Ep #2: Your Compelling Reason and Commitment to Lose Weight

One of the hardest parts of being on the Diet Roller Coaster was the way it eroded my ability to trust myself. For years, it felt like I could keep commitments to everybody but me. On Sunday, I’d make a plan to eat well and exercise throughout the week, but by midweek, I’d failed enough (and then beat myself up about it) that I’d just give up. 

When I finally decided to take a new approach, I realized that I needed two things: a compelling reason, and commitment. My compelling reason, or my “why”, was the thing that kept me going even when I wanted to quit. And my commitment meant that even though I’d fail sometimes, skip a workout, or overeat, I was still committed to my overall goal – no matter what. 

In this episode, I’m introducing these two concepts to you and talking about  why they are so important. I’ll tell you about what a compelling reason looks like in action and share stories about how I’ve stayed committed to my goals. We’ll also talk about practical ways you can start to rebuild your trust in yourself. 

I have two more transformational questions for you today. I want you to ask yourself:

  1. Why do you want to lose weight?
  2. What would it feel like if one year from now you were still the same weight?

I am so excited to be bringing you this show, and to celebrate the launch of the podcast I’m giving away $50 Amazon gift cards to 12 lucky listeners. To find out how to enter, click here!

What You’ll Discover:

  • How I used to use traveling as a reason to overeat.
  • Why deciding on my compelling reason for losing weight was a turning point in my weight loss journey.
  • How to choose a compelling reason that fits you and your dreams for your life.
  • What real commitment looks like when you have a compelling reason to go along with it.
  • Why it’s so important to make small commitments to yourself if you want to rebuild trust.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

  • To celebrate the launch of the show, I’m giving away $50 Amazon gift cards to 12 lucky listeners! To find out how to enter, click here!

Full Episode Transcript:


You are listening to the Weight Loss for Successful Women podcast with Shannan Christiansen, episode number two.

Welcome to Weight Loss for Successful Women, a podcast for women who are ready to break the diet cycle and end their struggle with weight for good. Here’s your host, Fortune 100 executive and Certified Life Coach, Shannan Christiansen.

Hello loves. So excited to be back with you again today. I am just so grateful that you’re listening. Today I want to talk about your compelling reason to lose weight and your commitment, and just why they’re such an important step in getting off the diet roller coaster. Then at the end, I will leave you with a few questions to help you start taking action today.

So loves, I have been traveling a lot over the last week. I have been in California, Dallas, and Delaware, so all the coasts. I went to this amazing event in Dallas, Texas with my teacher. It was a two-day conference with just so many presentations and learnings. And I love learning and I love learning new ways I can help my clients.

I think I’m still processing it all, but it really energized me. It made me think of when I used to travel. I used to use traveling as a reason to overeat, to go into a full binge like, I don’t know if you ladies feel me if you travel. But I use it as a way to just overeat and binge eat.

And you know, I’m an introvert and usually if I’m traveling for work or for coaching, all of the events are with a lot of people. So I would buffer by overeating. I would take food back to my hotel room and sneak eat, for sure. I wasn’t doing it in front of everyone. That was for sure.

And I would binge my entire trip. And when I was on vacation, let’s talk about vacation, ladies. I would make it so much about the food. Where we were going to eat, what we were eating, when we were eating, what we were trying, all the new foods. But honestly loves, I would miss out on so much because I would feel tired from all of the overeating.

And honestly, it was such an obsession in my brain that it really prevented me from experiencing all of the joy that vacation has to bring. And I know this now because I don’t buffer and I don’t use the events, the vacation, or the excuse that I’m an introvert to overeat.

And I know my compelling reason and I am committed to taking care of myself, which leads me right into the two concepts that I’m going to teach today. Compelling reason and commitment. These two concepts were key in helping me get off the diet roller coaster and lose my weight.

Also, at the end, I’m going to leave you with a couple questions that you can ask yourself so you can start taking some action. I just always want to leave you with some way that you can implement the things that I teach.

So when I think about my years of being on the diet roller coaster and losing and gaining honestly, hundreds of pounds, I used to believe something was wrong with me. I thought the weight was my struggle and I felt hopeless that I would ever be able to lose it.

When I decided that I no longer was going to diet and learned a different way, one of the first steps that I went through was finding my why. This concept is all about finding your compelling reason. It’s important because you’ll have times where you are going to want to quit. Trust me on this.

But knowing your why can help you through those times. Now, you will hear me use my why and compelling reason interchangeably. They mean the same thing to me. So knowing your compelling reason is important so let me give you a few examples.

