Losing weight is hard. Maintaining that weight loss is harder. Staying consistent with your goals, even when everyone around you is on a different plan, is hard. There is no way to sugar coat that truth: it is hard.
But being fat and unhealthy is also hard. Feeling bad about yourself is very hard. Having a body that you are not proud of and that cannot do the things you want is hard. At the end of the day you have to pick your hard.
There have been times when I sat back and wondered if all the effort is just a waste of time. The American culture craves instant gratification. Everything around me emphasizes and feeds that notion of “I want it now.” Weight loss is no exception to that attitude. It takes time. Choose to make a good choice today, and after seven good days you have had a good week. After four good weeks you will have worked hard for a month. The months will continue to pass until a year has flown by. And after that year you will look in the mirror and realize that each small day contributed to the amazing person and image of success staring back at you. It takes time, but if you can focus on the small moments then the task doesn’t seem so big.
Whenever you start to feel like your efforts are in vain, just remember what you have already accomplished. Remember that this feeling is a fleeting moment; it is like a craving and it will pass. Don’t give into the negativity and self-doubt of the moment. Rise above it. Here are three things that help me stay motivated when the going gets tough.
- Keep a list of your goals and accomplishments. Hang that list up where you can see it every day to remind yourself of how amazing you are. You are doing this, and you are succeeding. I will have big drops and then plateau. Sometimes I get stuck at a weight for weeks at a time. It feels like I will be there forever and BOOM, another big drop. Keeping track helped me identify that pattern and helps keep me motivated.
- Regularly take pictures of your progress. At first the pictures will motivate you to change because you might hate what you see. Soon though, you will notice the differences and the photographs will motivate you to keep going. Pride will replace hate as you move forward.
- Find a friend, family, any source of support to help you. Someone that has been through thick and thin (pun totally intended) with you. Sometimes it helps to vent, talk, and share what you are going through. It certainly helps if that person is on a similar path. But no matter what, use that support to help get you through.
The last and most important thing to remember when the motivation fails is this: you are worth it. Whatever your goal is, strive for it because your body deserves it. Your body deserves to be taken care of. You mind deserves a body that can keep up. You deserve to live a healthy and happy life. Eating right and working out are not chores, punishments, nor burdens. They are rewards that you deserve to give yourself. Think about how you felt after a veggie omelet vs. a donut. Grapes vs. a bag of chips. 45 minutes at the gym vs. sitting on the couch all day. At the moment the choices may not seem like a reward, but if you focus on the feeling you get afterward, you will want to keep going. Make the harder choice because you deserve to feel pride, not regret, later.
P.S. Follow my Pinterest board for motivation: http://pin.it/lXGouXJ