Healthy Weight 

The Motivation March

  I know how to eat right...

You know the best snacks to eat. You know how to prepare a low calorie lunch.  You even know how to exercise smart. You know how to lose just can't get motivated to do it! You are not the only one stuck in this uncomfortable place. Read on. The following information and questions are there to get you to think more about your desire to lose weight and your want to not change. You decide whether the following helps motivate you to start your next step. You may notice that some of the work described below is challenging work. Working on motivation can be hard work, and it is good work.

 What would I like to change?

Make a list of all, if any, of the eating habits you would like to change in your life. Also include all, if any, exercise changes you would like to make in your life. Some of the changes Lucy noted she would like to make when she was trying to lose weight included:

*drink less soda
*eat more fruits and vegetables
*begin an exercise program

You may or may not have the same ideas as Lucy. Make sure you pick things you would like to change that are important to you. After you list all the changes you can think of, circle the top two you would like to change first. Only pick two!

  How confident am I?

Part A

Use the following scale to decide how confident (or how sure you are) you can change one of the two circled items:

       1         2         3         4         5

The lower the number you pick, the less confident (or less sure) you are that you can change. The higher the number you pick, the more confident you are that you can change the circled item. Do this for both circled items. For help, look at how Lucy did the exercise.

Lucy decided the top two things she thought she would like to change were starting an exercise program and drinking less soda. First, she thought about how sure she was that she could drink less soda.

       1         2         3         4         5

Lucy chose 3 because all of her friends drink it at school and it would be hard to do something different. She also felt that her mom would stop buying it if she asked her. Because of these two reasons, she felt she was right in the middle in her confidence.

Part B

Once you pick your number, answer the following questions. Lucy's answers are under the question to give you an idea.

Why didn't you pick a lower number?

Lucy picked 3 instead of a 1 or 2 since she was confident that she could convince her mom to stop buying the soda. This would help her not drink it at home.

Why didn't you pick a higher number?

Lucy picked 3 instead of a 4 or 5 since she thought she would be embarrassed drinking something different from her friends. She may feel too much pressure to drink what they drink, so she was not able to pick a higher number.

What would it take for you to pick a 5?

Lucy decided that if her friends supported her in her weight loss, she would be more comfortable drinking water or milk instead of soda. This would make her feel more confident.

  Pro and Con to Change

Sometimes, it is good to talk about the benefits of losing weight AND the benefits of staying the way you are now. Thinking about both may help you to see what is keeping you from being motivated to lose weight. Answer the following questions using the same circled changes you would like to make from above. Again, Lucy's answers to the same questions are listed after each.

What are the pros (or the positive parts) of changing your circled behavior?

Lucy's question: What are the pros of drinking less soda?
would probably lose weight so healthier, more energy, new clothes, faster at running, more confidence

What are the cons (or negative parts) of changing your circled behavior?

Lucy's question: What are the cons of drinking less soda? 
maybe embarrassing, other drinks may not taste as good, she may have to watch other people drink regular soda (and that might be hard)

What are the pros of not changing your circled behavior?

Lucy's question: What are the pros of not drinking less soda?
would not have to make the change, keep drinking the tasty sodas, would not get embarrassed, not look different

What are the cons of not changing your circled behavior?

Lucy's question: What are the cons of not drinking less soda?
keep gaining weight, be at risk for diabetes and heart problems, have a harder time finding clothes, cavities from the sugar

Great work! That was really hard work! Keep working with those two things you would like to change to go to the next step.

  Keeping track of your work

Part A

You now have some things you would like to change.  And you thought about how it will be hard and easy to change. It is time to go to the next step.

For the next week, work on those two things to help you lose weight. Only focus on those two things. Keep track in a little notebook how well (or not) you are doing with it. For example, Lucy decided that she wanted to limit her soda intake from 2 per day to 2 per week. She kept track in a pocket spiral notebook of everything she drank. This helped her remember how many times she drank soda. It also helped her to remember that she loved drinking water with lemon slices in it!

Part B

At the end of a week, look at what you were able to change. Reward yourself with a non food reward! If you were not able to change, consider trying again. Or, pick another way to make the goal. Here is a summary of  Lucy's goals:

At the end of the week, she looked over her list. She drank soda two times the whole week (instead of two everyday)! She also weighed herself. She lost one whole pound! Just from changing that one thing! Hooray! She rewarded herself by going to a discount store and buying a new notebook and cool pencil to write with.

Lucy's other goal was to begin an exercise program. She kept note of all the exercise she did everyday. Before this, she was not exercising at all. At the end of the week, Lucy still did not exercise at all. She was sad that she did not make her exercise goal. She was not sad long because she decided that next week she would try to change her exercise goal around a little bit. She decided her goal would be to walk around the block in her neighborhood for 15 minutes 4 days out of the week. How do you think she did the next week? 

  What's next!?!

Whew! What brave work you have done! Each week pick one or two things to change. Start back at the beginning. Ask yourself how confident you are in making the change. Go through the pro/con list. Then, keep track of your work. Reward yourself when you are successful! Keep up the healthy work! The information you gather and the thoughts you come to in the process may help your motivation march on!




 Click Here to Go Back to School Area

Home Pre-Teens Teens Parents eCare