Dina has now lost seven and a half kilos in seven weeks, that’s a staggering 16.5 pounds. This week Dina tells us how she stays motivated
Week seven has arrived – that means I am now over half way though this transformation, can you believe how fast this is all going?
After losing a whole kilo last week, this week I have gone on to lose another 0.8 kilos, that’s just under two pounds (1.8 to be precise).
So yet again, I am on track with my 1-2 pounds of weight loss per week.
Except this week, none of my measurements have changed – my chest, waist and hips have all stayed the exact same.
Take a look at the measurement table below:
|Before||End of Week 1||End of Week 2||End of Week 3||End of Week 4||End of Week 5||End of Week 6|
Although I have still lost two pounds, the non-changing body measurements have affected my motivation this week.
But instead of giving up and ordering a takeaway to make myself feel better or just throwing in the towel altogether, I sat down and thought back to previous weeks and how I have managed to motivate myself throughout this transformation so far.
Nobody and I mean literally nobody can stay motivated all of the time – it’s not humanly possible.
Even personal trainers and athletes will have moments when they want nothing more than to sit on the sofa with a packet of cookies and not even think about the gym or exercise or calories.
Motivation is a fickle friend indeed, and I know I am certainly not alone in feeling less than motivated every now and then.
Unfortunately, it can take just one setback to make people think, ‘what is the point in it all?’ But this is where you just have to try harder and remind yourself of how far you have come in the first place.
So, that’s exactly what I have done. Here are nine ways I have kept myself motivated that may help you if you have found yourself in a motivational slump…
#1 Pictures really are worth 1000 words
Luckily, thanks to this transformation, I have had to keep a diary and have my picture taken every week, which is not something most people do when trying to be healthier and it isn’t something I have ever done before (and to be completely honest I was dreading it).
But, here’s the thing, just because you have only lost one pound or your waist hasn’t shrunk that week, doesn’t mean your body isn’t still changing. The scales and a tape measure won’t show you that, but a picture will.
You can’t argue with a picture
Even if your friends tell you that you look like you have lost weight, you’ll still be daunted by those numbers on the scale. But you can’t argue with a picture.
Hormones, water-weight, bloating, fatigue – so many things can cause your measurements or weight to not show you what you want to see, but stick at it and the week after you will probably be pleasantly surprised.
Remember, healthy weight loss won’t happen overnight, it’s going to take weeks, that’s why monitoring your weight loss through pictures can significantly boost your motivation.
And you don’t even have to show anyone. This can be for your eyes only. You’re doing this for yourself after all…
What to do: start taking weekly or fortnightly progress pictures as well as recording your body measurements and weight loss.
#2 Tell everyone your goals – friends, family, colleagues, postman and even your dog if he will listen
Telling anyone and everyone who will listen and even those who won’t, has really helped my motivation so far in this transformation – that way you’ll have people to answer to if you go off course.
Yes, it puts the pressure on but is there anything wrong with a little bit of added pressure? Definitely not. The more people who know about my weight loss plans, the more people I will have to prove that I actually can do it and make them proud of me.
Plus, the Healthista girls have kept a close watch on me. I’m not even allowed to use the lift without them somehow knowing and giving me evil glances from afar.
In fact, to get scientific, research has proven that those who make their goals public knowledge are far more likely to stick with them and even complete them.
To put it simply, if you tell others about your goals, it will help you stay accountable. The more people you share your goals with, the greater the accountability. For example, I feel like everyone I talk to knows what I am up to thanks to these weekly diaries, so there is absolutely no room for me to fail – how about that for some motivation on a daily basis?
The more people you share your goals with, the greater the accountability.
Another tip I can offer you is one that has worked for my friend. What she did was pay a hell of a lot of money in advance for exercise classes. Think about it, if you have paid money for something you are unlikely to let all that go to waste. Pay for classes in advance and you are guaranteed to turn up – genius.
What to do: tell anyone and everyone about your weight loss goal. Family, friends, dog, postman, work colleagues, doctor – keep them updated on your success too. You could even document your goals on social media if you are feeling extra brave.
#3 Get some professional help
It goes without saying, the majority of my motivation during this transformation has come from my two trainers and founders of Your Body Programme, Terry Fairclough and Luisa Valenti.
Before starting this transformation I had struggled with my weight since I was a teenager and I have been on more weight loss plans than I can count on both hands.
