It’s very motivating when you step on a scale that keeps decreasing. But, what happens on the days when it increases or you're having a harder time sticking to a perfect plan?
If you’re a woman over 40, I know it’s frustrating when the daily weigh-ins or the counting of points is no longer helping you stay on track. So how do you avoid saying “F-it! This is just going to be my size at this age”? In this video below, I go through it all, but if blogs are more your style, keep reading. :)
Well, it’s NOT willpower. It’s all in the game of motivation. Willpower only lasts so long, so today I’m going in depth on wrapping yourself in motivation when trying to lose weight by using my acronym, W.R.A.P. which stands for:
Let's start by getting deep and finding your “WHY”.
In order to evoke permanent change, you need to discover your deep-seated reasons to change. Let’s use this diagram to help.
When you want to make a lifestyle change it’s usually because there is a gap between where you currently are and where you want to be. This is called “Mind the Gap.” Let’s do a quick “mind the gap” exercise. You’ll want to grab a pen and sheet of paper to write down your answers.
As you go through my questions, I want you to think of yourself AND your loved ones affected by your health or weight. You matter SO much to many people, so think about your kids, parents, significant others, siblings, and friends.
1. First visualize your healthiest self in the future -- What would you look and feel like if you improved areas like your nutrition, exercise, sleep and stress? Write down everything you can think of as you envision your future life and how it would be different compared to your life now.
2. Next describe yourself today. Are you actually happy or pretending everything is okay with your current health status? What is frustrating? What un
wanted symptoms are you often experiencing? Has your weight increased and affected check-ups at the doctor? Is your health affecting your relationships, confidence, energy, mood, sleep, or the way you dress? Who else has been impacted by these consequences?
3. Lastly, picture yourself in five years if you don’t change. What does your health and energy look like now? Have you aged quicker than you hoped? Are you more at risk for things like heart disease, stroke, diabetes or other life-threatening disease? Are the people in your life feeling worried about you at all? Are you closer or farther away from achieving your life goals?
It’s not easy to be this honest with yourself. But, these answers will help you mind the gap and find your "WHY" and real motivation for change.
Now take a post-it note and write the word ‘WHY’ on it. Place the note where you'll see it every day, like your bathroom mirror or fridge to help remind you of your “why” each day.
Moving on to the “R”, which stands for RECONSIDER. When you’re deciding what healthy actions you’re going to take, reconsider what’s best for YOU with the Goldilocks Principle. You want to choose actions that are not too easy, not too hard, but just right. If something is too easy, you can get bored and lose motivation. If it’s going to be too hard it will be easy to avoid and not do at all. So challenge yourself to do just enough.
The second thing I want you to reconsider on your weight loss journey is that “All or Nothing” thinking. This is the typical “diet-way” of thinking where you think you have to be 100% perfect all the time to find success. But, the second you fall off the wagon, you’re done for good! There is obviously no such thing as perfection. Life and excuses will happen.
So, instead change your thinking to “Just Do Something.” For instance, if you like to go for walks, but a few days it snows. Don’t let the weather stop you from exercising! Run up and down your stairs or do some low-impact exercises in your living room. Reconsider your old ways of thinking and just do something!
The next way to stay motivated is the “A”, which stands for ASSESS. You want to assess where you started and how far you’ve come. But today I’m not going over the traditional scale, measurements, or even pictures.
Did you know that more motivation comes after starting a new behavior, not before? James Clear refers to this effect as the “Physics of Productivity” because it’s essentially Sir Isaac Newton’s First Law of Motion applied to forming a habit: Clear says, “Objects in motion tend to stay in motion.”
So basically this means that once a task has begun, it is easier to continue moving it forward. I recommend you get a calendar track and assess weekly consistent healthy actions or habits. I consider this consistency WINS! For example, maybe you mark that you ate a half-plate of veggies at most dinners this week or you checked off 3 workouts. Take the focus off the scale and celebrate the win of consistent actions instead!
Hormone balance is another important thing to assess. Our hormones give us symptoms to let us know if we’re living the way we need. On a scale of 1-5, I have clients rate their hunger, cravings, energy, mood, sleep, digestion, and perimenopause/ menopause symptoms with 5 being the best. If any of these areas are off, it most likely will affect fat loss.
Overall, most women just want to look and feel good! So focus on that feeling and actions to get you there, vs. just the numbers.
The last part of WRAPping up your motivation is to PLAN. I work on this in several ways, but today I’ll touch on two. First, is to set Bare Minimum Rules. These help me stay motivated and do at least something for my well-being each day. I make 2 rules that seem pretty simple or “just right” for me, so your rules may look totally different.
For example: For any day that gets too off-track, my Bare Minimum Rules are that I will still drink half my bodyweight in ounces of water and I will end the day with something I’m grateful for. Boom! I’m not fully off the wagon. :)
Now you try it!
Last is knowing your Plan B, AKA the “If, Then Plan” for when stress steers you off course or emotions get in the way. You know those times when you’re bored and then find yourself eating a whole sleeve of Oreos? Yeah, this would have been a good time for a Plan B.
Here are some examples:
—If I feel bored, then I will go surf Pinterest instead of eating.
—If I feel stressed, then I will call a friend to vent instead of snacking.
—If I feel tired, then I will step outside or go for a quick walk instead of mindless eating.
Try taking a post-it note and writing a few out of your own to help remind yourself what you’ll do INSTEAD of going into the kitchen when stress and emotions start to take over.
Create ones that fit your life and/or barriers. If you plan out your Plan B ahead of time, you’re more likely to do it -- or at least think twice, when you get in that situation.
I hope by implement W.R.A.P. - Why, Reconsider, Assess, and Plan that you can instill some extra motivation in our weight loss journey. If you ever need extra help with accountability and guidance, check out my 9-week Mom Bod Tune-Upp. It starts every Monday!
Let's get fired UPP!