How to Get Motivated to Lose Weight in 2019
7 Hacks You Can Do to Get & Stay Motivated to Lose Weight
40 pounds overweight.
2019 had to be different. And it was. I dropped more than 45 pounds. I made it happen.
This is how:
Little over a year ago.
I was depressed. 34 years old. Super overweight. The Girlfriend had moved away. Living back with a parent. Life couldn’t get any worse (it actually did, I ended up sleeping on an office floor for 3 months but that’s another story).
The only thing that made me feel better was the thought of joining a gym and changing my weight.
If I could control my health, then I believed I could change everything else.
The problem was I had thought this before and nothing had changed.
On December 27th, 2018, on a bright sunny day, I went into the gym and joined. I felt better.
The problem has never been to start.
The problem has always been to stay motivated to lose weight.?
Fast forward to December 2019
One year to the day I am 45 pounds less in weight. I managed to change.
The following points are some of the principals that made 2019 successful, and how I was able to stay motivated, working out 135 times and eating 140,000 fewer calories.
1. Start a stupidly small goal.
Immediately after joining the gym, I felt massive levels of anxiety. This anxiety was the internal fighting caused by the parts of me wanting to stay on the couch and the parts of me wanting to be motivated and fit.
I told myself that I needed to spend more than an hour at the gym for it to be beneficial. Wanting to be motivated at this high level gave me even more anxiety, which made it even more difficult to go.
I decided that I was simply starting a system.
I just needed to turn up to the gym for 5 minutes and to let that be the goal for the moment. I decided it was more important to establish a pattern of behavior of “showing up” than performing to any high level.
I literally walked in, turned the treadmill on, and walked for 5 minutes and left.
It looked totally ridiculous to the outside world but I didn’t care. This system worked. I started to feel more comfortable and after a couple of weeks, I pushed the workouts out to an hour.
I started the small goal of just “showing up” every day, and I soon got more comfortable and confident and this system of showing up stuck – I was on my way.
We don’t need to kill the gym in the first month. We just need to start a pattern of behavior that naturally gets easier to increase with a little time.
For too long my goal of perfection drowned me and prevented me from achieving anything.
I don’t need to be perfect. I just needed to start.
KEY TAKEAWAY: Set a stupidly small action to start losing weight. The aim is to build confidence and to simply start. Motivation turns on the engine but habits are the fuel that keeps us going.
2. Write down 1 goal and read It every day.
I have this stuck on the back of my bedroom door. I’m forced to read it daily. From the moment of having a written goal like this plastered there, consistency of going to the gym increased and my average attendance got to 3.5 per week easily.
Somehow the effect of reading my door goals, like the above, made it much easier to work out.
KEY TAKEAWAY: Writing a goal and looking at it every day, helps make it happen.
One thing at one time only
I started with exercise and I let the natural biochemistry changes that occur when you start exercising impact my appetite naturally. I knew from past experience that by lifting weights and not doing any strenuous cardio, just weights and walking, my appetite would decrease on autopilot.
People try and change too many things at once – they attempt to exercise, stop smoking, lose weight, quit drinking and the list goes on.
I’ve been far more successful if I focus consciously on one thing only. I then get that sorted and after a month, I focus on another.
If you choose to do a high-intensity exercise program, the story is different. Most of the time, high intensive exercise will increase your appetite, and people will tend to overeat after these types of workouts. This is why I prefer walking and simple weights for the purpose of losing weight easily.
KEY TAKEAWAY: Only focus on implementing one habit per month. Nothing more.
3. Intermittent fasting to lose weight and get strong.
When you skip breakfast you can eat bigger meals later in the day. When I started doing this consistently I didn’t feel guilty about having larger meals at night.
I intend to talk a lot more about intermittent fasting as I have found it to be the best personal system of weight loss that I’ve ever trialed. It even improved my skin. But this is for another article at a later time.
KEY TAKEAWAY: Start exploring Intermittent fasting as an option. I will be writing about this method of weight loss shortly. It’s much easier to be motivated to lose weight when there’s only one portion of the day you have to go hungry.
