Motivation Articles

5 Signs It's Time to Get Serious about Weight Loss

The Time to Commit to Losing Weight is Now

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It's easy to say that you want to lose weight. It's also easy to find the motivation to hit the gym regularly and choose the right foods in the beginning. After a few weeks, our motivation seems to wane and those old, unhealthy habits of yours start to creep back in. What seemed so easy at first is now difficult. You have cravings. You're tired. You miss those social dinners with your friends and doughnuts at the office. That 6 a.m. aerobics class doesn't seem as fun, and getting up without hitting the snooze button seems impossible.

Sound familiar? So many of us have fallen into this yo-yo diet and exercise trap over the years. You decide you want to lose weight, start a program, and even start to see some results and then…life gets in the way. Before you know it, you're off your healthy living plan again. While SparkPeople has the tools and resources that make weight loss fun and uplifting—a true lifestyle change—you still need to commit to using them. You have to commit now and, well, forever. You have to choose to change your life, both when life is breezy and when things aren't going your way. Whether you have 5 pounds or 150 pounds to lose, you have to get serious if you're ever going to reach your goals.

So how do you know if it's time to get real? How do you know if you're committed to your weight-loss efforts this time around? If any of the five signs below sound like you, then you aren't 100% committed to getting healthy. (Don't worry; we'll help you get there!)

5 Signs It's Time to Get Real about Weight Loss

Sign #1: You keep waiting to start.
If you really want or need to lose weight but keep putting it off until tomorrow, next week, or even later in the future, you're not serious about weight loss. There is no perfect time to lose weight; you'll always have to deal with stress and work and LIFE, and there's no better way to get started than to jump right in today. Don't put off getting healthy for another day. Get healthy now. Why waste another day? Right this second you can start improving your health by doing something as simple as going for a short walk, choosing the stairs over the elevator or even looking up the online menu of the restaurant you're going to tonight and ordering a healthy dish. There's no time like the present. Your life starts now!

Stop putting it off: Tell a loved one that you're committed to changing your life and losing weight the right way. Then write down three simple things that you can do TODAY to be healthier, such as drinking a glass of water, walking around the block once or eating two fewer bites than you normally would. By sharing your goals, you'll stay accountable and by starting small, you'll build momentum to make more changes.

Sign #2: You can't do the things you want to do.
Did you once love to travel, but now have problems fitting in the airplane seat? Can you no longer play tag or run around with your kids? Does dancing with your friends or walking up a flight of stairs leave you winded? If you can no longer do what you need to do (walk without discomfort, take the stairs) or want to do (visit an amusement park, buy new clothes off the rack), it's time to get serious. With regular exercise and some simple food swaps, you can be back to your usual self and live your dreams.

Focus on functionality: For motivation, make a list of the things you want to do but can't do comfortably (or at all) right now. Weight loss isn't just about wearing smaller pants size; it will help you live the life you want. Your motivation can come from the list you made—all of your goals and dreams, both big and small. Then, with your doctor's blessing, begin a functional fitness program today. Go for regular walks to improve your cardiovascular fitness, and try these exercises to help make your everyday activities easier to do. Before you know it, the pounds will drop, but more importantly, you'll be able to do all the things you love to do.

Sign #3: You're facing chronic health issues.
Being overweight or obese puts a huge strain on your body and increases your risk for many chronic health problems, including type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and stroke, metabolic syndrome, certain types of cancers, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, gallbladder disease, fatty liver disease, pregnancy complications and premature death. Many of these conditions don't exhibit any symptoms, but that doesn't mean you haven't started developing them just because a doctor hasn't made a diagnosis yet. If any of these conditions run in your family or you know that you're at risk due to your weight or lifestyle, see a doctor right away. You can no longer treat weight-loss as an option. It's a necessity for you to save your own life.

Live longer and healthier: If you haven't had a physical in the last year, schedule one with your doctor today. If you do have any health issues, seek treatment and ask the doctor what types of physical activity you can do and if there are any dietary restrictions. Once your doctor has given the OK, get started with SparkPeople's beginner's exercise safety tips and start making healthier food choices to get on the road to a healthier you.

Sign #4: You give up easily.
Do you throw in the weight-loss towel after you eat a cookie or miss a single workout? Then you need to get real and learn to forgive yourself. Health and weight issues don't result from one small mistake during a 24-hour period; it's what you do day after day, time after time that really counts. You don't have to be perfect, but you do have to be consistent. So stop beating yourself up for every mistake. We all make them! It's what you do next that matters. Commit to making healthy choices most of the time, and you will reach your goals!

Get back on track: Promise that you'll be kind to yourself when you do slip up, and create a get-back-on-track plan. If you're not sure where to start, try one of these tips!

