It can be so easy to lose your weight loss motivation and you know where it all starts? In your head! Yep, that’s right, it’s those sneaky thoughts telling you that, “you deserve a break, no need to work out this week”, or “hey, you’ve worked so hard, why not indulge in those sweets, it’s a holiday/birthday/Friday/rainy day after all!”
Well hey, if you can take a week off from exercising and get right back at it the next week, working out at least 5 days a week from then on, or if you can have sweets every 2 or 3 weeks without heading into a full-out binge (us sugar addicts need to stay away from that refined sugar and white flour) then more power to ya – you can probably stop reading right here. 😉
What I’m talking about is based on my own experience where the word “moderation” doesn’t fit when it comes to that sugared, salted, unhealthy fatted processed food, and if I start taking too many days off from exercising it’s easy for me to lose that momentum I had built up before.
Where Does It All Fall Apart?
In my experience, here’s what happens: if I buy into those thoughts that I can slide and I’ll be ok, it’s really easy for me to head into a period of no exercise and poor eating habits. Yep, I do need to stay on top of things every day and what this mainly means is how I’m thinking. If I get out of my healthy eating and exercise routine then I can easily start thinking some not so healthy thoughts, like I may as well just give up!
However, what’s really cool is that you can always turn everything around with just a simple change in thought. That’s right – you can always think a different thought and if you choose an uplifting, inspiring, motivating thought instead of an unhealthy, negative thought about yourself, then you can make a change in your focus in the blink of an eye.
5 Tips to Keep Your Head in the Weight Loss Game
Even though all you can make a change with just a shift in your thinking, if you’re feeling stuck in a big ‘ole bag of negative thinking you might need a little push to get back in the habit of thinking better thoughts about yourself and your life.
Here are 5 tips that have worked for me to keep my mind in the weight loss and fitness game:
- Get Support – Whether you have a weight loss/work out buddy who you walk with each day, a weight loss coach who you hold yourself accountable to, or an online weight loss forum that you actively participate in, it’s much easier to stay on track when you’ve got support. If you try to go it alone it’s far too easy to stray. And of course, you can always use Twitter for some extra accountability (read more about how I’m doing that here).
- Set Your Goals and Read Them every day – It’s one thing to take the time to write down your goals but if you stick them in a drawer, they’ll quickly be forgotten. Here’s a simple trick to help you keep your goals in mind throughout the day. All you need is a pack of 3×5 cards and you’re off to the races, the weight loss races that is. 😉
- Get Moving – Your body can help you keep your motivation up, really! After just 30 minutes of sustained cardio (I prefer paced walking) those endorphins will be flowing and you’ll get an automatic mood lift, not to mention the feeling of positive accomplishment you’ll feel. This will make it all the easier to keep on going with your weight loss plan and focus on the positive.
- Focus on the Good Stuff – If you want to eat clean because you’ve experienced the benefits of it before (more energy, weight loss, freedom from the sugar cravings), the best thing to do is focus on the whole foods that you like. If instead you spend your time constantly thinking about your favorite binge foods that you “can’t have” (actually you can always choose to eat whatever the heck you want but there’s no guarantee you’ll feel good afterwards 😉 ), you’ll actually be creating a stronger bond to them. What you think about most of the time is what you’ll get, so if you spend your time thinking about how good you feel eating healthy foods, getting regular exercise, you’ll get more of the same.
- Forgive and Release the Past – This one is along the same lines as the previous tip – if you focus on your past weight loss failures, guess what you’ll get more of? You’ll drive yourself right into another weight loss failure, especially if you’re an emotional eater. Thinking about your failures will make you feel kinda down and you could end up turning to food. Instead, work on forgiving yourself for your past actions and release them – you can’t do anything about the past anyway, but you can do something about now and create your future.
Weight Loss – a Big Mind Game
Weight loss really is a mind game – and sure, we’ve got to take physical action to make better food choices, use portion control, heal and end emotional eating and get regular exercise, but if head isn’t in the game (and you’re like me), you’ll have a hard time maintaining your motivation to lose weight.5 Tips to Keep Your Head in the Weight Loss Game