OK – no-one’s going to try to kid you here… Losing weight is hard! Really hard! There are countless ‘trite’ articles out there in t’Internet land and in magazines that give so-called ‘motivational tips’ on how to reach your weight loss goals.
But if you’ve tried – and failed – multiple times to ditch the extra pounds, you know how useless most of them are.
So let’s take a look at weight loss from a different point of view, and try to come up with some real motivation that’ll help you get closer to your goals.
Why do you want to lose weight?
Understanding why you want to lose weight is the very first thing you need to do in order to get motivated. Perhaps it’s for health reasons. Or maybe you want more energy, or yearn to be able to wear something a little more fashionable than the clothes you can currently get to fit you.
Perhaps you’ve lost a ton of weight, but are now struggling to find the motivation to keep it up to lose the last few pounds.
It doesn’t matter what your reasons are, you just need to understand them fully.
Forget the targets
Well, not completely. But instead of saying “I need to lose 20 pounds”, try giving yourself much smaller goals. Losing 5 pounds is far more achievable than 20 (although you may well get to the 20 pounds in the long run).
The thing is, it’s human nature to fail at something if the target is just too big to think you can ever reach it. It can just seem too damn hard when you can’t see yourself ever making it. That’s the biggest motivational killer there is. But 5 pounds? That’s something that you CAN do – because in all reality, it’s something that you can achieve in a relatively short amount of time.
Ditch the scales
Yes, really… Because did you know how much your weight fluctuates on a daily basis? Believe us, it can be a lot. And it can also fluctuate due to other reasons, including hormonal changes, mild dehydration, water retention… The list is long. And there’s nothing more demotivating than stepping on the scales every single morning to see the needle fail to move (or worse, tip the scales at a level higher than yesterday)!
So forget weighing yourself. If you must, try to do it once a month (or once a fortnight at the most). You can gauge your weight loss by how your clothes feel anyway – and that’s a far better way to feel good about yourself.
Do some exercise you enjoy
Let’s face it. Pounding the treadmill road to nowhere in the gym is one of the most soul-destroying things known to man (or woman). And if you’re even the slightest bit self conscious, joining an exercise class can reduce you to a quivering wreck.
So when it comes to exercise, do what it is that YOU like to do – not what others expect you to do. This could be gardening, walking the dog, dancing, playing with the kids – you get the picture. Exercise really doesn’t have to be selling your soul to the local gym…
Up the calories you burn in normal day-to-day life
Simple things such as walking up the stairs instead of taking the elevator, getting off the bus one stop earlier and walking the rest, dancing as you vacuum, walking to the grocery store instead of driving, boogie along to tunes on the radio… You get the picture.
Become more mindful
Practice mindfulness on a daily basis. Because where your head’s at is a huge motivation towards your weight loss goal. The more relaxed and content you are, the easier it is to remain motivated and keep moving towards your target.
In addition, don’t hang around with people who are disrespectful of both your physical and mental well-being. Surround yourself with friends and family who lift you up, not bring you down. Life’s far too short to let others drag you down, so don’t saddle yourself with such people.
Be kind to yourself
So you caved today and ate a whole bar of chocolate. Or a complete cake. Perhaps you had a take-out. Guess what? It honestly doesn’t matter. One lapse certainly doesn’t scupper your weight loss efforts. In fact, there’s evidence that the odd ‘cheat’ can actually boost your metabolism on occasion.
And just because you fell off the wagon today certainly doesn’t mean you should give up. All it means is that you’re human. And tomorrow’s another day where you won’t over eat, and you’ll continue on your slow and steady journey to the weight you want to be.