Don’t let yourself be deflated. How to keep your healthy weight-loss motivation up and burning?
You were super motivated. You knew exactly what you wanted and by when you wanted to have reached those goals of yours. You were on fire but now feel like you have hit a wall. What happened? Why have all your most amazing efforts not paid off? You have eaten so clean, exercised so well, tried to show yourself more self-compassion but despite all your hard work, your weight seems not to budge. Or if so, only very little. Almost unnoticeable. You can feel how frustration takes over your whole body and mind. You know you are super close to giving in to this most enticing chocolate bar in your cupboard that has been calling your name for the last few weeks and to skipping your exercise routine. There it is this vicious voice sitting in your head telling you that it’s not working anyway…by engaging in such gloomy self-talk you feel more and more negativity washing over your entire being. You are telling yourself that you knew it from the beginning. This endeavour was in vain because you will never be able to lose that weight…why only did you put yourself through all of those strict, ‘clean’ troubles in the first place?
In short: you have totally run out of motivation.
However, motivation is what keeps us going and spurns us on towards insane awesomeness and feeling amazing. Without it, we are kind of lost on our journey towards being the best version of ourselves. So, how can we back ourselves up and keep the fire of motivated inspiration running high?
Here are my 5 tips on how not to succumb to the deflating motivation trap but instead make sure you are staying right on track with your burning desire to hit those long-term goals of yours.
- Don’t go all out
Instead settle for 1 little step at a time which you commit to doing continuously. That is when you are trying to move from junk-food loving coach potato to a new super fit and healthful eating version of you, acknowledge where you are right now first and then set appropriate, small goals that are achievable. And that you can do without going all empty or flat because things feel just too hard. In practice this might mean that you start having healthful breakfasts and fit in a few walks during your lunch breaks. Once you have nailed these steps, you are more than welcome to venture further turning those walks into walk-runs and packing healthy-licious snacks for you to take to work.
If you make the mistake of throwing yourself with everything you have got head over heels and at an insane speed into your transformation journey, you totally run the risk that you are actually overtaxing yourself in a way that is not sustainable. With the result that you run out of steam pretty quickly and feel like a total loser because you realise you cannot maintain this way of all or nothing mindset. Negative self-talk kicks in which makes everything worse, those hidden treats so much more tempting and really is your quickest way into total defeat.
- Lose your inner perfectionist
Instead stay flexible and real. I am sorry I have to break it to you and bring you down from your pink cloud but PERFECT does NOT EXIST. Trying to be perfect and doing everything 100 % is another sure way to run straight into the ‘I-can’t-do-this-at-all-wall’. In similar ways to going all out, you are putting yourself under enormous strain and pressures when you are aiming for total perfectionism on this course or in life in general. That you are trying to achieve something that does not exist is one problem. But what’s worse: you are setting yourself up for failure by having far too high expectations of yourself. For you to be able to keep following this path of change, you will need to embrace a-good-enough-mindset. Yes, this includes making your new lifestyle fit into your crazy world and accept that things won’t always go to plan. Be ready for it and get used to the idea of flexibility and thinking around the corner. This way when your meeting has run over, your child gotten sick, or this urgent phone call deterred you from exercising in your planned time frame, you will have the ability to come up with another way of moving your body without beating yourself up that you were unable to stick to what you considered your preferred way of nailing your goal. Or when you have succumbed to eating this most yummy-licious piece of birthday cake you were offered at work, you will not find yourself caught in a downward thought spiral followed by stuffing yourself with more junk food…instead you will cook up a nutritious healthy-licious storm to nurture your body and simply jump back on track.
Good enough will bring you where you want to be. Perfect won’t. And if your goal is to lose 20 kg then this won’t happen overnight but will take very likely more than a year. Going into your journey with the right mindset and expectations is more than a great foundation for turning those ambitions of yours into awesome feel-good-reality.
