I was talking with a client the other day and I asked how many times they had attempted to lose weight and they replied “Every Monday”. Perhaps this resonates with you. You know how it goes. Over the weekend you over-indulge and then feel bad on Sunday and sort of beat yourself up until you are “over yourself” and vow that Monday you will change and get back on track or get a fresh start. That works great until around Wednesday (or hopefully even longer) and then you get stressed, someone/something upsets you, a saboteur in your life influences you and your efforts are all but over and you are back to your old ways of coping which often involves food.
So what do you do? What will make that initial desire and zest to accomplish your goal become a reality and enjoyable way of life? What will make the dynamic duo of desire and motivation sustainable? Here are some steps that will help you keep your motivation going.
Start with setting a realistic goal. What is it you want to accomplish? Don’t make it too complicated but if it is a long-term goal (i.e. lose 20 pounds by January 1, 2013), you are going to need to set short term goals for each week so that you are not overwhelmed and set up for failure from the start. If you don’t know where you are going, it’s hard to be very motivated.
Only you can determine what your motivation is – it is different for everyone. It needs to be strong enough to sustain you. Understand that your motivation can/will change as you progress towards your goal. For example, you might have started out wanting to lose 20 pounds for a reunion but find that you feel so great and you have positively influenced the habits of your family that you want to incorporate additional fitness and increase your lean body mass by a few percentage points and then run that 5K you have always wanted to do.
Envision yourself at your goal and focus on that during challenging times. Surround yourself with like-minded people who positively influence you rather than sabotage your efforts.
Focus on the here and now and talk to yourself (you have to read Penny’s article). Focus on the positive – the more you stay committed to each minute/hour/day…the closer you are to lifelong healthy habits and meeting/exceeding your goal.
Keep yourself in check with daily weights and a full body composition at CFWLS once a week.
Get help if you need it! You don’t have to go it alone. Weight loss shouldn’t be about deprivation. It is about being satisfied, learning how what you eat affects you and your metabolism and having fun – really! Life is too short otherwise. If you are stuck, we are here to help!
Reward yourself along the way with a new class, fitness center membership, personal training, pedicure, new outfit – your choice. You deserve to be happy!