When someone’s life is on the life – this is an extreme example – that is the most compelling reason. So for example, if a fire started in your house, you would spring into action. You would not say oh wait, I want to finish watching this show on Netflix. You wouldn’t. You would just spring into action and you would get out of the house. That would be your very compelling, your why, your reason. The fire.

So I want to give you a couple less extreme examples. Your compelling reasons propels you to move forward and it’s why it’s so important to find yours. So I want to tell you a story about my mom. I love my mom. She passed four and a half years ago but I was so lucky that I had her as a mom. I mean honestly, she was such a great mom.

But my mom smoked for as long as I could remember, and it was her struggle and she had tried to quit thousands of times, but never could for more than a day or two. When my brother’s wife at the time was pregnant with twins, she told my mom that unless she quit smoking, she was not going to be able to be around the twins.

Now, I won’t lie to you. My mom had a lot of feelings about that ultimatum, but honestly, she knew my sister was so serious. So my mom quit smoking cold turkey. Here was my mom who had smoked honestly since she was 16 years old and she quit smoking cold turkey.

Her why was being around her grandbabies and she wanted that more than cigarettes. And having that compelling reason helped her to be successful. This is why it’s so important for you to have a compelling reason. It can help you to keep moving forward during challenging times. When you want to quit, when you want to give up, when you want to eat the cupcake.

And I know you have all had that happen in your life where you stopped or started doing something because of your why. You had this reason that was compelling enough for you to take action.

In my own life, I decided to go back for my MBA. I was working a full-time job, had a family, but wanted to progress in my career. I wanted to be an example for our children. I wanted to show that if you commit to something, you can do it, even when it’s really hard. Even when you want to give up.

There were so many times during my MBA where I wanted to give up but I had a compelling reason that I wanted to be an example. I wanted to show that I could do it. I wanted to be the example of what was possible. Remembering my compelling reason helped me to be successful in achieving my MBA as well as losing weight.

When I get new clients, we do this work in their very first week. They complete a worksheet on their compelling reason, their why, and it’s so different for each person, but really understanding this and then doing the work on this is important when it comes to losing weight.

You have to understand why you are doing it and it has to be compelling enough for you to take action. When I decided to start testing my process and learning a different way, I found my compelling reason. I wanted to be the example of what was possible. This kept coming up for me in my life.

I was a single mother with no education who then got her MBA and became an executive. I found the love of my life at 35, and learned how to have a healthy relationship. I heard this compelling reason from my teacher. It was her reason, and it really resonated with me. This is what drove me.

I wanted to show and teach others that anything was possible. And I was going to lead the way and then show them how. That is what drove me. Your compelling reason just has to be compelling to you. My compelling reason might not be compelling enough for you.

You might want to wear something comfortable at your son’s wedding. You might want to fit into an airplane seat. You might want to run a 5K. You might just want to show your children how to live a healthy life. You might want to wear a bathing suit. You might want to play with your children or grandchildren at the park.

The reason for knowing your why is because you will be given an option. Options to quit, options to choose things that do not serve you. Options to start another quick fix diet. Knowing your why can help you through those times. It can help you keep your commitments to yourself, which leads me right into the second concept. Commitment.

Oh loves, we as women keep commitments to everyone in our life. We will drop everything for our friends, for our family, our boss, even strangers. But we break commitments to ourselves every day. We break them so often that we don’t even want to make them to ourselves.

I remember at my work we used to do these weight loss challenges. And honestly, I never wanted to do them. At the beginning I would do them and then I would gain weight, and then I just didn’t trust myself. And it was embarrassing, so I just decided I was not going to do them any longer.

And loves, this is it. We just no longer trust ourselves. We say we’re going to do something for ourselves but then by two o clock when we pass the vending machine, our motivation has wavered. We have not fully committed and we end up eating something that doesn’t serve us.

I often thought I lacked willpower, that I needed to have willpower so I could be motivated to lose weight. I would beat myself up because I had the thought, I lacked willpower. I would think that having that thought would create the feelings of motivation, but what that thought created was doubt. And when I was doubtful, I didn’t take action.

But once I learned that I could commit and follow through, I did not need willpower. I learned how to build trust in myself and I had evidence that I could keep a commitment. I did this with everyone else in my life.

If my boss asked me for something, I did not need willpower. I committed to him or her that I would do it and I did it. So to lose weight, I needed to build trust in myself again by learning how to keep commitments to myself. And keeping commitments is more powerful than willpower or motivation.

Relying solely on motivation will almost always fail us. But having a compelling reason and a commitment, it works. We have to decide that we are going to make a commitment to ourselves and then fully commit. And the way that I teach this is to start with something small so you can build trust in yourself again.