- Individualise it
The sooner you realise that what works for one person might totally not have the same the effect on you, the better. We are all different and it is therefore vitally important for your success to adapt your new healthy-licious life to your liking, desires, wants, needs, character, fitness level, family situation, work-life, biological background etc. You are truly like no one else on this whole wide planet. What am I saying: UNIVERSE even. Which means you need to treat your journey different to everyone else’s. I am calling upon your gorgeous intuitive self to map out a plan that keeps you well encouraged all along the way. If you hate running, trying to trick yourself into becoming an avid daily runner, just because your neighbour had great results with it, won’t work. If you love chocolate cakes, giving up those delicious treats completely will only make you want to eat more of them and by no means happier or thinner but rather start a binge cycle of some kind or the other. If home cooking is a time issue for you, compromise and go simple. If your family is not used to eating greens, they will probably not be too impressed if this is all they are getting from now on. If your glass of wine is important to you, going totally without it is likely to lead you to craving your drink even more. If you are 45 and new to the gym, your training routine will look very different to your 30-year old acquaintance who has been a gym junkie her whole life. You get the individualised picture. So, before you commit to your new action plan make sure it takes all your little quirks into account, everything that makes you gorgeously you. The more detailed you can draw this new lifestyle picture of yours, the better and the quicker you will see those results you are after.
- Hold yourself accountable
Let’s be honest: change is hard. If it was easy, I did not have to write this article. We would simply all do it and live happily ever after. But diving head first into your transformation ride is difficult. Even for the bravest among us. That is because it involves transforming habits. Letting go of your old routine that feels so wonderfully safe is freaking hard. Even though most of the time our logical mind is very aware of the fact that those patterns of behaviour are not serving us anymore and have an out of date tag attached to them, we are having a difficult time putting this knowledge into habitual practice. Truth is that we have become quite attached to our old routines. They come easy to us almost without thinking. Whereas building new ones takes effort. A lot of it. Overriding well engraved circuits in your brain you have been driving along for years, demands vigorous endeavour. Doing this amidst all our usual busy- and craziness of daily life is exhausting. So, one way to giving you a little but very effective helping boost on your transformative journey is to get yourself a little fan club or your very personal cheerleader on board. Having someone at your side who is spurring you on but to whom you also know you have to report to is excitingly powerful. It becomes so much harder to give in to your all inviting sofa-bed or second helping of pleasure food that you don’t need when you are very much aware of the fact that you will be reporting all of this to someone who utterly believes in you and your amazing process of change.
- Measure your success wisely
While it is super important for you to stay driven on your health path to measure your success, it is just as essential to do so wisely. With this I mean not to fall into the self-destructive-my-progress-and-self-worth-is-attached-to-how-much-I-trap. Transforming your life into wholesome healthfulness has nothing to do with dieting, following the latest fad or counting calories. Instead it is all about nurturing your beautiful self to your best abilities in any given moment. This also means choosing to track your success by weighing yourself is more often than not counter-productive. That is because you actually cannot see on those scales how much health you gained, how much fitter and stronger you got, how much your body composition changed, how much more insane glow and happiness you have added to your wholesome new life. All you can see are numbers and trust me those can be super misleading and incredibly deflating. So, how about evaluating your healthful victories using more empowering and reliable measures? Such as touching base with your gorgeous self and asking yourself: am I feeling more energetic and less tired; has my skin cleared up and looks heaps younger; have people told me how amazing I look or that there is something intriguingly different about me; do I feel less aches and soreness and experience fewer colds; do my clothes seem to fit better; do I feel sexier and more fulfilled; am I able to focus and sleep better; have I stopped over-eating and am I loving the healthy ride?
You are totally worth being on top of your transformation journey. You were born to be, feel and look the best version of yourself. Own it. When life gets tricky and you feel you are close to derailing from your healthful path, know there is nothing wrong with you but rather with your approach to nailing your goals. Instead of going harder, maybe it is time to actually take it a gear slower and be easier and more caring towards yourself. Touch base with your gorgeous self to see whether your expectations have actually blown out of dimension and you are asking the sheer impossible of yourself? Is it wise to do this on your own if you know this is going to be a very long, steep and windy route for you, or are you better off getting some help on board to push you up the next hill when you are running out of breath? Are you using helpful tools to measure your success that will actually keep you motivated and not make you feel worthless?
I know you can do this. Here is to the insanely amazing, super-inspired motivated YOU. What are you still waiting for?!!!