Thursday, 10 March 2011

Motivation

It goes without saying, if you want to lead a healthy lifestyle, you need the motivation to see it through. It's the same with anything. If you want to give up smoking, how are you going to do it if you don't have the motivation to see it through?
So, I thought I would write this blog about what motivates me to continue to eat healthy and not just throw it in and eat ALL the things I crave. The most obvious thing that motivates me, is the fact that I want a healthy body and healthy mind. The only way to do that is to eat right and exercise. I am also motivated by how far I have come. To throw it all away now would be a complete waste.
Since starting this blog, I have been more motivated than ever. I have had so many nice messages from people saying that they love reading this blog and that it motivates them too. Some have even said that it is inspirational. To be told your writing is inspirational is definitely a motivator to continue to eat well, so I can blog about it.
But, I thought I would write down more specifics on the things I do to keep motivated.

1) Photos you hate - nothing stops you going into the fridge for that snack you don't need like a photo of yourself you really hate. Is there a photo you have seen of yourself that made you think "I really need to change what I eat"? Then stick it on your fridge or make it your desktop picture. Every time you want to eat something you know you shouldn't, just look at that picture and tell yourself you don't want to be like that anymore, or you don't want to go back to that.

2) Photo you love - a photo that you love is equally motivational. Whether it is a picture of yourself at a size you want to get back to, or a picture of someone you want to look like. Whilst I don't overly agree with looking up to celebrities, that is mainly because young girls end up looking up to size 0 women who don't portray a healthy body image. I admire women who have a women's body, and that means curves. Rihanna is gorgeous, and this picture is going to go on my fridge to stop me eating when I am bored.





3) An event you want to look good for - There are a lot of people who change their diet because they want to feel more comfortable with themselves, or look better for a big event. It could be fitting into a new dress for your birthday, a holiday, or in my case......your wedding. Nothing kicks your arse into gear like having an impending wedding dress fitting. Whilst I don't want to lose any weight, I do want to tone up a hell of a lot. My dress is very fitted and will show up a lot of things I don't want it to at the moment. I am getting married to the most amazing guy in 9 weeks time and what with wanting to look good in my dress, there is the honeymoon 4 months after. As it goes, I have just started writing for an awesome American wedding blog. Go check out my post and look round the rest of the website too, it has some great stuff on it:

http://www.intimateweddings.com/blog/3-things-you-didnt-know-about-uk-weddings/

It is good to set yourself a target in regards to weight loss, or toning up. Just make sure it is realistic. You are not going to lose 3 stone in 10 weeks. You will lose around 1-2lbs a week, and this is the healthy rate to lose weight as well. Yes, Yes, you may lose 6lbs the first and second week, but TRUST me....it won't carry on like that, and if you have set yourself an unrealistic target, that you won't meet, you will end up being disappointed, which in my experience....leads to binge eating. Not good. So if you have an event coming up that you want to look good for, keep that in mind when making food choices. But remember that it is still okay to have a treat every now and then, it won't ruin anything.



4) Motivation from those around you - It is REALLY difficult to make changes to your diet if those around you are not supportive of it, especially those you are living with. I was, and am, very lucky that Dave (my Fiance, who I live with) was, and is, incredibly supportive when it comes to me wanting to eat well. He sees the importance of a healthy diet too, so doesn't sit there eating pizza and cake in front of me. He eats the same stuff as me as he knows how important it is to me and both of our health. When I first changed what I ate, because of heart problems, I found it really difficult. I have an addictive personality and wanted to binge eat so much, despite how ill it made me. Instead of caving in to my demands for take-aways and cakes, he distracted me and helped me through it as he knew it was better for my health. To be honest, I am not sure my own willpower would have been enough to get me through it at the beginning. It sounds like I am talking about crack or something, but I truly believe food is addictive. It's all the crap that goes into processed food, it makes you crave it so much and it is so easy to give in to, especially if you are eating for emotional reasons. If you have someone in your life that is not supportive of you wanting to change what you eat, then tell them how important it is to you. They love you, so they will want what is best for you. Plus, cooking together is fun!
If the people around you are not supportive, then turn to strangers on the Internet. Sometimes strangers are the best listeners. There are loads of great diet support forums on the Internet, full of people that know what you are going through and you can pick up loads of great tips. Try Minimins - that's my favourite.
5) Diamonds - If you have someone rich enough to buy you diamonds when you reach your goal, then I imagine it is a great motivation!




6) Reward yourself - In the beginning of my weight loss, I got into the VERY bad habit of rewarding my weight loss with food. It sounds so stupid, but I know so many people that do it too. it is easy to convince yourself that because you have been so good all week, and lost 2lbs, you can treat yourself to a day of take-away, ice cream, cake etc. Whilst it is important to treat yourself every now and again, rewarding yourself with food links food with emotions too much, and that is not a good road to go down. You should definitely reward yourself though! Changing your eating habits, and losing weight (if you need to) is a massive achievement and you deserve a reward. Instead of a food reward, buy yourself some new shoes, or a trip to the spa. These things will make you feel good, without undoing all your good work.

7) Keep a food diary - Write down everything you eat, and when you eat it. You might think you are eating well, until you see it all written down. I didn't realise just how much I was eating. I also think writing down your emotions you felt before and after eating is helpful. It helps you identify why you are eating. This is a great diary to print off and fill in each day:
http://www.personal-nutrition-guide.com/support-files/food_mood_journal.pdf



8) Keep one item from your "big clothes" - sometimes (stupidly, I know), I think that I don't look much different from before I changed what I ate. I know I do, I weight 7 stone less, so I damn well should do. But, when I think these things, I go to the back of my cupboard and pull out my size 22 jeans and put them on. I can actually get both my legs into just one of the legs. This is possibly the best motivation to stick at it and not throw it all away.




You need to find whatever motivates you. It's all well and good me saying what motivates me to not binge on cheese, but this might not work for you. Find what works for you, and remind yourself of it. It will make the world of difference.

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