To Succeed in Your Weight-Loss Journey, You Must Find This First

(Photo by Hannah Skelly on Unsplash)

If you want to go on a weight-loss journey, you must first want to change. You have to get your own want-to.

OK, so you probably won't find that word in the dictionary. You will find "wanter," which means "one that wants or is in need." A want-to is why a wanter wants what he or she wants.

It's your motivation. It's the thing that drives you to keep going even when you've failed and given in to temptation. Your want-to should be something so big that when you think of it, it makes you want to get back up and try again.

Without a Vision ...

This is your dream or your vision. We know that we need a vision because without it we perish, run wild, stumble all over ourselves, cast off restraint, do whatever we want, quickly wander astray or get out of control, (Prov. 29:18 AMP, NLT, MSG, NIV, NLV, TPT, CEB).

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Our want-to gives us focus on something more than just I should lose weight. I ought to lose weight. My husband would like it if I lost weight. I'd like to show Gossiping Gertie I can lose weight.

All of these are actually minor motivations, which quickly go away in the moment when you want more than anything to eat an entire pizza, wash it down with a real soda and then get ice cream for dessert.

We have given in to our desires for what we think calms us and gives us peace over the stress and anxiety we face every day so often that we need a really huge want-to in order to save ourselves from ourselves.

What Do You Really Want?

I often tell people what my mentor told me. "I can't want this more than you want it for yourself." This truth has helped me help many individuals find their want-to.

To get to the heart of this, my mentor asked, "What do you really want?" It's a question that we all must answer sometime during our lives. What do you want out of life that you aren't getting right now or you aren't even seeing that it could happen?

My first response was: I want to live.

His question came back. "Why do you want to live?"

This question hits right at the heart of why we are here on earth in the first place. If it is just to take up space, at 430 pounds I was doing more than my share.

What Is Your Passion?

I knew the answer. The one call I knew God had placed on my life was to write a book that mattered. I knew it would be about someone who'd done something they couldn't do without God. As a journalist I thought I had that story many times, but it never worked. I had never written a book.

There were many things I could have said in response to his question. I could have said, "I want to see my children and grandchildren grow up. I want to grow old with my husband. I want to be healthy. I want to walk without pain."

None of those were my vision, my passion, my purpose, the thing that only I could do. I answered. "I want to write a book that matters."

What Kind of a Person Could Have What You Want?

Then the critical question, "What kind of person could have what you want?" This was evaluation time. As I thought about myself and my qualifications, I knew I had the ability to do write a book, but I was tired, lethargic, lacked focus, lacked clarity, lacked the close relationship I needed in order to hear from God.

My body was tired. My emotions, my mental mindset, my spiritual connection to God were all a mess. I had to feel that I was a whole person, not just pieces of me scattered everywhere. Every part of me had to be healthy. More than that I had to find my joy, my happiness instead of sitting in my bedroom watching TV and feeling like life had passed me by.

What kind of person could write a book that mattered? She had to be a whole, healthy, happy woman. From that moment in 1994 I started on a quest to discover how I could become exactly that kind of woman.

God Makes Dreams Come True

It took me 15 more years before I fully stepped into that, but the driving force of my life became wanting to be that woman.

Then after losing more than 250 pounds and becoming whole, healthy and happy in every area, it was like the very heavens exploded with books for me to write. I've written five books and two study guides, with more in the wings begging for release.

What is your want-to? What is driving you to become more, to be more, to even want to transform your life?

Teresa Shields Parker is the author of five books and two study guides, including her latest, Sweet Journey to Transformation: Practical Steps to Lose Weight and Live Healthy, and her No. 1 best-seller, Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds. She is also a blogger, spiritual weight loss coach (check out her coaching group, Overcomers Academy) and speaker at

This article originally appeared at

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