Let’s Talk About Winter Bods
So let’s talk about motivation. If anyone tells you that they stay motivated 100% of the time, they are lying. For me, motivation is like a bug. You might catch it, and it might stick around for a while, or it might be more like a 24 hour thing. (Not that anyone would WANT a bug to stick around for a while, so maybe that was a bad example?)
We might have the same GOAL for an extended period of time, or our sights fixated on one particular thing for a long while… but are we truly MOTIVATED every step of the way? For me, the answer is a definite NO. Whether it be work, health, cleaning habits…anything. I get motivated, stay motivated, then at some point, for some reason… it just drops off! Sometimes this lack of motivation puts me right back where I started, and other times, I still push through, but don’t enjoy what I’m doing at all.
When I think of motivation, I mainly think of my health and fitness goals. Keeping myself motivated in this area is SO HARD for me and so EASY to make my last priority. I am very goal driven, but when the only person who really cares about my goal is me… I tend to put it off. It’s not like I’m meeting a “real” deadline. I know this is a truly self-defeating mindset and I have to work every day to overcome it. For as long as I can remember, my weight and fitness habits have gone up and down like a roller coaster! It hasn’t been until lately, that I have finally found what works for me. I have tried so many diet pills, fad diets, supplements, groups, books, apps, and clubs and I’ll tell you a secret. Every single one of them WORKS. Every single one of them works but temporarily and that is just not a lifestyle.
Can I afford to buy a new $100 bottle of something crazy every two weeks? NO, nor do I want to. Can I physically never eat a carb again in order to keep my body from rebounding and gaining everything back? 100% BIG FAT NO. (Carbs are my favorite, mac and cheese hello!!!) Every time I’ve tried a new “diet” I’m left empty after it’s hype is no longer with me and I back slide into an even WORSE version of myself than I was before. What does work is simply…balance. Unfortunately, this is the hardest thing to master and it requires patience. (Not my strong suit.) If you want to eat the cookie, do it. Does this mean you need to eat cookies every day? No. You will more than likely not meet your goal, unless your goal is to be on a sugar high, bloated, and have broken out skin. I encourage everyone to find the “Lifestyle Diet” that works for them. Everyone has different dietary needs and ethics whether you are gluten free, low carb, low fat, low cholesterol, vegan, pescatarian, and the list goes on and on. Once you decide what works for you, you need to find a way to stay motivated.
In February of 2017 I was only 5 pounds away from my ultimate goal. I was my most confident self and loving every minute of it. I was stronger than I’d ever been, gaining so much flexibility, fit into almost all of my old clothes, my skin was clear, my mind was clear, and I was full of energy. A few months later, I was taken over by stress and found myself in a worse condition that I was before I started. Ahhh the never-ending cycle, but it doesn’t have to be like that. If only I could have found a way to stay motivated, I wouldn’t have to keep STARTING OVER! I’m still currently working on getting back to February Kaleigh. My motivation meter may not always be at 100, and that’s okay, but I’m working hard to keep it above 50.
Want Some Real Life Tips?
Here are some of my methods I use to stay motivated! I use these in relations to fitness/health goals, but you can apply them to any area of life you feel you are lacking a DRIVE. Keep in mind that it’s not all about the number on the scale. Losing weight and being a healthier YOU is more about how YOU feel in your own skin and in your clothes.
My #1 tip is: TAKE PROGRESS PICTURES. As awkward as it may be, your pictures will speak far more loudly than the scale. Put on your bathing suit (or even your birthday suit). Stand in front of a full length mirror and snap a photo. Do a front, back, and side view. Take weekly photos and compare them side by side! You can very easily see the changes that your body is making over time!
Create A Visual: Create a vision board or even just post a few pictures/quotes around your room to serve as a constant reminder of your goals. Post pictures of YOU from a time you were AT your goal and pictures of you now.
Creative Tracking: I place two jars side by side, one labeled “Pounds to Go” and one labeled, “Pounds Lost”. I put one pebble or marble for each pound I want to lose in one jar. As I lose, I place the pebble in the other jar. If I gain anything back, I have to remove it and put it back in the pounds to go jar. It’s like a fun game with yourself, and it totally stinks to move a marble back. You can also use the pebbles to mark how many days in row you have done something. Maybe you struggle with drinking soda, or eating fast food, or you want to do more push-ups… Every day you do, or don’t do, the task at hand… move a pebble.
Post It Notes: I cut my post it notes straight across, two times, so that I now have 3 small sections of post it note. On each section I put a weight, starting at my current weight, and ending with my goal weight. I then put the post it notes along my closet door. Each time I have gone down a pound, I throw away a note! It’s fun to WATCH your notes disappear!
Set a few goals and WRITE THEM DOWN. Writing it down makes it REAL.
Create 3 goals at one time. A short term, a mid term, and a long term.
Rewards (This is my favorite way to justify buying new clothes!)
Set mini-rewards, and GOAL rewards. Maybe you weigh 170, your short term goal is 160, but when you hit 165 you get to give yourself a glass of wine! (I’m not big on food rewards, because it could easily derail your progress, but sparingly, it’s okay!) Then when you hit your short term goal, you reward yourself with flowers! (or a new nail polish, or headphones, or whatever it is you like!) I like to increase my rewards with the goal! For instance, when I hit my mid-term goal maybe I’ll have a spa day and when I hit my long term goal, I’ll book my vacation!
Tell someone your goals and deadlines. Say, “Mom, I want to lose 10 pounds by January 14. Make sure you ask me every week how much I weigh and how much closer I am to my goal.”
Social Media: You can also let the WORLD hold you accountable if you’re brave enough to do so! Maybe post a scale picture, or a progress picture, or your goals on social media! Once you’ve told the world, YOU HAVE TO FOLLOW THROUGH!
Like-Minded Friends: Find a workout buddy and don’t let them down! Surround yourself with friends who have the same interests as you.
Keep it FRESH: Don’t get stuck doing the same song and dance every day. If you normally go hard in the gym, switch it up and try a yoga class or cycle class. If you usually do high reps, low weight, try higher weight, lower reps. Explore new things. Get creative with your exercise and have fun with it!
Scan your Food: It’s quite simple really. If you want to get healthier, the first thing you have to do is be cautious of what you are putting in your mouth. Download a food tracker app and scan your food to track your calories. No one wants to scan in chocolate cake or Taco Bell.
Leave me a comment below and tell me what keeps you motivated or what your routine looks like! We learn from each other!
“Just think of where you would be if you stopped starting over.”