Our brain will tell us that we have to do 10 things to lose weight, and then we have to be perfect at all 10 things. Then what happens? We start – you guys know. Heck, I remember doing this. On Sunday I would make a plan, I was going to eat salad and chicken, I was going to exercise two times a day, I was going to meditate, I was going to journal, I was going to do all these things.

And again, too many things at one time that I was trying to change. And so then I would just fail at one of them, like I wouldn’t meditate or I wouldn’t exercise and then I would just throw in the towel. So learning how to keep commitments to yourself, you have to start by committing to one small action and then doing it over and over again to rebuild the trust in yourself again.

So I want to give you an example. Let’s say one of your friends breaks a commitment to you. They told you that they were going to meet you for lunch and they did not show up. Now, you would lose trust in them. So let’s say they call and they apologize and they say let’s meet for lunch again.

You would be wary, but you might go. And if they showed up, you would start building trust again. Every time that they would show up, you would build more and more trust for them. That’s what you have to do with yourself, love. You have to start showing up for yourself.

I teach my clients to start with a realistic plan. This is one of my four fundamentals. This fundamental can help you start to learn to trust yourself again and keep commitments to yourself. All the realistic plan is is writing down each day what you’re going to eat for the next day.

And the key to this is making it realistic. If it’s nacho day tomorrow, I mean, we love nachos, right? I mean, I love nachos. And you’re going to eat them, then put nachos on your realistic plan. It’s not about the food, love. It’s learning to keep the commitment of making the plan each day and then eating what’s on the plan.

That is where the magic lies. Making your realistic plan every day and then eating what’s on it helps you build that trust in yourself again. Being committed is about not having any other options no matter what, no way out. Being fully committed does not mean that you’ll not have failure. It just means you won’t quit. You’ll keep taking action on what you committed to.

Loves, there is no risk in hoping that something will happen. This reminds me of when I was single. I used to hope that Mr. Right would just come knocking at my door, but he didn’t. I had to put myself out there and commit to finding love. I had to go on dates, get rejected until I found the love of my life.

The risk comes when you fully commit. Loves, all your fears will come up. All the doubts. It’s like the example I used with the friend who was a no-show at lunch. The first time you meet after that, you probably have a lot of fear that they’re not going to show up again, but you do it anyway. You show up.

You make a decision to commit no matter what, and I want to say this again because it’s so important. You will have mistakes. You will have overeats. I’ve had many overeats in my journey to finally losing the weight. The key was I did not quit. I did not let one day turn into a week or a month or a year.

I know you ladies feel me on this. I’ve had full years where I was overeating pretty much the whole year. But you know loves, I was committed and when I decided to make a change, I knew what my why was. So love, make a small commitment, one thing like the realistic plan, and then decide on purpose to commit to it.

So a commitment looks something like this; I’m going to make my realistic plan every night for the next seven days. I will eat what’s on my plan and then commit. Now, if you have a failure or a mistake, like you didn’t make a plan or you eat something off your plan, don’t beat yourself up, love.

Just ask yourself why and then take the next best action for yourself. And remind yourself of your why. I like to write my compelling reason down every day. I like to see it. It helps remind me of why I’m choosing not to eat the cupcake when I have cupcakes staring me in my face. It helps me when I have overeaten, not to beat myself up and not let it turn into a week or a month of overeats.

So I want to leave you with four things before we get into the transformational questions. Number one, know your why and make it compelling enough. Number two, make a decision to commit to one small action like the realistic plan. Number three, know that you will have failure and mistakes. And number four, just don’t quit. Take the next best action and no beating yourself up, loves.

So I want to leave you with a couple of transformational questions. I do reflection work every day. This is where I write all of my thoughts, good and bad, and I ask myself questions. I’m always amazed at what thoughts are floating around in my brain. I mean, seriously. My lizard brain is crazy sometimes.

So the first question is why do you want to lose weight? Number two, what would it feel like in one year if you were still at the same weight you are today? Now, after you answer those questions, write down your why and then make one small commitment for yourself, love.

So much fun loves, spending some time with you. And to celebrate the launch of this show. I am going to be giving away a $50 Amazon gift card to 12 lucky listeners who subscribe, rate, and review the show on iTunes.

It doesn’t have to be a five-star review, although I sure hope you love the show. I want your honest feedback so I can create an awesome show that provides a ton of value for you. Visit bflycoaching.com/podcastlaunch to learn more about the contest and how to enter it.

I’ll be announcing the winners on the show in an upcoming episode. So much love to all of you and I just can’t wait to spend more time with you on next week’s episode.

Thank you for listening to this episode of Weight Loss for Successful Women. If you love what you heard today and want to learn more, come over to bflycoaching.com. That’s B – F – L – Y coaching dot com. See you next week!


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