How to Keep Going When the Road is Long

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
9/9/2010 5:01 AM   :  240 comments   :  26,790 Views

By Beth Donovan (~INDYGIRL)

You might think that after losing more than 130 pounds, motivation comes easily to me. It doesn't come to me, I have to find it. But I find it more easily now because I've discovered where to look.

One of the first and best tips I have to offer you is to find motivating mantras, powerful sayings that have enough meaning to you to change your mind or at least make you stop and think. I have some to share with you that I use to keep myself going. Here are my most powerful mantras:

    "Baby steps still get you there... you just aren't too worn out to enjoy yourself along the way."

    "If you got a traffic ticket would you break every traffic law the rest of the day? Then why toss the whole day over a slice of pizza?"

    "Tea and sympathy, not cake and apathy."

    "You don't have to be perfect; you just have to stick with it."

    "It is what you do consistently that shows."

    "Never treat your body like a garbage disposal for leftovers."

    "One slice of pizza is always going to have fewer calories than 2 slices of pizza."

    "If your going to think 'I may as well', then you might as well think 'I may as well not.' "

    "Life is happening now, not 10 pounds from now."

    "Lose, maintain, just don't gain."

    "Aim for better every day rather than perfect right away."

    "Be the girl who orders small."

    "Dress the part. Act the part. Suck it up."


That last one was my first mantra. Basically it's the same as "Fake it 'til you make it." Dressing in loose, active clothing made me feel like moving and made me feel more active. So I did more. I got the idea to go buy clothes that made me feel like moving and wear them daily. Even if I didn't feel active, sometimes I would have to just suck it up and do 10 minutes. That's how a mantra works. Another example might be when you've had a slice of pizza and you are contemplating another because, well, you already blew it. "One slice of pizza always has fewer calories than two."

Another source of motivation for me is music. When I feel down on myself or like not moving, I put on some good music with a beat that gets me going and wanting to move. It puts me in a healthier frame of mind. Once I get the urge to move, I usually do.

Sometimes it's harder having a longer journey because the road is just so long that it takes so much stamina. It's almost like we need a personal trainer for that kind of will! I personally cannot focus on the long road ahead or I become overwhelmed. At 460 pounds, all I could see was a vast, endless sea of weight to lose and I was sure I would fail. Now 132 pounds lighter, I still focus on 10 pounds at a time.

I've lost my weight in about 4 1/2 years. I didn't lose very fast. I aim for about 25-50 pounds a year. Some years it's 50 pounds lost and I had one year I stayed the same. That was a frustrating plateau, but at least I maintained. Being disabled in so many ways and having thyroid disease, I knew not to expect to lose like a normal person would, especially since I started out bedridden. So be patient with yourself and adapt to your new lifestyle. Taking it slowly really helped me make permanent changes, rather than starve and gain it back like usual.

Look to your past and present and slightly into your future. Look where you've come from, praise where you are and plan where you are going this month. Getting too far ahead of yourself can sap your strength. Keep pictures of the old you and the new you handy, like you would those of a good friend. Look at them daily and watch for changes.

Reward yourself with meaningful things and frivolous things. Big goals deserve big rewards, but only you can decide what those goals and rewards are. Mini goals, such as 5 pounds can be rewarded with any little frivolous thing that you wouldn't normally do for yourself, like a manicure. All goals deserve rewards.

Don't wait until "When I'm skinny I'll_____." What if "skinny" never happens? What if healthy and fit start happening instead? What if by living your life now, you were able to become healthier, fitter, and thinner? The possibilities are endless. Let me leave you with a favorite saying, paraphrased because I don't remember it exactly. When a butterfly is trying to beat its way out of the cocoon, it may seem kind to help it. If you do however, it will never have the strength it needs to live. Maybe the long road to lose weight isn't easy because we need to travel it to be strong enough for what's in store.

What keeps you (or kept you) going on the road to weight loss?


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Comments

  • GAL2202
    240
    This is great! I love it. - 3/9/2014   3:37:54 PM
  • 239
    I'm on board, I'm inspired,WHOA!!!!! - 2/24/2013   8:47:30 PM
  • 238
    I think this one of my favorite dailySpark articles ever, so motivating! - 8/3/2012   5:47:31 AM
  • 237
    You wrote this over a year ago...and it's still motivating people! Having a motivating saying, does help. What a great tip! - 12/27/2011   11:19:10 PM
  • 236
    Thanks! I love mantras! They are so helpful. My current signature is my current mantra....
    "Nothing is impossible, the word itself says 'I'm possible!" Audrey Hepburn

    Let's keep it moving!

