I have to thank you all so much. Since I started blogging about my weight loss journey last February, you have been so supportive. I have received countless emails, and each one encouraged me to keep on "keeping on". The months went by, and my regimen remained pretty strict. I saw many pounds go away, and I was very happy with my progress.
In early fall, I hit another plateau, and remained there for several weeks. I became frustrated and depressed, and equally stressed out with my last semester of school work, the death of my grandmother, vacation, and the start of the holiday season. I ate, and slacked off in my regimen because of these factors.
Needless to say, I have not been as good as I once was… and I have seen the effects of this on my body, mind, and spirit. Without the exercise, it is easy for me to lapse into bouts of depression and anxiety.
I made it to the gym once last week. I have not been this week. And my diet? Well, I have been eating some Christmas candies… and my portion sizes are a little larger than they were previously.
I have gained a few pounds - about 3 or 4 - throughout these few months. I know that I can lose weight: I have lost 58 pounds since February. So, the discipline and resolve are there, just buried a little under the surface right now. I need to lose more, and I want to lose more. I need to psych myself up for it. I need to immerse myself in it like I did in previous months. That worked very well for me then, and I know it will work again.
Like many people, I am setting my sights on the new year to reinvigorate my weight loss regimen. My motivation needs to build momentum. If I start thinking and planning it now, I will be ready to go in January, and make that progress.
Some things I am doing now to motivate myself:
For months, I relied on the measuring tape to tell me more truth than the scale.
Measuring myself gave me hope when the scale did not. I saw that things were still happening to respond to the cardiovascular exercises, as well as the resistance training that I was so diligently doing. The biggest difference for the measurements, in my opinion, was the resistance training: the toning of the weights make smaller measurements. I can see the effects of not using the weights - specifically in my mid-section. With the new year, I will pull out the measuring tape again, and start anew. I will work hard to think about the positive – making new changes – instead of thinking about how I have gained in places that used to be smaller.
I kept a small notebook next to my scale, along with a simple tailor's tape measure. I measured myself every other Monday, usually twice a month. I even kept a copy of this log on my computer in a spreadsheet so I could visually map my progress. The change of the numbers really motivated me.
|Similarly, after I purchased my heart rate monitor, I was able to measure other things, like the amount of calories burned in a workout session, or approximately how many of these calories were from fat. It is a fascinating tool, and a real motivator for me. (I blogged about it here) The monitor itself plots your progress in a graph format on the watch display, and you can save your numbers to a computer program, if you have the proper equipment to link it to your computer.|
Motivation also comes from great articles, books, and columns. My #1 inspirational/motivational read is Experience Life magazine. The magazine is holistic in its approach – never showing 16-year old models with string bikinis, rather showing healthy people of all ages, and profiling people in the fields of health, fitness, and wellness. The magazine truly respects the link of body, mind, and spirit. They employ intelligent writers and nutritionists, and share success stories, and tips for day-to-day living. They have many of their articles archived on their website and they are available for free. One of my favorites was included in the October issue: "Weight Loss Rules to Rethink". I love this magazine, and look forward to its arrival in my mail box every month. It is entirely worth the price of subscription.
I also find motivation in hearing about other people's success. I see specials on the television, and I read them in magazines. It is also wonderful to see blogs with health/fitness information featured. When I begin part II of my regimen - a few short days away! – I plan to log my progress, and keep it on my (now outdated) weight loss page, a subset of this blog. My primary reason for making this information available is to motivate ME to do more and be more; and secondarily to inspire others to make positive changes in their own lives.
Where do you get your motivation? Does it come from reading other people's success stories? Does it come from reading a magazine or a book? buying new things?