Staying Motivated

One of the questions I get asked quite frequently is “How do you stay motivated after all this time?”  My weight loss journey hasn’t been a sprint, it’s been more of a marathon.

And, right about now… I know that many of you who resolved to eat healthy this New Year may need a little extra motivation, or to hear about how I stay motivated.  Well, here goes…

While I lost the bulk of my weight during the first year, it’s been an ongoing process to get to goal.  While I’m not there yet, I’m really ok with that.  I’m in such a better spot than I was on Day 1 and know that I’ll be reporting a healthier, happier, more fit me again when I check in on day 1095.

Honestly, my motivation levels change from day to day… so it really depends on the day but here are a few things I do that keep me on track.

1.  Checking in With My Support System

Blogging REALLY keeps me on track.  I write about what I’m doing, what I’m eating, what I’m cooking…. and I’m constantly checking in on my progress.  I feel a high amount of accountaility to all of you, believe it or not.  I can’t just leap off plan for days at a time, or begin cooking high calorie meals and over-indulging.  That’s recipe for disaster.

I also check in with others that I know are working to lose weight.  Whether it’s cooking a healthy dinner with my friend Robin, exchanging daily pictures of dinner with my sister-in-law Beth, or texting my friend Natalie about our need to get to the gym, I check in with those that are on a similar journey and try to surround myself with like-minded people.  Some of my “virtual” friends have also been really helpful in this process.  Do not underestimate the power of social media connections!

Amongst these folks, we really encourage each other to ASK THE QUESTION.  How is it going?  Have you been to the gym?  What does your meal plan look like this week?  This constant banter between friends also helps a lot.

2.  Mix it Up!

I find that changing things up constantly has been really helpful to me.  I never get bored with any aspect of my journey.  For me this means, cooking new recipes all the time…. and healthy ones at that!  The internet gives us SUCH a huge resource for healthy recipes.  I’m always finding something new that I want to cook.  Pinterest is HUGE for this, and I find a lot in cookbooks as well.

As for the gym, I love trying new classes, incorporating new treadmill workouts, and going to different yoga studios.  Having only spent about a year as a gym member, there are a LOT of classes that I’ve never done and a lot of equipment that I’ve never tried.  This gives me a lot of options.  I also know that the moment I get bored with the gym, I’ll do something else with that time.  I refuse to let that happen.

3.  Stay Informed

I spend a lot of time reading articles about weight loss, books about healthy living, and finding out about new opportunities in my area to explore my new lifestyle further.

There are a lot of blogs I read daily to check in on new ideas, but I also find myself gravitating toward magazines like Fitness, Self, and Shape.  Lots of great ideas in all these publications.

4.  Be Selfish

Yes, I’m suggesting you be selfish.  Most people will encourage you to do the opposite.  Not this girl.

If you let your life lead you around, you won’t ever get what you want… you have to be an active participant.

When I say “be selfish”, I mean that you should go after what you want and take steps to get there.  If you know that you can’t go to the girl’s night your favorite pizza place without having several slices of that amazing pie, it’s ok to skip this week or suggest an alternate location.  If you know that you want to take a Zumba class on Monday nights, ask your boss if you can work a different shift on Mondays so that you can get there on time.  Do what you have to do, and prioritize yourself accordingly.

5.  Don’t Forget to Live

If you deprive yourself all the time, you’re going to get sick of your program/lifestyle and change it.

I was reminded of this lesson last week when it was my birthday.  I almost said no to celebrating… but why?  It’s my birthday and I deserved to celebrate my life with my friends.  Yes, that meant wine, dessert, and the most delicious Indian food ever.  Yes, that was over my calorie goal for the day, but the world didn’t end because I celebrated my birthday.  I got right back on track the next day… and with very little impact on the scale.

Fun things will always come up.  The tricky part is choosing which ones are worth it, and which ones are not.  And, the most important part is that you RECOVER shortly after, getting back on track as soon as possible.

You’re THAT important, which is why you do it.

How do you stay motivated on your weight loss journey?

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Comments

  1. Robin says:

    Yay, I love that I’m in your blog today lol. And I would add something you said the other night… Why cook something unhealthy when you can choose to make something that is so yummy and healthy! Like our amazing dinner the other night that I never ever would have thought to be healthy. It was seriously fast, easy, and beyond good!

    • nothankstocake says:

      I loved that meal… and the company. :) PS… My house still smells a little steaky!

  2. Natalie says:

    Hey!!! Love being part of your Support System – it’s so much fun and I love helping you out…it always helps me in turn as well! You are awesome, awesome and I’m just loving the yummy recipes you keep posting.
    xoxo,

    Nat

    • nothankstocake says:

      Hi dear! You are the BEST! I totally remember you telling me I should work out… and I’d be like, “um, no… I hate that.” LOL

    • nothankstocake says:

      Oh! And, I’m going to try your quinoa soon! It’s on the LIST!

  3. Caitlin says:

    Loved, loved, loved this post. I especially liked where you tell people to be selfish – it’s so true. Staying on track and healthy is often something that people might put aside for other obligations (i.e. parties, club outings, etc.) to appease their friends, family or co-workers. Reminding yourself that your journey is for you and you alone is key.

    And the support system, also crucial. Studies show that using media (like Twitter) can really make a difference in helping people achieve their goals. It’s so awesome that you recognize the power of your blog and have friends that help you stay on track as well.

    • nothankstocake says:

      Thanks, Caitlin, for all of your comments lately and for the RTs! xoxo

  4. Marion says:

    Check the scale weekly. Check how my clothes feel and if I notice a bit of tightness I take it OP all the way till I feel okay. Exercise motivates me to stay OP cause I have to burn it to earn it. Take a break or indulging is still tricky for me so I do it in very controlled in small ways as I have a huge issue with getting back on the wagon when I take a tumble so I’m workin on this. I read your blog ;0) and others. I try clothes on all the time as retail therapy keeps me motivated to stay the same size now that I am in maintenance. Finally SLEEP can’t make good choices when I am sleep deprived and I get super hungry when tired. Ooh and I read too Kelly and I haven’t read anything great in a long time to inspire me so if you have suggestions, I’ll take them! Thanks for your ideas and motivating blog! Hugs

    • nothankstocake says:

      Right now, I’m just reading about Carrie… it’s a nice escape when I’m on the treadmill. I’ll keep you posted though. :)

  5. I love it! And yes- BE SELFISH. I always tell people- if you don’t take care of YOU, you’re no good to anyone else!!

  6. Kristen says:

    I loved this post. I’ve been struggling to get back on track -within 10 lbs of maintenance I lost my inspiration mojo haha! What a humbling experience but opportunity to learn. I’ve lost 45 lbs on Jenny. (And lost my free shipping as a result of my gain over they holidays) .
    My goal this next week is to go back to basics, pull up that before picture (ugh) and to return to the things that keep ne excited : your blog, pinterest fitness pages, and touching base with my jc consultant. 3days of sticking to program under my belt and I plan to take it one day at a time
    Thank you for your blog and for being that place I can go to get inspired :-)

    • nothankstocake says:

      Kristen –

      Thanks for sharing about your JC journey! I am so excited for you to be SO CLOSE to goal! That’s awesome!!! I’m 10 lbs away myself… and I’m really hoping to get there soon! Although, it’s been a week of banquet lunch and dinner for work, so it’s been a little tricky. Sigh… We’re going to get there, girl! It’s not a race, afterall. xoxo