The Secret to Success: Keeping Your Momentum
When most people begin a weight loss or exercise program, they feel excited, motivated, and enthusiastic and usually see immediate results. How does one maintain this enthusiasm?
Weight loss after bariatric surgery is often referred to as a journey, because it takes time to lose the desired weight and to adjust to a new way of life. A patient will often hit plateaus and setbacks and it’s easy to feel discouraged. If you find yourself struggling to stay motivated to follow your healthy eating plan or to continue with your exercise program, here are some tips that may help:
- Look beyond the number on the scale. Many patients notice looseness in their clothing or feel more energetic regardless of what the number on the scale says.
- Keep a journal with “small victories”. Refer back to the realistic goals that you have achieved such as reducing your clothing size. Look at “before” photos that prove how far you have come. Give yourself credit for what you have achieved so far and believe in yourself to continue until you reach your goal.
- Avoid negative self talk. Don’t allow yourself to think defeating thoughts. Motivation is about attitude and if your attitude stays positive, you can accomplish anything. If you find yourself running low on motivation, grab a friend who has a positive attitude who can help you over the bumps.
- Join a support group. Everyone needs support and encouragement at times so don’t be afraid to admit that you need some help.
If your lack of motivation is with regard to exercise, try the following:
- Put on your exercise clothing. You’ll be surprised how just by dressing as if you’re ready to exercise, you will get in the mood to exercise.
- Get started. Promise yourself that you just have to do 5-10 minutes. Once you get going, you may just continue. If not, at least you will have done something.
- Turn on your favorite music. This can do wonders to your mindset and mood.
- If music doesn’t work, try watching your favorite television show. You can even schedule your sessions at the gym when it’s time for your favorite program. Riding a bike or using the treadmill or elliptical definitely beats sitting on the couch and watching your favorite show.
- Track your fitness. This could keep you motivated by seeing how far you’ve come.
- Read some health related magazines. Monthly inspirations on health can definitely keep you inspired.