“Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.” ~Michael Jordan
Every year on January 1, I make a New Year’s resolution to lose weight. I start off great. I choose an exercise program. I get my diet all lined out and buy the food. I start working out and eating right.
The pounds start dropping off.
Those fruit snacks from the pantry, that mac n cheese the kids are having for lunch, or the chocolate cake from a party start calling to me. I eventually get to a point that I cannot say no.
Also, I like to snack late night on sweet stuff. I try to choose healthy foods at first. However, after a few weeks I give in and eat licorice and ice cream sandwiches at 9pm. Then after my diet goes I start gaining weight again and I stop exercising because in my mind what’s the point.
I give up.
Then I go into this “I’m starving” stage where I eat everything I see for days and gain 5 pounds. I become sad and upset at myself. My relationships suffer. My sex life suffers. My self-esteem suffers. Breaking the cycle was so very hard. I still have my off days but for the most part I have found how to keep myself motivated throughout the weight loss process.
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Here are my top 7 tips for staying motivated while losing weight.
The Big Picture – Don’t stop looking at the bigger picture. That slice of cake is not worth losing all that you have worked so hard for. Remember how bad you feel when you eat it. I know how bad I feel. I want to look good and feel good. These cookies will not help me feel good.
Workout Buddy – Having someone to workout with and keep you on track is a big help. The days you are not feeling motivated they can help you and the days they lack motivation you can return the favor by helping them. This goes for diet and exercise.
Have A Visual – I make cute colorful pictures of each pound lost. Every time I lost weight a pound I would rip off another sheet. Yeah, I started at 60 pounds and that was a lot of paper. However, it was something I looked forward to. I enjoyed knowing I was almost there. You can try other things for keeping a weight loss goal. Get two mason jars. If you are trying to lose 20 pounds fill one jar with 20 stones. As you lose the weight move the stones from one jar to the other. Any type of creative visual helps.
Small Goals – Try having small goals. Losing 10 or 15 pounds sounds a lot easier than 75. Start small. After you achieve your goal then set another small achievable goal. Before you know it you will have lost the weight. Remember this is not a race.
Don’t Reward Yourself With Food – Stay away from rewarding yourself with food. Simple as that. Reward yourself with a new pair of pants! That feels so much better than a cupcake.
Don’t Give Up – A bad day is just that. A bad day. We all have them. So what, you ate a ton of smores last night at the bon fire and then you indulged in a sugary bowl of cereal this morning. So what. Who cares. Eat right going forward. Don’t beat yourself up. I just know that I have 700+ more calories to burn that day so I’m going to get off my butt and burn them. The point is just don’t give up.
Schedule Cheat Days – Scheduling cheat days or cheat meals will help with the cravings. I started off with every weekend was free for all. I could eat what I wanted (within reason) and not count calories. Then I moved down to only Saturdays could I have a cheat day. Now it is only one meal a week (of my choosing) that I can have a cheat meal. So when I drive through Dairy Queen and want chicken strips, french fries, honey mustard, and a m&m blizzard I know I can have it and not feel guilty. However, I also know that I cannot have another cheat meal for 7 days.
You want your weight to come off and stay off. Making the decision to have a lifestyle change is key. I know that if I eat whatever unhealthy foods I want that I am going to gain weight. I know that if I eat right and exercise I will be healthy and feel better about myself. I made the choice to change my lifestyle because I would rather be healthy than unhealthy.
Want to join me in my weight loss journey? How about share your story? Send me a message. You can also find me on Facebook. www.facebook.com/melinasjourney