Is Your Motivation Waning?
A co-worker sent me this. I found it to be good reading.
If you're like many people, you started the new year with some serious
dieting — and tons of motivation. But it's been a few months now... has your drive begun to wane?
You may have noticed it happening. A few weeks ago, you were excited to
strap on your sneakers and go for a walk. Now: What a nuisance. You prided
yourself on absolute perfection then; now, well... lots of high-calorie
foods are slipping under your radar. To an outsider, it probably looks like
you've given up. And it may even feel that way to you.
The good news is you're not alone. Running out of steam is normal, even if
it's to the point where you've stopped your efforts altogether. It's a page
in every success story. The difference between those who succeed and those
who don't, though, is what they do when they lapse — give up or keep going.
"Losing weight is a process," says Howard J. Rankin, PhD, clinical
psychologist and author of Inspired to Lose (Stepwise Press, 2001), "one
that requires work and naturally involves problems. So falling on and off
the weight-loss wagon is to be expected."
Think of it like a road trip. When you first get on the road, do you expect
to never have to stop and get gas? To never have to check the road map to
get your bearings? Also, when you get lost, do you get frustrated and say,
"Forget it, I'm going back home"?
No. You keep going. Because the place you want to go is worth the trip, and
giving up is not an option. It helps to look at weight loss in the same way:
You will get to your weight goal, no matter what the route. Rest stops along
the way are only pauses. They're not failures; they're lessons learned. It's
getting over the fear of failure that stops a lot of people from seeing
weight loss as a journey. When you've lost and gained over and over, the
prospect of dieting can become more intimidating, rather than less. You
don't want to be disappointed again. It can be hard to get back on track.
Tips for Resuming Your Weight Loss
Forgiving yourself when your diet goes poorly is the first step, but once
that's done, Rankin suggests putting things in perspective. Wherever you
are, from this point forward it can become better or worse. Then, take it
one step at a time to make things better.
Try these tips:
Set small, manageable goals to overcome the inertia of getting started. This
usually means tackling one behavior at a time, like cutting down on desserts
or drinking more water. One dieter, Melissa, started by substituting water
Reconnect with your motivation as often as you can. Revisit the reasons you
wanted to lose weight in the first place (if you haven't already, write them
down). Are they still true today, or do they need reworking?
Readjust your expectations. Finally, accept that if you wanted to lose two
pounds a week and are averaging two a month, at least you're moving in the