I am always looking for sources of inspiration and motivation to help keep me on track. We all know the positive health benefits. You would think that would be enough, but it doesn’t always override the desire for a bowl of cookie dough ice cream. The reflection in the mirror is often another good source of motivation, but when its not right in front of me, it is easy to selectively forget what that looks like. Some days I need a reminder; a reason to make better choices or to hit the gym. There are times when it just seems like an awful lot of effort so I think having a constant flow of inspiration will help to keep me on track. I guess it comes down to why it is that you are doing this? What motivates you to eat healthy and lose weight?
Tricks to Keep You on Track
I am neither a nutritionist, a dietitian nor medical professional. The information in this article has been researched and sourced at the end of the post if required. All medical issues or questions regarding your health or symptoms should always be brought to the attention of a medical professional for clarification, assessment, advice and treatment.
Listen to Other People’s Stories
Listening to other people’s stories can offer support. Knowing that there is someone else in your situation who is experiencing the same struggles often helps. It lets you know that you are not alone, and that your feelings are supported. Sometimes, watching infomercials for exercise products or weight loss programs and hearing stories of the people they interview tells me that my journey is not unique. People are fighting the same battle and winning. It lets me know that I can do it too. Many have medical reasons for getting into shape. Most just want to look and feel better. Something in every one of their stories inspires me, and reminds me of my reasons for wanting to succeed.
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Write Down Everything You Eat
I also like to write down what I eat, even if it’s only a bit or two. Did I lick the spoon? How many times did I taste test dinner? Did I take a small bite of my child’s food to make sure it wasn’t too hot? I am always amazed at how many things I actually consume. It may seem like nothing at the time, but all of these little nothings add up quickly.
Take Your Measurements at Regular Intervals
Break out the measuring tape. Keep a record of your measurement. Some common areas to monitor are waist, hips, chest, biceps and thighs. Every month, take these measurements to see the progress you have made.
Weigh In on a Regular Basis
Weighing in will allow you to monitor any weight loss or gain. Set a daily, weekly or monthly time and weigh in consistently on that day. This will keep you motivated as you will want to see progress at these intervals. If you are not happy with our weigh-in, you can reassess your eating plan and continue on.
Strategically Placed Pictures
Find the picture of you that makes you cringe. The one that, every time you see it, you want to stop eating and run straight to the gym! now take that picture and put it where you will see it frequently. Some good places are on the fridge, on the pantry door, on your phone and even on the dashboard of your car for those drive-thru moments. Every time you feel like you can justify eating something that you know is not in your best interests, look at that picture and remember why you would rather have something healthy.
Join a Support Group
There are free support groups for everyone out there, Compulsive eaters are no exception. Overeaters Anonymous has chapters in over 20 countries. If you are not comfortable going to an in-person meeting, the organization offers online meetings and are completely anonymous. Here you will be able to hear the journey of others in a similar situation to yours and hear of the success stories of those who have managed to overcome their battles and successfully lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
WW (formerly Weight Watchers) is a combination of group support and a meal plan to help educate and guide you toward your goal. Here you can monitor you journey and evaluate what is working for you and where you can make adjustments to keep yourself moving in the right direction. WW also offers online and in-person and online meetings to ensure access for all.
Who Does Making Excuses for Eating Hurt?
I recently spent a lazy Sunday afternoon watching a program about morbidly obese people who are fighting to lose weight just to stay alive. It was fascinating to hear the history of how these people got to be in such an incredible and sad situation. I am not criticizing, as I have been well over the 200 mark myself. Some were making excuses for gaining even while being monitored by a doctor who is trying to save their lives. Although I was frustrated with them, I quickly realized that I have made the same excuses to justify eating poorly.
Watching this made me realize that the only person my excuses were hurting was me. I can lie to myself or I can take action. I’m not saying I am never going to eat something unhealthy, but I am definitely going to spend time analyzing why I want it and how it will affect me before I do. Is it worth it? Why do I want this? Why am I eating more when I am full?
Addressing the excuses will help to focus on my mental and emotional state when I am eating. Often I find that I am eating because of boredom, stress or as some form of emotional reaction.
Can you Lose the Weight for Someone Else?
No matter what your addiction or disorder, you will only succeed if you are doing it for you.
There was one woman on the show who was trying to lose it all for her daughter. She wanted to be able to play with her and go places with her. She felt her daughter was embarrassed by her, and that her daughter would eventually be teased or bullied because of her mother’s appearance. Although I loved that this gave her the inspiration to start, I was relieved when she began losing the weight and started to include herself as part of the reason she was determined to reach her goal.
If you are not doing it for yourself, you will have a very difficult time succeeding. You need to want it enough to put in the effort. Weight maintenance is forever. You don’t just lose the weight you want to lose and then go back to your old ways. It is a lifetime commitment and a new mindset that, if you are not committed, will not stick. But, like every other recovery process, if you fall off the wagon, you can get back on and keep going. You are more likely to persevere if you are doing it for you. It is my personal opinion that everything you do in life can be inspired by someone else, but ultimately you have to be doing it for yourself before you will succeed.