Motivation is fuel for any type of endeavor. Knowing how to motivate yourself is crucial for remaining on the path you have set for yourself and not quitting when it is the hardest to maintain. Losing weight can be a nerve-racking experience, there is no doubt about it.
You have created a nutrition plan, got rid of all the cookies, muffins and cakes that used to be regular in your fridge, and thrown yourself hard and determined into losing weight. However, after a couple of days or weeks, the motivation train starts slowing down. Perhaps you by now bored of eating rice cakes and steamed vegetables every day or you’ve hit a plateau in your weight loss.
If you slip a few times, reach for “forbidden food” or skip a few gym workouts, you can burden yourself with a sense of guilt, and get derailed emotionally and physically. However, if you put your mind to it and motivate yourself, you can reach your goals more easily.
Set A Reward System
It will help further your progress if you treat yourself to something that celebrates reaching a particular goal. Rewards can provide a stimulus to keep going, so set various mini-goals and reward yourself after reaching them. Meaningful rewards are known to reinforce positive behavior, so if you have managed to drop a dress size, treat yourself with a new outfit. Take a long bubble bath, buy a pair of jeans, have a massage, or go to a round of golf, and it will fortify your decision to keep going. Also, rewards should not be food-related, because treating yourself with a juicy hamburger or a box of chocolates for losing a few pounds is not what we are talking about.
By taking pictures of each of your milestones, you can motivate yourself by looking at the ones you took when you were 20 pounds heavier. It may feel a bit unpleasant at first, but once you see the obvious improvement in weight loss, it will motivate you additionally. Take photos on a weekly basis, and the first time you notice the change in the pictures, it will motivate you to keep exercising. You can even take advantage of websites such as EyeEm, where you can upload your photos from the gym or on the track, and make some additional money by managing to sell your photos. Put these photos in a place where you will always see them, for instance, on the refrigerator. Avoid using photos of sexy swimwear models, because it causes striving for perfectionism. You may never reach that milestone, and it will not motivate you, but cause stress instead.
Find A Partner
Having a weight loss partner will let you tap into teamwork. He or she will be there to work out with you and cheer you on, and it will help your resolve to stay on track. The ideal partner is someone with similar health goals (for example, if you are a 50 year old woman, you may be mismatched with those in their twenties, because their metabolism is much faster and stronger, so their bodies behave differently). If you do not have someone to choose from your social circle, try finding someone online (there are many on-line weight loss websites that can pair you up with a partner). Your partner should help you in working out more and eating better, but the most important thing is to choose a person who will make you feel better during the whole process, instead of turning it into an unhealthy competition.
Join A Class
Some find it better than having one weight loss buddy. Join a class, and have 30 of them, plus a coach. You can partake in various exercise classes, and if you do not want to get stuck in the gym, then find some ski or horseback riding lessons. A good yoga studio is a great choice to get fit and reduce stress. Rock climbing, karate, or dancing lessons – what suits you the best depends on the type of person you are.
Again, perfectionism will not help you, so stop eating yourself from the inside for not having a six pack. Starting is the biggest obstacle, but once you start you create momentum by putting the wheels in motion, and that is exactly what will bring you towards the finish.