Motivation has been a hot topic in my inbox recently. Everyone has been asking how I stay motivated so I thought it was time to answer this seriously on the site.
Getting and staying motivated is a state of mind, an attitude if you will. Being at my goal weight has, of course helped this state of mind but it took 2 years to get to this point and I had more then 10 years of practice before that!
I can only share with you what has worked for me. I am by no means a professional. This has just been my experience.
First, I can tell you in the past what did NOT keep me motivated. Trying to be as thin as my friends, wanting to lose weight for my boyfriend, losing weight for an event or to fit into an outfit all seem like good ideas but in reality they are desires not necessarily motivators. Most of my teens and 20’s I spent longing to be thinner and this, apparently, did NOT keep me motivated. I yo-yo’ed my way through this time losing and gaining the same 40lbs.
Then two things happened, I turned 29 and had a new baby boy on my hands. I realized time was moving on. I spent my entire adult life wanting something that was attainable with a little bit of determination and hard work. What was wrong with me? If I wanted this so bad, why haven’t I done it yet? I was getting older and now I have another life to think about. What would I be teaching my son if he had an unhealthy, overweight mom?
So I joined Weight Watchers and changed my attitude. I took it day by day and tried not to think of my long term goals. I started to think about how healthy I wanted to be, not how thin I wanted to be. It was more about confidence then looks, long-term goals instead of fast fixes.
I started to make a conscious effort to eat natural whole foods, I started eating more fruit and vegetables, drinking all my water and planning my meals. It was hard in the beginning but after a few weeks, my habits and tastes started to change. It was a process, a long process. Looking back, I came up with this list.
- Own your Accomplishments. I see this all the time. “I only lost 1.2 pounds”. WHAT?!? ONLY? Own it. Don’t undermine yourself like that. Own every good choice you make. This is a journey and you have to recognize when you are doing well, moving in the right direction.
- Stop thinking about your ultimate goal. If it does not seem possible you are going to give up. I didn’t set out to lose 70lbs. If I tried, I think I would have failed. I took it small goal by small goal at a time.
- Dive in headfirst. I chose Weight Watchers but I’m convinced most reputable diets work IF you follow them. Chose your plan and follow it. Have faith in it. If you don’t trust your plan you are setting yourself up to fail.
- Experiment. If you are anything like me, you get bored. Experiment with new food, new workouts. It will keep you interested. This is how I discovered spaghetti and butternut squash. Now I cannot live without them and I enjoy coming up with new ways to eat them!
- Get Active. Not everyone is into working out. I’m not but I make an effort to get outside, walk, hike, dance around the house like an idiot, anything to keep moving.
- Take it one choice at a time. I always say one goal, one day, one choice at a time. All of those good choices add up! If you happen to make the wrong decision then admit it and move on. You will learn from that bad choice. As long as you are making more good choices then bad, you are on your way! Every new choice is just that, new, it has nothing to do with what you ate for lunch.
- Be accountable. Whether it is to you significant other, your leader at Weight Watchers or your online friends, it doesn’t matter. Report your weigh-ins, share your experience, admit your mistakes and celebrate you accomplishments. This is why I started BlogToLose This site has been my sounding bored, my place to experiment, and to get and give advice. I’m not sure if I would have stayed motivated without it.
There you have it. My take on motivation and how I got it. I need to add that I am, by no means perfect. This past weekend was quit a disaster but today I am back on plan. Keep trucking along. Time keeps moving if you are on plan or not, you might as well be on plan!