Photos by Ryan Mowery
After more than a month of making unpleasant adjustments to your new fitness plan, you are starting to see obvious differences when you look in the mirror. A standard running distance for you is now a solid 2 miles, but you could probably keep going. Eating only healthy meals and snacking smart isn’t just easy, it’s second nature. You can’t help but agree when your family and friends tilt their heads in admiration as they acknowledge your slimmer shape.
Congratulations! You (like me) have achieved the funnest part about losing weight and getting fit. Let’s bask in it and perpetuate, shall we?
You should really take a moment to fully appreciate that your body and mind have made themselves comfortable in a marvelous and pain-free stage of the plan. At this stage of the game, fear, suffering, and laziness cease to exist. Even better that motivation, confidence and energy have taken their place and seem to be thriving.
I credit my own arrival at this place to my own dedication and ‘can’t stop won’t stop’ attitude. But I also need to give thanks to all the tricks that got me through the dark place I was in throughout the first couple weeks of June.
I put on a good face, but as expected, June was rough. All I wanted to do was feed myself bad things like tortilla chips and french fries. If we’re being honest here (and I really think we are), there were a small handful of times that I cheated. I’m not proud of myself, but I must own up to this fact in writing. When cheating happens, it’s natural to want to give up on the whole ‘working out thing’ altogether. It can get out of hand. What I’m talking about is this mentality: “well I already messed up this whole day, so I may as well just not workout and start over tomorrow.”
But thankfully, I have plenty of little maneuvers in my bag of tricks that assist me in fooling, forcing, and sometimes guilt tripping myself into exercising. They’re not really tricks so much as they are blatant manipulation of the mind. Now I am aware that these tricks probably won’t work for everyone, but they certainly work for me. To develop your own self-motivating tricks, one must have a solid understanding of one’s own mind. Try these ones until you figure out your own tactics. And when you do, please share them with me!
The next time you update your Facebook status or tell someone your plans for the day, make your exercise plans known. Say, “I’m going to the gym,” or “I think I’m going to go for a run.” This will hold you accountable and reaffirm your plans to exercise while making you believe your own words. You have already decided you are going to workout, and have now made it public knowledge, so you better follow through!
Play dress up
Even if you’re loathing the workout, take the first step and put on your sports bra, workout clothes and tennis shoes. (Sometimes I even set out my clothes ahead of time to persuade me to put it all on. Tricky tricky!) Once you’ve put all this effort into changing your clothes, you will feel far too foolish taking it all off with that pathetic look of failure on your face. Now that you’re in the clothes, working out doesn’t seem like such a huge task, huh? Your brain goes from thinking you might not workout, to thinking that you must be since you’re suddenly strapped into the sports bra.
Wait out the weigh in
Wait a month between weigh-ins. This is one of the best ways to keep you motivated in the long term because you’ll see a bigger amount of pounds come off, and seeing that loss will keep you motivated for the next 30 days. This will, in turn, help you lose even more weight because you’ll stick with it. Eventually, your monthly weight loss will become less drastic, but this just means that you are in better shape, so you need to crank up the intensity on your workout regimen. The best part? You can handle a tough workout because you’re strong and physically fit.