Is the Motivation to Lose Weight Ruining Your Progress?
At some point in your life, you’ve been sitting on the couch watching your favourite film or series and thought to yourself. “I do need to lose weight.” Then, with this thought, there was a rush of excitement and pleasure that you had come to a conclusion and made a decision to improve things.
You were going to make yourself fitter, healthier, and ultimately feel better. Things will be great!
Now you have made this decision. You decided to change your diet and go all out to try and make this work. This was going to be your year!
You were eating more fruit and vegetables, watching how much oil you were using to cook with, and even drinking more fruit juice. Things were going great until they weren’t. Your motivation started to slow and started to wane a little bit each day.
Day by day, you started eating non-healthy foods, and you found you weren’t exercising as much as you used to. Before you knew it, you were back to square one, feeling more annoyed and frustrated with yourself than when you first embarked on this journey.
So what the hell was going on?
It’s that “M” word we all love in the good times and hate in the bad times. Motivation.
What is Motivation?
Motivation means different things to different people. For those who know how to harness this powerful force and can do amazing things. Not just amazing things, but make things much better in your life, depending on the sort of motivation you are feeling.
Many things motivate us. However, it usually comes from the point of pain, embarrassment, and frustration. I am feeling that this is as bad as it gets, and you need to do something about it.
The problem with motivation is we all have it. Getting it is not usually the problem. Maintaining it and be consistent is usually the problem here. Taking positive actions is easy, staying the course, much harder.
So what do we do?
The first thing you need to do is celebrate the small wins. If you have lost weight through healthy eating and exercise, no matter how much it is. You need to celebrate the fact.
The moment you start seeing positive changes in your body, and you start feeling better within yourself.
Pat your self on the back and be proud. It’s celebrating those small wins that make it easier to carry on a press through the hard times. The key is to push through it by celebrating the small wins.
After a while, you were starting to build momentum and also get into a routine of doing things. For some people, they find it harder to stop than to carry on. You are now on the powerful journey of habit-forming.
You’ve been consistently doing the right things for so long that you have started to form a pattern that is now hard to break. Now, staying the course isn’t work, it’s easy. You do what you have done as it now comes naturally to you.
Now, this comparison is a little crude, but it should cement the idea. You were taught to brush your teeth twice a day. Once in the morning and then at night. How many days have you gone without sticking to this schedule or routine? I bet you can’t even remember?
That’s because you learned to form this habit from a very young age and now it is ingrained in your physique. To do anything differently now will be alien to you. You don’t even think about it anymore.
So how do we tie this to losing weight?
You need to start small and build.
Whatever we read and whatever we watch, we’re told that we need to set ourselves ambitious targets. But, when it comes to losing weight, this is the wrong approach.
Yes, having lofty targets help some people, but, for the majority, it doesn’t. You will find it much easier to maintain your motivation if you break things off in small chunks.
Don’t restrict yourself too much at the start (don’t go cold turkey) ease into things gradually.
Don’t cut out all the healthy foods at once. Instead, steadily reduce the foods you over some time.
If you approach this from a slow and steady method, you will find it much easier to remain consistent, which in turn builds real momentum. As you build the momentum, you find it much easier to stick to your schedule. This is where that habit-forming comes (what we discussed earlier), and you are now on the cusp of doing something great.
The great thing with momentum is. Even if you fall off the wagon a few times, it is so much easier to get back on the horse and pick up from where you left off.
If you find that this approach works for you, then there’s no reason why you can’t start applying it to the rest of your life — basically the reinforcement of positive behaviours all down to starting small and then building.
Now It’s Time To Scale Up
Now you have this tremendous new habit, and you now have this momentum, now is the best time to scale things up.
You started slow and steady. Now you want to start setting some goals and increase everything slowly. If you were going to the gym twice a week, start going three times.
If you were doing 20 reps on the bench press, go for 25 reps instead. If you were going out for a run once a week, why not try going twice a week? Start to ramp things up since you have built up a nice steady stream of momentum.
If you haven’t tried it, I encourage you to try it for a month. You’ll be surprised by the results.
Another Thing That Just Works
If you have ever struggled to get motivated to exercise, have you tried warming up before you exercise?
Try warming up each time, and you slowly start to feel more comfortable starting a session. I think it’s a positive way to take your mind off the task at hand? That’s why it’s so effective.
Now, your own personal ritual might be completely different, and you might go about things differently. Whatever makes you feel more comfortable before a workout. Do that.
The Bottom Line on Motivation
You may or may not have noticed that we have cheated a little bit in this article. The main headline mentions motivation. However, all the way through this article, I have talked about routine and building good habits. That’s because this is much easier to understand as a concept than trying to explain motivation as a core topic.
People have tried and failed so much because their definition of motivation is the wrong definition. What they concentrated on was building themselves up to that next BIG task, instead of starting slow and steady, building a habit and then building momentum.