Weight Loss: 3 Tips For Staying Motivated When Times Get Tough

There will be times when you fall off track and gain a few pounds. There will be times when you gain many pounds. Whether you’ve gained a few or gained a bunch, you can get back on track if you don’t give up. 

3 tips to staying motivated:

1. Love yourself unconditionally. One of the most important factors for long-term weight loss and weight maintenance success is unconditional self-love. If you were heavy as a child and criticized because of it, you received the message that if you are not thin, you are not good enough. The child within you that wanted to be loved whether heavy or thin may rebel against you, and insist on eating when your adult self doesn’t want to. As an adult, you can give yourself the love and kindness that you weren’t given as a child by loving yourself regardless of what you eat and what you weigh. Re-parenting yourself heals many wounds. For long term success, the child within you needs to heal. 

2. Give yourself credit for the mini-successes you have. Part of being kind to yourself is being proud of how hard you’re working regardless of how successful you are. This is part of unconditional self-love. For example, if you go into Starbucks and you only get coffee instead of your usual coffee and a small treat, congratulate yourself. If you park your car a little further away than usual, give yourself credit. Weight loss is not black and white, and it isn’t about doing it right, wrong, perfectly or imperfectly. It’s about living the best way you can and believing that is good enough; it’s about doing your best, even if you wish you could do better; it’s about small adjustments to your lifestyle that add up to lifelong changes. 

3. Forgive yourself. There is a reason that you are eating more than you’d like. Everything we do is adaptive, which means it all has a function: every dysfunction has a function. A therapist can help you figure out what overeating is giving you. Perhaps it is indicative of a need to heal childhood wounds; perhaps there is a need to learn how to self-soothe without food. If you know that you are not overeating because you are weak or undisciplined, but rather because it is necessary, it will be easier to forgive yourself. If you can forgive yourself, you can work on things and move forward. If you beat yourself up, you won’t make any progress because that is not helpful; being mean to yourself won’t help you now, just as it didn’t help you as a child when others were mean to you. 

Weight loss and your relationship with food are complicated and ever-changing lifelong processes. You have to be willing to listen to yourself, give yourself what you need, and love yourself no matter what. If you have weight concerns, emotional eating patterns, binge eating, etc., the depth of it goes way beyond will power. However, if other people can lose weight and keep it off, so can you. Be patient and kind to yourself, and don’t give up!  

Comments

  1. Very well said – now if only some would take practical advice and stop searching for magical formulas, right? Blessings,

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