You aren’t fat. You have fat. Fat does not define you. If you haven’t heard that one floating around, it might be one of those ideal phrases to help you stay motivated. You have an idea of what makes you, you. You’ve always been an incredible, wonderful person. Now you’re simply deciding to embark on a journey to be healthier and happier.
Just like any change however, it’s difficult to stay motivated to eat well and exercise regularly. So in addition to the phrase above, this article is jam-packed with motivation you can refer to in your moments of weakness! Need some motivation to exercise? Read on…
Believe You Can Achieve
Before you can begin to change your body shape, or lose weight, you need to believe that you can achieve. Start by visualizing how you really want to look. Picture your new, healthy body in your new, vibrant wardrobe. Pick specific shirt and pant sizes and work toward them. Post them on your mirror or closet door. Close your eyes and imagine how you would feel…feeling attractive. Make sure you can picture how you’re going to look. If looks aren’t what matters most to you, maybe you’d rather picture yourself healthy enough to play with your grandkids in the backyard, today or years from now. Either way, make sure you can imagine how amazing it would feel to reach your weight loss goal.
Your Desire to Change
Your desire to change needs to be great enough to push you forward. It needs to be much stronger than your desire to continue your current behaviors and remain how you are. Your desire to take incredible care of yourself needs to improve. You must really want to begin taking care of yourself differently.
Right now, you’re likely taking care of yourself as if you have an unhealthy, overweight body. You probably do. But to lose weight and maintain the loss, you must begin to take care of yourself as if you were already in your healthy, ideal body. Otherwise, you may lose weight, but you’ll gain it back because it hasn’t become a lifestyle. Your body is a reflection of your lifestyle. Focus on a lifestyle of eating and fitness that will last forever.
Exercise and healthy eating keep your brain fit. They improve your balance and coordination and allow oxygen supply to your cells. They improve concentration, help with self-control, and help you think clearly, making you in change of you. Here are some more benefits:
- Keeps your body fit and able
- Boosts your immune system
- Has anti-aging effects
- Improves skin tone and color
- Improves sleeping patterns
- Helps prevent strokes
- Improves joint function
- Improves muscle strength
- Alleviates anxiety
- Sharpens memory
- Helps to control addictions
- Fights dementia
- Eases back pain
- Decreases osteoporosis risk
- Improves cholesterol levels
- Lowers risk of certain cancers
- Lowers high blood pressure
- Lowers risk of diabetes
- Strengthens your bones
- Strengthens your heart
- Improves posture
- Prevents colds
Lastly, time for fitness and healthy eating means time for you. This kind of time for you isn’t selfish–it’s an investment. Spending time caring for your health will give you more fulfillment in your family, more success in your career, and more influence in your community. These results are far more satisfying than their alternative. A healthy lifestyle lowers stress and depression, and makes you feel happy, healthy, and confident. Your self esteem will skyrocket!
Do others’ comments greatly influence how you feel about yourself? Maybe that’s your motivation for trying to look better. Maybe you have a beach party or family reunion coming up. Eating and exercising makes life more exciting, increases sex-drive and satisfaction, and improves quality of life. If sabotage from yourself or others influences you a lot, you’ll find it helpful to join a forum or two, become a regular on our Facebook and Instagram sites, and maybe begin your own blog.
Whatever you do, keep others involved in your weight loss journey. Seek to be accountable and let others praise you for your success. In addition to keeping family and neighbors informed, joining a social community gives you the opportunity to praise others who are feeling like you do. Going public is one of the first steps. Oh, and don’t forget to take before photos!
A little bit of healthy movement gives you an adrenaline rush, decreases stress, and allows time for contemplation. Whatever you do, make it fun! Workout partners are great accountability partners. Maybe you’d enjoy a yoga or kickboxing class with your best friend, or a 30-minute evening walk through the neighborhood with your spouse. For some, an exercise log or graph increases motivation. Others find that simply the act of signing up for a 5K is motivating enough to get them out and jogging every day.
If you’re someone motivated by tracking calories, then you might choose to look up calories burned during your favorite activities. Follow our IdealShape UP Challenge on Facebook for lots of tips on exercise for weight loss. If you’re an athlete, consider how eating right will increase your energy, endurance, and sports performance. No matter where you stand, a little exercise will help you avoid the dreaded feeling of ‘yuck!’
Maybe going to the gym and spending an hour there isn’t your problem. If so, remember that how you spend the other 23 hours of your day matter just as much. When eating 5 small meals a day becomes your habit, you’ll begin to feel uncomfortable when you overeat. As your body experiences physical changes, you’ll become fuller faster.
The more you chose healthy foods, the more your body will crave healthy foods that bring you lasting energy. That doesn’t mean that temptation for sugary sweets won’t exist, but it does mean that your eating habits will improve. Your appetite for good things will increase. If you’re looking for another Pinterest-worthy inspirational phrase, Fat Lasts Longer Than Flavor, might also find a spot on your fridge!
You and Your Career
Healthy eating and exercise will lift your mood, improve learning abilities, and build self-esteem in the workplace. Additionally, they dramatically boost productivity and creative thinking. You’ll find yourself much more focused in life. You’ll be getting compliments about your waistline and your work performance.
Where Do I Begin?
What is most important to you? Think about what you could do or enjoy most if you lost weight. What are you missing out on? Once you have something that really motivates you in mind, consider what’s holding you back. What are you struggling with most? Focus on making that weakness your newest strength.
In case I haven’t motivated you quite yet, or in case you’re a little suspicious of how you really can create a motivational game plan, let me offer one last suggestion. After creating a small list of items that motivate you most, record yourself reading them into a short one-minuteish audio clip. Then, when you wake up in the morning, set your audio clip to play and function as your alarm, instead of your radio station or talk show.
Prove to yourself that living your ideal, healthy lifestyle really is what is most important to you. Begin your day by filling your mind with all the reasons you want to be healthier and happier, and you’ll find that you really do have the willpower to make positive changes in your life. You can take back control. You really are your ideal.
By Sarah Ewell
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