I touched a little on staying motivated in my last article How To Get Started With Your Fitness Plan, but this topic is a whole conversation in itself. Did you know that 70% of people who start a fitness program quit? I know this because Autumn Calabrese tells me every time I pop in one of her Chisel DVD workouts. I used to be one of those 70%. I was one of those people MANY times. So why is it different this time?
Well, a couple reasons. I’m getting older and my eat-whatever-I-want-and-not-workout habits were starting to show. I was never the kind of girl who could eat whatever I wanted and be SKINNY, I have a larger frame and have always been around a size 10 (hips); shirts I could squeak with a small or comfortably wear a medium because I have a smaller upper body- sorry, a little off topic. So anyway, I was able to eat and not gain weight, but I was still a solid size 10. Long story short, this was the last time I was ever going to START to get healthy because I’m never quitting again; which brings me to motivation…
This part is going to be different for everybody. Sometimes it takes a health scare (unfortunately) for you to take action. The important thing is that you made that decision to start. I’ve been working/exploring the health industry for a long time now, and I’m still constantly learning and researching. There is so much to learn.
The first step in staying motivated is being realistic. If you go into this knowing that it takes a while to start to see results you have already mentally succeeded. Most people quit because they don’t see results soon enough. If you keep telling yourself that you will see results, it just takes time, you just need to stick with it, it helps you not be discouraged when you step on the scale and you don’t see the numbers move much. Which brings me to my next point…
Stay off the scale! Not completely, but don’t weigh yourself every day. I know it’s tempting, but don’t. Our weight fluctuates from day to day so easily for so many reasons. I personally like to gauge my progress by how my clothes fit. Maybe your jeans are a little less tight or you have a little less back fat bulging from your bra. You do want to monitor your progress, so get on the scale when you begin your program, during the middle, and at the “end.” I put end in quotes because it’s never really going to end- this is a lifestyle change remember?! When I say “end” I mean if you are starting with a specific workout program (like one of Beachbodys great selections 😉 ) and you finish that program. Then it’s time to start another one! 🙂
Even though I know better, I still get discouraged sometimes when I don’t see progress as fast as I’d like. When this kicks in I do 2 things. One, I tell myself, out loud, that if I keep working out and following my nutrition plan I WILL see results, and two, I look at other people who have succeeded. Those fitness models and bikini competitors you see? They WORK for those bodies; they work HARD. I use them as motivation. I look at their blogs and watch their Youtube videos to see what they’re eating, how their working out, and they also talk about their struggles, which makes you realize this happens to everyone. Some of my favorites are Jen Heward, Heidi Somers, and Nikki Blackketter, to name a few.
Treat yourself to something you REALLY want when you accomplish big milestones. Maybe a family trip, new wardrobe, new cooking utensils/equipment (for all of your healthy meals!), a photography session to show off how awesome you look!, a big gathering/party… whatever makes you smile. You should always be proud of your accomplishments and let others enjoy them with you.
Last but definitely NOT least, use your family as motivation. Don’t you want the energy to play around with your kids? To go to work, run your errands, (do your workout!), and still have energy to spend time with the people you love? You are a role model for more people than you know. Even if you don’t have kids, if you have nieces or nephews, even friends and co-workers look up to people who have a positive state of mind. You never know who you are inspiring or who looks up to you, so you should always want to be the best version of you that you can be.
You should only be comparing yourself to a former you. Even if you are doing this with someone, everyone’s bodies respond differently so if you see someone is progressing along faster than you and you’re doing all the same things, it just means your body is adjusting differently. Sometimes it’s a trial and error of what works for you. Your body may be getting used to the same routine and maybe you need to switch it up, or try switching up the timing of your meals… there’s a ton of different reasons why it could be happening. Just keep your eye on the prize and strive for progress, not perfection 😉