Motivation can be an elusive thing. One week I seem to have it in abundance & that’s it, I tell myself I’m definitely going to reach my goals & everything seems infinitely easier, I’m organised, prepared, plan my meals & I’m raring to go & everything just clicks into place. Then Bam! A few days later all the will to go on & motivation has up & left me. My mojo has deserted me & is nowhere to be found, its gone awol! But I was so determined, I was so positive, my goals didn’t seem that far away just a few days ago & now it feels like I can’t go on, I want to quit & I’m never going to get there at all, it’s just too hard and the end is nowhere in sight, it’d be easier to just give up. What happens to us? Where does the Motivation disappear to? Nobody knows it’s one of life’s little mysteries, destined to elude us forever! But all is not lost. You can actively work on regaining that Mojo & get yourself back in the game & losing weight before you know it. Here’s some things I find help me along when I just want to curl up on the couch with a large Mars Bar & wish I could magically & without any effort become a size 8 overnight;
Set your Goals. Working towards a nonexistent goal is a very disheartening thing. It’s not real or reachable when it’s not set down properly in your heart & mind, saying I want to lose around 2 stone in the near future is a floaty, dreamy, non tangible goal. Write it down & your mini goals too. Get yourself a lovely hardback notebook just for you & write down your overall goal and set yourself mini goals like 7lb milestones to reach along the way. Think about why you want to lose weight, we all want to look better & be slimmer those are the obvious ones but really think about it, why is it important to you? Why did you decide to start in the first place? What was the tipping point when you had enough & made you start your journey?
Which brings me to my next tip; Keep a Journal. You bought your lovely goal notebook in tip 1, use it! I have written and kept a journal of my progress long before I started blogging & I still do. I have an entire Notebook of not only my weight but my measurements too and my goal milestones along the way. I can look back at a certain time when I felt good about myself & see what I weighed or more importantly what my measurements were to give me focus & a goal. Get yourself a cheap sewing kit with a measuring tape & document your waist, hip, thigh & arm sizes at the same time of the day, on the same day each week, our bodies change so much through exercise & your weight fluctuates on a daily basis, especially for women, depending on hormones, water retention etc that to go by the number on the scales alone is very, very misleading. I have been absolutely amazed sometimes when I look back that while I might have been the same weight as I am now on the scale my waist or other measurements were bigger or smaller depending on how active I was around the time. This will change your whole perception about losing weight and keeping fit if you haven’t done it before and it will change those weeks where you wail “I ‘only’ lost a pound” it will be much easier to keep going when you realise it’s not all about the number on the scales, your clothes are feeling looser & you are getting smaller even if that stubborn number won’t budge which is too often the case.
Take Photos. Photographing your progress along the way can be very motivational to look back on & actually see your progress & how far you have come when sometimes you just can’t see it in the mirror. Take a photo for every 7lb you lose as a reminder about how far you have come so far, don’t just focus on how far you have to go still! Also choose a photo at your top weight, one you really, really don’t like as it reminds you of the old unhappy you & place it somewhere you can see it & be reminded of just how far you have come.
Choose Something New. If you keep doing the same things you are going to keep getting the same results. Shake it up a bit. If you go walking every second day try upping it to a jog, try a new exercise altogether to get out of the rut your body might be in, our bodies get used to the same exercises & it won’t expect the change so it will shock your body into metabolising fat & losing weight. Try new foods, Consider ditching some of the processed foods or reducing them at least. Yes those low fat crisps or bars might be great value points wise but they are still sugary treats, treats are just that – treats & if you are having them every day it might be time to start saving them for an occasional treat at the weekends or to reward your good work after a weigh in. Even though they fit into your points allowance your body metabolises them differently than fresh foods & they will not help your weight loss if they are an everyday indulgence. Also try swapping out white carbohydrates for their brown counterparts for the same reason, your body will metabolise them differently, there is simply more natural sugars, starch & less fibre in the white versions. You don’t have to go without altogether just consider swapping them a few times a week if you can, swap a baked potato for a baked sweet potato, swap white rice for wholegrain, or choose brown pasta over white. Remember only limit but never eliminate food groups.
Talk the Talk. Tell people about your efforts, let them know you are trying to be healthy & lose weight then you will have a support network & will be less likely to slip off track if you know people are following your progress & rooting for you to succeed. Try not to tell yourself you’re on a diet, you are not on a diet; you are changing your lifestyle to a healthier one. A diet is a fad you follow for a few weeks to lose a few lbs that you will undoubtedly quickly re-gain. A healthy lifestyle is a new way of looking at how you eat for life, sustainably, without limiting yourself or depriving yourself. Deprivation & starving yourself is the number one sure fire way to ultimately fail & fail quickly. Try not to talk negatively to yourself even if it’s not out loud it severely affects our self confidence chipping away at it until we have little to no self esteem. Ditch the negative comments, be your own cheerleader, focus on the things you love about yourself and the things that you are changing about yourself, ones that you can actually see changing & that you like. When you catch yourself making negative comments about yourself in your head stop yourself & consciously change that thought to a more positive one & soon it will become a habit.
Fake it till you make it. Smile a big smile, choose the things you like about yourself, tell yourself you look good today & go out & face the world even if you don’t feel like it. You will feel more positive even if a little silly doing this at first. It will become a good habit & eventually become second nature, print out some positive quotes if you find it difficult at first to say them. Smile. Say them. Repeat. You might feel a bit daft but believe me – this works. It helps lift your Self confidence & feel so much better about yourself.
Remember it is hard work but it is worth it.When you are struggling it can seem that everyone else’s journey is so much easier than your own, it seems they effortlessly lose weight or keep it off without effort, that is the way it might appear looking in from the outside but everyone’s journey is difficult a pound is hard to lose no matter who you are & while they might make it look like the journey was easy you can be guaranteed that they have put all the hard work in behind closed doors. They refused that Chocolate Cake or laced up their trainers & got out and done it just the same as you did. We all have struggles & hard days & low motivation that is human nature but we will all get through it, push on, keep going because yes it’s bloody hard work & yes it would easier to quit but it’s just not an option to go back to where you started from. When you actually look back at how unhappy you were then & how you so wanted something to change, well you’re doing it! You’re changing it! You have worked too damn hard to get this far & quit now. Think about how unhappy you would be to go back to the absolute start & have to put in all that hard work again just to get where you already are now! You are stronger than you think. Keep on going, you WILL get there.