Secrets to staying Motivated?


Becky
on Apr 12, 2009 @ 03:27 am

We all have goals, whether its to lose weight, gain weight, tone up, build strength, endurance, whatever....

I personally find it quite easy to start the weightloss process (I want to lose about 16 lbs) and get on my healthy eating and exercise regime, but very hard to stay focused, motivated and continue with the plan.

Do you guys have any tips, tricks or secrets on how to stay motivated? Whether its in the health goal region or any other area in life, your ideas would be very helpful and who knows might even motivate me enough to shed these last few (dozen) pounds! :)

thanks for sharing!!
 

23 Replies


spotty
friends and partners on Apr 12, 2009 @ 07:06 pm

I find the best way to stay motivated and interested in any goal is to share it w/ friends. If you share a similar goal or interest, there's more excitement in the achievement. For example, I recently joined up w/ a cardio kickboxing class. I enjoy going for the crazy insane work out, but I also enjoy meeting new people there and fostering future friendships. I go for the health benefits, but what *really* gets me there is seeing my kickboxing friends.
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Ali de Bold
Write it down and pictures on Apr 13, 2009 @ 02:12 pm

I agree with Spotty's suggestions. I also find it very helpful to write things down and use pictures for visual reminders.

For example, if your goal is to lose 16 lbs, write it down and how you plan to achieve that.

Plot into your calendar a minimum of 3 workout days per week and STICK TO IT NO MATTER WHAT.

Write out a menu plan and a list of foods you will avoid. The foods I avoid whenever possible are:

*Anything with artificial flavours, colours or ingredients
*Anything with sucralose, aspartame, hydrogenated oils, MSG or any ingredient I can't pronounce.
*Anything deep fried
*All soft drinks

I try to eat things I know are made with natural ingredients. That means mostly making your own food, or ordering carefully when at a restaurant. That means you want to avoid lots of extra sauces, dips, etc and stick to things that are simple like salad with balsamic and olive oil dressing with chicken, thin crust pizzas with fresh veggies and herbs, grilled chicken, no cream sauces in pasta, etc.

When you work out, write out the workout you intend to achieve before you go and stick to it no matter what. Your workout should not exceed 1 hour or you will not want to go back after your first one. Push yourself past your level of comfort. When doing weights you want to push yourself at least 2 reps past the burn. Stretch a lot in between sets. Cardio should be at least 20 - 30 minutes and if you aren't sweating, you aren't pushing yourself enough.

Choose a picture from a magazine to motivate you - BUT choose one that is close to your body type, not a super model with proportions you'd have to be born with or undergo surgery to achieve. If you have a love/hate relationship with the fridge, put that picture on the fridge until you achieve your goal.

Chart your progress not with the scale but with a measuring tape. Losing weight can be deceptive, because initially you are losing water weight, and muscles are heavier than fat. The measuring tape will show you lost inches in all of the key places vs a number on the scale. Don't cheat when taking measurements ;)

Above all, try to enjoy the process. This is you taking control of something in life that can give you measurable results. Buy some good tunes, download to your Ipod and make this part of your "me time".
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ren1
Take "before" pictures on Apr 14, 2009 @ 01:05 am

I took a bunch of "before" pictures once a month last year as I was training with a personal trainer. I found that it was better indication of results, instead of looking at the scale. It was also very motivating to see yourself getting trimmer in certain places when you compare the pictures.
Just make sure you have a good hiding place for the pics though. I would never let anyone see my before pics. :)

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Becky
Thanks everyone!! :) on Apr 14, 2009 @ 07:27 pm

Good point about having a workout buddy. I think I'd tend to stick it out more if I had someone to work out with but unfortunately my bff is picture perfect and has no need for the gym :( She's actually my motivation right now, because there was a time when I was thinner than her!


I think once I'm done my finals (and lose my last excuse to not 'start') and actually start trying to diet and exercise, I'm going to post or blog about my current status, goal, and progress. And I hope you guys will comment on it and help keep me motivated and accountable :)


I think the plotting on calendar is a great idea!! I'll go and buy a large Year Calendar from G&T;tomorrow and stick it on my wall to keep myself accountable. I already took a few "before" (current) pictures *shudder* .... I think I'll take one of the pics of a few months back when I was at my ideal weight to remind myself of what I can be if i just try. Knowing me, I'm afraid that if I take a magazine picture, one night when I'm craving for ice cream, I'll convince myself their weight is unachievable for me, "and its photoshop'ed anyways", and end up pigging out. Better that it's a picture of me so I can't convince myself that its fake or not possible for my body type.


