A lot of people that I have talked to have said that their main problem with weight loss and fitness is that they lack the motivation. The truth of the matter is, motivation is just a myth – you have to CREATE the motivation. First what you need to do is sit down and really think about your current body and weight, and how it affects your life and the lives of those around you. If you have children in your life, think about how your weight and current fitness level effects them and think about the kind of example that you want to set for them. Think about any bad experiences you may have had in the past related to your weight, any negative feelings it has caused, stuff like that. Think about WHY you want to lose weight, get in shape, tone, add muscle, etc. In order to keep you going your reason has to be more powerful than just “Because I want to look good”. Take some time to really think about this, and then write ALL of your reasons down. As you progress through your fitness program you will need to use these reasons as fuel to keep you going. Any time that you feel your motivation slipping, return to those notes that you took in the very beginning and think about why you started in the first place.
Sometimes thinking about your why isn’t enough, for example, it is also important to have goals. If you have long term goals, that is great, but the short term goals are the most important. If you just say I want to lose 30 pounds and then a month later you still aren’t close to hitting that goal, you will probably get frustrated and slip up. Instead, focus on setting smaller goals and reward yourself as you reach them. Keep a record of your goals, both long term and short term, and cross them off as you reach them. Writing them down helps to solidify it in your mind as something that you CAN and WILL achieve. In addition, it helps to voice your goals to others because it gives you a sense of accountability. If other people know about your goals, you won’t want to give up and admit defeat as easily. Keep sticky notes somewhere you can see them daily, like a mirror in your room or something, and write some of your favorite motivational quotes on them alongside your most recent short term goal. This is kind of the “eye on the prize” philosophy, it keeps your goal on your mind at all times and helps to keep you focused.
Here is my example: When I started P90X last May (2013), I honestly didn’t think I would make it all the way through the program. I’ve since completed two rounds of P90X and a round each of Turbo Fire and Les Mills PUMP, and lost a total of 55 pounds. Before that I had tried P90X and the gym MANY times before, and I always failed to make it to the second month. I would start and stop, binge on junk food for a bit, then start and stop again. It got to a point where I realized that I was over 200 pounds and I didn’t think that I could work out, so I started trying all of those crazy weight loss money grabs out there like Visalus shakes, Body wraps, weight loss pills, fad diets, juice cleanses, etc. I wasted hundreds of dollars on all of these crazy products that would either not work at all, or work in the first week as I lost the water weight and then the weight would come right back on. I decided last April that I did not want to spend my University grad year the same way I spent my high school grad year; stuck on the sidelines hiding because of my weight. I decided that I needed to take CHARGE of my life, and that in order to get the body that I wanted that I would have to WORK for it. So that is exactly what I started doing. Last May I found myself a coach, and a great group of like-minded individuals going through Beachbody programs as well. Having a support group is definitely important, and was instrumental to my success. In addition to that were all of my reasons for REALLY wanting it. I thought back to any kid who ever called me fat in school, to all of those parties and school events that I skipped because I was ashamed of how I looked, to all of the summers I spent hiding in my house avoiding the heat and the beaches or pools because I was too embarassed about my weight to show up in those places in summer clothes or bathing suits, and most of all, I thought about my grad year of high school and first three years of university where I completely isolated myself and lived with depression and self loathing for how far I had let myself go. THOSE were my reasons for continuing, and I used all of the negative feelings and experiences to act as fuel and motivation to keep going whenever I wanted to give up. I won’t lie to you, it isn’t easy at first, but once you start noticing the benefits of regular exercise and your mood starts to improve you won’t WANT to stop.
I hope these tips help! If you are ready to start your own fitness journey, shoot me a message and we can talk about your goals and figure out the best program for you. You’ll have my support along the way, as well as a whole team of like-minded individuals in a private Facebook group with over a thousand members.
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