Tuesday, March 26, 2013
I was thinking about what I wanted to blog about today, but one of my groups helped me figure out a topic. A member mentioned she had fallen off the weight loss wagon and wanted to know how we were motivated to continue. I answered her in the forum, but I wanted to spend a bit more time fleshing out my ideas and being a bit more broad.
Motivation is what ends your streak of procrastination. It is the drive that tells you, "YES YOU CAN". It changes you from a "tomorrow" person to "today" person.
Before weight loss, you tell yourself you will lose weight tomorrow, while today you swing by Jack-in-the-Box for dinner. You know you need to lose, but you want to start fresh. But as soon as the new day comes, it seems like too much work to make a salad or pack your own lunch or choose healthy meals. And the cycle of procrastination wins.
And then one day, you get a wakeup call. Maybe it is that in order to be able to participate in a project, you must be at healthy BMI. Maybe the doctor diagnosed you with pre-diabetes or sleep apnea or high blood pressure. Maybe the actions in someone else's life send you to a screeching halt - a cardiac arrest, a death, a bypass surgery. Or maybe it is someone's success that spurs you into acting - a life-changing weight loss, a healthy, vibrant lifestyle.
Motivation gets you started. It is the bug that makes you leap off your chair and start making your life healthy. But what happens when the initial run wears off? What then? How do you keep yourself motivated when your body is aching for Oreos and milkshakes?
Well, the best motivation is when you actually start to see progress. When the weight falls off with your jeans, it's an AMAZING feeling!! Suddenly, it's not so hard to say "NO" to Oreos and milkshakes and burgers and fries and all those other so-good, so-bad-for-you foods. Suddenly, shopping isn't a chore. Suddenly, you start to like the "New You".
But to get to that point takes weeks and/or months. What then? What about the gap between starting and seeing progress?
I recommend accountability - one person that is there to listen when you are craving so badly and want to gnaw your arm off. Maybe that person has already lost a huge amount of weight. Maybe that person is a medical professional. Maybe that person is going through the journey with you. The important thing is to have someone to talk with and be honest with.
I recommend remembering why you started your journey - to get healthy. Remember: YOU ARE IMPORTANT ENOUGH TO BE HEALTHY. You DESERVE good health!
I recommend placing food in its proper place. Food is supposed to help us enjoy life, not BE life. Don't let food have control over you; YOU are the dominant one. YOU have control.
And I recommend realizing that you aren't perfect. Some days the scale isn't going to show us a number we want. Sometimes we don't exercise or drink enough water or choose healthy enough foods. Realize you aren't perfect and you don't have to be and most importantly, DON'T let that one hiccup make you give up.
YOU are worth good health. YOU have the control. Take that power you have and wrest it away from food. And realize that even if you slip, YOU have the power and control to take it back.