And guess what? These weight loss plans would never work in the long run. That’s because what they all had in common was a restriction, which involved me having to give up something for good in order to maintain my weight loss.
Feeling resentful, frustrated, angry and quite simply bored of restricting myself, I would give up and end up back at square one. It’s been a repetitive and vicious cycle that I haven’t ever been able to break – oh, and it plays havoc on your motivation and confidence.
If you are like me and always find yourself back to square one after trying to lose weight, it might be time to get some professional help and support, and not from those who claim you can lose a stone in a week. You need to look for a trainer or programme that promotes realistic and healthy weight loss.
Sometimes we need some extra support from people who really know what they are doing to set us on the right track. Every week, Terry and Luisa have been nothing but supportive and have taught me so much about exercise, nutrition and my body type.
Your Body Programme focuses on individual body types. They provide a personalised programme, with exercises and a nutrition plan that matches your specific body type for the best weight loss results.
This extra help and education is the main reason I have stayed on track over the past seven weeks. Plus, even on the weeks where my weight loss hasn’t been so great, Terry and Luisa have been there to remind me of how far I have come and why gradual weight loss is far more beneficial than instant weight loss.
What to do: do some research into gyms and trainers who have helped people lose weight in the long run and who use actual science to help people lose weight rather than fad weight loss plans. Or why not give Your Body Programme a try? You won’t regret it…
#4 Celebrate your success
Losing weight is hard, if it wasn’t then everyone would be in shape and there wouldn’t be an obesity crisis.
So if you have lost weight or are making the effort to lose weight, give yourself some credit when you accomplish a goal, no matter how small that goal may be.
You said no to that packet of crisps your colleague offered you? Give yourself a pat on the back. Met your goal of three cardio sessions that week? Run yourself a bubble bath and have a pamper evening. Lost two pounds in one week? Go shopping and buy yourself a new outfit.
Pick appropriate rewards though, don’t treat yourself to a Domino’s if you have lost weight because that totally defeats the point.
What to do: if you are looking for some ways to celebrate your goals and successes (no matter how small), why not try getting a manicure, going to the cinema, meeting a friend for a fun filled day, booking yourself in for a massage or simply going and buing yourself a new top.
#5 Find an exercise routine that you enjoy
Before I started this 12 week transformation I hated exercise. Like literally, hated it. The only reason I would go to the gym was to lose weight, but I never knew what I was doing. I would just be there, at the gym, hating every single second.
Now, the tables have turned and I am getting used to this whole exercise thing. Actually, I’m not just ‘used’ to it, I enjoy it. And, although I am still going to the gym to lose weight, I also go because I feel amazing afterwards.
But many of these so-called ‘fitness’ plans encourage people to spend everyday at the gym, killing themselves on the treadmill. Now, who on earth is going to stick to that in the long run? It sounds mind-numbingly boring.
Quite simply, if you don’t enjoy something you aren’t going to stick with it. That’s why you need to find an exercise routine that you enjoy.
Take a look at this fat loss workout (which I totally smashed by the way) that I did the other day, it was honestly so much fun and I felt on top of the world afterwards…
Dina’s fat loss workout
Six different exercises, 45 seconds each exercise with 15 seconds rest between each exercise. This I did four times with a two minute rest at the end of each set of six moves.
Single arm dumbell row 45, seconds. Rest, 15 seconds / Alternate side, 45 seconds. Rest, 15 seconds,
Kettlebell deadlifts, 45 seconds. Rest, 15 seconds,
Dumbbell bench press, 45 seconds. Rest, 15 seconds,
Mountain climbers, 45 seconds. Rest, 15 seconds,
Plank, 45 seconds. Rest, 15 seconds,
Running on the spot, 45 seconds. Rest, 2 minutes.
Repeat three more times.
It didn’t even take me that long and the feeling I had afterwards was amazing, thank you endorphins.
What to do: go on YouTube, HealthistaTV have loads of workouts. There are so many workouts that are there to inspire you, there are even plenty on social media such as Instagram. Try the workout out, if you like it great, make it harder each time and if you don’t like it find another one that you do like, there is no point doing something you don’t enjoy.
#6 Try on old clothes
Similar to the feeling I get when I see my transformation pictures every week, is the feeling of utter amazement when I put on old clothes that I thought would never fit me again and they actually do.
