Is it possible to keep going with your weight loss program after slipping up, or even after going on an all out binge? Can you really regain your motivation to lose weight after getting so far off track?
I believe you can (I’ve done it before!), but it’s not necessarily easy. Once you give in to old habits and/or food addictions, it’s very easy to just stay there. Why? Because it’s comfortable. If you have been an emotional eater for years, have the habit of binging on sweets each night after work, or are used to a sedentary lifestyle, once you go back to those ways you know them, you know exactly what to expect.
While those old ways of eating and (not) exercising aren’t going to get you what you want, you know what happens and there are no surprises. You’re comfortable there. It might be unfamiliar, even scary to change your lifestyle, to change your eating and exercise habits. But what about your desire to lose weight? What happened to it?
When you initially start choosing healthier foods, eating only when hungry and exercising, at that time you are excited and motivated, you want to lose weight, you want to get healthy. You are hopeful about getting the weight off and seeing the results.
After a few days or weeks, you might start missing your old lifestyle. Change takes conscious effort, and you might start having thoughts of “just a little won’t hurt”. If that “just a little” is one of your old binge foods, or contains ingredients you just can’t seem to stop eating (sugar, for example), you might just find yourself sliding right back into your old, unhealthy ways. In my experience, once this happens, it’s hard to even find motivation to exercise.
So can you truly get your motivation back, that excited motivation that you had in the beginning? Yes! One of the quickest ways is by reviewing why you embarked on a weight loss plan in the first place. If you haven’t written down what is motivating you yet, now is the perfect time to do so. Of course, if in the beginning you never really clarified what was motivating you beyond the thought “I want to lose weight”, now is definitely the time to do that! 😉
What I’ve found is that it’s easy to forget why I wanted to lose weight in the first place when I’m faced with the desire to eat over my emotions, or am experiencing food cravings. If I keep those motivations forefront in my mind, then I stand a better chance of staying on track with my weight loss goals. What has worked the best for me is writing those motivations down either in my journal, or on 3×5 cards. Otherwise, in the “heat of the moment” of wanting instant gratification through food, I’m more likely to give in when I cannot even remember what my goals are. Of course, I have to keep them handy and actually read them. 🙂
The quicker that you can get yourself back on track and in line with your original goals, the better. It is possible to just pick yourself up and keep going after a slip, but unfortunately, it’s often easier to continue on with your old habits once you get back into them. However, if you consciously focus on what motivated you to start a weight loss plan in the first place, you can get back on track. It might not always be easy, but if I can do it, I know that you can, too!