When first starting out, staying motivated to lose weight is easy. But what happens when you’ve been on the weight loss quest for weeks, or months, and you still have a ways to go? We all know losing weight is a journey, but what's the secret to staying motivated when the journey is a long way from over? It may be hard, but it is possible.
Congratulate yourself on your success. Even if reaching your goal weight is just a faint vision of the future, losing any amount of weight is something to celebrate. Or perhaps you’ve finally broken the habit of after dinner snacking; that's an important accomplishment. Remember you don’t have to have reached all your weight loss goals before you can start to feel proud: every good decision is a success.
Rethink your goals. Break them down into small, “doable” mini-goals. So for example, if you have 50lbs left to lose, break it down into 10, 5 or even 2-pound goals. Or try not making it about a specific number of pounds you have to lose, but about specific accomplishments. Walking for 30 minutes every day would be a terrific accomplishment. The key is to understand that success doesn’t have to come in one huge chunk it can be piecemeal.
Embrace variety. Avoid the burn out and keep your weight loss efforts fresh. Try new exercise routines. Who knows, maybe you’ll fall in love with Zumba, do it every day and find that you’ve dramatically accelerated your weight loss efforts. It could happen. Test out some new recipes or experiment with different seasonings. Mixing things up every now and then will help keep your motivation from weaning.
Use visual motivators. Journaling and writing down your goals can be powerful tools, but sometimes you just need a visual. You can hang your "skinny jeans" in the front of your closet; it’ll be a daily reminder of what you’re working towards. Or, find a picture of yourself at your goal weight and place it eye level on your fridge. Or maybe you’ll want to make a Pinterest board so you can use a variety of images as motivation.
Having a significant amount of weight to lose can make the task seem insurmountable. Staying motivated throughout the process can seem equally insurmountable. Once motivation starts to wane, the desire to overindulge gains momentum. But with the proper attitude and determination you can keep your motivation going and reach your goals. And when you feel like quitting...remember why you started in the first place!
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Author: Sue Ridgeway