Sign #5: You're envious of others who have lost weight.
If you feel self-conscious about your body and size around others or feel extremely jealous of other people who have lost weight, then it's time for you to focus your energies on your own self-improvement. These feelings may signal something deeper that needs your attention. As you might guess, weight-loss isn't just about choosing to eat right and exercise. Many times, it's also about having the self-worth to make a change and believing that you deserve to do something positive for yourself!

Make yourself a priority: Stop comparing yourself to others. Everyone's journey and circumstances are different. So instead of wondering why you weren't blessed with a faster metabolism like your co-worker was, focus on what you love about yourself. The next time you become envious or self-conscious, remind yourself that you deserve good things in life, too, so commit to make healthy choices. Weight loss isn't a weakness, a desire to conform, or a sign that you're not awesome just the way you are. Every person is worthy of love, respect and self-care—and maintaining a healthy weight is part of that.


Losing weight is hard work, but the change begins with you and it starts right now. If any of these signs describe you, it's time to stop talking about weight loss and commit to it. A great way to begin is by signing up for a free account at SparkPeople.com and following the SparkDiet, a four-stage journey that teaches you how to make healthy lifestyle changes, one simple step at a time.

And if you're in need of a laugh after you get serious, check out these 10 humorous signs that you need to lose weight!
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About The Author

Jennipher Walters Jennipher Walters
Jenn is the CEO and co-founder of the healthy living websites FitBottomeGirls.com, FitBottomedMamas.com and FitBottomedEats.com. A certified personal trainer, health coach and group exercise instructor, she also holds an MA in health journalism and is the author of The Fit Bottomed Girls Anti-Diet book (Random House, 2014).

See all of Jenn's articles.

Member Comments

  • Okay. :) - 8/24/2014 12:27:39 PM
  • Oh wow! I am guilty of all of these. I'm a tiny person. I'm barely 4"11' and I'm almost 200 pounds. My doctor kept trying me on so many different medications and as a result I gained a lot of weight. I wasn't in control of the weight I gained and needed the medication for that time period so I used that as an excuse to eat more. I felt helpless. I am slowly losing the weight now but when I wasn't serious every single thing in this article I was guilty of. I have also gained a case of sleep apnea in the process. I'm hoping that the sleep apnea will go away once I am back at a healthy weight! - 3/3/2014 7:25:11 PM
  • Excellent article. And thought provoking. I have a tendency to throw in the towel after a while of being bad but I realize now that It's only over when I say it's over. - 3/3/2014 6:16:09 PM
  • Best article I ever read! I really needed this to get me back on track! - 3/3/2014 9:53:15 AM
  • RAYLAIN
    I had desire to reduce my weight symmetrically therefore it is better to take the various tips for this purpose so anybody help me which the method is better for me. - 2/1/2013 4:10:29 AM
  • In #1 it suggests telling a loved one your goals. It's just me, but anytime I tell anyone I'm going to lose weight, it stresses me even more and I start gaining. If its helpful for you, then go ahead and do it, if not its ok to be accountable to only yourself. Best wishes and good luck. :) - 1/3/2013 5:37:46 PM
  • I like the last comment that say to stop comparing yourself with others. I joined Weight Watchers once and found it very demoralizing because everyone there could eat more than me and they were losing weight and I was not. I am very short and older and my reality is that 1200 calories will help me SLOWLY lose weight and 1400 calories will maintain my current weight. That group setting was very bad for me because my body size is not average, and I already have the exercise thing maxed out. So I have stopped doing group things because it got me into a "It's not fair" mentality which is not helpful. - 12/29/2012 9:49:48 AM
  • These ring very true! Great article. - 12/28/2012 12:42:43 PM
  • BAMAJAM
    I am the only person to help myself---- I must work if I want the rewards...
    It is time for me to get my waistline back again.
    Great article! - 12/28/2012 12:19:48 PM
  • Boy - did I ever need this wake up call today. Making 2013 the year of me (but starting today!!) - 12/28/2012 11:01:25 AM
  • While this is a good article, why on earth did it need to be spread across six pages? I have noticed this trend increasing, and it is really starting to get irritating. I know this is a free site, and the bills have to be paid by advertising, but this really is making me want to stop reading the articles on here.
    One of my big wake-ups was when I could feel my own back fat touching another spot on my back. EW EW EW EW EW! - 12/12/2012 9:41:26 AM
  • This article has just shook me awake! Thankyou! - 12/12/2012 4:56:09 AM
  • When you stand in the hospital ER looking down at your 79 year old dad and realize if you don't start NOW in your fifties, You will be laying in that ER bed with the same chronic diseases. - 12/2/2012 1:06:52 AM
  • ELECTRALYTE
    Great advise! - 7/19/2012 2:39:59 PM
  • 1954MARG
    Thanks for the pep talk. - 7/19/2012 1:48:14 PM

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