    Peace and Love,
    devasinger - 10/26/2011   8:01:47 PM
  • 235
    love the mantras.. thank you x - 10/24/2011   5:11:30 AM
  • JLBRHW
    234
    One of my favs is "if you were driving to Columbus and got lost along the way, would you get back on track and keep going to Columbus or would you give up and return home?". I have to admit, some of my 'detours' along the way have been longer than they should have been, but I keep on keeping on. - 10/21/2011   9:34:02 PM
  • 233
    I love your mantras; love it , love it.. - 9/23/2011   6:47:02 PM
  • 232
    All those are great mantras. See my signature for mine. I often abbreviate it to either "Start, do, suddenly" or "Necessary, Possible, Impossible."

    "If your going to think 'I may as well', then you might as well think 'I may as well not.' "

    Oh, well, today was a bust. Screw it. I may as well have that Li'l Debbie (or whatever it is today). I seem to see that garbage as a consolation not a reward. Somehow it is never "I had a great day. I think I deserve a little treat. I'll have that Li'l Debbie." Oh no! If I've a a good day , I want to keep it going.

    Exception: This Sunday, I ran 20 miles! I had a Chicago Hot Dog! And I still did not offset all the calories burned.

    I deserved it.

    - 9/7/2011   8:18:15 AM
  • 231
    I decided a long time ago that exercise and good eating is important to me - I can't be there for my family and others if I am not healthy. - 7/31/2011   1:22:57 PM
  • SWEETARLO
    230
    LOL- "Tea and sympathy, not cake and apathy." I'll keep that one, for sure! - 7/22/2011   2:55:29 PM
  • 229
    wow, that last sentence said a mouthful. loved this. - 7/8/2011   2:12:58 PM
  • 228
    Thanks for posting. You inspired me. Loved your mantras - 7/8/2011   9:33:46 AM
  • 227
    I really like your mantras! - 7/8/2011   9:17:31 AM
  • MAKINYEMI
    226
    Thank you for the advise. - 7/4/2011   12:26:07 PM
  • CLEFAIRY
    225
    Thank You! This is helpful advise. Congratulations to you! - 6/12/2011   3:12:19 AM
  • 224
    Thanks. I really needed to read this today. I am going to save and print out so I can refer to this often. - 5/29/2011   7:25:19 AM
  • 223
    Thanks again! - 3/26/2011   9:27:47 AM
  • 222
    This will help me. Thanks - 3/24/2011   4:45:09 PM
  • 221
    Love your mantras. I am going to add some of them to my daily affirmations. - 3/24/2011   11:39:27 AM
  • 220
    Thank you for a fabulous blog that is so appropriate to so many! - 3/24/2011   3:59:39 AM
  • 219
    Your an Awesome inspiration! Thank you!! - 3/8/2011   1:40:59 AM
  • MINTRY
    218
    You've accomplished so much!! Thank you for sharing your experience, your success, and your insightful tips. If I can achieve half of what you have, I'll be positively thrilled!! - 3/1/2011   1:55:38 PM
  • 217
    Thank you for this blog. I was feeling sluggish and put off exercising today. Now I am ready to put on my motivational music and get going. I love the mantras and will use them. - 2/28/2011   3:20:58 PM
  • CHERYLMIRABAL
    216
    Another great blog, Indygirl! - 2/28/2011   12:09:56 PM
  • 215
    Thank you! I needed to read this. I was feeling down, down about my weight/body, down about work, down about just about everything. This was what I needed! You're an inspiration! - 2/28/2011   11:15:01 AM
  • JANINENJ9
    214
    Excellent - have printed your quotes up in big bold font and have stuck it on my bathroom mirror for morning inspiration. Keep going girl, you'll get there. Janine - 11/10/2010   2:02:35 AM
  • 213
    i must kep thi blog in my fav s thank you - 11/5/2010   8:46:33 AM
  • 212
    Wonderful words! - 11/4/2010   2:52:49 PM
  • BROWNSUGADIVA
    211
    I really liked the last analogy you made about letting the butterfly do its own thing to get out of the cocoon so that it can be strong enough for the bigger challenges in life. I will definately remind myself that every struggle we go through now is worth the rewards in the end and will give us the confidence and strength to achieve wonders once we put our mind to it.... be it small steps at a time. A quote from Martin Luther King has always inspired me which talks about how a journey to the top begins with just one step. So take it one step at a time and we will reach our goals. Thanks for the inspiration. - 11/2/2010   8:44:46 PM
