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Weight Loss Motivation: The “Secret” to Getting Started

Weight Loss Motivation: The “Secret” to Getting Started

This article will be a swift kick in the pants for some… a motivational call to action. For others, it will be an eye-rolling waste of time. Here’s the deal: I have a “secret” to motivating yourself to finally lose weight. It’s called …

Get. Off. Your. Behind.

Easier said than done though, right? Think about how many hours you waste per day. I know what you’re probably thinking, “I work my butt off and I’m busy when I come home, so I deserve some down time.”

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Fair enough. But hear me out for a minute. We’re all busy. And you can either keep making excuses about why you’re still overweight or you can do something about it. Which do you choose?

It’s really that simple, folks.

Motivation means doing. Do something. Anything. Except for sitting on the couch watching TV for 5 hours a day (that’s the average in the U.S.). That’s pathetic. Even if you watch 3 hours of TV a night, what’s stopping you from taking just 1 of those hours 4-5 days a week to exercise?

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The answer is…

You.

You’re holding yourself back. Not your busy schedule. Not your kids. Not your job. If you want something badly enough, then you have to be willing to make sacrifices to go and get it. You have 1,440 minutes every day to spend how you choose. Make the choice to take 30-60 minutes in each of those to get some exercise and prepare healthy foods.

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Here are some tips to get you going.

4 Steps for Getting Started

1. Honestly assess your “reasons why.” Knowing what you want is easy for most people. But honestly assessing why you want it is another story. It’s uncomfortable because it exposes your insecurities. So really think about it: why do you want to lose weight? For most people, it’s because they don’t like how they look or feel. They feel nervous to be around others in a bathing suit. They are embarrassed that they’re 20 pounds heavier than they were last year. They are depressed. These feelings are normal. Embrace them. Be honest with yourself. It’s the first step to motivating yourself to lose weight, and one of the most important.

2. Set goals. When you get to the point when you can assess and identify your weight loss triggers and emotional insecurities, it’s time to set some goals for yourself. Start with itty-bitty goals and work your way up… setting unattainable goals is the quickest route to failure. And be specific: for example, one of your goals may be “lose 1 pound in 30 days.”

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3. Formulate a plan. Next, create a game plan for how you’re going to accomplish your goals. The logical first step: get a planner. It can be a desk calendar, a document on your computer, or a physical daily planner you can write in. The important part is to be able to write down your plans for each day and track your progress moving forward. I use a daily planner to create check lists of each healthy behavior I want to accomplish for the day. Then I write down what I did and check that item off the list as I complete it, which leads us to the fourth and final step.

4. Execute the plan. Here’s an example of how to do it: if my goal is to “lose 1 pound in 30 days,” part of my plan to accomplish this would be to “eat 4 or more servings of veggies every day this week.” Every day I would write how I have accomplished that goal (i.e., “ate 3 cups of lettuce, a bag of carrots, and a tomato”). You’ll be amazed at how gratifying this feels to see your progress in action.

So there you have it: the “secret” to getting started with weight loss motivation… is to get started. The question is how will you do that? Let us know below.

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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