Last week I joined Slimming World. My first weekly weigh in was yesterday and I was pretty pleased to be down 5 1/2 lbs. I’ve often started diets, but I’ve always lost my motivation after a few weeks, or at best a few months. This time around I definitely feel more determined to stick at it until I reach the target I’ve set myself. Which got me to thinking about how to regain your motivation to lose weight.
I’m sure I’m not the only person who has fallen into the trap of having one bad snack and then writing the rest of day off, or often, the rest of the week because “I might as well start afresh on Monday” and then the next thing you know three months have passed and you’ve fallen so far off the wagon you can’t even see it it in the distance anymore. The wagon is a dot to you. (Bonus points if you get that Friends reference!)
So, instead of continuing to backtrack on any progress I had made, I’ve made a conscious decision to put on my big girl pants and jump back into the healthier lifestyle I’m trying to lead. I know this is something it feels like everyone says but honestly, if I can do it – anyone can do it. It doesn’t mean having to take huge steps and going full Gwyneth Paltrow. You can regain your motivation by making small changes, but start by making them today.
So, here are a few ways to stay motivated to lose weight:
MAKE AN INSPIRATION BOARD
Those Secret Boards on Pinterest are amazing for stuff like this. Whether it’s a particular item of clothing you’d love to be able to wear, an outfit you’ll treat yourself to once you’ve reached a target or a celebrity whose look you admire and aspire to, popping images of these in one place to be able to look back on is a great way to stay motivated. Having a flick through these inspiration images can really pick you up on a day when you’re tempted to let things slack.
Keeping a food diary really doesn’t need to be a pain. Grab a small notebook and quickly jot down everytime you eat something. Not only does it help keep you motivated to stick to your own plan it’s also an excellent way to keep a track of what you did on those “good” weeks so when you’re having a wobble you can easily look back and feel motivated to replicate what you were doing on the weeks you know you were killing it.
MAKE YOUR NEXT MEAL COUNT
Having one of those days where you feel like you’ve totally blown your chances to lose weight because you just eat a piece of cake the size of your face or that you’ll just never be able to stick to your healthy eating plans? Whatever your next meal is, be it breakfast, lunch or dinner, aim to pack it full of fruit or veggies. It’ll give you that feel-good boost to get back on it.
KEEP IT CLEAN
This sounds weird but I always find that I’m more likely to stick to healthy eating and feel motivated to do so if my surroundings are clean and tidy. If you get up in the morning and the kitchen is still full of last nights dishes, you’re far less likely to make yourself a healthy breakfast and instead will probably opt for something “quick and easy” which, more often that not, won’t be that great for you. I’m looking at myself here, grabbing a biscuit as a run out of the door *shame face*. Get into the habit of making sure your meal prep / cooking / eating areas are tidy each evening before you go to bed (FYI – I’m talking tidy here, not Martha Stewart clean. You don’t need to start mopping the floor and wiping down the cabinet fronts every night!) – it really does make a difference to how you feel and your approach to food.
DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP
I firmly believe in the “if you wouldn’t say it to your best friend, don’t say it to yourself” school of thought. I generally think we could all stand to be kinder to ourselves. How are you going to feel motivated to accomplish your goals if you’re letting that voice in the back of your head say cruel and unkind things to yourself? If you do fall off the wagon and dive head first into a takeaway or a box of chocolates, so what? Losing weight doesn’t mean you can’t ever eat unhealthy food. Everything in moderation, right? I really believe that being kind to yourself is the best way to stay motivated to lose weight. Celebrate your achievements. Every pound, or half pound, is progress. And that is fantastic. We should be proud of ourselves. Not feeling bad because we *only* lost a pound. Often overcoming your own negativity towards yourself is the toughest thing so, if you have a bad day, aim to accept it and move on with a positive attitude.
If you have any top tips for staying motivated I’d love to hear them…