Wanting to lose weight and being motivated to lose weight are two very different things. Trust me. One matters much more than the other. Trust me. And that one thing is motivation. Trust me…seriously. The key is learning how to get motivated to lose weight AND stay inspired.
Anyone can want to lose weight. The man sitting next to you on the subway–he probably wants to lose weight. The woman behind the counter at the grocery store–she probably wants to lose weight. The couple at the table across from you at your favorite restaurant–they probably want to lose weight. Anyone can do that. Getting motivated to actually lose the weight is what is important, and also what is more difficult. Motivation is what can set you apart from that man on the subway, that woman in the grocery store, and that couple at that restaurant.
Be the different one. Grab your dream of losing weight–reach up to the sky and grab it, and then hold onto it. Let that dream be the start of your motivation, but not the end of it.
I used to think that wanting to lose weight was enough. Every once in a while, I would turn down a slice of cake at a birthday party or order a salad instead of pizza when I was out with my friends because that thought of wanting to lose weight spoke up from the back of my mind. But, as it turns out, that wasn’t enough. It wasn’t enough at all. I needed more to REALLY be motivated and to, therefore, make my dream come true.
Continue reading to discover how to find the rest of your motivation. Discover how to get motivated to lose weight and stay inspired.
Don’t compare yourself to others
Comparing yourself to others is the most difficult thing to overcome, but it’s also the thing that takes motivation away from you during your fitness journey. It has actually been the most difficult obstacle for me to overcome, myself.
In our world, today, social media is such a prominent part of our lives. If you’re like me, you probably follow a decent amount of fitness accounts on different forms of social media. On Instagram, I follow an abundance of accounts that post workouts, food ideas, and, of course, their incredibly fit bodies.
When I first started my fitness journey, seeing these bodies that had six packs, defined legs, and toned arms, really pulled me back from my goals. Although they can be motivating at times, every so often I would get in a rut and look at them as images of “what I’ll never be”. I would constantly compare my own stomach to those with six packs on my Instagram feed.
This put me in a mindset that made me want to give up on my goals. I started thinking “What’s the point?” and “I’ll never look like that anyway”. Why? Because I was comparing myself to others. I wasn’t even considering the fact that at one point, they were probably in my shoes and in a body similar to mine. I also wasn’t considering that maybe they were just born with a different body type, a different body shape.
It wasn’t until I realized that comparing myself to others in that way wasn’t helping myself. Instead, it was making my journey about looking like other people when I wanted it to be about improving my health.
Once you stop comparing yourself to others and start comparing yourself to you instead–you now and you in the past–then you’ll be able to stay motivated. You’ll be able to crush your goals.
Speaking of goals, set them.
Maybe you want to fit into a dress–one that is a couple sizes smaller than your current size. Perhaps you want to be able to do five pull-ups at once. Maybe you want to try a new diet for two weeks straight without any hiccups.
It doesn’t matter what your goals are, as long as you set them. Challenge yourself and make yourself face those challenges by writing down your goals. Read them out loud to yourself. Think of it as someone challenging you–someone that you want to prove yourself to. Then, prove yourself to them.
This can be both motivating and inspiring.
Concentrate on that feeling
Stay concentrated on that feeling you get after you
- Run that extra mile
- Drink enough water
- Choose the salad over the chicken parm sandwich
Whenever you’re having one of those days where you feel unmotivated and want to skip the gym and eat junk food all day, close your eyes, take a breath, and imagine how much better you’ll feel when you choose to go to the gym and eat healthy all day. Use the thought of that terrible, lazy, tummy-hurting feeling you get after you spend a day laying around and eating junk food as a way to motivate you to get to the gym and pick healthy choices in order to not feel terrible, lazy, and in pain. On the other hand, use the amazing, proud, endorphin-rich feeling you get when you make healthy choices as self-motivation.
Stop weighing yourself
The scale can be your worst enemy. It’s not an always an accurate way of measuring your health. If you’re feeling great one morning–if you look at yourself in the mirror and smile because you love what you see, do not go weigh yourself. If you’re feeling bloated, tired, and not like yourself one afternoon, stay away from the scale.
Sometimes, it only makes it worse. Unless you’re under doctor’s orders to step on the scale every day, don’t do it. Use how you feel and what your body is capable of doing in the gym as means of measuring your health. Don’t rely on something that can’t take into account the fact that muscle weighs more than fat and that healthy for some people is heavier than healthy for others.
I know that it’s sometimes difficult to resist the urge to eat something unhealthy when it’s right in front of you. If I had Oreos, ice cream, or anything unnaturally sweet in my kitchen at all times, I’d be in trouble.
Because I know that sometimes I can’t control my cravings, and that sometimes seeing certain foods actually creates my cravings, I choose not to buy them in the first place. If someone else in my home wants something unhealthy, I make sure I hide it away–out of my sight.
I fill in the empty spaces with healthy foods instead. When I open my refrigerator, instead of seeing ice cream, I see frozen grapes. Instead of spotting Oreos in my pantry when I open the door, I spot all-natural almond butter and homemade kale chips.
Once I started making these changes in the grocery store, I started seeing major changes in my mood and body. I realized that healthy foods can curb my cravings like unhealthy foods can, but healthy foods don’t leave me feeling disgusting and bloated afterward. It’s the best of both worlds and is my motivation for buying healthy, whole foods in the grocery store!
Find a health buddy
Competition is a really great motivational tool. You’ll always want to push yourself to keep up to whoever you’re exercising with. Whenever I’m running with my brother and he starts sprinting to our end point, no matter how exhausted I am, I find myself sprinting after him–trying with everything I have to catch up to him. The same thing happens when I go to yoga class with my friend. Whenever we’re doing handstands and she pushes until the instructor says stop, I find myself pushing through–pushing past my quivering arms to make it until I here the words “and rest”. Having a partner regardless of what type of exercise I’m doing pushes me to work harder and achieve more.
Similarly, when I’m eating with people who have the same health goals as I do, I find that I eat better. When I’m out to eat with my friend after that yoga class and I see that she orders a salad with the dressing on the side, I find that I’m encouraged to do the same.
Find your fitness buddies. You’re sure to keep each other on track and make each other healthier because of it.
Self-love is such a huge part of both the physical and mental aspects of weight loss. When you start loving your body–flaws included, your body will start loving you back. It will start working with you to better it and make you love it even more.
Loving yourself also makes losing weight and getting fit that much better. I used to look in the mirror and hate what I saw. It was always easier to point out my flaws than it was to congratulate myself on the progress I had made since starting my fitness journey. All that did for me, though, was demotivate me. It made me think those awful thoughts again: “What’s the point?”
It was a bit difficult for me to start seeing myself differently. What really helped me to start loving myself and all of my flaws was something very simple. All I did was write myself a note on a Post-It. I wrote “Love yourself” on a sticky note and stuck it to my bathroom mirror. Every night before bed and every morning when I woke up, I would look in the mirror and tell myself that I love myself. Then, I’d look in the mirror and compliment myself–just a thing or two each day.
Such a simple thing made such a difference. I noticed that as I continued on in my journey, the compliments came easier. They might have come easier because I started loving myself more, or maybe loving myself more helped me to work harder in the gym and in the kitchen, giving me a better body and mind, and giving me a wider variety of compliments to choose from.
Either way, now I don’t even have to have a sticky note on my mirror. I look into in and automatically love myself and what my mind and my body have gone through to become this fit, and what they will continue to go through as I become fitter and healthier. Love yourself. It’s the greatest form of inspiration.
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