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Do You REALLY Want to Lose the Weight?

By ASHLEY DONAHOO

Something I realized somewhere along the way is that for years I had said I wanted to lose weight, and that I would "do anything" to lose it.

But, in fact, it took me years to actually do something about it. What I realized is that in those moments of tears and frustration looking at myself in the mirror, while I would say things — such as "I wish I could," "I would do anything," etc — I actually didn't really want it bad enough to do something about it.

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Some of it was that I just wasn't in the right "head space" at that time, some of it was that I wasn't educated on nutrition and exercise, and some of it was that I genuinely thought that the task was too large for me to be successful without surgery, pills or going onto a weight loss show.

"Of course THOSE people can do it - they have all the resources they need! I'm not lucky enough to be one of those people, so I guess I'm stuck" is what I would tell myself. And I settled for that for years.

I was playing the victim - the victim of struggles in life, low income, little-to-no education on nutrition, health problems, being too busy, "bad genetics" or whatever the excuse of the day was.

The truth is that I didn't really want it bad enough during those times. I thought I did, but how can I say I really wanted it that badly when I wasn't (at that point) willing to do the work and put in the effort to learn about nutrition and exercise? We've all heard our whole lives that improving diet and exercise are the only true method to lose weight.  So, why do we fight it so much? The only reasoning I have is that I was CHOOSING not to do it - regardless of what I was saying that I wanted.

Finally, a light bulb to came on in my brain to realize that I, and I alone, was responsible for the fact that I had gotten myself to a morbidly obese and extremely unhealthy place. I was no longer going to make any other excuses for where I was. I was going to take one step at a time and make different choices. My choices got me to the bad place. From then on, I decided to make choices to get me to a good place instead.

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Until you (or anyone else) gets to that point of realization and responsibility, changes will be difficult because you won't be choosing it wholeheartedly and free of conditions. You do not have to be a victim anymore! You can choose to make changes on your own to improve your health and life. There are unlimited resources for information and education, and everyone has the same amount of time in a day to get in a workout. Even if it's just 30 minutes, three times a week to start — it's better than nothing!

You have to take a long, hard look at your priorities. Do you really want to change your health and life, or are other things in the way of you truly wanting it bad enough to do something about it?

The most important thing to realize is that these changes will not completely change and offset your life! You're not starting a "diet" or intense workout regimen. You're making small changes in your nutrition, holding yourself accountable for those changes and just making a general lifestyle change that will make your health and life better.

This lifestyle change is not about complete deprivation or anything extreme! Each small step leads to the next, and before you know it, you're pretty far down the road to a happier, healthier you. These changes will begin to alter the way you look at and treat food -- it is fuel for your body, not a reward nor something to sneak and feel guilty about

Decide whether fitness and weight loss are important to you or not. If you decide they are, then stop using excuses, and instead just do it! I'm here to help, and the free resources out there are endless to help you along your journey. The only thing standing in your way is you. So, suck it up, and get out of your own way! Realize that you can do this if you only choose to. Will you choose to make the changes and make your life and health better? It really is all up to you.

-Ashley

READERS - Are you trying to lose weight? Have you had success so far? Why or why not? Let us know if you have questions or need support and motivation by leaving a comment below.

Ashley Donahoo lost 137 pounds by eating right and exercising and tracking her daily food and fitness with LIVESTRONG.COM's free MyPlate calorie tracker. Ashley went from barely being able to walk around her block, to running several miles a week after losing the weight! She also enjoys spin classes and yoga.  Ashley is now the Topic Guide for LIVESTRONG's Food Tracking forum and she is also a weight loss author, blogger and inspirational speaker. Ashley has a husband and two active sons that keep her busy at home. Her motto is "Choose the Change" because, ultimately, you have to make the choice to take control and change your life. Using LIVESTRONG’s Recipe Builder inside MyPlate, Ashley created healthy and filling recipes for her busy family. These recipes are now available in her “Choose the Change” Cookbook and Weight Loss Guide (available in paperback and e-book.) The guide has a ton of information on how to lose weight healthily and keep it off, includes sample menus, grocery lists, swap lists, etc,  the cookbook has over 80 big-portioned, delicious, & family-, budget-, and figure-friendly recipes – all of which have nutrition labels so you can track them all with MyPlate! This book along with LIVESTRONG's tools and support forums will give you the information and tools to finally help you lose weight and get healthy for good!  

You can follow Ashley on Facebook, Twitter, in the LIVESTRONG.COM Food Tracking forum, and on her website at ChooseTheChange.net.

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