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Exploring Womanhood > Mind, Body & Soul > Weight Loss & Fitness Channel > Healthy Eating and Weight Loss

My Motivation Took a Vacation!
by Linda Spangle, RN, MA

Motivation is funny. For one thing, it always seems to leave right in the middle of a good weight-loss program. You were doing so well. Then one day, you lost your motivation and you just didn't feel like working on it anymore.

Soon you start noticing your tighter pants or shortness of breath, and you desperately want to get back to your diet. But day after day, your good intentions slip away, and you can't figure out how to get motivated again.

It's interesting how when motivation is high, you feel energized, driven, focused and determined. Nothing gets in your way, and you always have the ability to push yourself and get things done.

But once you lose motivation, inertia takes over. You keep saying you want to change, but you can't seem to get yourself out the door. And grabbing a bag of chips seems so much easier than planning, measuring and cooking. So how do you get back to that wonderful place where motivation is strong and you easily stick with your program?

Create some Buzz

First of all, realize that motivation isn't permanent. You don't "get it," then never have to worry about it again. That's why being able to build your own motivation is so important. Instead of depending on an external crisis to get you started, you can create your own wake-up call. Figure out ways to generate your own excitement and energy for your goals. Look at motivation as an opportunity, not a burden or a nuisance, then develop the resources you need to sustain it.

Here's a couple of ideas that will help you get back on track.

  • Think about WHY
    Write a list of at least ten reasons WHY you want to lose or maintain your weight. If you've done this before, write a new list. Then pull out the previous one and compare the two. Any time you start to lose motivation, read your list and use it as an incentive to stick with your efforts.

  • Give it attention
    Saying 'one of these days, I'll get going' doesn't usually work. Whether you're starting a new diet plan or returning to the gym, you have to stick with it, day after day, to see results. So lay out a solid plan, give it focus and attention, then follow through with it.

  • Do it when you don't feel like it
    When you don't feel like working on a diet or exercise program, that's usually when you need it the most. So unless you're physically ill, don't let your feelings determine your actions. Invent new tricks, create new methods, and stay on your program, even when you don't feel like it.

Vacation's over! School is back in session, and along with that comes a little homework. So push yourself to work hard, stay focused, and aim for the top of the class. With renewed motivation, your efforts will pay off and you'll see the results in your mirror as well as your lifestyle.

About the author:
Linda Spangle, RN, MA, is a weight-loss coach specializing in emotional eating, and the author of 100 Days of Weight Loss, a book of daily lessons that helps people stay committed to their diet and exercise plans. Her website is www.weightlossjoy.com.


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