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LOSING WEIGHT AND STAYING FIT: EIGHT SURE WAYS TO STAY MOTIVATED

There is no better feeling than the accomplishment of losing weight the way you planned and being able to live life in the body that you love. And there is no greater feeling than looking at yourself in the mirror and liking what you see.

The journey between where you currently are and where you desire to be, weight-wise and fitness-wise, may however sometimes seem an impossible one, full of ups and downs, and full of strides and setbacks. A lot of the times, we get tired and struggle to find the motivation to continue on our journey.

If you are in that dark place right now where you are looking for motivation to continue to lose weight and stay fit, here are eight tips to stay motivated:

Set a short-term goal

When your focus is on losing 100 pounds in three or four months, you tend to get unmotivated to do something about weight loss right now. And when you check the scales and see that your weight is not going doing fast enough, you tend to get discouraged. The sure way to cure this discouragement and get moving is to set a short-term goal that you would like to achieve, fitness-wise.

For example, you might want to sign up for the next 5k race happening in your locality. Mark the date on your calendar in bold letters. Go register early, and find out what you need to do to get ready.  Then start preparing for the race. Commit yourself to an exercise regimen that will get you ready and in shape by race day.

Your goal may be to get in an old bikini by your next annual beach vacation.

Whatever your goal is, make sure it is realistic and doable.

And as you start working towards achieving this one short term goal, you will find that you are losing weight in the process and/or getting fitter.

Make it fun, whatever you do

If you are not having enough fun, you are not likely to stay committed. So, you need to make your exercise routine fun even though you are working hard to lose weight and stay fit. Remember that maintaining a consistent exercise routine doesn’t mean that you spend all your allotted exercise hours on the treadmill and/or at the gym. One key way to make it fun is to switch it up and have a variety of exercise you can swing between.

Do some salsa dancing – You won’t only become a better dancer, but shed some pounds in the process. Do the hula hooping with friends and family. Play sports with your significant other or kids.  Go strolling in a new area of the city, taking in the city sights, while getting some exercise in via walking.

The key is to mix it up and have fun while at it.

One key advantage is that adopting variety in your exercise routine challenges your body in unique ways, and you get to work out almost all the muscle groups in your body.

 Reach out for support

Find a friend or a family member who is also interested in staying fit as you are, and be the support system each other needs. This other person/people can cheer you up when you are feeling unmotivated, and you can do the same for them.

If you have a jogging partner, for example, it is harder for you to hit the snooze button on your alarm because you’ll leave your partner waiting in vain.

If you can’t find a friend or family member who can offer and receive this support, reach out and join an online community with fitness trainers, nutrition experts, and other people trying to lose weight and maintain exercise routines and adopt a healthy diet.

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Inspire yourself with other people’s stories

When you are down on yourself, one great way to pick yourself up is to watch or listen to the story of others who overcame challenging life obstacles. So, read or watch documentaries about athletes, other people who have lost weight, or others who had difficult situations that they overcame in the end.

This makes you want to try harder at facing your own mountains and not giving up.

Don’t forget it’s a journey

We, as a species, love immediate gratification, and the odds are that you would love to lose a whole lot of weight in the first week and see immediate results in your body.

This is often not the case. And this is why you must remember that it is a journey. Never underestimate how long losing weight and hitting your fitness goals may take, and don’t be too hard on yourself if it seems you are not getting there quick enough.

It is a journey, remember?

Reward yourself often

When there is a reward right around the corner, you will be motivated to complete your exercise routine. So, schedule your reward appropriately. It could be a massage after finishing up a week’s worth of workouts. It could be buying new workout gear, a new computer game you can only play after exercise or a new book.

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Make physical activity a normal part of your day

Because all of us can be fantastic at giving excuses why we are not exercising, the best way to avoid this is to make physical activity a part of your daily routine, what you do without thinking. You can take the stairs instead of using the elevator, take a walk during your break hour, part at the furthest part of the parking lot and walk to the entrance.

Take breaks as needed

If you didn’t know it before, there is such a thing as exercising too much. When your body feels physically worn out up to the point that it hurts to even think, your body is giving you a signal. This is the time to take a day off. Use the time you would have used to exercise to do something relaxing, then resume your exercise routine when your body feels better.

This way, you avoid being burnt out.

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