In just a few days from now, I’ll be celebrating my first year of fighting fit. I receive emails every day from people praising me for staying so focused throughout my fitness journey, as it seems like I’ve had rock solid motivation throughout. Well, I haven’t all of the time. There have been many occasions where I’ve wanted to reach for the cookie jar, but instead I kept the end goal in mind at all times. I knew that if I were to break away for a quick fatty snack, I’d never get back into being the new healthier me. So just how do you motivate yourself? Here are my top 10 tips for finding motivation to lose weight.
Why do you want to lose weight? Is it for a special occasion or do you generally feel it’s time to permanently shred away some of that excess fat? Maybe it’s so you can feel better about yourself and therefore lift your confidence. Everybody has their own varied reasons for doing it, so what’s yours? Grab a pen and paper and write it down now “I want to lose weight because……” It’s important to identify why you want to shift that weight, so that you can make the right decisions further down the line such as…
How do you want to lose that weight? For this to be successful, you’re going to have to exercise a lot and eat well. Some say it’s 80% about what you eat and only 20% relating to the exercise itself. For me, it’s 50/50, they go together and are both equally important. Will you enrol on a Zumba class, sign up for gym membership, go street running or buy a DVD and do aerobics from home? Maybe you’ll do what I’ve done and workout entirely from your living room in your own time and at your own pace. Whatever you decide it’s got be enjoyable and sustainable. Personally, I’m not into street running. It’s not my thing, it just doesn’t interest me. High intensity interval training (also known as HIIT) is what tickles my pickle as they say! I love the fact that it’s perfect exercise for shredding fat and perfect for people like me who get bored easily. I like changing the exercise every 30 seconds so it keeps me interested for the entire session. It’s kind of like an aerobics class in my living room, but much faster, more intense and without a single break for the whole sesh! Write down what kind of exercises or workouts you think you’d be interested in. It has to be fun mind you. If you won’t enjoy it, you won’t stick with it and then you’re back to square one as they say.
Set goals. You can’t just say you want to lose weight. It’s not enough. You must be more specific, such as ‘I want to lose 12 lbs in 6 weeks’. ‘I need to lose 10lbs for my brother’s wedding’, ‘I want to look better in time for my holiday next summer and that means shifting 14 lbs’. It has to be a SMART goal; specific, measureable, attainable (or achieveable), realistic and timely. Smart goals are used a lot in business, so why not use them in the fitness world too. Write down your SMART goal next.
Be willing to stick to it! Once you identified why you want to lose weight and how you’re going to do it, you have to stick to it. You need to get it in you’re head that no matter how you’re feeling you are still going to workout and not reach for the junk food. Ok, if you’re absolutely battered and in bed dying of man flu then you’re unlikely to reach for the weights and start doing biceps curls at 7am. I don’t care if you’re busy with work or have a wedding to go to or need to buy some food later from the supermarket. We all have that going on (me this week to be exact) but you still have to plan accordingly. Don’t allow yourself to say “I can’t be bothered today”. Just get up, get your fitness gear on and start your workout. Do it no matter what the weather, how busy you are or what mood you’re in. Later on down the line when you’re a few pounds lighter you don’t need to be so strict, but early on in your fitness journey you need dynamite strength motivation.
Keep a diary or blog. I’m so pleased that I started this blog. I did it for two reasons. The first reason being that I wanted to record the highs and lows of this journey for my own personal benefit. To keep forever, to show my kids and future grandkids how I did this all on my own without dieting, joining a gym or hiring a PT. I’ve also written the blog for you; a person that is possibly interested in starting on their own fitness journey but doesn’t know how to. For any member of the public who has an interest in health, fitness and weight loss really. I love getting people motivated and inspiring others and this blog was the ideal way of achieving that.
Be willing to kick those bad habits. It’s impossible to make huge changes such as achieving weight loss by just exercising and eating a ‘little’ better. You have to get rid of all of those bad habits such as drinking alcohol all weekend, smoking 2 packs of cigarettes a day, munching on cookies late at night, ordering takeaway meals and so forth. You don’t have to kick all bad habits at once and I recommend that you don’t do it all at once anyway as you’ll fall ill and then lose the motivation to fight fit. Take it steady, but do plan to kick those bad habits. Make a list of yours right now. Writing them down helps as you can place action dates, like deadlines by each one.
Think positive. You can do this!! You have to think positive at all times. Ok, so you’re a little overweight or even obese, and you probably think that it’s impossible to lose all the weight you have. Well think again. Read all of my blog articles from Part One onwards and you’ll see how I’ve managed to transform my life. I wouldn’t have done this if it wasn’t for thinking positive; thinking of the end goal and what it is I’m trying to achieve. Don’t think about all the salads you’ll be eating or the aching muscles and sweaty workouts; think of the outcome. Let’s look at it another way. If you were going in to hospital for an operation, it wouldn’t do you any good thinking of the actual medical procedure of being cut open would it? You need to focus on how you’ll be able to walk better perhaps or whatever the intended outcome of your operation would be. Change focus and then stay focused on that end goal.
Avoid diets. Oh I’ve said this hundreds of times all over my blog. Don’t go on a diet. You need to change what you’re eating, Sure you do, but only gradually. Crash diets make you ill… it’s a fact. You’ll lose motivation and slip back into your old ways really quickly, gaining weight faster than you lost it. Make a list of the foods you eat that you know you shouldn’t eat and aim to cut them out gradually. You’ll probably be able to eat some of the foods you love still, but in smaller quantities and with less fat. For example, I used to love curries, but I didn’t stop eating them when I started on my fitness journey. Sure, I stopped eating the horrifically fatty ones from the local restaurant, but now I make my own with healthier ingredients. Same with burgers…. I’m thinking of all that amazing protein right now as I type this!
Housework is good for you. Yes we all hate it don’t we and we all have those can’t be bothered days, or I’ll do it tomorrow days. Nowadays, when I look out of my kitchen window into the back garden and see the lawn as high as the fence, I don’t think “Oh look at the state of the grass, I suppose I should mow the lawn”. I think of it as a cardio workout, set my watch to timer and to count calories and off I go. I’ve burnt 2000 calories doing both my front and back lawns, and when they’re done they look great and I know I’ve technically done a workout today. Same with vacuuming the stairs which is another killer! Think of the benefits and not the hard work involved nor the sweat you’ll be pumping whilst doing it.
Fit your life around your workouts, not the other way around. Ok this isn’t quite as easy as it sounds because we all have very different lifestyles. For me, as somebody with a flexible lifestyle shall we say where I can work when I want and study when I want it’s easy for me to fit all of that around my workouts. Every day you should plan when you want to workout and stick to it. There’s no such thing as not having enough time because I bet you £1000 that every person who says to me “I don’t have time to work out” is the sort of person who spend at least 3 hours a day on Facebook looking at pretty cats, reading pointless quotes and seeing pictures of what people ate for dinner. Maybe you’ve made too many excuses over the years. Maybe you still do. Look at it this way; a workout only needs to take 15 – 20 minutes if you’re doing HIIT and I reckon you’ve been on this website reading my blog for longer than that.
Stay focused, and please drop me a line if you’ve found this article useful. I’ve got my latest blog post coming up this Sunday as I celebrate one whole year into my fitness journey. It’s going to be a good one, as I’ve got something great planned that I want to show you.