WEEK 7: Finding your Motivation…aka FOCUS Mama San!
Ten weeks is a long time to stay focused….which explains why losing weight over the long run is difficult to do. Crash diets do not work. Most of the weight that you lose when you cut calories drastically is water and muscle. This lowers your metabolism, lowers your lean body mass, and lowers your energy levels. It also throws your body in to “panic mode.” Your body compensates by laying down extra fat stores and making you insanely hungry. That’s why most crash dieters find themselves standing next to the freezer with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s sooner or later!
For the past 7 weeks, I’ve increased my activity and gradually cut back on calories. Not every week has been a success, but over all, I feel like things are going well. I stay motivated by reminding myself that I am in this for the long haul. Every change that I have made has brought me closer to the lifestyle that I maintained before becoming a mom to two small children. As the kiddos have gotten a bit older and more independent it has gotten easier to do things “my way”.
Here are my tips to stay motivated.
- Set realistic goals. Even though I have a “weight goal,” it is no more than 10 lbs in 10 weeks. It isn’t something that requires insane food restriction or marathon exercise sessions. If I had set my expectations too high, I would be disappointed and less likely to keep going when it became obvious that I couldn’t meet the weight goals that I had set.
- Eat food that you enjoy. I stay excited about meals by trying new dishes–I love the variety of fresh produce available this time of year and have fun experimenting with new salad ideas or grilled items. I can prepare low fat and/or low calorie dishes that are delicious and forget that my goal is to cut calories.
- Find a form of physical activity that makes you happy. I look forward to our evening walks as a family. It gives us all time to enjoy the cooler evening hours and to catch up after a long day. It lulls the little ones into a state of relaxation to sit in the double stroller and watch the world go by. I also look forward to my three weekly sessions with a personal trainer. I share one day with my friend B–and laughing with her makes Monday’s work out something to look forward to. I can’t wait for the pool to warm up a bit so that we can enjoy some swim time!
- Hugs and High Fives. Make sure that you record your progress! Take pictures, measure yourself, weigh in weekly. You will see changes if you are consistent and you can look back over the photos and numbers if you are feeling down. I have finally taken some photos that look “like me” and it thrills me! J says that I should zip up my wedding dress…maybe that will be my after photo in a few weeks 🙂
- Rely on your Peeps. I have wonderful friends who cheer me on. They are the voice of reason that directs me back to the bright side when the scale doesn’t budge….and they point out that my body is changing even when the numbers are not. XOXO
- Reward yourself. Met your goal? How about a new pair of earrings or a pedicure? Find something that isn’t related to food and celebrate!