  • LAMBBMATO
    210
    Thankyou for the wonderful mantras. I shall have the traffic ticket one tatooed to my body for easy reference. [not really] but it totally applies. What an awesome help. GOD bless. - 10/20/2010   3:18:29 PM
  • 209
    thank you so much ,what a great motivation ,you are and the blog is awesome too - 10/15/2010   12:59:07 AM
  • 208
    I love all your dailyspark blogs and hope you write more. Many more. - 10/15/2010   12:04:53 AM
  • 207
    It's great to read sbout some else loosing that much weight. I too have to lose 200+ and am just getting started again. Loved your mantras and printing them out so I can post them aroiund my apt. - 9/30/2010   10:15:06 PM
  • 206
    Loved this blog and the mantras. Very motivating...thank you! - 9/29/2010   6:30:12 AM
  • 205
    Love the quotes at the begining. Really made me think. Thank you for sharing! - 9/29/2010   1:11:50 AM
  • 204
    Beth, girl, you ALWAYS motivate me to give it my best shot. =D You're amazing. I'm totally borrowing these mantras and leaving them in my most visited places! - 9/25/2010   5:37:15 PM
  • 203
    I have lost a total of 161 lbs and it is very slow going after two years of being on this journey. I take it 1 lb at a time and have set small goals for myself and that keeps me going. I probably have about 30 lbs to lose and it may take a couple of years to do it but, that's ok with me I'm not in a big hurry. - 9/23/2010   5:22:17 PM
  • 202
    Thank you! I really needed to read this - the road seems so long but I see that I need to focus on the smaller goals 5-10 lbs. at a time. - 9/19/2010   10:22:21 AM
  • 201
    You are so inspiring. I thank you. I don't know what made me read this particular blog. I just happened to click on it but am so glad I did. Like you, I have many disabilities and started in a hospital bed, then a wheel chair and now am only using the wheelchair for long distances away from home or on uneven terrain on our farm outside. I am up and walking now, even began exercising -- it feels like it's killing me, but I know it's saving me. I feel invigorated for the first time in a long time. Keep it up. I added a couple of your mantras to mine. Thanks for that. - 9/18/2010   8:51:11 PM
  • 200
    You are such an inspiration!!! You just pulled me out of my own pity party. I am going to keep these mantra's handy so I can refer to them everyday!! Thank you. - 9/18/2010   7:48:49 AM
  • 199
    Love it! Thank you! - 9/17/2010   9:54:27 AM
  • 198
    Thankyou so much I need to always remember one slice of pizza has less calories than TWO! - 9/16/2010   6:02:36 PM
  • 197
    LOVE these!!! I'm gonna have to snag a few of them! - 9/16/2010   6:01:40 PM
  • 196
    I loved the mantras, especially "Lose, maintain, just don't gain." Has a nice ring to it! - 9/16/2010   2:49:11 PM
  • 1BEACHWALKER
    195
    Really liked the mantra's - thank you. Keep going- you are doing good! C - 9/16/2010   12:15:03 AM
  • JACKIEOA
    194
    The blogging that you are doing keeps me from giving up. Keep on keeping on. - 9/15/2010   11:47:43 PM
  • BLUESPARKLES
    193
    You are amazing and inspiring!! - 9/15/2010   6:19:17 PM
  • GOODLUCKTUMMY
    192
    The thing that keeps me going is the possibility that i might be able to reverse my type2 diabetes. I hate the thought of having a 'disease'. - 9/15/2010   5:55:14 PM
  • 191
    Loved your blog and love your attitude. I have reach my weigh goal but i keep gaining back 5 or 6 pounds. I consider myself in maintenance and when i see the pounds creeping back up, i go over my goals and food intake and figure out what i'm doing wrong. Sometimes it as simple as changing my exercise routine. Congrats on the weight you have lost so far. You are doing great. - 9/15/2010   1:40:18 PM

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