Let’s face it – unless you’ve lived under a rock your entire your life, you pretty much know that getting to a healthy weight is a balance between eating right (sufficient amount of good foods) and exercise (more than just getting up to change the channel). It’s not rocket science, so why do so many of us have problems with it? Because for a lot of us, doing what’s right isn’t what’s easiest and isn’t what’s popular. Here are my top 10 tips, learned from experience, for lighting a fire under the junk in your trunk:
1. Get Angry. Don’t you know that anger can be channeled to fuel a positive goal? Get angry if you have taken your health for granted. Get angry if too much time has passed being at a plateau or being unhappy about your weight. Channel that naysayer voice that says you can’t do something and then do everything you can to prove it wrong!
2. Think of Accomplished Goals. What has been a common theme that has propelled you to achieve goals in other aspects of your life? Find this common denominator and apply it to weight loss!
3. Make a List. List out your goals in increments. Have 50 pounds to lose? Start with a goal of losing 5 pounds in a month and a half. You will keep yourself accountable this way and won’t get overwhelmed.
4. Get a Giant Calendar. It’s hard to ignore that you didn’t exercise two days in a row when it’s written in permanent black ink on a giant calendar. Ate a gazillion calories yesterday? Knowing that every time you look at today’s date will remind you to make up for it today. Don’t try to escape your screw-ups. Embrace them as motivation to move forward with more gusto then before.
5. Break out the Bullhorn. Sometimes we get a little embarrassed telling other people about our weight loss goals. Why? Because we don’t want them to know if we fail. It’s odd, but we’re sometimes more accountable to others than ourselves. Do what you have to do. Everyone and their momma knows I’m trying to lose my last 10 pounds and that helps keep me motivated.
6. Be a Fit Bird. Birds of a feather flock together? Then pick a flock that’s headin’ where you want to go. Some people think one’s health goals are an isolated venture and in one aspect they are — only you can truly decide to put down that burger and get on the treadmill unless you literally have some drill sergeant on you 24/7 – but in the grand scheme of things, unless you’re a hermit, your life includes outside influences and other people. It helps if your friends want to work-out and eat healthy instead of laying on the couch eating carne asada French fries from a drive-thru.
7. Make it Fun. Life is too short to hate exercise or hate healthy food and, if this is going to be a life-long lifestyle thing for you, you need to find a way to enjoy it! Experiment with foods and exercise. Find ways to love it!
8. Live and Breathe it. You can find motivation to keep going from anywhere! I call these sources of “second-hand motivation.” I find them in watching shows like The Biggest Loser, in reading healthy-living blogs, in seeing my fit friends work out every day, etc. You can find motivation from anything and anyone if you’re looking for it and open to it.
9. Have Positive Thoughts. I can’t believe how much time is wasted on negative thoughts and people. Stay positive and you can bounce back if you fall off the wagon. Positive energy is contagious and it carries through in all aspects of our lives. Go through life with a smile and you’ll find you want to achieve your goals and they’ll even feel more accessible.
10. Remember the Why. Don’t lose sight of why getting to a healthy weight is important to you. We all have our reasons and I’ve known them to be as simple as “I want to wear a bathing suit this summer and feel good” to “I want to be around for my grandchildren.” There is no lesser “why” when it comes to your health. Don’t keep your why in the back of your mind; keep it at the forefront all the time. Write it on a post-it and tape it to your forehead if you have to. Your why is your reason, your go-to when you want to give up. You won’t want to give up if your why compels you to move forward.
Annabel Adams is certified by experience, and by her opinionated nature, to give advice on all matters health-related. Over the past six years she has lost and maintained a loss of 150 pounds. Visit Annabel’s site at www.FeedMeImCranky.com.
About the Author: Co-founder of Girl, Get Strong! Melanie Berezan is a Vancouver writer, adventure seeker, traveler and mom of four young superheroes. She has been a feature contributor for publications including Gal Time, Mom Central and Diets in Review. Melanie is currently working on a novel and a collection of short stories. For more information about Melanie or to contact her, visit MelanieBerezan.com