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?