We all know how it goes, it’s time to clear out your wardrobe, but for some reason you just can’t bring yourself to throw out that skirt you love that hasn’t fit you since you were at university…
OK, that may be an exaggeration but all of us have a few pieces of clothing we can’t throw away and we tell ourselves ‘when I lose weight it will fit me again’. Well, if you are on a transformation it’s time for those unthrowawayable items to shine once more.
As well as pictures, clothes are a huge indicator of just how much weight you have lost. You may think you haven’t lost any weight when all of a sudden your jeans keep falling down.
Better still, clothes are also a good indicator of knowing if you have put on weight too…
What to do: try on that old skirt that you thought would never fit again, it probably fits or is closer to fitting than ever before. Better yet, put on those jeans you bought because nothing else would fit, they are probably too big now that you can’t even wear them.
#7 Set smaller goals
Remember what I said abut healthy weight loss not happening overnight? That’s the main reason it’s important to set smaller goals.
There is no point starting a weight loss journey saying, ‘in 12 weeks time I want to weigh 10 stone’ or ‘I want to lose one stone in three months’. You’ll hit a plateau at week five, see how far away you are from your unrealistic goal and throw in the towel.
But if you set a smaller, more realistic goal of losing 1-2 pounds per week for 12 weeks, you are far more likely to stick to it, plus if you do the maths that’s still quite a lot of weight to lose, but by doing so gradually you’re more likely to keep the weight off.
Don’t only set small weight loss goals though. Every time you go to the gym create goals such as, ‘ I want to burn 100 more calories by the end of this session’, or ‘ I plan to do an extra three – minutes of running this time’.
You can even set small nutrition goals, for example, ‘today I will make sure I eat five different fruits and veggies’, or ‘today I will hit my protein target before 5pm’.
What to do: put any unrealistic goals out of mind and focus on setting new, more achievable goals instead.
#8 Don’t compare your weight loss journey to other people’s
Everyone does this I know, but it can be extremely detrimental to your goals when trying to lose weight.
In a world of perfect Instagram fitness models and actresses dropping dress sizes in a month for movie roles, it’s hard not to compare yourself to other people who ultimately have the same goal you do – to lose weight.
But if this transformation has taught me anything, it’s that everyone is different. They will have different calorie needs, different body types, different goals, different attitudes, different reasons for weight loss, different journeys, different past weight loss successes and failures.
Although they may have the same end goal as you, it doesn’t mean they will have the same journey you will in order to reach that final goal.
In fact, if seeing pictures of skinny people on Instagram has you feeling down on a daily or weekly basis, please do one thing for me – unfollow those accounts. Like now, please.
You may have followed them for ‘fitness motivation’ or for ‘body goals’ but in reality it’s probably just making you miserable. Focus on your goals and your pictures, not on Sarah from Instagram who lost a stone in a month drinking laxative tea…
What to do: focus on your own weight loss journey and unfollow unrealistic body goal people on Instagram.
#9 Why give up now when you’ve done so well?
Remind yourself constantly why you wanted to start this weight loss journey in the first place.
Cover your house in positive Post-it notes. Write it on your forehead if you have to – just keep in mind why you started and how well you have done so far.
Reaffirm your commitment to the programme you are on and regain the determination you had when you began your journey.
Can you remember what motivated you to start your transformation journey? Well, I do.
Over the last two years, my weight gain has been so rapid, I’ve started to worry that there was no way out. I wanted to get fit and healthy before my 40th birthday in four years’ time.
I also have two nephews who I adore, I want to be active for them and be able to have the energy to play with them. Plus, it would be amazing if I were able to get into some of my dresses from seven years ago that were two sizes too small when I started.
So, there’s my motivation – to get fit before 40, not just for me, but my family too – that seems like a good reason to not give up and keep going right?
What to do: remind yourself CONSTANTLY why you began your weight loss journey and how well you have done so far.
Come back every week to read Dina’s week by week diary of her weight loss transformation with Terry and Luisa from Your Body Programme, with tips and advice from the experts.
Your Body Programme was founded by Terry Fairclough and Luisa Valenti.
The idea came about after Terry and Luisa saw other personal trainers regularly offering the same generic plan to every client, regardless of gender, goal or body type.
Terry and Luisa are passionate about the need to train everyone as an individual to achieve maximum results, and therefore don’t use a one-size-fits-all approach.