Motivation and Weight Loss: Preparing For The Long Haul...

We all know that dieting is a "head game." When your mind is made up, nothing else matters. If your head is in the right place, the most delectable temptations won't get you off track. If you have truly decided that you're ready to lose weight, then lose weight you will! Being motivated is a powerful, glorious feeling!

Sustaining motivation...now that can be tricky! Often we try to get inspired by external factors. We want some person or some product or some plan to encourage us. I believe that true motivation, the kind that sustains you through a long, grueling weight loss battle, can only come from within.

From personal experience, I strongly believe that the "driving force" often comes later in the weight loss process. Many people believe that you have to have it to get started. I say, "Start, and the motivation will come!"

Following a diet plan for two weeks will almost certainly result in weight loss. Two weeks is important. That is the maximum amount of time that I believe you can make yourself do something without proper motivation, just on sheer will alone. Once you experience some weight loss, you begin to feel better about yourself. You begin to believe that you can do it. You begin to see that decreasing the amount that you eat and increasing your activity level really does burn fat. You begin to feel a little more comfortable in your clothes. Your eyes begin to look brighter and your rings begin to slip around your fingers. You begin to believe that it's possible to make a change. Guess what? That's motivation! Now you're ready for the long haul!

In a perfect world, we would all have the necessary motivation to eat in a way that was healthy. "Diet" would be a dirty word and everyone would eat to live instead of live to eat. Since that's not reality, it's sometimes necessary to shake things up.

If you're in need of some inspiration for the long haul, try some of these tips:

  • Keep a favorite clothing item hanging where you can see it. Try it on every other week but no more often than that.

  • Keep a picture of yourself at an ideal weight, or a picture of yourself at a size you never want to be again, on your refrigerator or bathroom mirror, where you'll look at it often. Some experts believe that you should always go for the positive pose, the way you want to look, but I find them both to be effective.

  • Measure yourself when you begin and again monthly. Often the measuring tape will show progress when the scale does not.

  • Keep a "diet journal." Record your weekly weigh-ins (no more often!), your measurements, your food intake, and your feelings along the way. Looking back on this record, especially at a difficult time, can be very helpful.

  • Reward yourself regularly, but try to avoid food rewards. Get yourself a pedicure or a massage, or tickets to a special event instead.

  • Read books about dieting and browse websites on the subject. Sometimes reading the same information with a different twist can be very motivating.

  • Meet with a group of friends (or strangers) that have common goals. Sharing in someone else's success can help spur your own.

  • Make a point to hang around people who inspire you. Don't spend your time with anyone that gives off negative vibes about this journey of yours.

  • Post positive messages around your house. Jot down your favorite inspirational quotes and read them as you go through your day.

  • Spend some quiet time each day meditating. Visualize your journey. See yourself being successful. Imagine that feeling. Imagine what people will say and what you will be wearing. Imagine what your comments will be to people who praise you. Visualize the tiny details and not just the big picture of you reaching your goal.

  • Plan things to look forward to. It helps in a long weight loss journey to have these carrots dangling in front of you. This could be something as simple as dinner with a special friend, or as elaborate as a big vacation.

Knowing that you have a lot of weight to lose can be daunting! Choose a weight loss plan and make yourself follow it exactly for two weeks. No cheating! For the first two weeks, try a plan that's designed for quick weight loss, such as the 5-4-3-2-1 Diet Plan. This will ensure that you lose enough weight in the first two weeks to motivate you to continue. Try not to think about how much weight you need to lose. Give yourself small goals of five pounds each so that you don't become overwhelmed. Don't think, "I have to diet for a year to get this weight off." Think instead, "I have to diet today." If you're miserable at your current weight, remind yourself often that you never have to be this size again! You'll be smaller tomorrow and every day after that if you stick to your plan!



Gail M. Davis is the author of the weight loss advice site www.easy-weightloss-tips.com. For more tips on weight loss visit our site today!

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