This is aimed specifically for the people who are trying to lose weight. I thought that perhaps we could keep a thread where we could simply share ways that we motivate ourselves to lose weight.
I don’t believe that ALL motivation works for EVERYBODY. Each person will have their own reasons to lose weight, and other people’s reasons aren’t going to motivate them enough. If I’ve learned one thing it’s that you need to grasp hold of your OWN motivation and treasure it – because that’s the only thing that is going to work.
However, a lot of my motivation was found from reading other people’s stories, and what motivated them, because I would then go on to realize that, actually, things I didn’t even realize DO motivate me. So that’s the point of the thread.
Motivation to lose weight:
- Look at yourself in the mirror. Are you happy? If not, is it to do with your weight? If so, remember that getting a healthy, slimmer body is perfectly achievable, and you DESERVE to be healthy and happy.
- Have you considered the benefits of losing weight from a medical point of view? Less chance of heart disease, diabetes, certain types of cancer, strokes, able to physically cope with more exercise.
- How do other people treat you? Have you been bullied due to your weight? Show ’em that YOU can win and that their cruel words and actions have only helped to make you a better person.
After the decision has been made…
Once you have decided that you want to lose weight, you will need to put a plan in place that you can stick to. This requires a lot of motivation in itself once you’ve started, but there are things that you can do to help.
- Take plenty of photos of your journey. Weight loss can be slow, and because you see yourself in the mirror every day you may not notice. By taking monthly photos, and comparing them, you should be able to see these subtle changes.
- Measure your hips, waist, bust, neck.. and anything else you’re interested in losing weight from. Sometimes the scales might not change, but yet you will lose inches – such is the mystery of weight loss! Being able to see a downward trend in numbers is very helpful.
- Set realistic goals. Even if you have a lot of weight to lose, it would be hard to lose a stone a month, every month, until it’s gone. Instead, stick to one to two pounds per week, and write down both your overall goal and mini-goals so that you know what you’re aiming for.
- Reward yourself for each goal you reach. NOT with food. Instead, maybe treat yourself to a book, DVD, game, an item of clothing etc that you wouldn’t normally buy for yourself. It might also help to save money each time to lose a pound (ie a £ for an lb) and then buy a nice treat at the end of it.
- Make your progress visual. If you have a Wii fit, then this is great and very easy, as you can hop on the balance board, weigh yourself, and then see a graph of your progress. If you don’t have one, then an Excel file could probably achieve the same thing, or even a simple graph plotted on a piece of paper. If you’re a geek, like me, this is a great way to stay motivated.
How to keep going during exercise…
One key part of losing weight is exercise, and if you are anything like many exercise newbies, you may find that your motivation to push yourself wanes quickly.
- Set exercise goals. It will be much easier to run for 20 minutes if you have set out to do so rather than just going out “for a run” with no time in your mind. Then, you know what you have achieved, and what you need to do to beat that achievement next time.
- Listen to music. The right track can really get you pumping, and it could make all the difference.
- Get an exercise buddy. It is easier to get fit if you’re working with somebody who can push you, and you can return the favor.
- Find an exercise that you really enjoy. Running isn’t for everyone, nor is swimming, but when you find the right exercise for you, you will want to carry on. There are thousands of things that you could do, including things like walking, jogging, running, swimming, rowing, dancing, martial arts, football, tennis, netball, hockey.. and that’s only naming a few.
- Join an exercise group. This could be anything from an amateur football team to a Zumba class, but exercising with other people can help to motivate you, and can also help you make plenty of new friends!
How to stay on track diet wise…
- Start by making a food diary for a week. Be COMPLETELY honest, and don’t hold back from anything that you would normally eat. By doing this, it will be clear to see where you fall down.
- Find replacements for the most unhealthy parts of your diet. This could include swapping frying chips to oven cook chips, mince to Quorn, butter to margarine.. small steps are needed at the beginning, and you can make further replacements later on when you get used to your new way of life.
- Keep yourself busy. A lot of the time, we eat because we’re bored, not because of the fact that we’re hungry. So find a hobby, read a book, WRITE a book (!), phone a friend, take up knitting.. anything to keep your hands, and hopefully your mind, busy.
- Find good “filler” foods. You will find that certain things, like vegetables and salad, hardly contain any calories. A quick Google search for low-calorie foods gives you lots of ideas for things that you can bulk your meal out with. It will feel as though you’re eating more food, but with very little calorific content.
- Treat yourself.. occasionally. If you constantly deny yourself your favorite foods, you’re only going to rebel and counteract all of the good work. Instead, build treats into your day. List the foods that you like to eat but try to avoid, such as a small bar of chocolate, bun with dinner, a bag of crisps etc, and allow yourself ONE of these items each day, alongside your healthy meals. Try to find low-calorie versions, ie Skips, Quavers, Curly Wurlys.. and you should find you can get the taste you like without having to hinder progress.
Using friends and family support…
People will want to help, but they don’t know how. I find that if my family offer me something I will say yes, but if they don’t I won’t go and get what they’re eating for myself. So I have asked them simply not to offer me food.
I also use things like Facebook and Twitter for support. I post my updates, weigh-ins, goals etc, and the feedback I get from my friends can really cheer me on!
Does anyone have more motivation tips that they can share? I thought this might be a good idea seeing as I see SO many people try and fail to lose weight.
I lost 10 stone over two years, and have now maintained that weight for 10 months, so I think I’ve cracked it!