I'm so paranoid when I'm dieting/exercising. I look at the scale twice a day and freak out when I'm two pounds heavier hehe :) measuring tape is probably a good idea for me, gotta train myslf to avoid the scale because when i don't see a shift in weight I tend to lose my motivation...


Everyone says to cut back on coffee (even though caffeine is the active ingredient in most weightloss products..wierd! then again if those products worked as well as they claim, they wouldn't sell 'cuz ppl won't need them!). I'm so addicted to coffee though that until I have my morning fix I have a splitting headache. On a normal day I have 3 - 4 mugs of coffee. I'm trying to cut back to 1, maybe 2. Today I had my morning coffee, and none after that so right now I have a burning headache :( but i'm trying!


You know MC you're absolutely right, this is a project that i'm doing on myself, taking control of something in life that I can actually take control of and change...


Thats actually exactly how I thought of it last year when after realizing that I had ballooned up to 160 lbs (So basically I was as wide as I was tall.. and I gotta tell you, it was freaky how my weight went from 100 lbs to 160 lbs overnight! I so did not see that coming!) but anyways, I developped the mentality that I really can't control or change most things in life, but my weight I can do something about. I saw myself as a project and experimented, and had fun. I actually remember thinking "oh i'm done already" when I had reached my "ideal weight"...hehe :) of course I would only ever think that when I have no more weight I can lose and still stay healthy. Now I'm thinking along the lines of "can I still do it? I'm a year older, maybe i can't do it anymore!" :-p


I read really good reviews on chickadvisor about a gym near my work (http://www.flirtygirlfit.com) and as soon as my finals finish I plan on going few times a week (will definately be on my calendar!) it looks like fun! :)



Also, have you guys heard of the "Sketchers - Shape Ups" ? These are shoes that supposedly give you a workout as you're wearing them. Any idea on how good they would be?


Thanks for your responses everyone!!! :)

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Ali de Bold
Before pictures on Apr 14, 2009 @ 10:07 pm

I do those as well. Definitely keep in a safe place as they can come back to haunt. Especially if you have opted to take them in your underwear ;)
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mamaluv
caffeine and evil diet pills on Apr 15, 2009 @ 12:21 am

Caffeine is a diuretic, which means that it purges water. Have you noticed that about 20-30 minutes after you've had some coffee you have to pee? Yeah, that's the caffeine talking (or should I say, tinkling?)

The reason those diet pills "work" is that they help you lose the water weight. Problem #1 is that you need water and unless you are drinking like a camel to compensate, you may end up dehydrated. Problem #2 is that your body will eventually forcibly compensate and suddenly you'll find yourself gaining back a few pounds... then you give up on the diet, maybe one day you start up again with the pills and bygosh'nbygolly you lose 5 pounds the first week again! Water weight.

It's just like on the show Biggest Loser (NBC), where the contestants lose 20 pounds the first week or two but then slow right down to 2-5 pounds... and that's with working out with the professional trainers and eating a very controlled diet.

Basically, I wouldn't put much faith in the diet pills - there's no such thing as a free lunch :(

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Becky
you're right on Apr 18, 2009 @ 09:29 pm

You're so right, there's no magic pill, no matter how much i wish there was! In the past I tried soooo many diet pills, so i really do know they don't work. Some swear by Hydroxycut or Xenedrine, etc (i've tried both), and say that it helps them work out harder. but imo at best, they work on a mental level where you think its working so you eat healthier, stay more motivated, exercise harder, etc and do see results.

Now that i've finally finished my finals for this semester, i'm going to go to Flirty Girl gym on Monday :)

I went to Sketchers @ Eaton Centre and checked out the Shape Ups - they're only available in bright white or tan sneaker styles, which I obviously can't wear to work. I walk so much everyday during the day, I really need it to be work appropriate. They are coming out with a black mary-jane style, and believe it or not there's a waiting list for that shoe, my name is now on it too :) I can't wait to get it!!! I'll definately let you guys know how it is once i do!

