One of my favorite commercials is the Kaiser Permanente message about motivation. It jokingly approaches the concept of losing your motivation and how to find it when it comes to your exercise program. And the 3 key points it makes is: 1) find what you enjoy doing that is physically active, 2) find a partner (a ping to your pong), 3) remind yourself of why it is that you exercise, what are the benefits you get from it. We all lose motivation sometimes, but that’s no reason to quit all together. Taking a few days to a week off here and there isn’t a terrible thing, and actually it helps your body recover and rebuild. Every 3 months or so it’s good to take this mental and physical break. However, what you don’t want to do is loose your motivation all together and not come back to the gym the following week.
Now, if you are one of those people that just has a hard time getting motivated and staying that way for months at a time then here are some ways to prevent the problem of lacking motivation.
1) Lofty Goals. You have decided you want to fit back into your skinny jeans, you know, the ones you used to wear in college. Problem is you currently fit four pant sizes larger. So you start going to the gym 4 days a week, take the stairs at work, skip the happy hour outings, and your late night snacks. Two weeks go by, and you haven’t lost an inch in your waist. You get frustrated and discouraged, and slowly you start to go back to your old bad habits. Sound familiar? Although it is great to have long term goals to work towards it is even more MOTIVATING to have shorter term goals that you can realistically attain. Such as making it to the gym 5 days a week. eating breakfast every morning, walking 30 minutes every day, etc. Progress will come as long as you focus on the positive changes, like more energy, better sleep at night, and more confidence.
2) Starting Out Too Strong. After a weekend of indulgences you decide it’s time to get yourself on track and your butt in gear. So you buy the latest TV infomercial body makeover program, and hit the treadmill every day. Count your calories religiously, and don’t allow anything to get in the way. But before you know it, you are starting to fizzle out. Maybe you get sick, or worse injure yourself. The following week your new DVD workout program is listed for sale on craigslist. Solution, start off slow. Take baby steps, and create attainable goals for you to work towards every week. And over time continue to add, and challenge yourself more. Understand that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and so you shouldn’t rush things too quickly.
3) The Quick Fix. It’s late at night and you are watching those infomercials again. The new diet pill that just melts away fat, the full body workout that just incinerates calories. Transform your body in a matter of weeks from fat to flab. Come on, we all know that weight loss doesn’t happen over night, just like weight gain doesn’t either. Weight loss takes time and patience and most of all commitment. Unfortunately, if you aren’t able to attain those as seen on TV results as quickly as you would like to, your motivation will leave just as quickly. If you want something that works, stick with what we all KNOW works, which is simply eat whole foods and get moving. Keep your portions small, eat frequently, lift weights, and sweat it out through cardio. Stick with that plan and you will get there soon enough.
4) Keeping it on the DL. You are already self-conscious about your weight and your ability to stick to a program. You think that keeping your weight loss efforts a secret from your family and friends will protect you from being judged if you fail to keep on track, and worse fail to reach your goals. However, keeping those close to you in the dark about your efforts can actually harm your success and in fact make it easier for you to loose motivation. So…tell those close to you about your goals and what you are doing to attain them. They will hold you accountable and help praise you in your successes.
5) Weighing in day and night. The scale is a helpful tool to measure weight loss success. But it isn’t the end all, be all. Our weight fluctuates with a few pounds any given day. So checking in once a week or every other week and seeing a gradual change in the weight range is the best thing you can do for your motivation. There are so many factors that can play a part in weight changes, that it is difficult to really use that as the only tool. Instead look for changes in your reflection, or the way your clothes fit.
Finally, if you still find that motivation doesn’t stick with you, but you really want to loose weight, look into hiring a professional. Hey, it’s okay to not feel motivated to work out hard. Many people have a hard time sticking to a program and that’s why they hire a personal trainer. Someone to hold them accountable, and more importantly motivate them to push harder and stick to their program.
Are you looking for a San Diego weight loss program that will motivate you? Andrea King certified La Jolla personal trainer offers effective personal training programs to inspire her clients to attain a healthy lifestyle and keep it for life.