10 Ways to Stay Motivated While Losing Weight
Let me start by saying these are methods I am actually using, and that are really and truly working this time! No crazy diets, no horrible pills or devices, just hard work,dedication and a whole lot of sweaty exercise! These tips I am sharing have helped me lose consistently. They keep me accountable and are really helping! I really feel like it is thanks to a combination of the 10 things I am about to share.
1. A Visual Aid: In the above picture you can see what my visual aid is. I took 2 jars and filled them with 1 penny per pound I want to lose. This would work with marbles, beans, beads, anything really. Each time I lose, I take a penny out of the “to lose” jar and add it to the “lost” jar. Maybe for you it would be a photo of a fit role model hanging on your mirror or the fridge. Or both! Maybe it is a photo of an outfit you would like to fit into, or a photo of you when you were smaller than you are now. I have those too, but they didn’t work for me. This puts the 100 pounds I want (and need) to lose into perspective and each time I get to move a penny I get to acknowledge that it is working! That is great for me! Now, gaining weight and having to put the penny back in the jar isn’t a fun idea (haven’t had to do that yet,thank goodness!) and is also motivating.
2. Join a Diet Bet or Facebook Accountability Group: If you can’t find one, start one and invite your friends and their friends to join! Thanks to a good friend who started a facebook weight loss challenge, I started my journey with renewed perspective a few weeks ago. We each threw just $10 in the pot, and those that lose the most based on percentage of body weight lost will walk away with that money at the end. Let me tell you, taking a photo of the number on the scale and sending it to be seen by all those in our private facebook group was HARD. Maybe it isn’t for you,and that is great! I struggled with it. In the end I decided it was extra incentive,and having a bunch of people that know that number and will see if I gain or fail has proven to be a great tool for me!
3. Get a Workout Partner: Find a friend or your spouse who will regularly workout with you. Make sure it is someone that will help motivate and encourage you. I know that if it wasn’t for my friend who asked me to start walking with her, I would’ve given up already. Part of what keeps me going is that she is waiting for me in our spot every morning at the same time. I don’t want to let her down,and so I show up.
4. Get dressed in your workout clothes when you wake up: Pretty self explanatory, but really, if you put on your workout clothes you aren’t going to forget that you need to exercise. Get it done early and then you don’t have it hanging over your head all day!
5. Get Some New Workout Clothes or Shoes: Who doesn’t love new clothes? Having something cute to workout in makes the workout that much easier to endure! It doesn’t have to be much, even just a new pair of workout pants or a tank top with a clever saying.
6. Start with Small Goals and rewards: It is easy to get overwhelmed if you have a significant amount to lose. Even if you don’t, the task can be daunting! It is a lot easier to put weight on then it is to take it off, am I right? So make your goals small and set rewards along your journey. A friend of mine has said that each time she takes 60,000 steps on her pedometer she gets to buy something. Sounds good to me! I have decided that for each 10 pounds I lose I get to buy something. I am notoriously cheap and frugal, so this is another way for me to get to acknowledge the hard work I have put in.
7. Create a My Fitness Pal account and keep track of it: If you haven’t heard of My Fitness Pal, it is a website and phone app that allows you to keep track of what you have eaten (don’t cheat, record it all!), how much you have exercised and your water intake for the day. It keeps record of all of it for you so that you have a realistic view of what you are putting into your mouth and how much work it is going to take to work that donut off. Sometimes it helps ward off a sweet craving. And sometimes it doesn’t.
8. Get a Pedometer: This one is easier than it sounds if you have a smart phone or an Ipod. Download a free pedometer app onto your phone. Keep your phone in your pocket or on your body and it will keep track of your steps for the day. It is recommended to get 10,000 steps a day. On my 2 mile walk each morning I get around 5000 steps. So I guess the 10000 is about 4 miles. My record steps for a single day is 13000! I enjoy trying to break my records. The app I use is called Pacer.
9. Follow Motivational Feeds on Social Media: I am on Instagram a lot throughout the day. I started following several healthy living accounts so that I was being motivated on those short breaks of sitting mindlessly on my phone throughout the day. This is also a great way to find healthy recipes and snacks. On a side note, A Thrifty Mom is on Instagram too! Look for us under “athriftymom” on the search for users section. This is also a great idea with Facebook and Twitter feeds. Anything that you will check and that can help keep you focused.
10. It isn’t all About the Scale: It is easy to get tunnel vision and only think about the number on the scale. Lets be real, that number fluctuates all day long. It goes up and down more than an elevator in a busy building! While it is important,and I do pay attention to that number and check it often, focus on the other changes that need to be celebrated. The pants that won’t stay up, the difference in your attitude towards food and/or exercise, the clearer skin you have developed from drinking half your body weight in ounces of water, Your kids being proud of you for working out and having staying active become a part of all of your lives. These are all things that I have been noticing in myself over this journey. While the number of pounds I have lost isn’t spectacular and amazing yet, it is something. It is more than the me from 2 months ago that sat depressed because the number was moving the wrong direction and I was too lazy to change it. Hearing my kids give me 5 when I put a coin into the lost jar or asking if they can exercise with me is a non scale victory that I love! In the end they are the greatest motivators of all and I will do all I can to make them proud!