Georgie Fitzgerald is one of our Balance members who has undergone a weight loss transformation. In the past year she has lost over 20kg and shed a few more when she participated in our My Balance PT program in January (now My 90 Day Evolution). In this article she shares some of her tips for staying motivated in winter.
Hello Balance buddies,
I have had some questions recently from friends asking about how to stay motivated over winter, so I have researched some strategies that will help if you are struggling to keep up your motivation to stay fit and melt fat. It’s natural to fall into a bit of a slump in the colder months, especially after the initial enthusiasm wears off, but the key to getting fit and losing weight quickly and healthily is to maintain the drive to stick to your plans. It won’t always be easy, but you can get your motivation back – and keep it. The following tips will help you stay strong, positive and inspired to reach your goals. Gxxx
Body transformation tip 1: Research and discover
Taking the time to regularly learn new healthy eating tips and strategies to keep you fit will ensure that you stay focused on your goals. Sign up to the Balance forum, Facebook page and email newsletters on the Balance website. It’s a great resource and Balance will give you regular updates – having a fresh idea each day will keep your food plan interesting and will allow you to be motivated to uncover new things and thus find out what works for you.
Body transformation motivation tip 2: Write down your goals
Be clear about what you want. If you set yourself straightforward, achievable goals with real deadlines, you’ll have something specific to work towards and a timeline to keep you on track. Also tell others about your goals – this makes you accountable and gives you a sense of urgency that will prompt you to always keep your aims in mind. Choose long-term, medium-term and short-term goals that will get you to where you want to be in a healthy amount of time. Write them down, keep them next to your bed and make sure you refer to them regularly and track your progress.
Body transformation tip 3: Write a weekly food and exercise plan
Plan ahead by writing a menu for the week and putting it on the kitchen wall (lots of recipes available through the Balance website), and go shopping with a list. This will help you stay focused and real in regard to your weight loss. Plan your meals and when you are going to exercise. This makes organising your week much simpler. Keep a food diary and write down small goals for each day. For example: “My goal for today is to walk 10,000 steps and drink three litres of water.” Having a well-thought-out strategy is a good way to keep up your motivation, as it will remind you that it is possible to lose the weight you want. Keeping a record of what you are eating and what exercise you are doing each day is a good way to keep your motivation levels high.
Body transformation tip 4: Use visualisation
Most motivational speakers, personal trainers, wealth-creation coaches and weight-loss consultants use this tool with clients regularly because they believe that the future you see is the future you get. The power of visualisation is a strong tool and one that is easy to use. An example of this is: Imagine yourself at your goal weight – and be specific. What clothes are you wearing? What are you doing? How does it feel? Really tune to how it feels, because it would feel fantastic, you would be happy, you would hold your head high. Keep picturing yourself looking your best and remind yourself that you have the power to get there. Chances are, the image in your head will be strong enough to overpower that chocolate craving. If you used to be slimmer and have gained weight, find some old photos of yourself and put them where you’ll see them regularly.
Body transformation tip 5: Create a support network
Surrounding yourself with people who respect your goals and who will encourage you to stick to your plans (rather than persuading you to have that last piece of cake!) is one of the best ways to stay motivated and in control. Tell your close friends and family about what you want to achieve and try to recruit a support buddy who can share your struggles and triumphs and even work out with you. If you don’t know anyone in that position, join the Balance online forum which discusses weight-loss issues – here you’ll find like-minded people from all over Australia, or even the world, who can help you stay on track.
Body transformation tip 6: Reward yourself
As you reach your short-term goals, it is important to give yourself a moment to honour the great work you are doing to achieve your weight loss. This is a wonderful way to stay motivated. For example, when you’ve melted five kilos of fat, choose something that makes you feel good, such as a massage or a facial. Put aside $15 for every kilo you melt off your body and, when you reach your five-kilo target, you will have enough money to reward yourself.
Body transformation tip 7: Buy an item of clothing
Treating yourself to a new pair of jeans or another item of clothing can be a powerful motivator to lose weight. Buy something that is just slightly too small, so that you know you’ll have to lose a few kilos before you can wear it. Hanging it up where you can easily see it in your wardrobe will remind you each morning when you get dressed to stay strong and on track throughout the day.
Body transformation tip 8: Inspirational quotes and pictures
Put up things that will encourage and inspire you to do your best. It might be pictures of people at your ideal weight, or even old pictures of yourself where you looked your best. Some people like having motivational quotes or affirmations – find something that works for you. If you’re too embarrassed to have them in the living area, try something more discreet such as saving them into your phone. Then you can look at them whenever you need an extra motivational boost.
Body transformation tip 9: Find a training partner
Recruit a friend who’s either already into fitness and can help give you advice and motivation for your workout routine, or who also wants to lose weight and can join you at the gym. Being in it together makes the whole process much easier, and you’ll be much more likely to keep the commitment.
Body transformation tip 10: Hire a trainer or get a free gym assessment
If you can afford it, it might be worth hiring a personal trainer to keep you motivated. They can show you the most effective ways to work out and develop an exercise plan that is tailored to your goals, as well as standing by you to push you to work harder. Even just a one-off session is a good investment – it will renew your enthusiasm and give you some new ideas along with a specific program you can then follow on your own.
Body transformation tip 11: Make a list of the reasons why you want to lose weight
We all want to lose weight for different reasons – and it can help to really crystallise what yours are. Write a list of the general and specific reasons why you want to lose weight and keep it somewhere you can refer to it often. For example: “I have a 30-year school reunion in December and want to look fit and healthy,” or “This summer I want to wear bathers on the beach.” When you write down the reasons why you are on this journey, you will have a clear set of answers to refer to if and when you start to feel like “what’s the point?”.
Body transformation tip 12: Only keep healthy food in the house
Of course, this is easier if you live alone. But if you can control the groceries that get bought, then keep away from junk food. If there’s none in the house, there’s nothing to tempt you when you start craving sugary things. Try to avoid going to the supermarket when you’re hungry – you’ll be far more easily persuaded by things you see browsing the aisles. Use your weekly menu plan to make a list of what you’re going to buy before you go, and stick to it. If you do have to buy sweet treats or high-carb foods for others in your family, then put them in a tub with a lid in the pantry. This food is for other people in your home. Have your delicious and healthy treats on another shelf. You may be surprised to find that, once you start to regularly eat better food, the rest of the house will want to follow suit.
Body transformation tip 13: Get creative and mix things up
Focus and motivation start to wane when you get bored of your weight-loss routine. Keep things interesting by trying new healthy recipes and different workouts – even just changing the route of your daily walk, or switching one of your swimming classes for Pilates. You might even discover different things that you enjoy more, so keep trying out new ideas. As your body starts to change and you begin to feel lighter, you will begin to appreciate that those daily habits and rituals keep the weight-loss momentum going.