How to Stay Motivated to Lose Weight
Some much-needed motivation tips from one girl to another.
For starters, let's make something very clear, being lazy is a natural state. Everyone is lazy, it's just you're differently motivated depending on the task. "Differently motivated"....I really like that phrase.
If you happen to be lazy about working out, you're not alone. Motivation peaks and valleys are natural and are nothing to beat yourself up over. In fact, beating yourself up over a lack of motivation can exacerbate the issue and cause you to develop negative associations to fitness. Instead, try to implement some of these hacks to help you get your butt in gear.
Put a calendar on the fridge.
This is my personal favorite motivational hack. I print a calendar off and tape it to my fridge. Each day that I stick to my plan 100% I mark an X and the goal is to get as many X's in a row as possible. I proactively write in my cheat meal days so I can see them coming. It usually only takes me 3-4 days of this practice before I'm back on track. The calendar is just an idea, the intent here is to place a tracker somewhere as a visual reminder to yourself.
One thing you'll never regret afterward is a workout.
There will be plenty of days where you'll leave the gym and think "geez, that was an awful workout..." but remember that you'll never regret going and trying. The thought alone may help you to opt just to go, and feel better for going afterward.
This season's effort is next season's body.
Transformations don't happen overnight. In fact, the average person loses about 10% of their body weight over a 6 month period. That said, it's important to remain realistic about the capabilities of your body. You cannot force fat off faster than a body will naturally burn it, so there's no point in going overboard and burning yourself out. Mental fatigue is one of the prime reasons you'll find yourself in a motivation slump so just stay the course. Slow and steady wins the fitness race.
Celebrate your milestones both big and small.
This tip is crucial to staying motivated, but also tricky to navigate. Years ago, my primary method of celebrating was food. I'd hit a milestone then go and eat the cake, donuts, and burgers, I'd deprived myself getting there. Naturally, this was before I transitioned to flexible dieting. You can guess what would happen. I would go off a little food binge, then get mad at myself, keep eating bad, then eventually clean it up after I gained a bit of weight. In came flexible dieting, which was a godsend because I no longer felt deprived of the foods I loved. But, I still had the habit of celebrating with food.
Over time I learned to celebrate in other ways. Small milestones? Buy myself those nice towels for the house I'd been eyeing or some cute-new workout clothes. Big milestones? Plan a trip to go visit my bestie. When you treat cheat foods like a scarcity the demand for them grows and it makes you more susceptible to losing progress.
Reassess your goal vs lifestyle...
I cannot say this enough, in order to make fitness a lifestyle it must be sustainable. Do your fitness goals and your lifestyle mesh? If not, do you need to change your priorities in either area so that they do? For example, if you have a job that requires entertaining with food or alcohol you will need to figure out how to balance it with your fitness goals. Maybe consider coffee meetings rather than dinners.
Get therapy, it's okay.
I firmly believe it's an unspoken truth that many of your struggles with getting in shape are related to mental baggage you earned becoming an adult. I also firmly believe that talking to a trained therapist and unpacking that baggage will do wonders for your fitness goals. Overeating, inability to focus, and stress-related hormones all negatively impact your progress and can all be addressed with a therapist. Don't just take care of your body, take care of your mind as well. Get an understanding of the root causes and gain tools to help you combat them.
What are some ways you've overcome a motivation slump? Please share in the comments!