"I have lost 8.5 kilos over the last couple of months (about 20 more to go) but have been a bit stuck this past week (mentally mostly, not my body). I decided to take another look at your blog to try and find some more motivation.
Do you have any tips for anyone who has fallen off the wagon a bit, on ways to get back on?"
Having "fallen off the wagon" more times than I can count in my dieting history, I can sympathise with anyone who feels this way. I guess everyone's journey is a very personal thing - how they manage to keep motivated, how they keep going through the hard moments, it's all very different.
What I can say is that what I learned when I was working towards my goal weight in 2005/2006 was that there is no "falling off the wagon" as such. There is no "being good", "being bad", all or nothing - there is just life, and you live it as healthily and as well as as you can. You don't "start again", you just keep going. Sounds simple enough - and it really is!
But I appreciate that saying "just keep going" is easier said than done - it's no secret that you'll meet some hefty obstacles on your way to your goal, I certainly did. Some things that really helped me when I hit a few rough spots in the journey were:
- Re-reading my favourite blogs and drawing small nuggets of inspiration from them, writing down quotes from them in my tracker, seeing what other people were doing, and what I could learn from them.
- Doing something new with my exercise - really challenging myself and getting out of the comfort zone. I had reached a point where the weight loss had slowed right down and I had to accept that if I didn't up the ante a bit then the weight was never going to come off. It was as simple as adding running to my daily walks. I could only manage one light pole to another at first. At the end of 2006 I was doing triathlons, and now, in 2009, I'm going in a half marathon!
- Having different foods, trying new dishes, and having a different breakfast every day. See my breakfast post for ideas!
- Reminding myself each and every day, and especially when things got tough and the Black Forest chocolate in the fridge was looking very tempting, why I was doing this. I had the awful fat photos to hand so I could look at them to remind me that I didn't want to look like that anymore. I had a list of "reasons why" which I had in my tracker that I could look at any time I needed to. Staying focused on the goal, and knowing that I could do it if I really wanted to, and also seeing other people succeed, kept me going.
It was hard. But it was also very easy, believe it or not, because the longer I stuck to it, I grew more and more proud of myself as the days went by, because I was finally taking control. And once I reached goal, those feelings of pride just intensified. I was so happy, because I knew that food was just food, I exercised for the love of it, I was confident, and, for the first time in my life, I had a lot of respect for myself. It was very, very empowering. I didn't want to give up!
I think there is a reason why some people are successful and others aren't. The people who are successful are the ones who don't give up, who just keep going, even when they've had a crappy day and all they want to do is curl up with a block of chocolate. We've all had times when we've wanted to throw in the towel, but that is when you need to remind yourself why you're doing this and how bloody fantastic will you feel once you achieve your goal!
I've said it before, and I'll say it again - if I can do it, there's hope for everyone!!
Don't give up, I know you can do it!