I am still in a bit of a writing funk. But I don’t want to leave you guys hanging, so I am going to repost something that you may not have had the chance to read. I think this is apropos and timely.
I wrote this as a guest post over at my buddy Martinus’s website (300poundsandrunning). He is an awesome guy who is on a fitness journey while trying to work and do school at the same time. Make sure to hit him up and give him some love.
Let’s be honest here folks.
Trying to lose weight is a job. There is nothing easy about it and if you do not work hard to maintain the lifestyle then it WILL fall by the wayside and the spark or motivation to continue will diminish. Hmmm. Sounds a lot like a relationship, doesn’t it? Wow. I feel like we are getting ready to delve into some crazy deep stuff right now.
So losing weight is like a marriage (or other long term relationship). When you first get involved, things tend to be going well. Life is fresh and exciting. You long to keep that spark lit and do things to keep the sizzle sizzling. But then, things start to slow down. You find yourself not trying as hard, maybe because you don’t think you have to. You find yourself getting distracted, not because you want to, but because the excitement is waning. You find yourself less motivated on a daily basis and things start to come apart. All of the sudden you realize that you have hit an emotional brick wall. You begin to wonder how it happened. But deep down you know that because of time and the amount of energy you put into it up front, that fatigue and maybe even boredom have crept into your life. It isn’t that you DON’T want this anymore. You just need something to keep things FRESH and EXCITING.
But remember, just like with marriage, this relationship with losing weight and getting healthy will still take time and energy. You just need to refocus. You have moved away from the “madly-in-love” stage and it is time to move into the “down-to-earth union of friendship and intimacy that happy long-term relationships are built on.
So here are 3 easy steps to rekindle that flame and find your weight loss motivation:
1. Shake Things Up
Remember the spontaneous days when you and weight loss were just getting to know each other? You would do anything to make weight loss notice you. You lifted heavy, you ran as fast and far as you could, and you counted every last calorie. But then you settled into a routine. You started to get comfortable. It was easy enough to keep the same running pace and maybe even back off a little. You pretty much knew what you were eating so you quit counting calories. And I mean, come on, that bag of Skittles shouldn’t really count towards your calorie count anyway, right? Well now that things have become mundane, it is time to shake things up. Try a new series of workouts. Try a new class. Do research on foods that are clean and healthy that you have never tried before. Challenge yourself to eat the most interesting, yet healthy foods that you can. AND MAKE SURE TO TRACK YOUR CALORIES. If you are in a weight loss rut then get back to the basics.
2. Appreciate the Small Things (That are usually much larger than they seem)
Whenever we hit the weight loss doldrums we tend to get a bit depressed and we think things like, “Why bother.” Don’t forget about the little victories that HAVE happened during the journey you have been on. Remember that pair of jeans that didn’t fit before, but now do? Remember what is was like when you couldn’t fit in a booth at the restaurant but now you can? Maybe you haven’t reached victories like those yet. Maybe your only victory is that you had an entire week where you ate right and worked out and you lost 2 pounds. Own those victories and remember how you felt when they happened! Set realistic goals on a weekly basis and reward yourself (not with food, you are not a dog) when you hit them. It is always better to set several small goals with increasing difficulty than to try and go all out on the one major, seemingly unattainable, goal.
3. Deal With Conflict
In a successful relationship we must always learn that there are certain things that we need to let go of and certain things that we need to have patience with. These are usually the things that cause conflict. Weight loss is no different. There are certain things that will cause conflict in your journey. It may be certain types of foods that trigger negative responses. It may be a weight loss plateau. Whatever it is, learn to deal with it. DO NOT IGNORE IT. If you habitually run away from conflict then you will never be able to overcome it. Identify your issues, generate options, be open to tangents, focus on underlying needs, clarify the criteria needed to make a decision, implement that plan, then evaluate. Always remember that there will be hurdles on any journey. Be prepared and you will overcome them.
You know that you do not want this flame to die out. But sometimes finding the motivation to continue can be difficult. Try these three small tips out and see if you can’t rekindle the passion and desire you once had. Your body will thank you. Your life will thank you. (Who knows, maybe your lover will thank you!)