. When our willpower runs out (which it always does), we give up because losing weight feels too hard and overwhelming. We explain this in our blog Weight loss motivation: Why willpower doesn’t work.
This is why we need a WHY. A WHY is what keeps us going during the tough times. It’s what will get us out of bed to get to our training sessions on a cold winter’s morning. It’s what helps us walk regularly, even when we don’t feel like it. It’s what helps us prioritise meal prep and healthy eating, over sitting on the couch and eating takeaway. It’s what helps us stay committed when things get hard. You can read more about what to expect on a transformation journey in our blogs Seasons of Body Transformation and The stages of a Body Transformation.
In short, a WHY is what makes the difference between whether we keep working at our weight loss, or whether we throw in the towel when things get hard. You can read more about this in our blog Find your ‘WHY’ to lose weight.
Why people REALLY want to lose weight
When we say we want to lose weight, we usually think of our biggest pain point and label that as the reason. Common pain points include threatened health, not being able to wear what we’d really like to, living a life of restriction and pain, and not being great role models for our kids. While these pain points may be what causes us to take action, they are not the real WHY.
To find our WHY, we need to ask ourselves why we want that. What will it give us? Why is it important? And we keep asking until we get to the deep, personal reason that we all have for wanting to lose weight.
Even if we all have different pain points that start us on a weight loss journey, all of us have the same WHY — the real, deep thing we know that weight loss will give us.
Let’s look at a couple of examples to explain.
I want to lose weight because I have health issues
I want to lose weight because I’ve just been diagnosed with diabetes. (Why?)
Because I don’t want my condition to get worse. (Why?)
Because I don’t want to spend my time and money on doctor’s visits and medical treatment or die early. (Why?)
Because I want to spend my time and money on things that give me pleasure. (Why?)
So that I can enjoy my life and do the things that I want to do instead of being sick? (Why?)
So I don’t become a burden to my partner or kids. (Why?)
So they can do the things they want to do, without having to look after me. (Why?)
So that I don’t have to worry about my health, how it impacts their lives, or them resenting me. (Why?)
Because I want to be free from worrying about my health and I want my kids to love me, not resent me.
I want to lose weight so I can wear the clothes I want to wear
I want to lose weight so I can wear the clothes I really want to wear. (Why?)
Because I don’t want to wear boring clothes designed to cover and hide my body. (Why?)
Because I want to look good and feel confident. (Why?)
Because I don’t want people to look at how big I am. (Why?)
Because I don’t want to be judged for my weight. (Why?)
Because I don’t want to be rejected. (Why?)
Because I want to feel free to wear what I like and have people love me.
I want to be a good role model for my kids
I want to be a good role model for my kids. (Why?)
So I can have a good relationship with them and be involved in their lives. (Why?)
Because I want to inspire them. (Why?)
Because I want to show them they can do and be anything they want. (Why?)
Because I don’t want them to be miserable or get in with the wrong crowd and make stupid decisions that will affect their life. (Why?)
So they can live fulfilled lives with meaning and purpose and will value how I helped them to achieve that (Why?)
Because I want to be loved and not worry about them having a difficult life.
Love and freedom
Can you see that the WHY in the three examples above comes down to love and freedom?
If you try the exercise with another reason for weight loss, you’ll find you’ll get the same answer.
In a previous blog, we examined how our decades of experience in working with thousands of long-term clients led us to our weight loss hypothesis that everyone who struggles with weight loss (except those who have medical conditions) suffers from a lack of self-worth. You can read this in our blog Our weight loss hypothesis from working with 1000s of long-term clients.
It’s that same experience that has shown us that everyone who wants to lose weight really wants two things — love and freedom.
Our hypothesis on why people really want to lose weight is that they really want freedom and to be loved.
Wanting love and freedom is why people avoid social events because they don’t want to be judged and rejected; instead, they want to be loved and accepted and have the freedom of not worrying about what others think of them.
It’s why people eat in secret and hide their binge eating.
It’s why people hide their bodies in baggy clothes.
It’s why people feel ashamed and embarrassed when using a seatbelt extender.
It’s why people parent from the sidelines and let life pass them by.
It’s why people shy away from being intimate with their partners or starting new relationships.
Seeking love and freedom is why people end up self-sabotaging. Instead of finding love and freedom the right way, they look for it in a quick fix. For example, people pleasing, engaging in toxic relationships or avoiding doing the hard things that expose their lack of freedom and unworthiness.
While these quick fixes may give you instant gratification, they only make things worse in the long term.
Changing habits and mindsets is your path to love and freedom
Many people believe that losing weight (and finding freedom and love) through dieting is the answer to all their problems. However, as we know, diets and focusing on exercise and food, don’t solve weight problems. That’s because we don’t have weight problems. We have personal problems (habits, mindsets, identities, beliefs and fears) that reflect on our weight.
The only way we can lose weight for good (and find freedom and love) is to address the habits and mindsets that led us to become overweight in the first place. We explain this in great detail in the following blogs, so be sure to read them:
The truth is we need to work on our habits and mindsets because that is the only way we will ever be able to lose weight and find the freedom and love that we’re looking for.
How we help
At Imani Transformations, we are the world’s leading personal coaches in habits, mindset and holistic weight loss. We are the ones people come to when all the diets fail, because we specialise in habit and mindset change, as opposed to selling you diets that don’t work.
Our DATS Personal Coaching Program™️ is a complete all-in-one habit, mindset and holistic weight loss personal coaching program that gives you everything you need (knowledge, systems, tools, skills, structure, accountability and support) to help you lose the weight for good so you can reclaim your freedom, vitality and quality of life.