I've said many times that the most important part of weight loss is motivation. Without it, you're not going to get very far. This post is all about ways to keep yourself motivated and help you reach all your goals. This is the big one, guys, the post I've been working on for a while now.
Buy a notebook & document EVERYTHING.
Go out & buy a notebook specifically to document your current weight & measurements, long & short term weight loss goals, your time spent exercising each day, a food diary complete with calories, whatever you want that may help you lose weight. Use this notebook daily and jot down everything. Keep a record of your energy level before and after workouts, notice that on days you don't work out or eat right how different you feel. This is a really awesome tool that will help more than you can ever realize right now. It will be amazing when you're a few months in and see a huge difference in your weight, energy level, and stamina.
In my journal, I like to make a list of 3 little goals I would like to achieve for the week. They could be small goals, for example: this week I have been sick, so I'm shooting for 15 miles walked by the end of the week, 80 ounces of water a day, & getting plenty of rest. Last week, my goals involved using the 30DS every day, walking a few miles a day, and no late night snacking. If you do a great job & are able to meet & beat your goals, reward yourself somehow. It could be something simple like watching a movie you haven't seen in ages, or going out with your loved ones. Maybe a treat of some sort, in moderation of course!
Make a short term goal list, like mentioned above, and a long term goal list. My long term goal is 3 months. By the end of 3 months, I want to be able to ...... fill in the blank with whatever you want! Keep it REALISTIC! Don't force yourself into too much too soon, you'll burn out. Small, manageable goals are less daunting and more likely to be reached. I am keeping my long term goals to myself, and I read the list daily. Every 3 months, I come up with a new list. It's really easy.
I know all of this sounds like a lot of work, but it's really not. Once you get going, you'll get really pumped and not want to stop any of these things! You WILL need to change your thought process a little and forget about your defeatist attitude, if you have one. You need to turn every negative situation around into a positive one. If something happens that's stressful and you go on a snacking rampage, instead of getting upset about it - learn from it! Learn not to let your emotions rule your stomach. Go out and go for an extra long walk & clear your head. As lame as it sounds, think happy thoughts. It really does help.
A great thing to put in your notebook is a list of pro's and cons of losing weight. This may sound a bit silly, because what cons are there to losing weight? That's kind of the point. You need to see that the only thing stopping you is YOURSELF. I am going to share with you the list I created. It's a bit personal, and I may feel a bit awkward about people who know me in person reading it, but it's something I need to share.
- I will be healthy.
- I won't feel awkward in public
- I can wear what I want when I want
- No more hoodies in 90 degree weather to cover up my arms
- I will be able to run around and play with them without being in severe pain or having to quit abruptly
- I will see the kids grow up & create their own families
- I will have the strength and courage to know I can do whatever I set my mind to
- I can carry what I have learned from this experience into different aspects of my life
- Everything will become a bit easier
- Losing weight will alleviate a lot of stress, and I will finally be able to relax
- Relaxing might lead to me not being so snippy
- Better relationship with Andrew?
- Sex with the lights on! Haven't done this in years. Seriously.
- I am really looking forward to having nice arms again. I know that sounds silly, but it has been a very long time.
-SKIRTS! I love skirts & dresses, and have always loved them secretly but I never told anyone. I look forward to being able to pull them off again in the future.
- Once I reach my goal, I get a tattoo & a lip piercing!
- Buying a whole new wardrobe with little money
- Buying more expensive foods, like organic fruits & veggies may not be easy with our budget
- I am honestly kind of worried I might turn into a stuck up bitch
- I will need to forget years of bad habits and maintain a healthy diet and exercise plan all my life & that sounds a bit daunting
- I will have to find a new way to deal with emotional distress rather than eating
- I will need to learn how to cook
If you look at the CONS list, it's not so much cons to losing weight, but hurdles I will have to learn how to jump over in order to meet my goals. There is really no reason to avoid trying to lose weight. No reason at all! Make this list & post it somewhere you can see it every day. It doesn't have to be in a common area if things are too personal, but it is preferred. If you alert everyone around you of your attempts and they can see it on paper, they will be more supportive and also help to keep you on track with everything.
DON'T FORGET TO KEEP ADDING TO THE LIST!
In addition to this list, create a list of the consequences you will face by NOT meeting your goals, or by giving up.
Create a "vision collage" of your future.
I know this might sound stupid, but I've been working on mine for a few days now and it's kind of fun. You surf the internet for pictures of what you want to achieve, of how you'll reward yourself, of anything that might motivate you.
As you can see, I included positive quotes, pictures of nice bodies -- although I don't really expect results like that. It would be nice to have the confidence to pull things like that off, though!
You'll notice I included a tag from a shirt, it's size Medium. I haven't been in a medium since 2004!
I also put a picture of someone doing pushups, someone with really toned arms.
I even put a bit of humor in there with the first picture. the one of the dinosaur because I am sadly just like my 3 year old son with my dinosaur obsession so this picture is PERFECT!
The picture of me with blonde hair and the piercings, that's the weight I want to reach again along with the piercings I plan to reward myself with.
The picture of the tombstone with the words "everything was beautiful & nothing hurt" is from Kurt Vonnegut, and it's the tattoo I am going to reward myself with.
I printed this out and I have put one in my bedroom, in my car, in the kitchen, and also in the living room. I won't forget to my goals at all if I keep this collage handy! Definitely an awesome and FUN motivational tool. I am creating another vision collage with pictures from a magazine when I have the time. It's a bit more fun than using paint to make your collage, but at least with the internet I can look up pictures for ANYTHING and EVERYTHING I could possibly want up there.
Use your local library!
There are tons of other great ways to get yourself motivated.
Books are great! Dieting, weight loss, cook books, inspirational books, etc. Try out any and everything from your local library and see if anything there helps you out. I picked up a few cook books from the library & plan to teach myself how to make delicious and HEALTHY meals with them. If I find a cookbook I really like, I am going to reward myself by buying it in a week or two.
Workout DVD's are amazing motivators, too! I am not sure if every library has a DVD section on exercise videos or not, but mine does. I have checked out quite a few of their DVD's and even discovered some new interests that way. Everyone knows I am a fan of Jillian Michaels. I have five of her DVD's and I love them all. 30DS is by far, my favorite. I also enjoy Ripped in 30, though it is more challenging. You want to get DVD's by someone who you know can motivate you. I love 30DS and RI30 because they have time limits, 30 days. You can choose to follow them, or not, but I find that knowing 30 days from now I will have some great results is a great way to keep me moving.
Don't take my word on all the stuff I post in this blog. Go out and do your own research! Google is the best invention in the world, ever. Hands down. Okay. maybe not quite the BEST thing ever, but damn close. I use google every day to look up motivational stories, inspiring quotes, & weight loss tips. I've gotten a lot of really great information from the internet but it shouldn't stop there. I also use my local library regularly and check out any books I can find on weight loss or exercise to get more ideas.
I really hope some of this helps you as much as it has helped me!