If you set out to make 2015 the year that you finally lose weight for good, but it still hasn’t happened, then you probably lost your motivation along the way and “fell off the wagon.”
I think I have a little bit to say about motivation since I’ve been working on losing weight for almost 5 months and I’ve lost about 10 pounds. Since I am not seeing fast results, but I’m still at it, I must be motivated!
Read on for some helpful ways to stay motivated (when all you really want to do is give-up):
#1 Prepare for Bumps in the Road
Wouldn’t it be great if we could set out to achieve something and it was all smooth-sailing? If that was the case, we would all probably be skinny millionaires.
The reality of it is that life is all about the ups and downs and how we get through them. We cannot control every single thing that happens.
You will have days when you work late and miss a workout. You will give-in once and a while to the office donuts. You may go weeks without losing weight.
When these things happen, it’s how you respond that makes all the difference. If you choose to look at it as just a bump in the road instead of a sign of failure, you will feel much more at peace with yourself and keep moving on with your journey.
#2 Stop Dieting
Diets usually come with a beginning (when you start trying to lose weight) and an end (when the weight is gone). If you lose the weight you set out to lose, it can be easy to stop eating the way you were when you were dieting, thus leading to weight gain.
Dieting also means that you are restricting yourself of certain foods. Sooner or later you will want whatever it is that you aren’t allowing yourself to eat. If you eat foods that are not on your diet, you probably feel guilty and out of control. Or you may have a binge-session because you just don’t feel like you can hold back any longer. All of these actions cause a drop in motivation.
Instead of dieting, look at what you are doing as a lifestyle modification. Don’t make a ton of drastic changes at first. Instead slowly explore a few things you can change, starting with ones that seem easily attainable. This leads me to #3 below…
#3 Create Non-Scale Goals
Sometimes, weight goals can feel a little overwhelming. In order to really focus on making positive changes to your health, create some non-scale goals.
For example, you might start out the day by making your goal to drink no less than 8 glasses of water. Another goal may be to keep a food journal for 7 days straight. Or you could make a goal to try one new vegetable this week.
I do much better when I have really short-term goals to work toward. They feel more attainable. When I do achieve them, I feel confident and motivated to keep going.
#4 Find Your “Why”
Have you ever asked yourself why you really want to lose the weight? Sure, you may think it’s because you want to wear anything in your closet without a second thought, or you want to be in better health. But how does that really look for you?
Ask yourself why you want to be in better health? Why do you want to be able to fit easily into clothes?
The answer can seem obvious sometimes, but if you really delve deep, you will find the true reason that you desire to be thinner. It’s much easier to stay motivated when you are crystal clear on why losing weight is important to you.
#5 Find the Love
Nothing good ever comes from berating yourself and being mean to yourself. You just can’t hate yourself thin. It may work for the short-term, but eventually you will rebel against yourself.
In fact, research has shown that when you are overly critical of your body, it causes stress which can make it more difficult to lose weight. In some cases it can even cause you to gain weight.
The best thing to do is to be aware of how your inner-mean girl is talking to you, and then decide to not engage with her BS.
Instead, take the approach of treating yourself and talking to yourself like you would talk to your best friend. If your best friend confessed to you that she just hit up the McDonald’s drive-thru and ordered two meals for herself plus a milkshake, would you call her fat and tell her she’s out of control and tell her to just keep eating? I doubt it…You would probably make a joke about it and tell her it’s no big deal, and you would still love her just the same!
Find a way to treat yourself with love no matter what happens.
#6 Reframe Your Weight Loss
Stop looking at weight loss as an all-or-nothing endeavor. Like you have to lose 10 pounds by December or else you are a failure. This type of thinking just keeps you stuck in the pattern of losing and gaining weight.
Remember that one week of gaining weight, or one day (or week) of “splurging” on meals is not going to be the end all be all to your weight loss success.
The key is to just keep moving forward no matter what happens. With every minute, you have the opportunity to change your path.
#7 Savor in the Feeling
You know that feeling you get when you finish a really tough workout? Or how you feel when you finished the day knowing that you ate foods that really worked with your body? You have more confidence, feel accomplished, and are empowered to move forward.
Set out with an intention to experience a certain emotion. For example, if you are going out to dinner, determine ahead of time how you want to feel during your time there and after you leave. If you want to feel relaxed, and at ease with what you are eating, then try to recall a time you felt that way in the past? Just bringing up a memory in our brain will create those emotions again. This will make it easier for you to take action that will make you feel relaxed and at ease.
#8 Use Your Mirror
Instead of shying away from the mirror, spend time looking at your reflection. Similar to weighing yourself daily, the more time you spend looking at yourself, the more it can actually improve your body image. The more you feel good about your body, the more likely you are to feel motivated and inspired.
Make sure that you are using #5 from above when you look at your reflection. No critical talk! Instead, focus on one thing you like about your body.
#9 Track Your Progress
Find a place to keep an on-going record of your weight and measurements. Even better, create a graph that will display your weight loss. If you are feeling frustrated over a weight gain, or lack in progress, it helps to view the long-term downward pattern on the graph.
I take my measurements once a month and compare them to the month prior, and to when I began trying to lose weight. Even if I haven’t lost a lot of weight one month, I always see a change in my measurements which makes me feel like I am making progress.
Share in the comments what you do to keep yourself motivated?
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