Staying Motivated to Lose Weight Permanently
Losing weight, getting fit and staying that way isn’t a sprint — it’s a marathon.
To win a marathon you need both short term goals that keep you excited and pushing forward, and long-term goals that keep you steady and consistent and help you get back on track when you stumble.
Do you have the necessary mindset to leverage both short- and long-term motivation properly to stay on track and reach your goals to lose weight permanently?
Not-So-Subtle Signs that It’s Time to Lose Weight for Real
Nobody wants to yo-yo back and forth with weight gain and weight loss. Yet this is exactly what happens to so many overweight people who commit to a rigorous exercise routine and strict diet, only to later lose sight of their goals, and succumb to cravings all over again.
What practices can you make into habit so that being trim, fit and healthy becomes your permanent physical state, instead of bouncing back and forth between starving yourself and over-indulging?
This is where long-term motivation wins over short term.
Set a bigger, long-term goal to create consistency for the marathon of losing weight permanently.
Decide on YOUR most important reason to lose weight, become healthier and increase your daily activity levels. Some reasons might be that you want to look good and feel better, sure. But what is the ultimate driving force that makes you want to treat your body well and preserve your health?
It’s most likely because you want to be around to enjoy time spent with loved ones. Perhaps you want to live your best life for as long as possible. And also, that you would never want to be dependent on other people for basic everyday things like getting from here to there and taking care of yourself.
If you tend to lose sight of the over-arching weight loss goal, then work on becoming an observer in your own, everyday life.
How easily are you able to do things that young, fit people can accomplish with ease – like walk up a flight of stairs, ride a bike, jog down the road, swim a lap? Are you winded after you’re through? Do you find yourself avoiding certain activities out of embarrassment?
How comfortable are you sharing space? This may be a bit painful to think about at first. But we can only truly transform our habits when we are totally honest with ourselves. Suppose you’re attending a concert or sports event. How difficult is it to get into and out of your chair? Are you flowing over into the next person’s space?
How are you affected by crowds and heat? Do you search out a well air conditioned space in the summer time for fear of quickly become over-heated and unable to breathe? Would you likely avoid a hike in the woods on a warm day, for fear of perspiring to excess? These are all not-so-subtle signs that your health may be in jeopardy because of the extra weight you’re carrying around.
Are you afraid of injuring yourself? When we weigh more than is healthy, falling becomes a serious risk. A fall that might not affect someone with a slimmer frame could result in muscle strains, broken bones or worse. Most people who fall and break a hip tend to weigh more than is healthy.
What is your pain level on an average day? Our joints bear the brunt of our carrying around more body fat than is healthy. Imagine carrying around a 50-pound bag of dog food all day and what that might do to your knees, hips, ankles. This is what it’s like to be overweight or obese. If you have aches and pains beyond what’s typical for your age, it’s likely due to needing to lose weight.
Remember the big goal in mind – stay healthy, live longer.
Remain active into your senior years. Avoid chronic illness. Avoid putting unnecessary stress on your body – that means not taxing your digestive system and organs; no longer carrying around those extra pounds that slow you down and put you at risk of injury.
Short Term Goals are Feel-Good Goals to Help You Kick the Pounds
If you’ve made a promise to yourself to lose weight, it can also help to set short-term milestone goals to celebrate along the way.
Because a marathon is a long haul, and the human mind needs rewards more frequently to stay focused. Setting milestone goals really helps you win that race one. step. at. a. time.
These types of goals are bigger than the everyday goal of staying on track with healthy eating and making time for exercise. You can view your milestone weight loss goals as rewards to give yourself along the way as you strive toward a total healthy lifestyle transformation.
What types of milestone goals can you set for yourself?
The best way to figure it out is to think of all those things that you hesitated to become involved in as your overweight self. There can be different reasons why you opted out of certain activities. Maybe physical discomfort, self consciousness, being out of shape, or being not able to fit into the right apparel all play a part in why you might shy away from certain activities that you once loved or might like to enjoy.
You could start by making a list of things you would do if you weren’t overweight:
–Take a ballroom dancing class
–Book an island vacation or cruise
–Take the kids or grandkids hiking
–Run with your dog
–Run or walk a 5K for charity
And then start working towards making those things a reality in your life. Figure out what goes into each of these things – taking a dance class; being able to jog half a block with your dog, etc.
Or maybe for you it’s the number on the scale. Celebrate with every 5 or 10 pound loss.
It might be specific events — buying a new swimsuit next spring, or fitting into a dress that you’ve hidden in the back of your closet.
Whatever it is for you, make it achievable. Set yourself up for success. As they say, “success breeds success.” If your short term goals need to be tiny to begin with, that’s fine. As you move along your path, you can adjust your goals to reflect how things are changing for you. And you can celebrate that, too!
The long and short of weight loss motivation.
Setting incremental goals keeps you motivated, engaged and most importantly, gives you the frequent feelings of success and reward that your brain needs to keep going.
Setting those long-term goals helps to reframe how you think about your purpose in losing weight. Being stronger, having less pain, being able to do things more easily, avoiding disease and living longer are motivations that are much more successful in the long run than a number on a scale or a clothing size.
Use both types of motivation in creating your strategy and you will win your marathon!
Hypnotherapy helps you to lose weight permanently by helping you stay motivated and consistent in changing your choices and your relationship with food. If you’re ready to come in for a free consultation, click the scheduling link below. I hope to see you soon!