Maintaining Motivation for Weight-loss
I looked in the mirror the other day and was honestly disgusted by myself. I gained almost all of my weight back that I worked so hard to lose. Simply for not trying and for not maintaining my motivation, in the hardest of times. For me, losing weight is not just about my appearance. It’s more about how I feel. I know a lot of people say that but it’s true. Of course I want to look thinner and better but most importantly it’s about the way I feel inside. And when I think back to a year and a half ago when I was almost at my target weight, after losing 80 pounds, I think about how much happier I felt. I was the healthiest I had ever been, mind and body.
Finding Motivation Again:
Sometimes finding motivation isn’t always the hard part. For me it is learning how to maintain that motivation that you once had about something. For example, I am pretty good at finding motivation to eating healthier and exercising more. But keeping up with that on a day to day basis can be very challenging for me. I start out strong and then slowly but surely I find myself becoming “lazier” with my efforts and really not caring as much as I did from the onset. Life gets busy, things happen and then you suddenly have a million different reasons for why you’re no longer doing the things you said you were going to do or you’re doing them but with a struggle.
For me, when I lose interest in something or I don’t find complete joy from it anymore, is when I seem to struggle the most. Or when I feel like I am not really getting anywhere and I can’t find much of a point to it, I lose my motivation quickly. When I first started eating healthy, losing weight and feeling so much better about myself, of course that is when I was most motivated. Then something happened. I hit my peak and ran into medical issues which was not the sole cause of my weight gain but was definitely not a help, so my motivation went down the toilet. And now here I am again, feeling motivation to lose the weight and eat healthy. But that’s not to say that maintaining this motivation I am feeling right now will be easy. Because it is not.
I know what it is like to really lose complete and total motivation, not just for weight-loss but really for anything. I have spent many of days laying in my bed, watching my TV shows, telling myself that I should not be doing this right now. But lets face it, when you’re feeling down, laying around and watching your favorite TV show is so much easier than doing the millions of other things you actually need to be doing.
So what do I do to maintain motivation? Honestly this is still something I am still working on myself but there are certain things that I do that helps me to keep my motivation. There are certain things I have started to do this time around to prevent me from getting into such a slump that I was in. And just by doing these few things, I instantly start to feel rejuvenated with energy and motivation to keep going.
Top Tips for Maintaining Motivation:
- Envision what you want:
- It always helps me to first envision what it is I want to achieve. Each time I am struggling to get on the treadmill, I think about what I want from it. I envision how good I will feel once I am done. I envision how great it will feel when I step on the scale a few weeks later and watch the number go down. Envision what I want to get out of working out and eating healthy helps me to maintain my motivation by constantly thinking about my future self and how much better I will be for taking the steps to do so.
- Keep a progress journal and write in it everyday:
- Tracking my progress in a journal helps me immensely to keep on the right track. The important part about this tip is to make sure to write in a journal everyday. Even if it is only a few words or one sentence, I find it helpful to write how I am feeling that day and how I have done with my eating and exercising. Whenever I look back on my days where I’m feeling unmotivated, it helps to reflect back on my progress.
- Reward Successes:
- Now for me a really good reward would be a nice chocolate treat like a fudgy brownie! But being such a chocolate addict, I try to find other ways to reward my successes. If I’ve lost 10 pounds or have done really well, I like to give myself a little reward. Sometimes even treating yourself to a movie that you’ve been wanting to see or buying that blouse you’ve been wanting or whatever it might be, it a great way to keep yourself on track. Positive reinforcement always helps me to keep going.
- Set small goals first:
- It is a lot easier to maintain motivation when you’re not trying to attain an unreachable or unrealistic goal. When I first started working out and eating healthier (the first time around), I made an outrageous goal of trying to workout every single day, eat nothing but salad and oatmeal and try to lose 20 pounds in one month. I quickly realized, that was not healthy or realistic. So, I started to make small goals and ones that I knew would be attainable. Setting small goals had helped me to keep motivated for the reason that I am allowing less room for disappointment and I see the results that I want to see within that time.
- Remember why you started:
- This one helps me A TON! Every time I feel that struggle and I feel that motivation just hanging by a thread, I remember why I wanted to start my plan. This also goes along with writing in a progress journal because that too helps not only remember why you started but helps to reflect back. Whenever I am really having a hard time keeping up my motivation, I always remember why I have been putting in so much effort. I look back on my old pictures and look at my progress, this is always a big motivator for me. Sometimes it can be hard to remember why you started when you’re having challenging days, I know it is for me. But even on those challenging days, I try to find even one reason why I started. I remember that I wanted to feel better and to change the way I was headed. If I remind myself why I started this challenging, yet rewarding lifestyle, I usually start to feel more motivated.
These five tips have helped me in the past and are helping me now to keep my motivation strong. I also want to add that it is okay to have setbacks and challenging days. I have had my fair share of days that consist of nothing but dread for continuing the “healthy lifestyle”. I have days where I wake up craving chocolate chip pancakes (okay that’s pretty much everyday), but in all seriousness, it is hard. It is not easy to find motivation let alone to maintain that motivation. Just remember that if you did it yesterday, you can do it today. Just keep going with one foot in front of the other. 🙂
Thanks for reading!