Commitment Or Involvement

Dr. John H. Sklare


     One of the most important ingredients in the recipe for success is commitment.  However, commitment is a word that strikes terror into the hearts of many.  Truly committing yourself to something is actually not very common.  Think about that for a moment.  How many things are you truly committed to?  The question I want you think about here, is this:  Are you just involved in weight management and healthy living or are you truly committed?


     I actually write about this often when I’m discussing the topic of change.  But change is obviously impossible if you are not committed to it and the truth is that most people just give lip service to change.  They talk about it, think about it and make ill-prepared, half-hearted attempts at it. But only those who are truly committed to a plan of action are the ones that ultimately succeed.


     At the heart of this struggle to commit, is honest confusion over exactly what being committed really means.  I honestly believe that most people don’t understand the physical and emotional investment that commitment demands.  So, with that said, let’s begin by defining our terms.  The dictionary defines commitment as “dedication to a long-term course of action”.  Perhaps stick-to-itiveness is another word that works here.  Anyway you look at it, persistence and perseverance is what adds up to commitment.


     There simply is no success without commitment.  This is true in any venture but it is certainly true in weight management.  You have to want it bad enough to be willing to sacrifice the demanding and burning urge of the moment for the health and betterment of the future.  Even though there is pleasure in doing the right thing in the moment, the payoff for commitment is really down the road a bit.


     When making health choices, you must always keep your goal in mind and weigh the future benefits against your present desires.  That’s what commitment is all about.  It’s about making more mindful decisions and less mindless decisions.  It’s about not being driven by your impulsive, emotional self.  It’s about putting your body under new management and running a tighter ship.  It’s about loving yourself enough to make the tough choices.  It’s the act of walking the walk even when you don’t feel like it.  Commitment…easy to say – difficult to do.  However, finding your way to true commitment is central to losing weight and creating the lifestyle changes necessary for a healthier future. 


     I always like to break things down into manageable tasks.  Committing to never eating sweets again, for example, is too much to consider for most.  However, committing to making the next decision that you make a healthy one, is much easier to imagine and much easier to accomplish.  You might find it helpful to imagine that each healthy choice you make puts you one step closer to your weight loss goal.  In this way, getting the healthy body and mind you want and deserve is really only one choice away. 


     I read an interesting and humorous quote about commitment not too long ago.  Because of all of the writing and presenting that I do, I’m constantly on the lookout for new ideas and sometimes I find them in the strangest of places.  Of course, if your commitment is solid, your antennas are always up - scanning the environment for motivation and inspiration.  Being truly committed takes the sting out of weight loss and creates a mental awareness that is conducive to change.  This is such an advantage.  Because, to quote the great Earl Nightingale, “You become what you think about”.


     I was thinking about all of this while I was flying home from a business trip a while ago when I spotted something very interesting.  I was just sitting on the plane minding my own business when there appeared on the movie screen in front of me an absolute pearl of wisdom.  It was a quote from some unknown author about commitment.  It went as follows:


     The difference between commitment and involvement can be compared to a bacon and egg breakfast.  The chicken was involved…the pig was committed.


     I just love that statement.  It paints such a clear picture.  There is a major difference between commitment and involvement and it’s so important that you understand this distinction.  Because the truth is - most people are just involved in weight loss while very few are truly committed.   How about you?  Are you committed to weight loss and healthy living or are you just involved? 


Wishing You Great Health,


Dr. John H. Sklare