One of the questions I get asked a lot is how I stop myself from quitting and how I kept myself on track during my 100lbs weight loss. My response is quite simply that I always remind myself of why I started. But I thought it might help if I wrote in a little bit more detail some of the things that really helped me to keep pushing forward and never give up on what I wanted the most – a healthy and happy body and mind.
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- Don’t Do Something You Are Likely To Quit – This might seem like an obvious one, but so many people are still making this mistake and it is one that I made many times over. Completely banning all carbs for a year is extremely restrictive and most likely something you are going to quit. So, instead of totally banning them, aim to cut back (if that is your goal) or swap simple carbs (white bread) for complex carbs (wholewheat bread). Creating a healthy realistic lifestyle means you are much less likely to quit compared to a restrictive diet. So, if you don’t want to quit, make sure you are doing something that you can realistically stick to, otherwise you are setting yourself up for failure straight away.
- Accountability – This one might seem a bit of a contradiction as the only person you should be accountable to is yourself, but sometimes sharing your plans with other people really keeps you on track. I know this doesn’t work for everyone and some people like to keep their new eating habits and workout routine a secret as they don’t want others to know, but the opposite is what worked for me. I told everyone! Not to the point of boring everyone and being the only thing I could talk about (you don’t want to be THAT person), but I told me family and friends that I was changing the way I ate and was going to start hitting the gym. This was great for 2 reasons. Firstly it let them know the changes I was making and that I would love their support (ie not constantly eating burgers and fries around me or inviting me out drinking) and it also meant that the more people that knew about it, the more people that would know if I quit. Every time someone told me they were proud of me or that they noticed a change, I reminded myself of that when I wanted to give up.
- Don’t Underestimate The Power of a Good Quote – Sometimes everything I needed to keep going came from a quote I saw on the internet. That is why it is great to follow inspirational quote accounts on Twitter or health and fitness pages on Facebook, as usually there are a lot of inspiring quotes floating around. They usually pop up at the exact time you need them. Print your favourite ones off and keep them in a folder that you can look through when things get tough.
- Stop Doubting Yourself – This is something so simple, but can have such a huge impact! I honestly believe that doubts kill more dreams than failure ever will. With failure, it is never really failure if you pick yourself up and start again. Whereas if you are constantly doubting yourself, you will find it really hard reach your goals, because you don’t believe that you can. Well, I am here to tell you that YOU CAN! You have everything you need to achieve your goals already. You just need to find the way to do it. That is going to take time, a lot of patience and a lot of ups and downs. But it is not impossible, so start believing in yourself. You are always stronger than you give yourself credit for!
- One Day at a Time – Whilst it can be good to look at the bigger picture, it can also be really overwhelming. When I started my journey, focusing on losing 100lbs was a huge task and if every morning I woke up thinking “I have to lose 100lbs” then it would have been really easy to give up, as I was so far away from that goal. So, I set myself smaller goals, like losing 5lbs or completing 2 workouts a week. The reason why this worked for me is that each day I woke up being really close to my goal. 5lbs was never really that far away and completing 2 workouts was only in 1 weeks time. I could stick to it for a week! Then, when that week was over and those goals were completed, it was time to set myself another small goal.
- You Will Have Off Days and That’s Okay – There seems to be this idea that the journey to a healthier you will just be a straight line. It won’t be! There will be ups and downs and twists and turns and some days you will fall totally off the road. But that’s okay. You will pick yourself up again. Just because you have had an off day or even off week or month, does not mean you have failed and need to totally quit. Pick yourself up, learn what you can from it (what caused it) and move on. Don’t use a small set back as an excuse to quit. Turn a set back in to a come back! These setbacks also don’t mean that you are doing anything wrong. It is going to take time to find what works for you and that doesn’t mean if you do something that doesn’t work for you that you have failed. As long as you are trying, you are never failing.
- Don’t Listen To Everything You Think – Usually I would say trust your own head, but sometimes your mind is playing tricks on you. Hear that voice in your head that says you can’t do it? Ignore it! You head will usually give up way before your body ever will. Listen to your body and don’t injure yourself, but also make sure you are pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, as that is where the magic happens.
The running theme throughout all of this is to make sure what you are doing is realistic. You are much less likely to quit. Don’t give yourself any more reasons to quit than you might have already.
I have also written a post about all the things that motivate me and keep me going.
How do you keep yourself on track? Leave a comment below and share your experiences.
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