Staying Motivated on a Weight Loss Journey

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Today’s guest post, “Staying Motivated on a Weight Loss Journey” is part three of Emily’s story. As part of our commitment to motivate and inspire moms to prioritize their health, we’re sharing stories from real moms. If you missed Emily’s previous posts, click here to catch upJoin our Facebook family to connect with other moms who are starting or already on a journey to better health. 

staying motivated on a weight loss journeyEnergy is contagious. Negative energy gathers more negative energy, bringing down not only you, but those around you. Of course, positive energy works the same way, having a good attitude can brighten the day of those around you. After I had my rock bottom moment and decided that I couldn’t stay where I was another moment, my excitement and enthusiasm for the changes I was making became contagious and unstoppable. At least for a little while.

Seeing positive changes in your own body can also be a huge motivator. I was seeing changes slowly and steadily which kept me going, but after a few months and about 20 pounds gone I noticed that my motivation was lacking. This same situation had happened many times in my past experience with diet and exercise, and this would typically be the time I would give up. But this time I was determined to succeed, and so I started thinking about why my motivation was lacking. I was doing great with my food, but the exercise DVDs I had were ones I had done for years and years. I finally realized that I was so very, very bored.

Some people are runners; they love being outside in the world listening to the slap of their feet on the pavement and the great running mix they programmed into their MP3 player. Some people are swimmers; they love speeding through the cool water to the rhythm of their breath and the strokes. As I began experimenting with different types of exercise, I was surprised to learn that I am a dancer. I am a dancer with no coordination or skill, but dancing speaks to my soul and calls me back, makes it okay to wake up early each morning and move. I found some DVDs that I enjoy that combine dance with strength training, and suddenly my motivation and enthusiasm were back as strong as ever and my weight loss accelerated.

I think that there is a perfect exercise out there for everyone, something that they would want to do everyday even if it didn’t help them lose weight. That thing may change over time as people change, but there is always a good way for each person to get up and move.

Now that I found my perfect, soul mate exercise, I was able to stay motivated and soon my goal weight was in sight. The day I met my goal weight was so exciting! I soon realized, though, that even though I was finally at this “perfect” weight that I used to think was unattainable, I actually wasn’t done yet. I had gone from 190 pounds to 140, from clinically obese to a weight within the healthy range. But the next week I was down another pound, and the next week another, until soon I settled in nicely at 130 pounds. I hadn’t actively tried for the extra 10 pounds, but with me still fueling myself correctly and making sure to move daily, my body just naturally settled in to a better weight for me.

I now had a new wonderful problem, none of my clothes fit! The day I cleaned all my old, too big clothes out of my closet was one of mixed feelings. It was as if I was looking my old self in the eye and saying goodbye forever. I took everything that didn’t fit anymore and donated it. Part of me said to hang onto those clothes just in case I slipped and ended up that size again, but recognizing those thoughts made me even more determined to get those old clothes long gone. My closet looked so much emptier, but I couldn’t have been happier!

So I was finally at my goal weight and beyond, the old clothes were cleaned out and gone, but the questioned remained, could I maintain this new lifestyle? I had always been the yo-yo dieter, was I destined to go back to being obese?

To be continued…

Weigh-in: what are your tips for staying motivated on a weight loss journey or journey to better health?

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