Motivation Articles

Drop the Fatitude and Get a Winning Attitude!

Change Your Thoughts to Win the Weight-Loss Game


Symptom #2 of a Fatitude Problem: The All-or-Nothing Game
Do you frequently find yourself thinking that, since you’ve already “blown your diet" for today, you might as well keep on eating and start over tomorrow (or next week or next month)? Is it hard to get yourself to exercise because it takes so much time and effort to burn such a relatively few calories? Do you find yourself going overboard with severe calorie reductions and excessive exercise just to speed things up? Do you feel unmotivated when you think about how far you have to go to get to your goal weight and how long it’s going to take you? Sounds like a Fatitude problem to me!

There are many ways that all-or-nothing thinking can sabotage your chances for weight-loss success. But the fact is that perfectionism and the desire for instant gratification are very likely two of the problems that helped you become overweight in the first place, and they definitely aren’t going to help you change your lifestyle now. No one gets it right all the time; you’re not going to achieve success without paying your dues. Expecting things to be different for you is a one-way ticket to frustration, loss of motivation, and failure.

The Winning Attitude: You create success by doing the best you can with the individual decision or task that’s right in front of you at this moment. Nothing else really matters. All you can ever do is the best you can with what’s in front of you right now—everything else is history or fantasy. You’ll get where you want to go as long as you take more steps in the right direction than the wrong one. 
Helpful Tool: Learn to master the mysteries of your motivation.

Symptom #3 of a Fatitude Problem: The Helpless Victim Story
Do you often feel like something beyond your control dictates your eating and exercise choices? Do you think that you’re unable to resist certain foods or that other people are sabotaging your efforts by constantly putting temptations in your path? Do you find it hard to find time for healthy cooking and exercise because of all the demands on your time and energy from work, family responsibilities, and other priorities? Fatitude, again!

There’s no doubt that eating well and exercising regularly takes time and effort. But there’s also no doubt that everyone gets the same 24 hours in the day, and that everyone has many other responsibilities to contend with, too. Many of these same people manage to be successful at weight loss and healthy living anyway. The difference between success and failure is often in your expectations and the language you use to think and talk about the practical problems you face. The more you view your own behavior or decisions as being dictated by other people or circumstances, the more you give up the power to make your own decisions. The longer you wait for other people to change their ways to make things easier for you, the longer it will take you to reach your goals.
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About The Author

Dean Anderson Dean Anderson
Dean Anderson has master's degrees in human services (behavioral psychology/stress management) and liberal studies. His interest in healthy living began at the age of 50 when he confronted his own morbid obesity and health issues. He joined SparkPeople and lost 150 pounds and regained his health. Dean has earned a personal training certification from ACE and received training as a lifestyle and weight management consultant. See all of Dean's articles.

Member Comments

  • I had to print this one out and highlight the things that I need to read daily. This article is me, some parts are a deep down version of me, but it is all there.

    I know what works for me, I know what to eat, I know what works for me to exercise, but I need to get my mind in on the game.

    Thanks - 10/17/2015 3:36:37 PM
  • I really like some of the thoughts in this article, especially more steps in the right direction will get you where you are going -- rather than focusing on doing everything perfectly, giving up when you don't do it perfectly, or not achieving what you want in the artificial time frame I often set for myself. - 10/5/2015 6:12:25 PM
  • Wow, as usual Dean really gets it and understands what it is like to struggle with weight loss. His insights and advice, coming not only from knowledge of psychology but his own personal experience, are right on the mark. This article nails it. - 10/5/2015 2:27:00 AM
  • This is by far one of the best articles I've ever read regarding attitude/thoughts towards losing excess weight.

    Thank you for not sugar-coating the topic and putting it out here for discussion. I definitely have some of these characteristics and now that I see them for what they are, I can better address them.

    I only have to worry about the decision in front of me at this moment, not all the decisions for all day, all week, etc. Brilliant!

    Now, to work on that daily preparation problem I keep having :\ - 9/4/2015 12:34:15 PM
    I believe that health comes with healthy food. I couldnít believe my eyes when I saw the prices for that value. I believe Iíve found the solution here http://www.smarto - 7/31/2015 9:14:59 PM
  • I am going to print this article and keep it in my journal! It seems to have been specifically written for me and in a tone and with a focus that resonates with me.

    Thank you! - 6/17/2015 9:55:44 AM
  • As usual, Dean's commentary hits the spot! Thank you! - 6/17/2015 8:24:34 AM
    Thanks for article. Needed to read that😊 Very helpful and motivating. - 7/28/2014 8:46:21 AM
  • Perhaps we should read this at least weekly. - 7/28/2014 5:19:21 AM
  • I have recommended this site to a lot of people as it did work for me in the beginning, I lost 2 stone but, then I hit a brick wall and put it all back on. Reading this article has opened my eye's to a lot of things so, I am going to start up with sp again today with a more positive attitude. Ty sp - 7/28/2014 2:49:45 AM
  • BONET72
    Thank you for that I needed to see this in black and white on print to motivate me .Thank you again - 6/26/2014 12:54:47 PM
  • This is an excellent article to a point: I despise the Polyanna-type-che
    erleader attitude which you seem to be promoting - it seems more than fake. I believe that you CAN change a negative attitude into positive attitude without going over the top; fortunately, there is a lot of help here at SP to do just that. Thanks for a good-ish article, and for all your other good ones. - 11/14/2013 3:47:53 PM
  • Thank you very much. I find you're Article very helpful and motivating. - 11/14/2013 1:37:54 AM
  • CWEBER241
    Iam new at this so I am looking forward to loosing the weight with all of you. - 4/15/2013 5:30:00 PM
  • woh ,i love this ,i think i am going to share this with my friend . - 2/14/2013 12:04:55 AM

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