Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Keeping the motivation

It can be really hard to keep motivated when you're working on a long term weight loss. How do you keep motivated?

Motivation to avoid "cheating"


If you are continuing to lose weight each week at a rate you are happy with then that will be a big boost. Seeing the results of your hard work is great. But it can also make it feel easier to "cheat" when you think "oh, I've done so well, I can afford to have a little something naughty" and I'm not about to say that you can't or shouldn't have a little treat now and then. But be careful; getting away with cheating once or twice can lead to bigger and more frequent sneaky treats. Then before you know it that great weight loss streak has come to an end. This is a trap I fall into all the time!

How we try to avoid it:


This is how I try to do it (I do fail from time to time, but I try). Choose a set day of the week when you can reward yourself for your hard work. I choose weigh in day. Once I have recorded my weight for the week I relax and have that big Sunday Dinner with all the trimmings, and maybe even a "naughty" dessert. BUT I record it properly and try not to let myself go too crazy.

And if I do feel the need midweek, then I make sure I record it and try to make it work.

Motivation when there's a special event


This is something which is going to be tested this week in our home. Hubby's birthday is this Friday. Traditionally we have a takeaway and a cake when it's someone's birthday. We've decided to go ahead and do it anyway. Knowing it's coming up with have been extra careful all week - never dipping into the "dailies" - and satisfying our hunger with zero point soups and loads of fruit. Then... when it comes to the big day we are enjoying our takeaway. It's his birthday, He should be aloud to ditch the diet for one day (plus he'll be off to the pub after. Not even attempting to guess the points value of that!)

Later this month we are away visiting family for another birthday. Again we'll be making careful choices about our food in the days surrounding the celebrations, and this time we'll be trying to make sensible food choices while we're there.

How we deal with it:


Sometimes you just have to accept that the diet is going in the bin for a day or two. And that there is nothing wrong with that. Just so long as it IS just for a day or two and you get back on track straight away. If you ban your self from fun 100% of the time you are more likely to jack in the diet all together - at least we are and I doubt we're alone in that. Sure, it's going to be rotten getting back on the scales and having a stay the same result or even a dreaded gain.... but if you know why and get straight back to it then it will all be fine.

If you know in advance there are going to be off days then you can work for it:  extra exercise before and after, no treats on the days either side, and most of all DON'T STRESS ABOUT IT because that's more likely to make you chuck in the towel.

The "Plateau" Situation


I haven't had this yet this time round, but it has happened before and likely will again. This is the killer for me and my weight loss. I loose all motivation when my hard work stops paying off and I am still trying to find a successful way of dealing with it.

What other people recommend:


Recently one of my Weight Watchers Online friends hit a plateau. She stayed the same for 3-4 weeks despite the fact that she had stuck faithfully to the plan and her points. She had double and triple checked her portion sizes to make sure they hadn't "grown" (easy to do when you convince yourself you can measure by eye after a while) and continued with her exercise routine. But still she stayed the same. She asked for advice from the other members and these are some of the things they said:


  • Try knocking a couple of points off your allowance like you would when you reached the next weight drop, maybe you're ready to reduce the points before you reach the next band
  • Change the exercise routine, doing the same things all the time make them "the norm" and they stop making the same difference. Swap the days/times round, try something new.
  • Try a different part of the plan, e.g. swap from counting Pro Points to Filling & Healthy for a couple of weeks
  • DON'T GIVE UP!

And do you know what? It worked! The Plateau ended and she dropped more than 2lbs in the following week, then continued to loose weight after that. It's all great advice, and I will be taking it myself when I hit the dreaded Plateau.

Support!


Support has to be the best motivation long term. This is why things like the meetings at various slimming clubs work, and the forums on the websites are so popular. Having a support network, and that hint of competition with the other members can get you through the rough days and weeks. Joining mini challenges to lose set amounts - 7lb or  a stone - within a set time when you have a lot to lose can help you keep motivated by reaching each target.

Our best motivation right now is the fact that we are both trying to lose weight at the same time. We're also trying to shift the same amount of weight. So along with the convenience of us both dieting, we have each others support.

And the unspoken competition as to who can maintain the safe 1-2lb a week loss for the longest and reach goal weight first!



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