Right now you realize that you want to lose weight. You feel unhappy with the way your body looks and feels. You want more energy, more clarity.
"How do I get motivated to lose weight?"
This my friends, is the million dollar question.
Let me first start off by saying that there is a big difference between motivation and inspiration. Motivation
comes from an external force, from something outside of you. Inspiration
, on the other hand, comes from within.
It comes from your core, from the depths of who you are in your true spirit. Which one do you think holds more power?
In order to fully attain a life of wellness, you must find ways to inspire yourself. You cannot rely on outside factors to do it for you. It is so easy to let fear rule your life.
It is so easy to follow the path of least resistance, taking what feels like the easiest route. Allowing either of these outside forces to control your actions is not living at all.
It is really a passive existence. One that feels, at the time, like the best choice, but in reality it is a slow suffocation.
The Fast Forward Exercise
I know that the term "slow suffocation" sounds dramatic, but I would like you bare with me, and do one thing. Sit back, close your eyes, take a deep breathe, and imagine yourself five years from now if you continue along the path of least resistance.
If you continue to let fear rule your life. Fear of failure. Fear of the unknown. Fear of SUCCESS even! Allowing the opinions or choices of others to rule your life.
Allowing yourself to continue along, doing whatever feels the least difficult, so as to not rock the boat. Where are you five years from now? How happy are you? What do you stand for? At that point, you don’t even know what you stand for, do you?
Now, how is that for a reality check? I am not trying to bring you down, I simply want you to evaluate your situation and decide that right now is the time to start making changes for the better.
Right now is the time to figure out what in the heck inspires you in life, and start going after it.
Finding Your Weight Loss Inspiration
So let’s apply this to weight loss. Right now you realize that you want to lose weight. You feel unhappy with the way your body looks and feels. You want more energy, more clarity. You want an overall feeling of wellness
Steps in Achieving Your Goal
Right now, you know that you have the power to make a change. Throw the excuses out the window - heredity, disability, lack of willpower - whatever excuses you have used in the past, toss ‘em.
No matter what limitations you feel you may have, I guarantee there is a story of an individual out there who is in a far worse situation than you, who has accomplished his/her goals and then some.
So your excuses are no longer valid. Please do not misunderstand this as a lack of empathy. Trust me, I have had my share of excuses. My share of the “I can’t do this because...” moments.
I had to toss mine as well. This is me telling you that you hold so much power that you do not even realize you hold. It's time to acknowledge that power and use it to better your life.
Find an image to represent what you want to achieve. Whether that is a picture of you from years ago, an image that you find online, or an image in a magazine, find an image to use to inspire you from within.
You’ve got to have a visual to know what you are shooting for. This picture is to be hung up where you can see it often, and used to spark that internal drive that keeps you on course to reach that goal.
3) Set a Goal Date
Get out a calendar and set a goal date. Look at what obligations you have in the near future and take these into consideration (i.e. Christmas, Thanksgiving, travel, etc) but don’t use them as an excuse.
Maybe you want to hit your goal before Thanksgiving, or before Christmas, or maybe set a milestone goal before one of these two holidays, but then the main event goal is further out.
Then, once you have your goal date, backtrack until now and figure out what it is going to take to get you from where you are now, to where you want to be.
Whether that relates to weight loss on the scale, or if you prefer to stay away from the scale, you can gauge by your measurements, or weekly photo check-ins.
Choose a way to track your progress and write in smaller milestones between now and that goal date, so that you can ensure that you stay on track to hit that goal.
When I was on my fat loss journey I choose to use the scale. Now, the scale no longer freaks me out. It used to long ago, but I have come to a place where I can see it as a tool, rather than a mood determiner for the rest of my day.
During my fat loss program, I would weigh in, take measurements, and pictures of myself every Saturday.
I used the scale as my “tracker” so that I could track the trend, in a downward direction. I wrote goal weights for each Saturday, which helped to break up the large goal into smaller increments, that I could use to keep myself on target.
I can’t tell you how many times this tracker helped me from going out on a Friday night and eating and drinking things I would later regret during my Saturday morning weigh-ins.
This is just one more tool that I used not as motivation, but as inspiration to stick with it and reach that bigger goal. I could have easily said, “Oh what is one night, one weigh-in,” but I didn’t.
I stuck my course, and because I did, I was able to reach my goal by my goal date.
4) Set Up Meal Plans
Figure out how many calories you should consume per day based upon your energy expenditure
(aka the amount of exercise and general activity you perform per day).
Use a program like FitDay
or The Daily Plate
to set up your daily meals
a week in advance. This allows you to grocery shop effectively and cook in bulk if necessary.
5) Exercise Plan
Choose an exercise plan
that fits your goal and schedule. Choose 4-5 days per week, and carve out the time necessary to complete your workout program. If possible, find a workout buddy.
Again, do not use this as a motivator, but as a way to inspire yourself from within.
If you need help with Steps 4 and 5, it’s absolutely ok (and smart even) to find a trainer and/or nutritionist to help you set up a program. I sure did! I was so overwhelmed with the options and schools of thought, I didn’t know which way to turn
The importance here is to realize that this cannot be your motivation. You have to find tools like trainers, trackers, etc and use them to drive your own inspiration, deep down inside
. You are in the drivers seat, and no one can get you to reach this goal but you.
The first day, and frankly even the first week, is not going to be a walk in the park. You may question your sanity, you may want to quit, you will want to take that easy road instead, but you must stick with it.
Grab that image of your goal and focus on it to the exclusion of all else. I assure you, the short term discomfort is going to pay off in leaps and bounds.
How good will it feel when you reach your goal and you look back at where you have come from and you get that warm and fuzzy feeling deep down in your stomach because you know that you did this? Y
ou will have achieved what you once thought was impossible. You will see that it is this growth, this development that allows us to live our best life.
Each of us holds the key to unlocking the life that we have always wanted. All we have to do is have the confidence, and find the inspiration, to open the door and realize the life on the other side is worth the effort in getting there.