Maintaining motivation

I miss my twenty year old metabolism. I had no idea how easy I had it until I wanted to loose 50lb in my forties after my second pregnancy.

I knew what to do - consume less calories than I used and keep that going. Only it wasn't that simple in real life because I eat when I am nervous, stressed, bored, celebrating, commiserating - you name it, I can probably find a snack to go with it.

But the real challenge wasn't starting, it was maintaining motivation. I'm talking about losing weight but anything new in someones life usually enjoys a honeymoon phase where you are super excited to buy all the new stuff, try your new routine, talk to people about what you are doing and then the novelty starts to wear off. You only have to look at the gyms in January and then again in February to realise the maintaining motivation can kick everyones ass.

So what can you do? Here are some ideas:

  1. Write out what accomplishing your goal will actually feel like in the present tense e.g. I feel great wearing my favourite clothes again/playing with my children without being out of breath/no longer feeling self conscious etc. Put that description in a place you will see it daily and when you read it, actively try to feel those feelings.

  2. Chart your progress. I weighed every day, whenever I lost a pound I put the date and my new weight. I never wrote down a weight increase. Looking at that document was a visual reminder of just how far I'd come.

  3. Front-loading. What can you do up front to set yourself up for success? For me that meant no butter/chocolate/candy in the house. No matter what I tell myself I have ZERO self control once I can see it. Picking what you are going to eat online before getting to the restaurant, meal planning etc

  4. Treat it like a job. Most people can't opt out of work simply because they aren't really feeling like it. With the gym I tell myself "Sure I don't really want to go today but I don't have a choice", the same as when I was a lawyer with a hideous case in the list. I also remind myself that I have never come out of a gym class feeling worse than when I went in

  5. For weight loss in particular, play the day in quarters. Sure you slipped up with a chocolate bar at 10am but that was just the first quarter, you can easily turn the game around still.

Do you have any tips for maintaining motivation?

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