How many times have you said to yourself that your are going to lose weight, but don’t do anything about it? Then one day this huge megaphone goes off in your head and you decide that’s you are going on a diet from right now! Yep that’s it i’m officially on a diet!
Hmm but the there is still that cake left from yesterday, oh and what about those chocolates left over from Christmas, ah and don’t forget the biscuits! It would be a shame to waste all that, I know what I’ll do, I’ll finish those off then I’ll start my diet!
So how do you actually motivate yourself to start losing weight? I do believe that there is a big difference between telling yourself that you need to lose weight to actually wanting to do something about it. What’s the difference? When you actually want to do it you will be more motivated to succeed. Suddenly those treats that you have around the house really don’t matter any more.
I told myself for months I needed to lose weight. Coming back from the cruise with my friends and seeing the photos really upset me, but I wasn’t it the right head space to do anything about it. Telling myself I was going to lose weight then would have just been a waste of time. I was going into hospital in early January for an operation so I needed to get that out of the way first.
I remember the day after I got out of hospital sitting on the sofa watching daytime TV. Suddenly this overwhelming desire to change came over me. I contacted my friend Nikki, Aka Fopperholics. She works for Slimming World and is one of the most inspirational women I have ever met. She not only lost 3 stone in 3 months but she kept it off. She looks absolutely gorgeous. She started working as a consultant and is now a really successful area manager.
I had decided there and then I was going to give Slimming World a go. I asked Nikki for advice. I’d moved to the village where I live 7 months earlier and didn’t know anyone. I was very nervous about going to a group on my own so thought I would do it on-line. I also told myself I would not have the time to go to a group – now I know that was me just trying to stay in my comfort zone!
Nikki told me about a group in the village and recommend going to group rather than on-line. She even introduced me to someone who went to that group. This was the motivation I needed. As I had only just come out of hospital I couldn’t drive. Nikki introduced me to Alex who offered me a lift. So the next day I went to my first Slimming World Group.
I told me husband what my plans were. I thought he would laugh but he was really supportive.
Even thought I knew I wanted to lose weight and was determined to do it, having the support of my husband and the group at Slimming World really turned talking about it into a reality.
The group was so welcoming and within a few weeks I could genuinely call some of the fellow members friends. Joining the Facebook community also became a great source of motivation.
So what advice do I have for you to get the motivation to start:-
- Be honest with yourself, would you like to lose weight or do you want to lose weight?
- Find a support network to help motivate you. I found the motivation from others doing Slimming World greater as we all had the same goal in mind.
- Don’t tell yourself you are on a diet. If you do, you will feel you are depriving yourself of anything nice. Its a weight loss journey. You are changing your eating habits not starving yourself.
- Do it for yourself.
These all seem very basic and simple but I do believe they are really important.
So you have decided to start your weight loss journey . You went to group and you are really going to stick to it. Of course you are!
Hmm well its my best friends birthday on Friday so that’s going to be tricky, oh and then I’m at that work conference next week!
Its all too easy to start to quickly get into bad habits even if you have the best intentions.
Loss of motivation can hit you at anytime. For some people its a few days in others it a few weeks or months in. Keeping motivated is hard but you can do it.
When I moved house I found a piece of paper from 20 years ago. It showed my weight and vital statistics. It was all screwed up and I almost put it in the bin. Something told me not to! Once I made the decision to lose the weight I knew I wanted to aim to be that person again. My husband said it was impossible as we all change as we grow older. I mean, I had a 26.5 inch waist for one! This didn’t phase me! I stuck it on the wall in my dressing table. I’d kept a photo of me at that sizn in my purse to give me another reminder!
I didn’t tell many of my friends and family I was doing it. Another of my closest friends though did join a different group the same week and I found it good to be able to share how we were doing with each other.
My biggest motivation was going to group every Wednesday night. I always stayed to group and sharing recipes, ideas, supporting each other when we didn’t lose what we expected really helped. Remember earlier I said I didn’t think I had time to go to group – well now I make time. That hour on a Wednesday is my time. Making that commitment really was a major decision and one I think was the best one of all.
As the weeks went on my weight started to fall off. I’ll be honest some weeks though it was only half a pound or I stayed the same. There was also occasionally a gain! I could have so easily have given up but I didn’t! Why? Because I had a goal. I was going to be that size on that piece of paper again! I also got a lot of support from the group, who reminded me of how far I had already come. You cannot underestimate the importance of your support group. Whether it be the group, family or friends.
As I lost weight people started to notice. The feeling that I got when people started playing me compliments was like winning the lottery. There were people who I never expected to even notice me going out of their way to say something. I felt amazing. That kept me going and going. I started telling people I was doing Slimming World. Instead of being embarrassed, I was proud. Work colleagues would ask me on a Thursday how my weigh in had gone. That spurred me on more.
I continued to go to the gym and I seemed to tone up so much more as the weight dropped.
Every month I would measure myself. Even if the weight hadn’t changed the inches had. I was getting closer and closer to the measurements on that old piece of paper. In June last year I got to a 27 inch waist! I’ve never hit 26.5 inches but lets be honest, I’m over the moon at that! I started my journey thinking I was going to still be a size 12. I couldn’t believe it when I bought a size 8 pair of trousers! I wanted to wear them with the label hanging out!
So how do you keep motivated?
- Set yourself realistic goals – if you have a large amount to lose, break it down – maybe a stone first then another stone.
- Set yourself realistic timescales – you won’t lose weight overnight.
- Focus on a specific achievement such as you want to get into a certain dress for a wedding etc.
- Make sure you have a good support network. I know I couldn’t have achieved so much without my Slimming World group, family, friends or work colleagues. I have a work colleague who does it on-line. To help her keep focused, I make her text me every weigh in morning to tell me how she has done. If I don’t get that text i’m straight onto her. I know if I didn’t do that, on bad weeks she wouldn’t have got on her scales. Even if you are having a bad week, you should still go to your group in weigh in. You will be more successful this way. You can draw a line under that week and move on.
- Don’t deprive yourself – food optimising means you can still enjoy your favourite food and drinks but in moderation.
- Measure yourself every month. You will be amazed how your body is changing.
- One bad day doesn’t make a bad week. If you do fall off the wagon get straight back on. Don’t feel guilty. You are not on a diet but on a weight loss journey. The reality is you will sometimes give in to temptation. That’s ok, just draw a line under it and get back on track.
- Write down what you eat, your body measure etc. Look back on it when you are having a bad day or week. You will be surprised how much you have already done.
- Think about what you want. Take a picture of it. For me it was that screwed up piece of paper with those measurements on it. Every time I was feeling demotivated, I reminded myself why I was doing this. For you it could be a dress you have seen, a holiday or just playing football with the children.
- Vary what you eat. Trying new recipes really helps keep things exciting and interesting.
- If you are due to eat out, check the menu in advance. It is much easier if you have time to prepare your food choices. Most restaurants are happy to adapt their menus for you. You can opt for salad rather than chips, leave the sauce on the side or one of my favourites is asking for a dairy free meal. A social event doesn’t mean you have to fall off the wagon.
- Get rid of your old clothes as you buy new ones. It will stop you falling back into your old habits!
The further you get into your journey the easier it gets. You start automatically looking for the healthier food choices. You feel better in yourself and you will also find if you go to group that you will start helping others who are just starting their journey. Sounds silly but this will also help you.
We are all human and we will sometimes lose our mojo. Just remember why you started this journey and keep going. You can do it. Love yourself you deserve it.