Meanwhile I walked for about 9hrs yesterday (went to the mall with newly married friend to help her honeymoon shop) about about 4hrs today. One thing I definately have to do is drink more water, which is a big problem for me, i just can't drink lots of water! hmm... any ideas on how I can make myself drink more?

And..... i finally took my "before" pictures.... i almost fainted!! I can't believe i look SO BIG!!! my before pics of now and back when I was 160 lbs really doens't look that much different!!! I remember how hard it was for me to lose weight last time, I can't believe i let myself gain so much back.. :( oh well at least i realized now! better late then never, right?

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mamaluv
water on Apr 20, 2009 @ 01:06 pm

I also don't really like water unless I'm very thirsty. What does work for me is dropping in a lemon slice, let it sit for a few minutes and then drink (so the water takes on a lemony flavor). It's not strong, but it somehow is more palatable. I also can drink almost unlimited amounts of mineral water (Pelligrino is my fave, Perrier is ok in a pinch), but that's a love it/hate it thing.

My friend swears by Crystal Light which you can get in many flavors. Very low calories and carbs, tastes pretty good BUT it's made with artificial sweeteners&chemicals (aspartame or Splenda or something) - if this doesn't matter to you, try them! Finally, you could try a strong flavored fruit juice (cranberry, pomegranate, orange) and dilute it to half strength. Juice is really high in natural sugars, so it's not a great idea to drink too much if you are watching the calories.
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artist
What works for you... on Apr 20, 2009 @ 09:27 pm

I am happy to hear that you are committing to an diet and exercise program, Becky! That is awesome news! It all sounds really good, except I have to offer one piece of advice to you and everyone else who is trying to get in shape and be healthier.

It is advisable not to weigh yourself 2x/per day. It's too often to track any real changes. Have you ever noticed that perhaps before your period, your weight may seem higher than usual? Or, in the evening your weight is 1-2 pounds heavier than you were this morning? A person's weight (esp a woman's) fluctuates throughout the day and during certain times throughout the month.

For better motivation, stick to weighing yourself less often, once per week, at the same time that day during the week. This way, the progress you make will seem much more significant. If you weigh yourself too many times, it may appear that the pounds are not shedding and you are not getting anywhere. This could lead to more frustration and feeling like your efforts are not being rewarded.

Keep in mind too, that the weight you lose in the beginning is mostly water weight (as most have said) and taking your measurements and observing how your clothes feel/fit are better trackers for success!

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Becky
so far... on Apr 24, 2009 @ 06:02 pm

Well I've stuck to my "diet" for a week now, ok ok since last monday, so technically 5 days. I used to always find that the first week would be brutal as that would be the one where i'd get the cravings for junk, but if I could hold past it, it got easier. Saying that though, I didn't feel too badly this week at all! I feel pretty good actually, I also haven't weighed myself at all since I started, I think i'm a bit scared to weigh myself. If I haven't dropped a few pounds, I'll feel disheartened and give up, and I don't want that to happen.


So I'm not going to weigh myself, I'm going to do what Artist and Misschickie suggests and measure myself against how my clothes fit, inches, etc....


My day sort of looks like this:
Breakfast - coffee (probably around 150 cals, I don't know for certain. Its made by Avalon Gourmet machine, I've emailed them for nutrition guide, its not on the web. )
Lunch - Slimfast shake OR a box of Celery OR a Salad
Afternoon snack - fruits (mostly papaya or melon, or strawberries)
Dinner - A small handful of rice with veges or daal or chicken or fish.


I'm trying to cut down to just 2 coffee's a day... I'm probably holding myself back with these two though.


Can you guys think of what else I can do or how I can improve? I've not started exercising yet. Even though school is done, its just been surprisingly busy lately and i've not had the chance to hit flirtygirls. I have a treadmill at home, but I need to position it before I can use it. Any tips on exercising?


Also, do any of you know where to find a roller blading instructructor? I've wanted to learn to rollerblade for mannnyyy years now, but no go. I think if I hire someone to teach me I might end up actually learning.

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