Want to lose weight or get fitter, but can’t find the motivation? You need to find a reason to hit the gym, or to start a new diet. Saying “I will start on Monday” is for many, just not enough incentive. Try some of these strategies to help yourself get off the couch, restock the fridge, and reduce belly fat.
* Special occasion. Circle the date on the calendar and set yourself realistic goals. This would be for most, 1-2 pounds per week. Whenever you feel like eating that chocolate cookie, or skipping your workout, visualise the new outfit that yu want to wear. For extra encouragement try posting a picture on the fridge or bedside table to remind you why you are getting up early to go for a jog, and why you are not eating the pizza. Birthdays, anniversaries, reunions, vacations, they all work extremely well, just set that date before you start.
* Medical reason. Your doctor may have already given you a warning, or suggested, subtly or not, that you need to lose a few pounds, drop the blood pressure, or reduce your waistline. You may have a family history of strokes, heart disease, high blood pressure, or type 2 diabetes. You may have seen someone in our family struggle to get around with the bad back or knees, lugging those extra pounds.
These are all extremely good motivators to get you going. If they are not, schedule a visit to your doctor and hear the scary facts for yourself. Better still, get some tests done and then let the doctor tell you what could be improved just with some diet and exercise. Don’t forget many health issues today (like diabetes type 2) are avoidable just by making healthy choices.
* Self esteem. Feeling fantastic can make a huge difference to your self esteem. If you see yourself in a more positive light, then so will the rest of the world. If those extra pounds are eroding your confidence, get rid of them. Think about how much better you are going to feel, when trim, taut, and terrific.
* Have more energy. Tired of being tired? Need more energy to play with the dog, kids, or grandchildren? Being unfit, or carrying excess pounds makes you more tired. Once you start your new regime you will notice within a couple of weeks the extra stamina you have. Once you start having fun it should be easy to keep on going.
* Revenge. For those who have suffered some personal turmoil, like a heart break, there can be nothing better than looking and feeling fantastic. Yep, everyone might down a few beers or take solace in the ice cream for a short while but then it is time to get it together. After the chocolate and pizza mourning stage, you will want to be seen putting your very best foot forward. No-one is worth gaining 10 pounds for, or going up a dress size. If that isn’t enough, think about how you will feel in your new outfit when you bump into your ex looking better than ever.
* Appearance. Wanting to look better in your jeans, swimmers, or workout gear is a great reason on its own to shape up. No-one likes to feel embarrassed about how they look. Move your smaller clothes to the front of your closet where you can see them each and every day.
* Embarrassment in public. Maybe the thought of being seen in public, or eating out, or even doing the groceries, brings you out in a cold sweat. Perhaps you worry what others are thinking when they see you eat, or not eat. Maybe you just don’t want to embarrass your kids or your partner.
* Space. Some people just start to get upset about the amount of space they take up in the office. Or perhaps they are tired of not fitting into seats on the plane or the cinema.
Use a valid reason, whether it be health, vanity or something else, to help get you into your shorts. Once you have found something you feel passionately about, and have set yourself realistic goals, the rest will follow on more easily.