Struggling with Motivation?

 

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Staying motivated can be a struggle — our drive is constantly assaulted by negative thoughts and anxiety about the future.  “Why bother, I’ll just go back to how I ate before.”  “Well, I messed up today, might as well keep on eating.”

A key to maintaining my motivation during my weight loss journey was writing down a list of all the reasons why I wanted to lose weight.

I read that list every day… twice a day…sometimes more than that depending on the stress of the day.

Why?

Because when I was looking at that “thing” that I wanted, I needed those reasons to be at the forefront of my mind.

It used to be easy to forget why I really wanted to lose weight when that decadent dessert, or burger, or….was staring me in the face.  Easy for me to erase from my mind the fact that eating that “thing” was not going to get me where I wanted to be.  I’d end up inevitably feeling worse afterwards and beating my self up, which would set me up for more failure and a further lessening of motivation.

 We can be our own worst enemy at times or our best cheerleader. 

Now that I’ve lost my weight, I have a list of all the reasons why I want to keep it off.  I can probably recite that list off the top of my head, but you know what?  I still read it every day!  Reminding myself of all the good things that I have, because of my weight loss, is what keeps me going.

“Accentuate the positive; eliminate the negative.”

I also kept my motivation going by reflecting on how far I’ve come, not how far I need to go.  If I focused on the fact that I needed to lose 100+ pounds, it would have felt too big…unsurmountable.  Instead, I focused on all the things I had done *right*, all the things that I chose to do that were leading me where I wanted to be.  Did I make a better choice than I would normally have? Great!

We shouldn’t wait until we reach our goal to be proud of ourselves.  We need to celebrate every decision we make that leads us one step closer to our ultimate goal.

If we allow doubt to enter our minds, we create an “inner-struggle”.  Our thoughts start to go down a path that creates conflict in our minds.  And when that happens, our motivation starts to waver.

 “Progress, not Perfection.” 

That mantra has gotten me over many challenges.  I don’t have to wait until I’m “perfect” to give my self credit.

Perfectionism is what leads to feeling guilty or defective, and beating up on yourself–and that’s about as helpful as a broken leg is to a runner. Sometimes, cutting yourself some slack is just what you need.

 So, here’s my advice: stop wondering where your motivation went, and kick all that negative self-talk to the curb. Instead, write down all the reasons why you are really doing this and give yourself credit every time you do one thing that gets you closer to your goal.

 

 

 

 

About Linda Armistead

I am RN with 20 years experience and a life time experience being obese. I lost 110 lbs in 8 1/2 months via diet and exercise and have maintained that weight loss for the past 5 years. I am now a member of the American Society of Bariatric Physicians and Chairperson of the Pediatric Task Force. My life is dedicated to teaching others what I have learned on how to manage the disease of obesity and keep their weight off for life. My Google Profile+
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2 Responses to Struggling with Motivation?

  1. Kathy says:

    I use Positive affermations. I write them myself, for me. And, I read them aloud!

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