Motivation is the first step in losing weight. Losing weight will take effort as you will have to educate yourself, think about what you eat, and plan ahead of time. If you aren’t really motivated or confident that you can do it, then it’s simply not going to happen. Now, you don’t need to be Mrs. Super Gung-Ho obsessed with health, food, and fitness, but you will need some motivation to keep you going. The key is finding this motivation and reminding yourself about it constantly. You also need to find ways get rid of de-motivators, which are things that prevent you from starting or that make you want to stop. I will address de-motivators first because they can have a big effect on our confidence can prevent us from starting in the first place. This section may get a bit touchy feely but don’t let it turn you away from the rest of the article.
Please get a notebook and a pencil and be ready to write!
The big de-motivators that I’m going to address here are low self-esteem, past failure, and not knowing where to start.
First off, I want you to know that you are worth it. People care about you. People love you. People want you to be happy. Ask your friends what they like about you, I’m sure they have something great to say about you. You make other people happy. Think of all the people you have made smile in the past week! The world is a better place because of you in one way or another. Think about all the ways that the world is a better place because of you and write them down. Maybe you raised some good kids that you love, you have had a successful career, ect.
I care. I’m writing this because I care about you and everybody that struggles with their weight. Nobody is better than you just because you need to lose weight. Don’t compare yourself or try to be better than others. All you can to is work towards a better, healthier you.
Maybe you have failed before, even multiple times, but you can do this! You really can. This time you will be successful. I’m going to help you, but I need you to be confident in YOU (and my plan). I will show you how to start and make you diet a long-term success.
It will be a long journey and you may have a lot to learn. It may be tough at times and you may not be perfect every day, but this will be a long journey to a new you.
Why You Should Be Motivated
Now that we have addressed some things that may be de-motivating you, I have a question!
How motivated are you to lose weight and eat healthier on a scale of 1(Not Motivated)-10(Extremely Motivated)?
If you answered less than a 5, then maybe you don’t know the benefits of losing weight. Losing weight will greatly decrease you chance of a ton of diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney failure, reflux, cancer, and stroke. The treatments for many of these diseases are quite unpleasant. Surgery, amputation, dialysis, and radiation are definitely things that you want to avoid. Have you ever met anyone that has had a bad stroke? They can’t control their mouth or maybe even half of their body. I’m not trying to scare you, but everyone should really be trying to avoid these things. In addition to avoiding chronic diseases, you will feel better physically and emotionally. You will feel comfortable in your body. You will be able to wear more of the clothes that you want to. You will likely live longer and get more time with the people that you love. You can have a better quality of life. Maybe you will be able to play with your kids or grandkids for longer without getting out of breath. If you still aren’t motivated, read the rest of my article and the first page of this article to see if you can be motivated.
Find Your Motivation
I want you to write a list of all of the things that motivate you to lose weight. Don’t write negative things. Be positive about it. I’ll give you some examples to get started.
I want to look better. I want to feel better. I want to be healthier. I want to take less medication. I want to avoid a heart attack. I want to avoid diabetes. I want to control my diabetes. I don’t want to lose a limb to diabetes. I don’t want to lose my sight to diabetes. I want to reduce my cholesterol. I want to decrease my blood pressure. I want to avoid a heart attack. I want my reflux and heartburn to go away. I want to live longer. I want to live longer for my husband, for my kids, for my parents, ect. I want to live to see my grandkids grow up and get married. I want to fit in to the pants I fit in to 10 years ago. I want to be able to fit in my favorite dress. I want to be down to a size 12,18,22, ect. I want to focus on me for a little while. I want to feel more attractive. I want to eat what my body needs, not what it wants. I want to get more muscle. I want to start working out. I want to get stronger. I want to find other hobbies to keep me busy instead of eating when I’m bored. I want to get better at cooking healthy meals. I want my kids to grow up with good eating habits.
You can probably think of a few more. Write these down right now! Not later. Now! I’m waiting….
Keep this list somewhere that you won’t lose it. I want you to read it one time a day for a month. After the first month, read it anytime you aren’t motivated or if you fall off the horse.
The Hardest Step: Getting Started (on a Healthier You)
The Importance of Social Support in Motivation
Social support has been proven to be very beneficial to weight loss. You need people on your side because it may be difficult to do this alone. When you want to lose weight, you should tell some people. Try telling your friends, your significant other, your family, and whoever shops/cooks in your house. Explain to them why you want to lose weight/eat healthier and how it would make you happy. Ask them for their support. If they also could stand to lose weight/eat healthier, then ask them to read my articles and lose weight with you. Call, text, or email each other encouragement and keep each other accountable. If it is somebody that lives with you and they don’t want to, at least ask them not to tempt you to eat unhealthy foods or eat these foods in front of you. Maybe you could ask them to hide it from you or put it in a place that is hard to get. If it is your children encouraging you to buy these unhealthy snacks, maybe you should consider cutting back on how much you buy. Remember that they should learn healthy eating habits too!
Social support is also a great way to get yourself to exercise. Exercise is important for millions of reasons and is especially helpful during weight loss. Now I’m not asking you to go run for an hour or lift weights five times per week. This could be as simple as asking someone that lives with you to go for a walk (or even make your dog you walking buddy!). Maybe you could invite someone over to exercise to a youtube video with you. Maybe you could go to the gym, walk, and then lift some weights. Make it a routine. I will be posting more about exercise for weight loss in the future to try to give you more guidance so stay tuned 🙂
If you can’t find anyone you know to support you or you want extra support, join an internet community. One problem with joining an online community is that you will likely run in to a lot of people with misconceptions about weight loss and a lot of advertisements that will try to suck you in to following a certain magical diet that is complete BS. This website is a good forum where you won’t run in to a lot of the bad stuff and you can post in the “logging your progress” section of the website. Try posting about your plan to lose weight here and check out other people losing weight that you can talk to. At a later time, I might update this article with more forums that I approve of, and I might even make my own forum in the distant future.
While you were reading this section on social support, I’m sure at least a couple of these ideas struck your interest. Write these down on the same paper with what motivates you.
Let Your Progress Motivate You
If you follow my 5 step plan, I guarantee that you will lose weight. All you have to do is start and not stop. If you motivate yourself to get started, then you will start to see progress. Progress is an awesome motivator. Imagine watching the scale go down almost every week! Imagine feeling better about yourself, more focused, and less tired.
Weigh yourself every week (not every day, progress doesn’t happen overnight) and write it down on your list of things that motivate you. Every time that you notice a difference in something to do with your health or weight, write it down in your notebook. For example, you could write “My jeans feel looser today (1/8/13)” or “I’m feeling a little fitter and less out of breath (1/8/13).”
Reward yourself every five pounds that you lose with something nice. Don’t use food as your reward though! That is a dangerous habit to get in to. Try treating yourself by taking extra time to relax, going to a spa, watching a movie you’ve really wanted to see, or buy tickets to a game/concert. Once you lose ten or more pounds, you can reward yourself with some new clothes. Just don’t buy a whole new wardrobe if you will be losing more 🙂
What Matters in This Blog Post
1. Motivation is the first step in losing weight and making a healthier you.
2. De-motivators like low self-esteem, past failures, and not knowing where to start can stop you before you start. You can’t think negative thoughts about yourself.
3. You should be motivated to lose weight to live longer, decrease your risk for chronic disease, and to feel better mentally and physically.
4. Write down all the things that motivate you!
5. Let you progress motivate you. It feels great to watch the scale go down and for your clothes to fit better.
6. Reward yourself (but not with food) for successfully meeting your weight loss goals!