As a binge eater for more than a decade, I was always looking for motivation. I desperately tried to build motivation to lose weight, to stop eating thousands of calories at midnight, and to maintain a regular diet and fitness routine. I failed constantly. Even if I could get my motivation going for a month or two, it was only a matter of time before I’d plummet back down into a tub of cake frosting. It wasn’t until after I healed from binge eating that I realized what I was missing the whole time.

I finally understood that motivation would never get me very far because motivation is fleeting. Maybe it would be enough to get me to the gym one or two days a week, but I’d need a never-ending supply of motivation if that’s my only tool to conquer a 10-year battle with food. So once I realized that motivation only comes in waves, then it couldn’t possibly be the answer to my problems.  

I also realized that motivation wears out fast. Unless you have a deep core motivation that fuels you every moment of the day, they get old. I used to use external motivators, like a new swimsuit, outfit, or wedding I needed to look good for. And sure these are small motivators, but even the big ones don’t always work. When I used to smoke cigarettes, I knew I was destroying my lungs and this could literally shorten my life. But that wasn’t enough to stop me.

Now that I’ve worked with other binge eaters for many years … I’ve seen other people struggle with the same patterns. Someone can be diagnosed with diabetes or even cancer, and even motivation from big blows like that still isn’t enough to fuel a permanent lifestyle change.

Motivation will never be the thing that gets us to our biggest goals. If we keep waiting for motivation to strike, we’ll be waiting our whole lives … or we’ll be trying to use a smidge of motivation to flip a chronic issue – like I initially did with my binge eating. No successful person has ever waited for inspiration to strike before they took action. Successful people start acting before they feel motivated or inspired. They begin the journey before they feel ready. It’s not to say they never get paid a visit by inspiration, but they don’t depend on it.

This is what I learned during my healing journey from binge eating. That I wasn’t going to make any real progress in my transformation if I kept waiting to be inspired. I’m not effortlessly thin now because of motivation. I’m effortlessly thin because I followed a system, made steady progress to build habits, and used tools that would hold me accountable. It wasn’t always fun or inspiring. But now I live a much more fun and inspiring life because I no longer have my obsession with food holding me back.

Not only did I heal my relationship with food, but I’ve helped many others do the same, and I’ve made a career out of it. And from my many years working in this world, I’ve seen that motivation doesn’t take anyone very far. Inspiration comes and goes. If you really want to succeed and achieve your goals, you need to explore the unsexy side of transformation. Stop waiting for motivation, and take control when you feel least inspired.  

That’s where the magic happens.