How to Motivate Yourself to Get Fit & Lose Weight

Photo by Dana Lane Photography - Hair and Makeup by Janeen Jones

If the expression, “What you think about, you bring about,” is accurate then, when you’re trying to adopt a healthier lifestyle, exercise or lose weight, it can be especially important to keep a positive outlook.

I’ve come to recognize certain things about myself.  I realize that I’m like a barometer to my surroundings.  If it’s messy or cluttered around me, I feel physically uncomfortable, as if the chaos is internal.  If I’m around people with too much negative energy, I feel like it sucks the life out of me.  What I have learned after losing almost a hundred pounds is that, if you want to be successful and find balance in your fitness and clean eating goals, you need to not only tune out the Debbie Downers and Negative Nancys in your life, but you also need to make certain that the voice of doom isn’t coming from your own thoughts!  How you respond to your surroundings, the people in your life and your own doubts will ultimately impact your decision on whether to open the door to the gym or a box of cookies!

  • I’m too busy!

One minute you’re signing up for a gym membership, ordering all kinds of fitness and diet products, and the next minute you’re tempted to skip the workout if an unplanned circumstance arises and throws off your well intentioned, causing you to give up once again.

While it can be easy to think that you just don’t have the time to exercise, it simply isn’t true.  Ultimately, we all have the same number of hours in a day, and people tend to make time for what’s important to them.  My standard response when someone tells me that they’re too busy to workout is, “You’re no busier than a fit person, because they’re all busy too!”  As an added tip, I like to tell myself that my workouts give me the strength and energy to handle all the rest of what life might throw in my path that day.

  • I don’t want to deprive myself!

If “I’m too busy” is the mantra of those who have trouble working some fitness into their days, then “I don’t want to deprive myself” is the anthem of those who struggle with the clean-eating piece of the puzzle.  To handle the deprivation dilemma, I want you to picture the rabid ex-smoker.  You know the type. They used to smoke and really enjoyed it but, when they finally quit, they turned into one of those people who won’t let other people smoke in their homes, tell other smokers how bad their clothes smell, and wave their hand furiously in front their face if others were smoking within a fifty foot radius of them.

Photo by Elia Photography

Now, do you think the ex-smoker feels deprived?  I’m sure they’re proud of themselves, because quitting smoking is a very hard thing to do.  When you feel that you’re depriving yourself by not eating every piece of cake that passes your way at an office party, try to ask yourself what it is that you really think you’re missing out on.  While it isn’t easy at first, as I’m certain it was hell for the smoker trying to quit as well, give yourself a chance to get “on the other side of the mountain,” so to speak.  Unlike the smoker who knows better than to have “just one,” I promise there will still be cake in your future.

  • Healthy food doesn’t taste good!

Certain questions come up over and over again, but this is one I get asked a lot:  “Why are all the foods that taste good, bad for you?”  While there’s certainly an awful lot of delicious tasting food that’s not scoring well on the calorie and health meter, I wonder if they truly believe healthy food really doesn’t taste good.

I think part of it is what people are used to eating.  When you’re conditioned to eating high fat, high sugar and salt rich foods, eating anything else will never taste the same to you.

I remember once having a former Marine as a teacher in middle school.   He was very proud of his service, and rightfully so. During a class, someone asked him what the best meal he ever had was and I’ll never forget his answer.  He said, simply, “an onion.”  He explained that while he was a prisoner of war, he had been extremely hungry when someone gave him an onion and he remembered being very grateful to get it.  That leads me to believe that the food you consume is governed by the food you’re used to eating.  Give yourself time to acclimate to new tastes.  Don’t look with disdain on your grilled salmon or fresh salad. If you think you’re eating gruel, it’ll taste like it.  Did you know that years ago they used to feed lobsters to prison inmates?  I’m sure they thought they were disgusting.  Put your mind in the game, determine if you’re truly hungry (or more likely bored or thirsty) and try to really enjoy the taste of fresh foods. Also take pleasure in the way those food choices will ultimately make you feel and look!

  • I hate to exercise!

You GET to workout; you don’t HAVE to workout.  Movement and physical ability are a gift, so treat them that way.   Believing that you hate to move is detrimental to your fitness efforts!  If you’ve ever taken a small child to a birthday party at one of those indoor trampoline parks or inflatable bouncy places, they are soon a sweaty, happy mess and you practically have to pry them away to get them to eat the standard pizza and cake.  I’m not sure what changes to make adults think of movement as work. rather than play, but I’m certain that it’s how they perceive it that makes the difference!

Want to bring about some healthy and positive changes?   Handle negative thoughts like you would an unwelcome email and hit “unsubscribe!”

After Photo by Dana Lane Photography
Hair and Makeup by Janeen Jones Hair and Makeup