“The measure of your success usually comes down to who wins the battle that rages between the two of you. The ‘you’ who wants to stop, give up, or take it easy, and the ‘you’ who chooses to beat back that which would stand in the way of your success – complacency.” Chris Widener

No matter how motivated you may be to stick with your weight loss and exercise program, there will come those days when it feels like one part of you is fighting against the other.

One side wants to give in and eat that food that you’ve been craving since yesterday, and the other part is reminded of being uncomfortable in too-tight pants. One side wants to just lay on the couch after work instead of going for that walk or doing strength building exercises, while the other part knows you will feel better after the exercise.

I was inspired by Chris Widener’s quote which I found in his article titled “Finding Motivation: What to do when you don’t feel like doing anything”. This link will take you to his site where you can view his full article. Below I have included his article headlines and under each I have added my own comments:

Honestly evaluate whether or not you need a break.
While it is not advisable to take a break from eating healthy foods, especially if you are addicted to sugar, flour, and fat, perhaps you need to take a day off from exercise. If you exercise every day of the week, this could lead to burnout. Try exercising five days a week instead of seven. I myself, walk five days a week, and I do miss it when I don’t. Chris also covers the topic of exercise in his article.

You can take a break from thinking about your weight loss progress. Weigh yourself only once a week and trust that by eating healthy and exercising that you will drop the weight. Find an activity that you are passionate about that will take the focus off of food and weight loss.

Start small.
Yesterday I posted a list of nine options that you could take to start making small changes in your lifestyle rather than going on a diet. You don’t necessarily have to change everything all at once, you can start with a small, positive change and add more changes later.

Change your routine.
If you are bored with your exercise routine, maybe you need to change it up. It can also get very boring if you eat the same foods over and over. Even though they are healthy, it can lead to burnout and cravings for the unhealthy stuff. Try a new recipe, try a new fruit or vegetable that you’ve never eaten before. Buy only one at the grocery store and see whether or not you like it.

Reward yourself.
Make a list of non-food rewards that you will give yourself once you have reached small goals along the way to your overall goal. Follow through when you reach a goal and give yourself the reward. Your rewards don’t need to be expensive, however it works best if they are something that you really want (instead of something that will “just do” because it doesn’t cost much).

Reconnect the action with pleasure rather than pain.
Associate eating healthy with pleasure by eating only foods that you like. Don’t force yourself to eat brussel sprouts just because they are good for you if you don’t like them. I would recommend trying new foods once in awhile, even if you never liked them before since your tastes will change when you stop eating sugar, white flour, and fat. I never liked asparagus and now I love it; I never would have thought I would say that!

The same goes for exercise; find an exercise that you enjoy. Now you may need to force yourself to get moving and do it, but you can pick exercises that you at least like doing once you are doing them.

We may always have the two sides in us, each pulling us in opposite directions. The goal is to have fewer and fewer confrontations between the two, while the side that will give you the best outcome for your health stays on top.