The response I have had to this blog is pretty incredible. Thank you all for that! Some of your texts said this blog is motivation. In response to that, I decided to do an entry about just motivation and ways to stay motivated.
When I started Weight Watchers, I had a really big number before me that I wanted to lose. It seems impossible right? I know I felt that way, but I didn’t have anything to lose (except an excessive amount of pounds). The goal number alone is discouraging because you know it will not change drastically overnight and it is going to take time.
What I learned is that I did not gain all of that weight in one day. Just as it took time to gain, it is going to take time and work to lose. So I take one day at a time, not a week or a month… one day… one meal even. And the number is not impossible! I am half way to my goal and it feels pretty amazing. Focus on today only and before you know it your goal number will be within reach.
Ways to stay motivated
1) Take a picture of yourself today. Use that picture to compare to new pictures you take as you lose. On my “fat days,” days when I just feel fat no matter what I do, or when it has been a week or more and I haven’t seen a change in the number on the scale, I will pull up a picture of myself from 6 months ago and know that is not me anymore. So even if I feel like what I’m doing that day isn’t working, I know that it is and my efforts are worth it.
2) Keep track of your weight loss. When it has been a week or more and I have not seen the scale change, instead of wanting to quit and go buy a cake, I go back to the app on my phone where I log my weight. ThenI can see that old number and know that I do not weigh that any more. I also measure my waist so I can see a number for what I’m losing in inches as well as the scale. Seeing the numbers decrease is a huge motivation. When it’s not changing, go back and look at how far you have come.
3) I mention “fat days.” There are days when I think everyone just feels… blah. On those days I go to the gym or go for a walk outside. It is an immediate change in attitude and exercise will make you feel better about yourself. Even if you still feel fat or “blah” afterwards, you know you did something about it, but you probably won’t feel that way.
4) Music! Music is a huge motivator for me. I have a playlist on my phone that is nothing but my favorite songs that make me want to bust a move wherever I am! I use this before I go to the gym, especially on days when I don’t want to go. Listen to upbeat music that makes you want to move, and it may get you up out of that chair for any activity… walking around the neighborhood, the gym, jumping jacks or dancing in your kitchen! Anything to get moving.
5) I read online to think “WELLNESS” not weight loss. I loved this because I may not be at my goal weight yet, but I am healthier, feel better. I am making better food choices that I know will keep the weight off that I have lost. That in itself is motivation. Even if I don’t lose another pound, I am better off than where I was.
6) Set reasonable goals. If you want to lose 100 pounds, set small goals for 15, or 25. 100 pounds can be your overall goal, but if you use that number for a first goal you are going to be discouraged because it is such a big number and it will take time. Set small, short term goals and then when you reach each goal celebrate your victory in your own way! Buy a new outfit, get your nails done, or do something (that does NOT involve food) that makes you feel good. Each small goal met gets you closer to that overall goal and it will keep you on track.
7) Focus on what you are doing right instead of what you did wrong. Eat a bad meal? Didn’t exercise? And of course you feel bad about it or guilty afterwards. Don’t beat yourself up on the things you feel like you are doing wrong and focus on the things you have done right. Making yourself feel guilty for one slip, or several, will not get you any closer to your goal. Instead, start over! That was 5 minutes ago, this is now. Focus on the meals you did good and the times you did go to the gym. If you cheat, just get right back on it afterwards.
8) Educate yourself. Lately when I find myself in a rut or needing change I go to my family for advice. I’m very lucky to have a cousin and aunt who are both fitness and nutrition experts. I also buy books to educate myself and I do research online. I am NOT a professional nutritionist or fitness expert! The knowledge I have is from others that are experts and the great news is there are thousands of them! Start reading!
9) Look up before and after weight loss pictures on the internet. Seeing someone else’s success can motivate you to continue because you know it is not impossible. They did it. Why not you?
10) Challenge yourself. If you are starting to get bored, try something new. Have you been working out at the gym? Take your fitness outside. Been outside? Focus on weights in the gym. Want to run a mile or a marathon? Set fitness goals that will keep you challenged.
11) Buy new clothes! No need to expand on this as shopping is awesome… especially as your clothes AND YOU get smaller! 🙂
12) Weigh yourself daily. I suppose everyone’s preferences for this are different, but personally I weigh myself daily. We can handle the truth, right!? I think weighing weekly is great too, especially since the number will likely be higher for weight loss over a week. Getting on the scale daily for me keeps me motivated to stay on track. If I ate a big meal the night before and gained a pound, it keeps me on the track today so the next morning the number will be lower. Don’t weigh at night! Always weigh first thing in the morning before you eat. And seriously people, weigh yourself. There is no reason to be afraid of the number on the scale because you are trying to change that number. If you don’t know how much you weigh, you can’t set goals. If you don’t continue to weigh yourself, you don’t know when you reach a goal. And if you don’t weigh yourself, how do you know what you’re doing is working? You may feel it is, but get on the scale. See the number lower. If you’re doing it right the number will go down and you won’t get discouraged. If the number isn’t getting lower then you know you need to fix or change some things.
13) Don’t be afraid to try new things! Don’t fall into a rut of boredom. Experiment with new food and try new exercises.
To stay motivated, do what works for you. What keeps you motivated? Think about it and plan ahead. Just as with your food, any preparations you take will open a path for success.