10 Things I did that helped me stay motivated on my weight loss journey:
1. Spent more time taking in pride in how I looked. In the very beginning, when my Jelly Belly was at its height and I was feeling pretty bad about myself, I dropped some cash on Amazon for some beauty products I wouldn’t normally try. I got some fancy conditioner, some tinted lip balm, a Clarisonic Mia and a scrubber for my dry, scaly feet. Then I consciously made an effort to use those things. It may seem simple and stupid and like stuff other normal females do regularly. I don’t even know how much they actually improved my appearance. But I know they made me feel better about myself. Maybe it was just devoting some time to doing something specifically for myself. I’ve been known to overlook that. I don’t know. But when I look back now, I know it helped me build up the drive inside me when I needed it the most.
2. Surfing Pinterest and pinning motivational quotes about being tough, staying strong and being determined. After putting my kids to bed while watching crappy reality television, when a little something something to snack on might have hit the spot, I'd pin away instead to distract myself and attempt to stay focused.
4. On difficult days, I’d just focus on one day at a time. I didn’t even focus on making that day perfect. I just focused on making it through that day the best I could. If I was starvin' Marvin, I didn’t focus on trying to eat perfect and suffer through being hungry. Instead I’d focus on eating something that wasn’t bad. So instead of eating Cheetos from the vending machine, I’d give myself permission to eat a million almonds until I wasn’t hungry anymore.
5. Took before photos and then put them away and didn’t compare myself to them right away. Because I looked heavy in the beginning. Because I was heavy! And looking at how heavy I was didn't motivate me in the beginning. It depressed me. So I just put them away. I emailed them to myself and tucked the email away in a folder in my archives. Then I deleted them off the camera and moved on. I took progress photos every 15 pounds. Every 5 was too much. Every 10 pounds didn’t seem like quite enough. And when I took the new progress photos, I gave myself permission to look at the original before photos. Part of what I looked forward to after reaching a 15 pound milestone was taking new photos and putting them side by side with the before photo to see how far I’d come.
6. Reading blogs of people that are making an effort to live healthier. I like reading about things they’ve tried and challenges they’ve set for themselves.
7. Give in and buy a new pair of pants when you get small enough that the last size you own starts to fall off. I can be hella cheap about clothes. But I decided I deserved pants that fit. And I deserved them today. Not 6 months from now once I fit in a smaller size that I find more acceptable to spend money on. Not 6 months from now when I’m “done” losing weight and can “invest” in clothes that fit without worrying I’ll have to buy a new wardrobe again in a few months. A pair of jeans costs $25 at Old Navy. You are worth $25. Go buy at least one pair. My favorite black slacks to wear to work are from Kohls for $25. I am worth that extra $25, too. And I say that having bought size 8s roughly 4 weeks after I finally bought my size 10s. Oh, well. It feels nice to try on a new size. It’s fun to watch the pants slide on easily and zip. It’s especially fun to wear them and have someone else notice you clearly gave in and bought some clothes that fit. Because that person will then ask you how much weight you’ve lost. And you will get to tell them and you will feel proud of yourself. And that is awesome and will fuel the fire in your belly for a good week.
|Size 8! That fit! While shopping for a dress for our 10 year anniversary. The front didn't lay right on my chest so I didn't buy it. But so fun to zip up.|
9. Be patient. I remember the first 15 pounds lost wasn't nearly as noticeable to me in photos. And by that, I mean I couldn't see any difference. I didn't let myself think about it and just stuck with focusing on one day at a time. Big accomplishments are made up of tons of little efforts that build up to something big. Stick with it.
10. Looking for new goals to set for myself. Even if I don’t necessarily succeed at them. Although I’ve successfully run 2 half marathons, I also tried and failed at plenty of other goals. For example, I’ve lost money on a Diet Bet and I quit the 30 Day Shred After 4 days. I've also tried several apps on my phone for sit ups, push ups and squats hoping to work my way up to doing 100. I lost interest around 60. But that’s okay with me because I couldn’t do 60 when I started. I like that my eyes are open and on the lookout for new things. I like that when I spot one I’m willing to try it. The old me wouldn’t have. The new me does. Regularly.