Put your hand up if this sounds like you. You have been working your butt off for a week now, you haven’t had a grain of sugar or a sip of alcohol and you have killed yourself in the gym every single day. You are about to step on the scale and you are imagining a huge drop in your weight and …nothing. The number hasn’t changed. At all. You have said no to everything you love all week and have said yes to everything you hate and you haven’t been rewarded with anything. Not even one measly pound. So you go pour a giant glass of wine and devour your favourite tub of ice cream while sitting on the couch watching Netflix. You’re defeated and you’ve given up.
I want to tell you, and I am sure you have heard this before, that you are not alone in this. And I want to encourage you to keep going and to provide you with strategies to keep yourself motivated.
The first thing you need to do is stay away from the scale. You have to work so hard for such little gains and your weight can be affected by so many factors, such as where you are in your menstrual cycle, how much water you have or have not consumed, how much sleep you have had, regular bowel movements and hormonal factors. If you insist on weighing yourself, give it at least three weeks and weigh yourself on the same day of the week and at the same time of the day as you did the time before.
Let’s turn our attention instead to finding something to focus on to keep you motivated during those first few weeks so start with things that you experience immediately. Perhaps you celebrate the fact that you took the first step and went to that fitness class that you have had nightmares about since walking by it months ago. Or you focus on your improvements, like being able to do 10 full, from the toes, pushups. Or maybe you focus on your consistency and be proud of the fact that you woke up early every day before work, and moved, even if it was only for 10 or 15 minutes. Not pressing snooze and actually getting up to sweat is a way better feeling than stepping on the scale and barely seeing the number move. Or maybe it is getting excited about packing your lunch and not buying it, and skipping the office pastries with your morning coffee. Write these accomplishments down and share them with a few of your closest friends because you can’t do this alone. Having friends and other loved ones support you is key. Who knows, you may even motivate them to join you in this lifestyle change.
To make a change in your life you need consistency, dedication, sacrifice and hard work. Yes it is important that these new changes fit into your life but you need to make sure your life has room to make these changes. This means going to bed earlier so you can wake up and exercise. This means putting the kids to bed while wearing your workout gear then heading downstairs for a quick 15 minute sweat. This means less boozy Saturday nights and more Sunday morning runs, hikes, spin and yoga classes. You will never find time so you need to make it and these changes are not going to happen on your own.
You are probably going to hate a lot of the work it takes to “get fit” but soon you will learn to love the hate. Your sore butt after a spin class is something you look forward to because it is a reminder of how hard you worked. It won’t be long before an arugula salad tastes so much better than a gooey, doughy pasta because you will train your taste buds to crave vegetables over sugar. Make sure you find ways to move that you love and that inspire you. If you absolutely hate running, then don’t do it but find something else to replace it. We are all different and we can’t all love the same things so find what you love and find a way to make it challenge you. There is no wrong way to move.
Attached - Chloe Moretz leaving the gym the other day in LA.