Franco Donadelli’s weight loss journey is further proof that one of the best ways to help someone stay motivated is to use your eyes.
I hope you’ve all gotten a chance to read Angela Fulgieri’s Focus on Fitness column about Franco Donadelli’s weight loss journey. I always love hearing about people who have been able to hit their weight loss goals because doing that is much easier said than done.
Sticking to a diet is not easy. Sticking to an exercise routine is not easy. Staying patient throughout the process is not easy. People who have never struggled with it (those of you with the metabolism everyone’s jealous of) don’t always understand, and that can make it even harder for someone trying to slim down to stay motivated.
It can be hard even when someone’s got a goal in mind, which is almost always the case. Donadelli wanted to improve the quality of his life. Two people I’ve written about in the past, Walt Thompson and Aaliyah Battle, wanted not only to be healthy but also had specific athletic goals (Thompson wanted to finish an Ironman race and Battle wanted to play flag football and throw shot put for Plant City High School). I’ve written about my own weight loss before, and my goal was simply to get back down to a weight I could be comfortable with. We all knew what we wanted when we gave it a shot, but none of us could do it totally alone.
I’ve never been one to live in front of a mirror (haven’t had the abs for that and probably never will), but I can’t count how many times I’ve looked at my reflection and wondered if my eyes deceived me, if I was really seeing changes or if I was going through all that trouble for nothing. There were some days where I thought I noticed a difference — usually when I hadn’t eaten a lot — and there were days when I’d look and feel kind of gross. The mirror would tell me one thing and a camera would tell me another. Even when I noticed the clothes I’d bought for my dad bod at its peak started getting loose, one look at the mirror could make me ask myself if it was legit or if I was just imagining things.
Don’t get me wrong: I still have those days where I look at myself in the mirror before work and wonder if I really look like that guy. I’m now just way more certain I do because I’ve heard plenty about that guy from others in my life.
What finally helped me realize I was, in fact, shedding the pounds like I wanted was when people noticed and said something. That’s when I started trusting the mirror more. That’s when folks like myself and Donadelli and Thompson and Battle, to name a few, trust ourselves more and find extra motivation to keep going.
Have you ever helped a friend who went through a breakup get back in good spirits, maybe even get confident enough to try dating again? It’s pretty much the same thing. Even the most introverted among us can only do so much for ourselves, by ourselves. If you’re not their trainer or dietician, the very best thing you can do for someone you care about who’s trying to lose weight is to notice them. If you see good changes, point them out and be encouraging. Stay positive.
It’s the simplest thing ever, but it’s so important for people trying to lose weight to have that validation and positive reinforcement from the outside. It’s fuel for the fire.