4. Eating vegetables the easy way.
I have no time to cook vegetables.
I find the process of cooking vegetables horrifyingly painful.
In the 12th month of my weight loss journey, I discovered a blender. This thing has changed my life. Blending vegetables into a drinkable smoothie has made it even easier to lose weight. Increased energy, mood, stamina – everything has gone up a notch. My motivation to eat vegetables has also increased dramatically since they’re much easier to consume.
I’m also spending far less money on food.
I buy packets of frozen spinach, broccoli, and cauliflower. These forms of key cheap and super healthy ingredients help make weight loss that much easier.
KEY TAKEAWAY: Vegetables are a lot easier to eat in a smoothie. You also save a lot of money by buying a decent blender.
5. Using haters as motivation.
When I told my buddy that I wanted to get shredded, he laughed at me. At the time I felt annoyed but motivated. Here was a friend of more than 20 years that should be supporting me yet he was laughing. This was 9 months ago. I became even more motivated.
He has since started going to the gym.
I’ve written my doubters on a piece of paper and it’s located inside my wallet. This piece of paper acts as a power source. Whenever I feel lazy, I read those names and within minutes I’m motivated and I’m on my way.
KEY TAKEAWAY: Negative people can help you get what you want. Control the energy they give you to drive and motivate you further.
One basic piece of advice that has annoyed me for years is the concept of being the combined 5 people you spend time with the most. If I’m friends with lazy folk, how can I ever expect to be different?
Most people spend time with people who perhaps aren’t the most inspiring or positive people.
The problem with the advice is that I’ve found it true. You are generally those that you are around the most.
If we want to change our lives, how do we go about changing those around us if they refuse to be positive influences?
Social media has the answer (for once).
I have an Instagram account specifically designed as a tool to expose myself to the success of others and their respective positive systems and characteristics.
Create a new Instagram account and follow people you find inspiring. You’ll find you suddenly start to gravitate towards their behaviors.
I had never thought of quitting milk and deciding to try almond milk. One day I was in the supermarket and decided to buy some. A week later I was looking through my YouTube history and I noted that I had watched a video of some guy talking about the positive effects of quitting milk and dairy. I had watched this video a week before being in the supermarket that day.
Fill your mind with positive influences constantly. We don’t need to rely on our friends or family. We can consciously choose what we put into our heads.
I’m a big fan of the coach of Conor McGregor after reading his book “Win or Learn”. On most podcast phone apps, we can search for particular people like John Kavanagh, to listen to their respective interviews.
KEY TAKEAWAY: Immerse yourself in motivating forces found in the digital world if they can’t be found in your physical world.
7. Track everything.
I track my weight every day. As soon as I wake up, I go to the bathroom and weigh myself. I started doing this in May. I did this using an app called Happy Scale. By looking at the weight graphs going down helped me stay motivated.
Even when hard evidence is in front of us of progress, our minds will tell us some strange things. Looking at these graphs helped me stay the course.
I used Fitbit to track my caloric and macronutrient intake.
Fats, protein, and carbs.
More research is illustrating that fats aren’t as bad as they have been made out to be. I note that when my fat numbers are high, I am more likely to have a stable appetite, and my body and mind function in a more optimal way.
I tend to eat a lot of almonds and super dark chocolate – both staples that give me high healthy fat numbers.
Eating dark chocolate, with at least 70% cocoa content, stifles my appetite. I eat dark chocolate daily for this reason and a couple of others (it also reduces cholesterol and elevates my mood).
I eat a lot of protein.
Eating too many carbs also has been shown in some cases to increase our appetites, driving us to eat more, and making it more difficult to lose weight. When I dropped my carbs intake, I noted increased energy levels and a decrease in my appetite.
KEY TAKEAWAY: Tracking in nearly all forms helps us stay the course. It also helps us get back on track when we fall down.
These principles enabled me to stay motivated throughout the year. I really do wish I had learned them earlier as I think I would be in an even better place. But success isn’t linear.
2019 was the craziest year on record. I moved back home, relationships broke, I slept on an office floor for 3 months in secret and I went overseas 4 times.
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