January is winding down to a close. You know what that means, don't you? Most people who made New Year's Resolutions to lose weight and get fit are...losing their resolve.
Not me. I'm still going strong. And the scale rewarded me - I'm two pounds lighter today than I was this time last week (you can all clap now). Those descending numbers are, in and of themselves, motivating, but lord knows, they're not always enough to keep you going.
So I thought I'd take a few minutes to share some of the things that help me stay strong when I want to quit.
Take your measurements - The scale doesn't always give me the positive feedback I need. But that doesn't necessarily mean I'm not slimming down. That's why, at the start of any diet, I take all my measurements: bust, waist, hips, arms and thighs. Sure, the numbers make me want to cringe, but when I slide that tape measurement around my waist and see a smaller number peeking back at me, I can't help but smile.
Track your food - I know, this might seem counter-intuitive. After all, there's nothing more discouraging than realizing that you've blown your calorie budget five days in a row. But, if you keep it up, you'll notice that your habits are getting healthier. That you're learning how to eat better. So, even if you have to admit to eating three pieces of cheesecake, you'll have all that written proof that your dessert overload is an aberration, and not the beginning of a pattern. Sometimes, that's all it takes to stay strong.
Schedule workouts - and tell someone about it - Penciling a workout in isn't enough for me. Because when I'm tired? I don't really care that my calendar says I'm supposed to get to the gym. My husband is my secret weapon. I tell him I'm going to go, and then I tell him to make me do it. Sometimes, this forces him to call me some fairly nasty names, but in the end, I go.
Every once in a while, slide on those skinny jeans - At first, you may not be able to get them over your thighs, let alone button them up. But over time, they'll get closer and closer to fitting. And that? Is sure to make you feel good.
Set mini-goals, and reward yourself when you reach them - Right now, I'm shooting for a 5 percent loss. When I get there? I'm going to treat myself to a salon color job (instead of reaching for a box). That gives me something to look forward to...and motivation to get there before my roots start showing (Tori's turned me gray!!! But that's a gripe for another post).
Put a picture of your skinny self on the fridge - I have this photo of me in a bikini. An honest to god string bikini. And I look good (which is hard to imagine right now). But proof that I can look that hot will (sometimes) keep me from reaching for the ice cream.
Give yourself a deadline - For me, that's Tori's first birthday. I'm hoping to fit into my pre-preggo jeans by then, but really, my goal is to just not look pregnant anymore. Because on her first birthday? There will be pictures. Lots of pictures. And I don't want to cringe every time I look at them.
Those are my tricks. But I'm sure you guys have your own. So spill it. What keeps you motivated to lose weight?