Trying to get your motivation back to lose weight can be one of the most difficult things to do. I know, because I’ve been there. Several times. In fact, my longest rut was probably 2 years long (between 2013 and the start of 2015). I was up and down the same 10lbs and I just did not have the motivation to do anything differently. I found myself feeling terrible about myself and often times in tears on the way to (and even during) my WeightWatchers® meetings. It was terrible.
I have put together some helpful tips to help you find that motivation again and hopefully kickstart your weight loss efforts.
WEIGHT LOSS MOTIVATION TIP #1: FORGIVE AND BE KIND TO YOURSELF.
I am my harshest critic and having been around a number of people trying to lose weight, I know the same to be true for them. The way we talk about ourselves (both out loud and in our own heads) is atrocious. Frankly, it’s abusive! We would never tell anyone that we cared about the things that we tell ourselves. So, first things first, forgive yourself and start being kind to yourself. You’re human. You are doing the best that you can with what you have right now. There’s always room for improvement and the only thing you should be striving to be is better than you were yesterday. That perfection thing is a joke. It’s an unachievable goal that so many (myself included) set for themselves. Why set yourself up for failure that way?
This is why I absolutely LOVE this quote by Jennifer J. Freeman. “You are far too smart to be the only thing standing in your way.” Think about that one. Say it out loud. Write it down. Save the image above and print it out or keep it somewhere.
WEIGHT LOSS MOTIVATION TIP #2: DETERMINE YOUR “WHY”.
Knowing and understanding why you want to lose weight is important to your success. If you don’t know why you want to lose weight, then determine why you want to lose weight. Perhaps it’s because you want to be healthier so that you can be around for your family. Perhaps your why is to be able to shop in regular stores with regular-sized clothes. How about to fit into an airplane seat comfortably? To look and feel good naked? Maybe it’s all of these. Knowing your why and putting that out in the universe is really helpful, because when you understand what the bigger picture goal is about why you want to lose weight, it’ll help with those every day things that deter you from reaching your goal.
I’ll share with you my why. I want to lose weight because I want to have a baby. I have some health complications that already make pregnancy very risky for my health (and the baby’s health), so weight loss has been advised as one way to lower some of those complications. Beyond that, I want to be around for my friends and family for as long as possible. And, don’t get me wrong, I want all those things I said above too. But, this more life-changing why for me, is what lit a fire under me the past few months and seeing the results has kept me going.
WEIGHT LOSS MOTIVATION TIP #3: START OUR SMALL.
It can be very overwhelming to think about all of the things that need to change in order to lose weight. All too often, people will say, “Starting on Monday, I’m going to start working out every single day and eating healthy.” Start out small and be realistic about what things you want to do. Take one or two things that will help you achieve your weight loss goals and focus on those first. Once you’ve incorporated those things into daily habits, then incorporate another thing that will help you get there.
Ask any weight loss expert and they will tell you that 80% of weight loss is your diet and nutrition and 20% is physical activity and exercise. Knowing this, hopefully that gives you an idea on where you should start first when it comes your weight loss efforts. If you’re using WeightWatchers®, start off small with something like tracking everything that you eat every single day and preparing your house with the foods that will help make you successful. Use the tools and resources available to you (eTools and the WW app on your phone). If you’re not in WeightWatchers®, try doing a 5-day clean eating challenge. Focus on unprocessed foods (particularly Monday through Friday, when your schedule is probably the most regulated and structured).
From there, start the building block of other things that you know to help you reach your goals, which leads me to…
WEIGHT LOSS MOTIVATION TIP #4: CHANGE THINGS UP.
A lack of motivation often comes from boredom. I know when I was in my 2-year rut, I was just bored and going through the motions. I realized for me that if I wanted to see a different result, I needed to do something different. My change-up was Beachbody workouts. I knew that I needed to get physical activity in but that my gym membership was a joke. I was paying $35 per month for gym membership that I wasn’t using. I thought about why I didn’t go to the gym. First, time was an issue. The gym for me was a 2-hour ordeal, by the time I got ready, drove to the gym (found parking and got on a machine), did my workout (which was usually treadmill or elliptical for 45-60 minutes) and then drove back. That 2 hours was hard to fit into my day. Beachbody gave me the ability to eliminate that excuse with at-home workouts that were highly effective, so 30 minutes per day made it very doable.
Perhaps your change up isn’t even weight loss related. Sometimes we have things in our lives that require some changes in order for you to feel motivated and empowered to take control of your weight loss again. Maybe that’s moving into a new home and changing your entire environment, ending an abusive or negative friendship or relationship that is dragging you down, or perhaps your job or even something as simple as needing to redecorate a room or get a few new items for your wardrobe. Decide what change up in your life would excite and motivate you to get back into the swing of things!
WEIGHT LOSS MOTIVATION TIP #5: JOURNAL THE POSITIVE THINGS.
Journaling is a powerful way to get all of your thoughts out and onto paper. However, I don’t know about you, but I find that I tend to journal only when things are stressful or emotional. I realized that my journal was just filled with the crap in my life. Well, that could be good too, but what I realized was that the time and energy that I spent focusing on all of the things that were not right with my life that I was missing out on all of the things that were going right.
Take the time to journal each day and find even just ONE positive thing that you can write about. It can pertain to your weight loss efforts, but it doesn’t have to. Try doing it for the next 7 days. Just write down a few sentences about the positive things that happened. See how you feel at the end of the 7 days. It’s truly eye-opening when you start to realize how much more in control you think you are of your thoughts and feelings.
WEIGHT LOSS MOTIVATION TIP #6: FOCUS ON THE CHANGE, NOT THE RESULTS.
One of the best quotes that was ever shared with me was at the start of my weight loss journey and it sticks with me today: “Focus on the results, you won’t see the change. Focus on the change, the results will come.”
It’s too easy to focus on the 25, 50, 100lbs or whatever it might be that we want to lose. We focus on what the scale says more than we do our actual actions. Yet, deep down, we all know that regardless of what the scale might say, this weight loss journey takes time and effort. Weight unfortunately comes off much slower than it comes on. This is not a race. It’s a journey and that means that there will be gains along with losses—and that’s okay. If you’re making healthy changes in your life, you will see the results. Period. (And if you’re not seeing results, then it’s time to look at those “healthy” changes and perhaps they are not as healthy as you might’ve thought… at which point, revisit Tip #4.)
WEIGHT LOSS MOTIVATION TIP #7: FIND SUPPORT.
If I had to reduce all of these motivation tips to just one, this would be it. Find support. You do not have to go about this journey by yourself. There are so many people in the same boat and chugging along this same journey with you for you to ever feel like that you have to do this on your own and without the support. I made a promise to myself that regardless of how I was doing that I would be sure to attend my WeightWatchers® meetings as much as possible. Beyond the meeting, I have formed friendships with fellow members to check in with throughout the week. Just having someone to check in with is a great way to motivate yourself, hold yourself accountable, get the guidance and support you need.
If you would like some support, contact me and we’ll make it happen.