By Guest Blogger: Lindsay Martin
For some people the most difficult part of losing weight is staying motivated and to keep persevering when you just want to give up. Here are some tips and tools to help you stay motivated.
1) Remind yourself that you can eat whatever you want, whenever you want OR you can be thinner. You can’t have both. Make this your mantra. Repeat it aloud at vulnerable times.
2) Set a fitness goal. A 5K run/walk, sprint triathlon, mud run, or a challenging bike ride. Get creative and have fun with it. Find something that gets you out of your comfort zone, but that is also doable. www.active.com is full of athletic activities and events all over the country. Find something that looks fun and sign up today!
3) Email, text or call an accountability friend everyday to tell them about your day. When you have to report to someone else, when you feel a level of pressure which tends to change how you think and act.
4) Take measurements of your body at the beginning of your weight loss journey. It’s easy to get discouraged if the number on the scale doesn’t move as quickly as you’d like. Check out http://www.ivillage.com/how-do-i-take-my-measurements/4-n-142316 to learn the best way to take your measurements.
5) Reward yourself. Make small measurable goals to earn non-food rewards. Some reward ideas might include a pedicure, massage, date night, or a new book … the possibilities are endless. Another idea is to throw a dollar in a jar for every 30 minutes you work out. Add some cash each time you lose a couple of pounds. At the end of the month go shopping for clothes to fit your new slimmer self.
6) Dr. Judith S. Beck, Ph.D., Director of the Beck Institute for Cognitive Therapy and Research, suggests making a long list of reasons you want to be thinner and healthier. Read that list each morning and have it handy when you’re not feeling especially motivated.
7) Surround yourself with success stories and weight loss information. Read Self magazine, find weight loss articles and success stories online, and seek out friends who have lost weight. It’s inspiring to see others who have succeeded at reaching their weight loss goals.
8) Don’t let one bad meal or snack ruin your entire day. Don’t beat yourself up about it and get right back on track at your next meal. Too often people make a bad food choice and use it as an excuse to eat poorly the rest of the day. It can be a very detrimental pattern and will undoubtedly sideline any weight loss goal.
9) Make a list of things to do when you get a craving for unhealthy foods. Go for a walk, read a magazine, take a bath, or play with your pet. Focus on something else and your craving should pass in 5-10 minutes.
10) Keep a log of your food, exercise, and weight loss. Studies show that people who are successful at losing and maintaining their weight are good at self-monitoring. “And remember to put positive feelings in print, too, to review on days you need a boost,” says Rachna D. Jain, Psy.D., a lifestyle coach and licensed psychologist in Columbia, Maryland. It feels good to look back at all your hard work and be proud of all that you’ve accomplished.
On each and every weight loss journey everyone struggles with bouts of doubt and weight loss plateaus. It’s what you do when in the face of these struggles that defines your success.