A few years back, a number of factors contributed to an ever-rising number on the scale. I was not seriously overweight, but I definitely packed on more pounds than necessary for my frame. The pressure to look good in our culture is heavy, and it burns deep into our minds more than we realize. I was feeling badly about myself, yet was having trouble making the changes I knew I needed to make. In theory, it should be easy to make changes that will benefit it and make us happier, yet, it is often difficult. It is likely due to a toxic mix of self-sabotage, poor self image and just good old-fashioned laziness. But, eventually I got on the right track and slimmed down to my normal weight. Here are three ways I accomplished this often difficult- to- attain- goal.

Defined Why I Wanted to Achieve This Goal

If you are feeling the pull to lose weight, there is clearly something, or many somethings, driving this desire. Losing weight will help you obtain something you want, whether it is a feeling, tangible item or a particular set of circumstances. It is important to give some good, hard thought to your ''weight loss why.'' This is the anchor that will keep you grounded when you feel yourself going off course; this is the thing that will help you overcome the hurdles and doubt. Why do you want to lose this weight? Get as specific as possible. Question each reason until you can't go any more. If you want to be healthier, why?Because you want to be a better parent. Why do you want to be a better parent? You get the picture.

Focused on Becoming Healthier Rather than Looking Better

For most of us, a great deal of our discontent with our weight stems from vanity, and that is not necessarily a bad thing. There is nothing wrong with wanting to feel attractive and confident about our appearance. There is nothing wrong with wanting other people to find us attractive. When we look good, we feel good. But, I found that focusing too much on this aspect made it more difficult to lose the extra weight because if we are basing our motivation on how we look, we can lose it very quickly since our bodies will not transform over night. Once I shifted the focus to being healthier, I was able to make more significant changes with greater ease because each time I made a good choice, I felt like I was supporting that goal, and it made me feel good. And feeling good motivated me to do more things that made me feel good.

Brought the Abstract Goal to Life with a Plan

Saying we want to do something is a great first step in making change for sure, but it is not enough if you want real results. Just saying you want to lose weight, without building any sort of concrete plan with actionable steps will probably lead to complete failure. It is not enough to say you want to change your diet or exercise more without getting ultra-specific as to how you will do this. If emotional eating is a trigger, for example, you need to identify what brings it on and have an alternative activity in place. If you know that snacking is your downfall, how can you combat this? It might involve packing something from home to prevent that daily run to the vending machine. If you want to fit the gym into your schedule, you need to get that schedule down on paper and note the specific times you will get to the gym and how you will make it happen.

Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who enjoys blogging about health. If you are interested in utilizing the services of a weight loss center, she recommends learning more about the services of SlimXpress.