Wednesday, January 16, 2013
A big part of why my weight loss has been different this time around is because I have celebrated goals, big and small. Sparkpeople recommends that you set goals and reward yourself when you get to those goals, which motivates you to keep going. This really works!
My first big reward was when I lost 25 pounds. I got an mp3 player, which I loved because it was useful for when I went on my walks. At 40 or 45 pounds down, I bought some shampoo that I'd been wanting. Once I'd lost over 100 pounds, I got a Vera Bradley purse. Other than those, I haven't really bought myself a lot of stuff because we don't always have a ton of extra money. I would get new clothes as needed, but I never went crazy and spent a lot because it's kind of pointless when you won't be wearing them for that long.
Sparkpeople recommends not rewarding yourself with food. This is hard, I know. I know you feel like sometimes you shouldn't have to count calories, and I don't on days like my birthday or on Thanksgiving Day, but if you constantly reward yourself with food treats, it kind of defeats the purpose. Of course you can have a dessert if you have enough calories for the day. I have eaten desserts regularly and I think not depriving yourself is a way of losing weight because you're not on a DIET.
So, think of things you want and can afford, and get them when you reach those goals. It really does feel good to earn your new purse, or jewelry, or manicure, or whatever it is you like.
Another thing that is super important is celebrating your accomplishments. Be proud of all of them! You have a right to be proud of yourself when you've worked so hard for something. I remember the first time I noticed my collarbones stuck out again and the first night I realized I could easily feel my ribs. The first time I ran a mile without stopping made me feel amazing. When I have a great workout, I post it online for my friends and family to see. Some people may think this is bragging, but I am not trying to brag. I am just happy. I see no difference in me posting about my 3 mile run in under 30 than in someone else posting about a new car they got or some place fun they went. It makes me happy, so I post it.
Losing weight is a long process, and you have to find a way to be happy, even when your final goal is still a long ways away. Also, when you celebrate your victories, it helps hold you accountable because people will wonder what you're up to when you suddenly aren't talking about workouts anymore. Don't be afraid to say how great you're doing thinking you'll jinx yourself. Talk about your progress and know that you'll be doing even more in the future. It also motivates people to see a real person doing something they have been thinking about doing, so you are helping others when you talk about your healthy lifestyle. Never stop setting goals and keep working toward them, and you really will amaze yourself.