Getting motivated to lose weight and become healthier is hard. I know because I’ve been in your shoes. You’re confused, frustrated and nearly hopeless.
Getting motivated is a combination of empowerment, willpower, focus, tough love and rationality.
It sounds like hard work. And you’ll realize after you accomplish your goals that it was all worth it. You’ll be healthy. You’ll feel beautiful.
How to get motivated to lose weight
Everyone has different ways to get motivated.
It’s helpful to have someone cheering you on whenever you have doubts or temptations. Personal trainers, nutritionists, health coaches, community, friends and family members can all contribute support to your weight loss efforts.
Yet at the end of the day, it’s you and you alone that decides what goes into your body.
You need to be able to motivate yourself. You can’t use other people as a crutch to stay motivated. It’s imperative to find that little voice inside of you. That voice that gives you oomph to stay strong in the face of weakness.
My first motivation to lose weight was a lead role in theatre.
I was a senior in high school passionate about theatre. But I was too overweight to get lead roles. I wanted lead. So I did something about it. I began to watch what I ate and exercise.
You also need to set a long-term goal for yourself. These can be somewhat vague. This long-term goal could be:
- I want to be a healthy BMI
- I want to fit into my jeans from college
- I want to wear a bikini
It’s even better if you have something that’s inspiring the why.
I didn’t just want to lose weight. I wanted a lead role in theatre. The weight loss was going to get me that lead role. Weight loss was a stepping stone to accomplish a bigger goal.
Perhaps your reason could be that you want to live until 100. Or you want to be able to run and play with your grandchildren. Goals that are close to the heart are more likely to motivate.
You also need to set short-term goals for yourself. Your short-term goals should be building blocks that support your long-term goal. A short term goal could be:
- I will make all of my own lunches for work this week
- I will take a 30-minute walk after dinner every night this week
- I will drink water instead of soda this week
These are things you can accomplish and be proud of. You know exactly what to do and how to do them.
Goals like these don’t work:
- I want to lose weight this week
- I want to lose 3 pounds this week
- I want to eat healthier this week
They aren’t specific enough. You know where you’re going but you have no idea how to get there. This makes you feel lost. So you’ll give up.
How to stay motivated to lose weight
I did my time at the gym after work. I stopped eating junk food. I made my own lunches.
Sometimes I didn’t want to do any of it. There were nights after work that I just wanted to go home and relax. There were times that I wished I could eat more. I was tempted by sweet and salty snacks sitting in my parent’s kitchen.
I said no.
I’d get a small amount of enjoyment from sitting down and watching TV or eating Oreos. But I was focused on two things:
- A long term goal
- Long term enjoyment
I knew eating junk food and being lazy wasn’t going to get me either of those things. Yes, I would’ve temporarily enjoyed Oreos and TV over homemade food and the gym. But I knew that I would feel bad afterwards.
Stay motivated to lose weight by focusing on your long term goal. Really work for it. If you feel like half-assing your way to a long-term goal, you don’t want it enough. You have to pick a long-term goal that’ll motivate you to put everything you have into losing weight.
The first time
The first time you’re tempted is tough. Everything in your body is telling you to do it. Skip the gym. Eat the piece of pie.
Don’t do it.
The first time you give into something, you’re making the next time that much easier. If you give into a cookie once, there’s a greater likelihood you’ll give into a cookie again.
If you allow yourself to slip once, you’ve practically given yourself an excuse to slip again. You were able to reason with yourself that “it isn’t that bad” or “it’s just once” or some other lie.
The first lie is the hardest. And you believed it. If you believed it once then it’s likely you’ll believe it again.
Be strong. Saying no the first time is the hardest. Saying no the first time is the most important.
Saying no the first time is the most challenging. It can also be the most rewarding.
Saying no once gives you power to say no again. When you don’t give into temptation, you empower yourself to not give in again. You’ve demonstrated that you have control.
You have control over your actions and your body.
Every time after that will be easier. Trust me — this is coming from a person who’s been obese most of her life. If I can do it, so can you.
Tip: Ask yourself why you’re tempted and what you’re feeling. Why do you want it? Take a step back and be rational. Thinking rationally will help you overcome temptation.
Prepare to succeed
There’ll be times when you’re tempted. Those times always come. That doesn’t mean you can’t prepare for them.
Preparing how to act when you’re staring temptation right in the face is imperative. It gives you more power and ability to say no when you’re itching to give in.
Most of the time we give into temptation when we’re hungry. So don’t allow yourself to be hungry in the face of temptation.
Or at least have a plan.
Eat the temptation away
The best thing to do when you’re hungry is eat.
Don’t eat the first thing in sight. Know what you’re going to eat when you get hungry. If you’re not hungry enough to eat the fruits and vegetables you have in your home, then you’re not hungry enough.
If you’re hungry or have a craving, eat healthy food. Food is not the enemy. Junk food is the enemy. Your emotions can be the enemy. But it’s not all food.
Fill your kitchen with healthy food. Clean out your cabinets of the processed junk food and soda. Get rid of the frozen dinners. Stop buying packaged food that makes you feel dull and lifeless.
Buy whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables. Eat as many potatoes as you want. Drink a big banana smoothie until your heart’s content. These foods are your best friends. There’s no need to fear them.
Stop fearing them and eat them.
- Get motivated to lose weight: set specific long- and short-term goals that you can accomplish
- Stay motivated to lose weight: remember your goals and empower yourself by saying no to temptation
- Prepare to succeed: know what you’re going to do in the face of temptation before it comes
Once you get the ball rolling, it gets easier. Saying no to temptation becomes easier. One reason is because you’ve empowered yourself in the past. The other reason is that fewer things tempt you.
When you look and feel happier and healthier, you start to crave things that make you happy and healthy. You change your mentality from wanting something to not wanting it anymore.
This change of mentality is one of the biggest helps to staying on the path to healthiness.