It’s extremely easy to become negative when it comes to losing weight. It can take up to 4 weeks to even see any changes in our bodies even if we are doing just about everything right. That can become discouraging, and when the numbers increase or stay stagnant on the scale, we might become discouraged. There are many ways to combat the feeling that we would rather be happy and eat than have to work ourselves to the bone for the dream body we want. I’ve come up with a list of methods that have been extremely effective for me in losing weight and sticking with it, even through the tough stuff.
1.) Make a dream board/motivation wall.
You can do this in many ways. You can use a poster board with magazine clippings, the wall with a bunch of post-its, or a shadow box with items that depict your weight loss goals. The dream board serves as your visual depiction of your weight loss journey. Why did you start? Were you tired of being fat and tired? Did you want to set a better example for your kids and family? Why will you continue? Do you want a bikini body? Are you trying to join the armed services by meeting a weight/endurance goal? Do you just want to feel like the strong/fit person you feel is inside you somewhere? Brainstorm on all of these things and find pictures to give you a visual representation of these feelings. If you get discouraged, check out the board and remember why you started and why you should keep going. If you’re extra discouraged, maybe it’s time to add to your board some of the things that motivate you so that you can turn this negativity into a positive outlook.
2.) Join an online community for support.
MyFitnessPal has been instrumental throughout my entire weight loss journey. Here, you can use the food journal, exercise log, and you can post status messages just like Facebook, only it’s fitness-related. Your friends can comment on your exercise logged, your food diary completions, and your status messages. They also just recently implemented a “like” button! In addition, there are groups and online forums where you can post to the larger MFP community and get feedback on your goals/decisions.
Another option would be to establish your own community in a group page on Facebook. I am the member of a group with over 200 people. Constantly, all day long, we are posting inspirational quotes, results, non-scale victories, and venting about issues with making healthy choices. This particular group is BeachBody affiliated (you know, P90X, INSANITY, Shakeology, those guys), but anyone can make a private group at any time. Establish the group, invite friends with the same goals, and post daily. This has been extremely helpful for me since none of my friends or family has to be bombarded with fitness/health posts at any time, yet I’m still able to go brag on myself or ask for help whenever I need it without them seeing.
3.) Get a fitness buddy.
This is one of the most common suggestions for successful weight loss. The concept is simple: if you have a friend who keeps you accountable, you’re more likely to stick with this healthy lifestyle. I have had a few fitness buddies, and I still do have a few. Some of them are friends, and one of them is my wonderful significant other who has been ridiculously dedicated to helping me in my goals throughout the past two years. I am so very thankful for my support system.
At one point, this beautiful lady and I had lost a whole person together, 140lbs combined! She’s had a kid since then and has gained some, but she’s back at it. I am so very proud of this mommy of two, wife, and she was a student at the time! She’s superwoman!
4.) Make an interactive representation of your weight loss.
Here’s one of my favorites:
There are tons of ways to make interactive weight loss trackers. You can use money in a jar, adding a dollar every time you lose a pound. Once you meet your next mini-goal (I usually space these out every 10-15lbs), use the money to buy yourself something fitness related. This brings me to my next topic!
5.) Reward yourself often for your success.
Do no, I repeat DO NOT, reward yourself with chocolates or a nice dinner. That is definitely not an effective way to reward oneself for not eating food. I usually go for things like sports bras, workout tops, headbands, and other fitness supplies. Heck, I think I even bought myself a blender for shakes and smoothies once as a reward. I have also rewarded myself with new clothes for my new body, piercings, and there is a tattoo on the list for the day that I meet my ultimate goal weight. What is your passion? Do you love books? Buy yourself that novel you’ve been DYING to read but can’t justify spending $25 on in a hardback, or buy yourself a Kindle when you build up reward money. Do you love movies? Maybe every 5 lbs you lose, you can add a new DVD to your collection at home. Are you a music buff? Buy yourself a $99 cent song download each time you lose a pound. (It would help to make it a good song for working out!) There are so many ways to make sure that, even though you’re giving up some of the things you used to love, you don’t have to feel any deprivation in this process.