So many people start out strong with their New Year's Resolutions. But they do too much, too fast and get burned out.
This article is for those of you who have weight loss goals that you want to reach this year but need some motivation. Sometimes just taking a different look at it will give you a fresh take on your plans.
Motivation for Your Weight Loss Journey
1. Be Visual
There are many different ways to use a weight loss planner. I have a fellow planner friend who uses her planner to stop herself from eating all day long.
What this blogger does, is rewarding herself with every ten pounds lost. As you can see from the planner, she has color-coded every 10 pounds, each one having a different reward for achieving that weight goal.
I never gave myself rewards so to speak, but after I had lost fifteen pounds I definitely felt my confidence soar and purchased things that I wouldn't have before.
Another idea is to have a jar filled with marbles and another empty jar. You move the marbles to the empty jar as you lose weight.
During my thirty-pound weight loss journey several years ago, I took pictures every time the scale moved a pound. I would get excited even over half a pound!
2. Think Small
One of my favorite ways to sneak in a workout was to do something at random. Here are some ideas:
- Instead of a thirty-minute workout, I would do one hundred jumping jacks throughout the day. According to an article, if you do around 500 jumping jacks should have lost a pound. I don't know the accuracy of this but I still enjoyed the sensation that something seemingly small could add up to something big.
- While watching a television show, I would do a workout during commercials. Or for example, I would watch The Walking Dead and when a zombie got killed I'd do five burpies.
- Another small workout idea was similar to this one by All Women's Talk, which takes 5 minutes and I'd do it before a shower.
3. Set Goals and Rewards
This list comes from Bullet Journal ideas. I am going to give you several reward ideas that I like for losing weight:
- Take a relaxing bath. I would do this often, not as a weight loss reward but as a reward after a hard workout. It is very soothing, especially if your daily go-to is a shower.
- Get a massage. Again, it feels good when your muscles are hurting.
- Get a manicure or pedicure. Go ahead, treat yourself.
- Try a new workout. This is a big one for me. I love trying something new. We have neat workouts nearby I've wanted to try, such as hot yoga.
- Buy a new outfit. I loved doing this as the weight fell off.
- Put a dollar in a savings account for every pound taken off.
- My rewards this time is going to be contacts and a new tattoo. Do what makes you feel good!
4. Read Inspirational Stories
Reading inspirational posts were very helpful to me several years ago. Knowing that others had been in my position or worse made me feel better. I felt better because I knew others struggled as well, but came out successful.
These people include famous health gurus, such as Jillian Michaels!
There are several sites you can go to. I like Instagram, Tumblr, and fellow healthy lifestyle blogs. This picture comes from The Weigh We Were.
5. Look at Food Differently
While working out helps to shape your body, it is eating right that is the key to weight loss.
That being said, this doesn't mean you have to live on celery. Just reimagine your food.
A good example of this is shown above, as my family loves eating pizza. I made a cauliflower crusted pizza and they ate it like it was flour crusted pizza.
Likewise, my weight loss was during a difficult time in my life. I had little control over the food that was bought. When my father-in-law made spaghetti for dinner- I ate a small piece of spaghetti with a large side salad.
Eat what you want but in moderation.
6. Share Your Successes
I said it before and I'll say it again, Instagram is the place to be when it comes to weight loss. Don't believe me? This CNN article tells about a teens weight loss journey or there is fitness's article with both females losing about one hundred and fifteen pounds.
The same thing will inspire you. A simple hashtag will send people to your picture, and they will encourage you along the way, no matter if you choose to post your body or your dinner!
7. Do a Fun Run
One of my big goals for my weight loss journey was to do a fun run. It was another year before I entered, but it was worth it. My oldest was nine at the time and told me it was the best day of her life- exceeding our trip to the Mall of America the year before.
We chose to do the foam glow but there are a number of unique, fun ones. The next one I want to do is the inflatable run.
Worried you won't be ready? Check out the C25K app. The goal of the app is to have you running a 5K in eight weeks. I will talk more about it further in the article, but I can tell you it did wonders for me!
8. Drink More Water
I once heard the saying “If you're not the annoying employee who needs to pee every twenty minutes, you're doing it wrong”.
They are right too. There are many different reasons to drink water, including energy and weight loss.
Often times we think we have no energy and think we need caffeine. In all actuality, we need more fluids.
Think about it like this: if your body isn't performing optimally, will you?
Also, if you drink water thirty minutes before eating you will feel more full. Just like with energy, oftentimes we feel hungry when we're actually thirsty.
