This week one of my members asked me for some additional time in the meeting spent on motivation and maintaining motivation over the course of one's weight loss journey. I thought this was a great suggestion, as I often hear motivation come up in my meetings and I see it often on the boards as well. Thanks to everyone who responded to my post on the 20's board regarding motivation to help get my brain going!
A - Attend your meetings - Meetings are where you'll get lots of great tips, ideas and inspiration from other members. It's a great way to kick off a new week and put the previous week behind you.
B - Be patient - You didn't gain weight overnight, so you can't expect to lose it overnight either. Remember the story of the tortoise and the hare - slow and steady wins the race. WW recommends a weight loss of 0.5-2 lbs after the first three weeks. Even if you lost 0.5 lbs every week for a whole year, you'd still lose 26 lbs by the end of the year, which is pretty amazing!!
C - Celebrate!! I love celebrating with members! Celebrate pounds lost, celebrate smaller clothing sizes, celebrate activity milestones - celebrate everything! The positivity is infectious and it's a great motivator. Plus, who doesn't love getting stickers or medallions or ribbons?
D - Dine in - Eating out a lot lately? Make yourself a deal and dine in. Not only will you be control of knowing what's in your meals, but you might find some new recipes or foods that you like. Trying something new will keep things interesting and help you stay away from the grilled chicken and salad. Again.
E - Examine your Motivating Strategy - How are you going to feel when you reach your goals? What's going on? What are you doing? How fantastic do you feel? Remember those feelings and utilize them when you need an extra boost or just to help you keep going on a day to day basis.
F - Find a WW friend - someone who can attend meetings with you, walk with you at lunch or try a new class at the gym. It will help you stay accountable and you will help them too! It's amazing what we can learn when we "teach" others.
G - Goals - Set goals, both short and long term, weight related and non-weight related. When you achieve a goal, make a new one and keep your eye on the prize.
H - Have fun - Sometimes weight loss seems like very serious business, but think about the AMAZING changes you are making in your life and how amazing you are going to feel as you reach your goals. You are engaging in a life-altering experience, so try to enjoy it!!
I - Inspire others - think about joining the Weight Watchers staff or apply to be a Success Story!! Being a staff member is an incredible experience. I learn and am inspired by my members every week and really helps me to stay on track. OR check out the website to apply to be a Success Story and share your story with others!
J - Jot down your goals and accomplishments - and put them in places that you'll see them, like on your fridge, in your calendar or at your desk. It will help remind you of what you're currently working towards and what you've already done.
K - Kick it up a notch - Sometimes our bodies grow accustomed to our routine, so try out a new activity. Take a class. Walk. Jog. Run. Swim. Play a sport. See what's offered at your local community center or gym and see if there's anything you're interested in.
L - Learn from your experience - have a look at what has worked for you in the past and what hasn't and use that information to help you in the present/future.
M - Manage your Thoughts - be aware of your negative thoughts and get rid of them. Can't, no, don't, never. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones and recognize all of the great things you've done and accomplished already.
N - Non-Scale Victories - enjoy them! They're important too and really help when things aren't going the way you want them to at the scale. Whether it's a new clothing size, a great choice made at a social event - everything that you do to contribute to your weight loss journey is a cause for celebration!
O - Open your mind - and change your thinking. You are capable of so much. Never forget it.
P - Persevere - Stick with it. Even when you're feeling down. You can do this. Remember the toothbrush analogy. You wouldn't stop brushing your teeth if you forgot one day or you didn't have time. Even if things are a little rough, get back on track and make it a new day.
Q - Quiz yourself - Go back to Week 3 (Think First) and take the Habit profile. Figure out what you're already doing well and work on the things that need a little TLC.
R - Reward Yourself - Once you've achieved a goal, be sure to do something nice for yourself. Book a massage, have a pedicure, buy that new book/top/ipod you've had your eye on. Once you've rewarded yourself, be sure to have another reward in mind when you reach your next goal.
S - Start over - go back to week one and think about what brought you to WW in the first place. Re-read your materials and take a trip to the grocery store. Rekindle your love affair with the program with the passion of a new member. You might even learn something new.
T - Track everything! Track your daily food intake. Track your activity. Track your measurements
U - Utilize your resources - meetings, materials in the meeting rooms, other members, ww.ca, ME - they are all there to help you in the meeting room and the other 99% of the week. Use them!!
V - Visualize success - what is reaching your goal going to look like? Feel like? Having a juicy Winning Outcome is really important and makes it super specific and relevant to you.
W - Weigh in - even when you think you've had a bad week. And those are the weeks to make sure that you stay for the meeting too!! Weighing in helps you to visualize a fresh start of a new week and if you've been off plan, a good way to motivate yourself to get back at it. You might here something in the meeting room that inspires you AND the weigh in might not be as bad as you think!!
XYZ - Anything extra that I haven't mentioned at this point! Check out the blogs I've listed in the blog roll. Read Success Stories. Read/post on the Message Boards. Check out articles on weightwatchers.ca. Read WW magazine. Find inspiring quotes. Find an inspiring/interesting book. Take a walk and clear your mind.
Sustaining motivation is a huge part of your weight loss journey and I hope this list can help. You have it within yourself to achieve your goals and reach your Winning Outcomes. I know you can do it. And if you fumble along the way, I'm always here to help pick you back up again.
You have within you the strength, the patience and the passion to reach for the stars and change the world - Harriet Tubman