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Motivation for Weight Loss

October 13, 2010

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woman measuring her waist in the mirror, motivation to lose weight

Motivation is the key to continuing and sticking to a plan of losing weight. Most people who start a diet or exercise routine have problems staying motivated to continue with it and ultimately quit. Based on the statistics from the CDC for 2007-2008 34% of American adults are overweight. This is up from the previous stats from 2005-2006 of 32.7%.  These statistics are only a glimpse at the overwhelming problem of obesity in America. 

            Thousands of people start a diet or weight loss routine every year however the people who stick to their goals are minimal. Motivation plays a huge role in whether someone will reach his or her weight loss goals. People who are overweight or obese usually know that their health is affected by their weight, however they don’t care or don’t think that they can do anything about it. Most of the time people make excuses for not starting a workout routine or they are just lazy to actually do it. Although the intention of becoming healthier is a great notion it perils to compare to the actual act of dieting or losing weight.

            Using motivational tools can not only keep you on the right path of becoming a healthier person but can get you to your goal weight within the appropriate time frame. Losing weight is not easy. People who think like this are bound to give up, quit or relapse quicker. Unfortunately, weight loss television shows give people who are overweight an inaccurate depiction of how easy it is to lose weight. In our society we are bombarded with unhealthy options that can make losing weight harder. As well as, the limit of time, availability and options can limit ones ability to make healthy choices. Ultimately, though it is up to you to make the decision and determination to achieve your weight loss goals.

            The first part of motivating yourself is to make the decision to want to change your habits and lose weight. Exercising or dieting alone can help you lose some weight but both are needed to become an overall healthier person. Therefore changing your mindset and your lifestyle is essential. To do this you need to make smarter choices about your eating habits. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins are essential parts to a healthy diet. Incorporating all of these within your daily diet will ensure not only that you lose weight but also will improve your body’s function. Making time within your daily schedule to exercise is imperative. Don’t make excuses and say you have no time. There is always a way to find time its just a matter of writing down your schedule and setting the time for working out. Knowing that you have a set time to workout is motivation in and of itself. Write down your schedule and put it in your calendar or wherever you can see it daily so you know when you have to workout. 

            Setting your goals before you start your plan will give you better determination to get to them. Goals are imperative to a weight loss plan. Goals push you and motivate you to work harder. First set up your ultimate goal with a realistic timeframe. This is the amount of weight you want to lose overall. Then set up smaller goals within the time frame that you set for yourself. A healthy amount of weight to lose in one week is between 2-5 pounds. Remember to write down your goals and keep them somewhere so you can see it everyday. Also set up a day when you will weigh yourself. One of my problems was that I would weigh myself everyday and expect a huge change, and I would get discouraged when I didn’t see a change. Don’t weigh yourself daily. Weekly is better because you get the results from the whole week. 

            Now that you have set yourself up to lose the weight its time to get started. The first week is the hardest for both diet and exercise (even if you aren’t starting both at the same time). For some people getting through the first week is impossible. There are a couple of things you can do to keep your motivation going throughout the first week and through your whole progress. Keep a journal. Whether it is a formal book where you write your thoughts and feelings, or an online blogging journal or even a video journal, this will although you to get out all the feelings you have about the process. You may be physically hurting from exercise, mentally hurting from fear or anxiety, or socially hurting form not fitting in due to your weight. All of these emotions are acceptable, appropriate and expected. Don’t sweep them under the rug; your feelings need to come out to get through this process. Also keep a food diary. Write down everything that you eat throughout the day to track your progress. Some people prefer to count calories, however others just right down what they eat to feel validation from knowing they are eating healthy. Either way you can track your progress. 

Surround yourself with motivation. This includes having encouraging people in your family, at your work or within your group of friends. These people will push you to continue on. You may want to include your family in your new lifestyle. Or workout everyday with a friend who wants to lose weight too. Put encouraging words or phrases in your calendar, on your bulletin board or anywhere that you will see it. These words can inspire you to keep going. Create a dream board. Put pictures or images of things that you want to do, how you want to look, or overall goals that you want to achieve. Put it somewhere you will see it everyday that way when you look at it you will want to keep going.  Read stories, blogs or watch videos of other people’s transformations. Although not everyone can get the experience of being on “the Biggest Loser” but there are contestants whose stories have inspired and created a chain reaction causing thousands to get up and lose weight. Reward yourself. Most rewards are associated with food, however a reward can be in the form of a new shirt, a new phone, or even a new piece of jewelry. Rewards can be set at the time when you set your goals or decided upon whenever you reach your goal. Either way it will make you feel good about what you are doing and motivate you to keep going.

However you decide to do it or however much you want to lose, everyone gets motivated in different ways. Find out what works for you and stick with it. Don’t do something that doesn’t make you want to continue with your health plans. Don’t quit, because it’s your life and you deserve to live it the way you want to!