Determining Your Reason For Losing Weight

This year I have been looking at my weight loss goals from a whole new perspective. A while back, my doctor told me that the key to losing weight is determining your reason for losing weight.  For some, wanting to be smaller and to weigh a certain amount just isn’t enough to get them to their goal weight. It has be a reason that creates a “now or never” drive in the individual.

In 2006 my drive was that if I kept living the way I was living I was going to just get heavier and heavier and I would begin to lose myself. I knew that my health and life were in jeopardy and that it would begin to affect my life in extremely negative ways.

Coffee Cake and Cardio

After losing 54 pounds I had a whole new take on life. Food was not controlling me, I was beyond happy, and I loved my body. Though I hadn’t reached my goal weight of 185, weighing 207 at the time, I was truly at peace with where I was! These past few years have been a struggle for me. Eating emotionally, not being in a healthy place, allowing people to affect my outlook on life… all of which have taken me back to weighing 230 pounds.

Since starting Coffee Cake and Cardio I’ve been up and down, fighting to lose weight, but the truth is, I haven’t had a real “reason” to make permanent changes and to lose significant weight. For me, being unhappy was not enough of a reason to get me to stop turning to food for emotional support.

The start of 2013 brought about the realization that I will want to be a mother sooner than later. Now that is not to say we are wanting to get pregnant any time soon but it just hit me that now is the time to get in the best shape of my life before we have children. Enter… THE REASON!

These first two months of 2013 have been a challenge for me. I haven’t lost weight and I’ve definitely been discouraged on different days, but January and February have helped me to find clarity in what I need to do this time around in order to lose body fat and to reach my goal of being healthier before getting pregnant.

Let me walk you through this year so far…

  • I returned from the holidays weighing 230.6
  • I continued with Weight Watchers, counting points.
  • I started football practices in January, with 2 hour practices 3 times a week.
  • By the last week in January I hadn’t really lost any weight so I contacted a friend in the health industry for some advice.  For 3 days I tracked both my Points and my Calories in My Fitness Pal and was SHOCKED at the results.  Even though I was eating the exact same number of Points those 3 days, my calories were all over the place.
  • I decided to quit Weight Watchers February 1.
  • I started making more of an effort to eat Lean and Green and to count my calories (I prepped my food and had great days of eating!).
  • 1 week in, I still hadn’t lost any weight.

Since then I’ve had a lot of conversations with myself about where I want to be and how I am going to achieve those goals.  I realized that I had to be ok with not knowing what my plan was for a few weeks and I had to let go of my security blank in order to really lose weight!

After allowing myself time to think things through, to battle with myself, and to make some decisions, I took action!

Steps To Losing Weight

Over the next week I will walk you though these 5 steps and show you the plans and decisions I have made.  My first step was to be honest about where I was at, so I headed to the doctor…

To Be Continued…


  1. Betsy E says

    amazing post – and definitely hits the nail on the head at why we struggle. The reasons have to be right. Thank you for being honest – it really makes me feel less alone!

  2. says

    WOW we are sooo (almost) in the same place right now. I just need to find my reason. thank you for taking us through your journey and for helping me and giving me the steps that I need to take.

  3. says

    LOVE this! I track both my calories and points and am shocked at how inconsistent my calories can be on WW. I need to focus on a finding a reason to be at my goal weight or the burden and stress of getting there is going to consume me. I can’t wait for your next post!

  4. says

    I like this post so much ash, because we briefly talked about it in December when I shared my pregnancy news. I can relate on many levels as to why you want to reach a healthier goal weight than where you’re at before getting pregnant. I was 235 when I found out I was pregnant! It’s tough and I started addressing it on my blog over the last week. I have no words of wisdom here because I truly empathize with you. Even though I never wanted children, I certainly never wanted to be pregnant at 235 lbs. I want to provide the best body for my child to develop in and I’m simply not doing that. I could go on and on.. but I’ll be thinking about you. I can certainly relate to this on so many levels!!

  5. says

    Great post – my original reason to lose weight was my wedding. Now, I want to be at my goal weight before I think about having baby number two. I have also upped my workout game and I want to lose 50 lbs and shave 20 minutes off my half marathon time, and I registered for one in November.

  6. says

    Great post Ashley!
    I’ve recently come to the exact same reason. My boyfriend and I are not married yet, but it’s in the near future. I’m still in my mid-twenties, but my boyfriend is turning 33 this year and by the time we start trying for kids, he’ll likely be in his mid-thirties. Since age will be a factor on his side, I want to make sure that we’re as healthy as we can be BEFORE I get pregnant. I’m also terrified of gaining weight once I’m pregnant and I think being at a healthy weight will (hopefully) help with that.

  7. says

    I love that you’re finding your reason. Wanting to be a mother down the road is a great motivation. You’ll want to be in the best shape, to have the healthiest pregnancy, and ultimately pass on healthy habits to your little ones so they can break the cycle. So, I truly believe you can do it! I have the same motivation in the back of my mind too, and it really helps!
    I think you were on the right track with giving up WW and just tracking food and calories, focusing on protein and veggies. Although you didn’t see weight loss in the first week, your body was still adapting to a new way of eating, thus not ready to kick the weight yet…just stick with it and the weight will start to fall off. It took writing it down and making the protein/veggie choices for me to really loose the weight (and I’m still on the journey!).
    Can’t wait to see what’s next for you!

  8. says

    What an awesome post! SO true that trying to lose weight without a real reason or motivating factor is futile. It’s like going through the motions. I can’t wait to hear the rest of these posts! When I struggled losing weight I ended up finding out I have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Crazy!

  9. says

    This is really great, I’m finding at the same exact place right now. In October I had a miscarriage and afterward I had some kind of magic motivation where I was able to stay really in tune and get healthy. I think partly because I felt like it was my fault it happened because I was overweight. But now its three months later and we’re officially able to try again and I’ve lost all my motivation. I’m starting to realize its because I’m scared. I don’t want to get pregnant while I’m still overweight, therefore if I never get to healthy goal weight we wont try to get pregnant again and I will have no chance of having another miscarriage. First time I’ve admitted that.

    • says

      Erin, Thank you so much for your openness and for sharing your story. I’m sorry to hear about your miscarriage and I do hope you find peace. You can definitely reach your goals, I know we both can do it!! Please let me know if you need anything.

  10. says

    Excellent post Ashley!
    I kind of knew I didn’t have a reason to lose weight, but hadn’t linked that to not losing weight, I just keep getting frustrated! It’s amazing that every now and again I find a blog post that totally resonates with me without looking for it!
    I love your journey flow diagram – very logical and I love logical :)
    Really interested in seeing your ‘to be continued…’ :)

  11. says

    You story sounds so much like mine! I was heavy all throughout middle school and high school.. after I became determined to lose weight and became big into running, and restricting my calories. Doing so I dropped a lot of ewight but my body was fighting against the low calories which ended up with binge/emotional eating and a 35lb weight gain. I too have just recently re-thought what my goals for myself are, how I am going to achieve them and WHY I want them. I need to learn to forgive myself and be proud for how far I have come, even if I have put on weight and am not where I want to be.

    Keep up the good work lady. You are an inspiration!!

  12. says

    Your blog is so awesome! I love your posts about weight loss, and I think you’re super inspiring. It’s great to see that, even though you’ve been really frustrated with your lack of progress, you’re not letting that stop you from achieving your goals.

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