I lost weight many times before. And gained it again... This time it's different. This time I made a plan, created a vision. I can clearly see all the benefits that weight loss will bring me, instead of focussing on the unwanted pounds that keep me company. And I appreciate every small step on the way to a healthy, strong body!
Here's my plan:
1. Set a measurable goal.
Just saying "I'm too big, I need to lose weight" doesn't give you a result to work towards to, nothing to celebrate. Make sure you know what you want to achieve and measure your progress frequently. Ways to measure your results are:
- weekly writing down your lost pounds
- fitting into different size of clothing
- measuring the diminishing of your waistline (centimeters/inches)
- measuring the time you can walk briskly before being out of breath
2. Celebrate your successes!
Don't wait acknowledging yourself for what you achieved till you reached your final goal. Break your desired result into smaller steps, and celebrate along the way. So if your goal is to lose 20 pounds and you lost 1 pound this week, be happy and give yourself a little treat. Preferably non-food or low in calories ;-). This keeps you motivated. You communicate to yourself that you are succesful in achieving your goals. This way you get used to think of yourself as succeeding in what you planned to do.
3. Create a workout routine that works for you and stick to it.
And be realistic on this one. I'm all for big dreams and stretching yourself outside your comfort zone, but if it comes to planning a routine, you better make sure it's doable for you every day, not only in these rare weekends that you feel very motivated... If you only have 30 minutes a day, there's no use in planning a 2 hour workout. Find something you like doing and just do it for 30 minutes.
Oh, and if you're seriously overweight, forget about the 30 minutes. Just start with a few minutes a day, an build it up slowly! Be proud of every extra minute stamina you gain.
Liking your workout makes sticking to your plan much easier. So do it, every day.
4. Have healthy snacks with you all the time.
If your appointment takes longer than you planned, or you're running late for diner while commuting, you don't want to be tempted to buy fastfood, cakes, chocolate or chips! Better prepare yourself for those moments, with a handful of nuts, a piece of fruit, a yoghurt, a tasty cracker or a small salad.
5. Picture yourself in a situation that makes you feel good.
For example, I dream about hiking in The Himalayas again, and if I lose 20 pounds and do my workout routine, I am fit enough to go for it. I have this mental picture of myself, walking the Annapurna Circuit, fit, happy and healthy. It's so much easier to be persistent in my weight loss plan if I focus on this dream!
6. Create a dream board.
Collect pictures and quotes that symbolize the benefits of reaching your goal for you.
For me, hiking in The Himalaya and wearing sexy dresses to a Cuban salsa party symbolize my wanted results. So I glued nice pictures representing both scenes on a piece of paper, to look at in difficult or weak moments. I made sure I also added happy, healthy pictures of myself.
This collage inspires and motivates me to go on. My mind looks at the attractive scene, and it becomes real, in the present. (At least for a short time ;-) )
7. Don't wait; start dressing smart and sexy before you reach your ideal weight!
This was the hardest part for me for a long time. I didn't want to spend money on a size XL dress that would be too big for me within months. Besides, I wanted to look really good in my new dress... so I ended up wearing blue jeans and loose t-shirts on salsa parties, feeling miserable, surrounded by women in nice sexy dresses.
I recently changed this, investing a little money in new, tight-fitting clothing for my current size. What a relief! I should have done it years ago; everybody told me I looked stunning and I felt really sexy and beautiful. Which of course motivated me big time to stick to my weight loss plan and create lasting results!
Next time I allow myself a treat to celebrate my loss of weight, I will buy a new dress or nice 'bling bling' earrings...
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These are my tips, I hope they will help you as much as they are helping me.
If you're still struggling with finding a workout routine that you actually like, you might want to read How to exercise, avoiding the Gym
Do you have any extra tips for me, to stay motivated and focussed?