Need inspiration for how to drink more water? Give yourself goals like Fit Girl's Diary did or make flavored water!
9. Rethink Your Coffee Drink
It amazes me how many calories are in a typical coffee shop drink.
When I go to Starbucks I used to get the tall white chocolate mocha which has about four hundred calories. Now I either get a flat white when I want hot and an iced cinnamon almond milk macchiato when I want something cold. Both of these have less than two hundred calories and taste as good.
Here are some great ideas from her campus.
10. Step on the Scale
I told you in a previous number that I'd take pictures of my scale as I lost the weight and celebrate the smallest victories. I also learned my body's natural fluctuations- such as a two-pound weight gain overnight which meant that I needed to grab for the feminine drawer and be prepared for a three to four-pound drop overnight.
I will say stepping on the scale worked well for me, giving me motivation. It doesn't do that for everyone.
I know people who never step on the scale but let their clothes or the mirror do the talking.
Do what works for you and don't let anyone tell you differently- we are all wired uniquely and we should embrace that!
11. Meal Prep
This is my biggest struggle right now.
We live in an un-contemporary home that has no kitchen. An induction stove, microwave, and a grill count as our way to make food.
I do have three kitchens at my school and food prep could very easily happen there, I just need to take the time and do it.
I understand this would stop us from eating out too often and am making it my goal (another blog post, perhaps?)
To get us both started, here are some recipes from Gimme Delicious.
12. Be Consistent
Life happens. Set realistic expectations.
Going on vacation? Plan to eat healthy most of the time and allow yourself to eat “fun” unhealthy food at least once on your trip.
If you have a bad moment, get back on track. Not tomorrow but after it's over. Find a way to get your train of thought back and pump yourself back up.
Let me be your motivational coach- you got this!
13. Find a Workout You Love
I promise you, there is something out there you will enjoy. A workout that will leave you smiling as you sweat through the pain.
For my oldest, that's running and ice skating. I don't even like ice in my drink so I sit on the side when she swivels back and forth.
My youngest likes to dance.
I have also learned that your workout styles change over time. I danced or cheered as a child during the winter. Summers were devoted to swimming.
I hated running as a child, but it helped my weight loss in my late twenties and I still enjoy it today.
I also recently took up stand up paddleboarding and plan to learn surfing this summer.
If you live near a large city you can check out more unique workouts such as cycling, barre method, hula hooping, and city surfing (workouts on a surfboard).
14. Workout with Friends
Statistics have shown that doing things with an accountability partner will help you stay on track. Much in the same way Instagram does, only a bit more fun if you can schedule times to workout together.
Back when I lived near a workout buddy (who is also my bestie) we would work out and cook a meal together. It was great.
Finding a group, or at least one workout buddy, where I live now needs to be on my list this year too!
15. Take a Day of Rest
If we work out all the time and never allow a day of rest, our bodies will stop training the way we want it to.
I'm definitely not saying go eat junk and spend the day binge-watching Netflix.
I'm saying rest your body. Rest when you can tell you need it.
Take a bath, relax your muscles, and come back strong tomorrow!
16. Write Your Dreams Down
Write down your reasons why. Better yet- print pictures of why you want to lose weight and get healthy.
If you want to run around with your grandkids, put up a picture of them. When you come across it, close your eyes and picture yourself being able to play soccer or push them on the swings.
Maybe it's just for you- something you've never done before. Find a picture of what you want to look like- put it nearby.
Keeping these goals in mind will make the lifestyle change a bit easier.
17. Get an App or Two
I used two apps consistently when I went through my major weight loss: Fitness Pal app and C25K. The first tracked all that I ate. It was important to be honest though.
The second I talked about previously. It's a thirty-minute workout done three times per week that helps you be 5K ready within eight weeks and I can attest that it works!
18. Keep that One Outfit You Can't Wait to Wear Nearby
For me, this was a pair of cute work pants that I could put on but not button up.
I had sat it in the back of my closet and forgot about it until six weeks into my weight loss journey. I pulled it out, put it on, buttoned it up, and did a happy dance.
This is similar to the picture or list idea but the more motivation the better. Plus being able to fit into something really gives us a reason to celebrate and, at least to me, is a bit more motivational!
19. Don't Compare
Follow inspiring stories and share yours, but recognize that each story is different, special, and unique.
Comparing will only frustrate you. The goal is to support each other and not to bring each other down.
Life is a journey, don't expect it all to be easy but expect it to be fun.
Weight loss is a part of that journey. If you got off the bandwagon don't wait until the next New Years to get back on, today can be the new day.
What keeps you motivated? Let me know!