Lose Weight By Linda Formicelli Here’s what I hear from 90 percent of my female wellness coaching clients: “I was thin when I was a teen, then I put on weight when I went through a divorce/when I hit 30/when I went through a stressful time at work — and now I’m 20 pounds overweight. No matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to lose the weight.” When I ask them why they want to lose weight, they say that they want to look good in their jeans, or want to weigh what they did when they got married, or have to pare pounds for an upcoming reunion. They have strong motivators and definite numbers they’re trying to reach, which are key to making lasting change. So why is it difficult to lose the weight and get healthy? The problem is often that our health goals don’t resonate with us– because the goals don’t tie into our deepest, most important life values. Let me tell you a story: When I decided to become a personal trainer in May, I freaked out because I didn’t look like a personal trainer. I was slim and generally fit, but I didn’t fit the stereotype of a super-buff and thin hottie wearing skimpy exercise clothes. So I started working out harder. I did more weight training and running, and took a weekly yoga class. But I couldn’t seem to reach my goal of looking like a fitness model. Also, though I was working out regularly, I didn’t really feel inspired to do it — it was more of a chore. Then, two realizations hit: (1) I work out to feel good, not to look good. Exercise helps my anxiety and depression, and that’s why I do it. (2) The people I want to train aren’t super-fit marathon runners, but people like me, who want to exercise to improve their quality of life and boost their mood. After I made this realization, I quickly lost six pounds without changing what I was doing. Exercise became a pleasure, not a chore. What are your real life values? Chances are, they aren’t to look good in a pair of tight jeans. Here are some I’ve helped my clients discover, and how they tie into healthy living: I want to eat better so I can be a good example for my young child. I want to exercise to help me be more productive at work. Exercising boosts my creativity, which is important to me. I want to live a long life so I can help more people. I want to have the energy to travel the world/do a lot of volunteering/keep up with my kids. Eating organic/vegetarian/vegan is good for the environment/animals. Your values are very personal and highly individual. Only you know what drives you to be as healthy as possible. Think or journal about why you really want to lose weight or be healthy, and let those be your inspiration to make positive lifestyle changes. Get more fitness tips by Linda Formichelli on her blog Happy Fit Coaching.