Weight Loss Through The Mind

Hey moms! Dustin here again.

Last week I spoke about the 5 pillars of health and fitness and what I believe it takes to not only get in great shape, but stay in great shape for the rest of your life… no more yo-yoing.

In this blog post I want to go more in depth into the first of the 5 pillars – mindset.

It’s like learning to walk…

If you’re a mom, you’ve probably watched a child learn how to walk – or you will soon. Think of all the effort that an infant puts into learning how to crawl, to stand on his own, to walk with support, and finally to take those amazing first independent steps. It takes so much focus and concentration to build up to those first steps. But within a month or two, that toddler is walking around, even running, without giving it a second thought!

That’s how it is, to some degree, with getting your life turned around and getting healthy. It takes a lot of energy and hard work at the beginning, as you try to change your habits. You have to dig deep to find the motivation to start, and it takes real dedication to pull yourself up to a standing position, find your balance, and feel confident enough to put one foot in front of the other, figuratively speaking. But once you start to see the results of all those efforts, it gets a little bit easier.

As your new, healthy behaviors turn into habits, it takes less and less of your focus. If you’re restructuring your environment to support those new habits, you’re like that toddler cruising around and barely even thinking about it. But breaking those old habits can be very challenging at the beginning, so we’re going to take some time to get you started.

Do you want to make a change?

You have to really want to make a change. When I meet a client for the first time, the first question I ask is, “Do you want to get in shape?” It seems like a strange question to ask someone who’s just scheduled an appointment with a personal trainer or showed up for a boot camp, but I’ve found that a lot of people aren’t very convincing in their answers.

Many of them just want the feeling of being in shape. They have this vision of themselves in better shape, maybe looking and feeling as good as their sister or their friend who’s really fit. But that doesn’t mean they’re ready to put in the work and make the changes they have to make in order to get in shape. And until they start to really want it, they aren’t going to make the sacrifices they have to make and put in the hard work to get from Point A to Point B.    

What makes you want to make the change?

There’s been substantial research on what has to happen before someone decides to make a change in their lives and stick with it. What it comes down to is that your current state has to be more painful for you than you imagine it will be to change. This can be about mental pain or about physical pain. Usually it’s a mix of the two.    

Smoking is a great example of this. Smokers know that it will be painful to try to quit – going through withdrawal and losing that connection with other smokers in their lives. They also know about the risks they’re taking by smoking, but those risks seem sort of abstract and statistical if smoking isn’t causing them any pain right now.

Something has to happen to make their current state seem more painful than the perceived pain of quitting.

Maybe it starts to get hard to breathe as they walk up a hill, or a friend or family member gets cancer. Maybe they’re ready to start a family and they know the negative effects smoking will have on their child and even on their ability to get pregnant. On the more extreme side, maybe it’s a diagnosis of lung cancer or emphysema and a doctor telling them their life is on the line. Suddenly something changes. The pain of quitting doesn’t seem as bad as the pain they’re currently in, or the pain they can now imagine themselves going through if they continue to smoke.    

This scenario is the same for all kinds of changes people consider making – quitting a job, leaving a relationship, moving to a new city. And it’s definitely the case for changing exercise and eating habits.    

Why now?

My next step, if someone really wants to get in shape, is to understand why they want to do it. I like to ask, “Why are you coming to see me now instead of six months ago or a year ago?”

I want to understand their deeper motivation – not just “I want to lose weight,” or “I want to feel better.” Sometimes their deeper motivation is connected to what I talked about above – their current situation has become painful for them in some way. For a lot of moms, once we get down a little deeper, it’s that they want their husbands to be proud of them and to love them and find them attractive. They want to be a good role model for their kids and to teach their kids healthy habits. They want to have the energy to keep up with their kids and to be around to enjoy their grandkids. They want to be a good example for their circle of friends or for a specific person in their life.

Do any of these thoughts sound familiar to you?

The emotions attached to those deeper, more personal motivations create the leverage to help you make changes and stick with them.

Come back tomorrow to learn about creating a 10-year plan – a vision for your future.

What kind of future do YOU want?

If you enjoyed this, I have a free gift to give you at www.dustinmaherfitness.com.  It is a free report called, How To Fit Into Your Skinny Jeans and Still Have Room Left Over.  

You might also want to check out some of my home workout DVDs programs that have helped thousands of moms from around the world.

I am Dustin Maher, America’s Trainer to the Moms. I am a leading expert on getting moms in shape. I have appeared 88 times on local and national TV, appeared in many magazines and newspapers and been on over 25 radio shows. I have a blog (www.dustinmaherfitness.com) that receives over 1,000 visitors per day and an active mailing list of 6,000 people. I run 11 fitness bootcamp locations in Madison, Wisconsin, and have sold over 10,000 fitness DVDs. My mission is to reach one million moms by the end of 2015 with the support they need to change their mindset, eat better, exercise effectively, and be part of fit families and communities so they can transform their bodies and their lives.

PLEASE NOTE: We at 5 Minutes for Mom are NOT health professionals, nor do we make any health or medical claims or advice here. Please consult your doctor about all medical issues and make sure you follow your doctor and health professional’s instructions regarding your health and diet. Photos for this post were found on Microsoft Office online and from our account at Fotolia.


  1. says

    Dustin, I just came across your blog and enjoyed your article. We have similar missions! My mission is to help Working Moms become fit and help raise fit kids! I hope we connect on some of the social media outlets. Talk to you soon!



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