Find the different types of motivation that motivate you.
There are different types of motivation at different stages, when you're losing weight for life. One motivator, or set of motivators will not carry you all the way through.
Why you're doing it, and what keeps you doing it, can change quite rapidly. If you keep telling yourself that you're doing this for a reason that was great two weeks ago, but find that it's power is starting to wane, then it's time to look closely at what will drive you now, regardless of what motivated you before.
Types of Motivation for Getting Started
This gets harder and harder each time you try to lose weight and keep it off, then put it back on, each time you have to work harder to 'psyche' yourself up to it.
Losing weight becomes a bit like a wild animal, in a very flimsy cage, that you need to go to battle with. You circle around it and around it. You look at it sideways, you ask yourself if you want to go down this path again. Last time you got in that cage you came out hurt, frustrated and scratched. You went in to do battle, and the weight won. Are you up to putting yourself on the line again, and risk coming out feeling hurt...again?
I would do this for weeks. The issue would creep up, it would bother me occasionally, every now and then, maybe as I noticed how uncomfortable my jeans were getting.
Then I'd start thinking about it more and more. Looking in the mirror and quickly looking away. Then it'd be daily, it seemed that every I looked at something and went somewhere, it would set my thoughts on a path that had something to do with the weight.
Eventually it invades all aspects of your life, and you get to a point where you go...right, I'm going to do this again. God, I hope it doesn't beat me again, but I have to try!
The types of motivation for getting started are often ones that come from inside. It's our own need to do something about it, and eventually the need builds to a point where ignoring it won't work anymore and it's actually less painful to try again than it is to not not try. On a balance scale there's more emotional pain in staying fat than there is in getting in there...again, and taking the risk that we'll get hurt.
Once you've got back in the cage...and you're seeing some changes, these can be motivation enough to keep you going for a while. Once the pain of doing nothing starts to ease though, you have to be careful that
in finding motivation
your expectations don't work against you, that you keeping looking at what types of motivation will work for you now.
Types of motivation that will keep you at losing weight
While the weight's coming off, you're more likely to be motivated by the external changes you see. Your body getting smaller, your stomach shrinking and your face thinning out...Wow, it's working! That's great. The physical changes drive you to keep going.
No longer are you quite as motivated by escaping the pain you felt when you started, now it's other things. And you don't really need to think too much about what motivates you...until the first time the tape measure moves to a bigger number, or the first time you notice that your clothes aren't as loose this week as they were last week.
The types of motivation that have been keeping you going...the external changes, the feeling better, the comments by others on how good you're looking...they start to lose their power, because they've slowed or stopped!
You need to reignite them. You need to consciously look hard at what it is that you want, now! That is, what drives you now. It may be that now the thought of wearing your jeans, with a big muffin top is something you desperately want to change. This becomes a new motivator. It's worth working for, still, even though it's not happening as fast or as steadily as you imagined.
To help, as soon as you start to notice that your clothes don't sit on your body properly anymore, that they sag and hang in all the wrong places...go and buy new ones! Just a couple, you don't want a whole new wardrobe, because you're not finished yet. But go and buy a few, in the smaller size.
Notice the changes in your shape, get clothes that are nicely fitted to your new size and shape...and get rid of anything that is now too big!
Other types of motivation that might help is to not just remember, or remind yourself, of the nice comments your getting, write them into your diary, or pick one or two and write them up and put them on the pantry door. Those comments made you feel good, use that! Even write above them "I want more of this".
Everytime you feel the power of a particular motivator wane, look for one or two that will keep you going. Don't expect one thing to keep you going forever. Even though the bottom line is that we want to lose weight forever because we'll feel better and happier about ourselves, this alone won't keep you going the whole way.
You need to actively keep looking for the things that keep you at it all the way to the...
Types of Motivation that keep it off for life
You're where you and your body are happy. Wow! you've made it. It's been a long road, but you're there, now you have to maintain it.
Once you're there, if you haven't let the changes in your eating and moving become permanent parts of your life, it's easy to, without even noticing it, start to slip back into old habits.
Yes, happens to the best of us. Circumstances always come up that throw things out, that's life. You can, however, keep half an eye on what's happening with your weight, without it taking over your life.
What types of motivation keep you there? Sometimes I notice that my clothes have started to tighten again. It takes two or three wears, but then I think, god, that's a bit uncomfortable. Then I'll notice in the mirror that I seem a little larger in the face, or the arms. Yes, my weight still fluctuates, the difference is now I notice even one or two kilos, and I'm prepared...and into that cage in record time...there's no circling the issue, I haven't worked this hard...and anyway now I know I can win, and a kilo or two is easy as long as it's still a kilo or two, and not 10!
I make myself consciously remember how I felt when I was fat, the embarassment that I'd hide behind saying "no, I'm happy the way I am" (codswallop!). I'd remember that I stopped wearing jeans, because they looked horrible.
And I look at photos of me fat...and I don't have defined cheekbones that look good with a bit of blush...I have a round ball on top of my shoulders that has nothing defined about it at all, not angles, no distinguished chin...just flabby flesh.
What I'm doing is reminding myself of the pain that got me started in the first place. I don't feel like that anymore, but if I think back, it's not difficult to remember how it felt...and I don't want to go there again.
But even this is not always enough, especially if I'm feeling low or flat, and a little self-pitying (oh, poor me...do I really care??? YES I do, if I'm honest with myself)
The other thing I do, is flatly refuse to go out and buy bigger clothes! I have two pairs of jeans that I love, when either of them starts to feel uncomfortable I wear them more! I put them on on purpose, I won't wear my yoga pants during the day, or my stretch things...just those jeans.
Why? Because everytime I sit down to eat and feel them tight, I look at the food I'm holding in my hand, really look at it and ask myself, "Is this the best choice, based on the fact that my jeans are cutting into my stomach?" I don't starve myself at all, I love food too much, and I can't maintain severely restricted calories (neither can my family...it makes me very cantankerous) but I will take a good look at what I'm doing.
I'll be driving to the supermarket and wiggle a little in my seat because I'm uncomfortable, and it reminds me to park further away from the door, and just walk faster to get there. (Yes I still, without noticing, find myself parking closer and closer to the door...until something reminds me...like those too tight jeans)
Within a week, I notice they're not so tight. It still keeps me vigilant, although as time goes on I'm less vigilant and one of the great things about keeping the weight off long term...my jeans get tighter less and less times each year. In fact, I have to say that while I'm typing this, I'm hard pressed to remember when the last time was...and I'm wearing those jeans right now!
Acknowledging the types of motivation that drive you
You will get to your healthy weight, and stay there. Just keep looking at what types of motivation drive you, and keeps you at it. What emotional, mental and physical things matter most to you at that particular time, and how can you use these to remind you that this is worth it. Every bit of it!
Losing weight does make you feel better and look better. Find the types of motivation that work for you, at each stage, by looking at how it makes you feel better and in what ways you look better. Remember how imprisoned and painful the weight made you feel...draw from this the things that keep you going.
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