Whether it’s to eat more healthily, give up chocolate, start exercising or lose weight, many people believe they don’t have the motivation to do these things, or they have the motivation, but it soon starts to wane. I know, I’ve been there! Going to the gym then stopping, eating a whole packet of biscuits and then regretting it, eating in secret because you don’t want to admit your crisp habit… that was me.
But it isn’t a case that some people have more motivation or willpower than others, it’s about wanting what you can have (a leaner, fitter, healthier body, for example) more than what you already have.
We don’t like going outside our comfort zone.
We don’t like change.
We therefore need to make the process as easy, simple and enjoyable as possible 😀.
Here are a few things to try. Keep things simple. Maybe just see how the first one feels for you before figuring out what you’re going to start with.
1. The most important thing is to figure out your ‘why’.
Before you change your shape, you must change your mind and your attitude. Tasks that are unpleasant to do are rarely accomplished satisfactorily. You need to have a strong desire to lose weight, otherwise you’re wasting your time even thinking about it.
Decide what is your ‘why’. You need to find your motive – the reason for changing. Keep this at the forefront of your mind. Your ‘why’, and it needs to be the true ‘why’ to you, needs to be there as a constant reminder when you want to eat when you’re not hungry, eating less than healthy food, not exercising etc.
Wanting to feel more confident is very high on the list of motives to lose weight. For you, it might be that you want to feel more attractive. If that is the case don’t think you’re being vain or it’s not a good enough reason. Any reason is the right one.
2. Start with one thing. Don’t try to change everything at once - it will take over your life and make you miserable. Life goes on and you will want to socialise so don’t let your weight loss efforts or new way of eating be the only thing you talk about. If you’re off out for a meal, it’s a good idea to check the menu before you go and decide what you’re having in advance.
3. If it’s about eating more healthily to lose weight, one way to do this is start eating breakfast. About half the population don’t eat breakfast, but you are going to do so much better starting the day off well. There are soooo many great reasons to eat breakfast, not least that it can help you to lose weight! If you start thinking ‘I can’t because….’, stop finding reasons (excuses) and find a solution. If you’re short of time prepare something the night before, like overnight oats.
4. Take up a new hobby or interest. This really does work as it takes your mind off food. Boredom accounts for a lot of emotional eating and poor food choices. What about trying a new exercise? But don’t restrict yourself to thinking about ‘exercise’ in the traditional sense. If you like getting out on your bike or dancing like a crazy thing in your living room, then go for it!
5. Start with something simple and realistic. If you go ‘all out’ you are likely to fail. I am not saying you definitely will, but most people who get all fired up about exercise and eating healthily find that life then gets in the way. What they had set themselves up to do wasn’t realistic with their current lifestyle.
If you want to start exercising don’t plan to go running 🏃♀️ every day next week. You’re setting yourself up to fail and then you’ll get disheartened. Look at your calendar and work out where you can fit in 20 minutes of exercise three times in the week. If you think you don’t have time, please ask yourself the question
‘How long do I spend on social media/watching TV/browsing the internet?’
Be honest! It is about prioritisation. You could even find some exercises to do whilst watching TV!
Once you have successfully got through a week of eating breakfast and/or exercising I hope you will feel motivated to add something else in.
The idea is that small successes lead to motivation, which lead to further success and you’re in this great cycle of achievement. Think about how these small wins make you feel and celebrate your successes.
Recognise that what you’re doing is very difficult for a lot of people, but you are taking action. You may want to just stick with it for a few weeks, before changing it up. We’re all different, find what works for you!
Motivating yourself over time can be difficult so arm yourself with practical ideas and solutions.
Don’t wait to feel motivated. You need to start and then the motivation will come.
I would love to know if this has helped. For more motivation, recipes, tips and ideas head on over to my Facebook group, Lose Weight the Plant-Based Way. I would love for you join us there!