While I can tell you all the reasons I think you should lose weight and get fit, if you are unable to motivate yourself from within, you probably won’t make much weight loss or fitness progress. Instead of getting in shape for me, look for ways to motivate yourself instead. Personal trainers can certainly help and guide you but, ultimately, you have to get up off your butt, get to work and take control if you want to lose weight, get fit, and reclaim your health. Here are EIGHT strategies for dialling up your internal motivation levels to maximum…
- Take a long, hard look in the mirror
Stand in front of a mirror in your underwear and ask yourself if you are happy with the reflection looking back at you. If you are contemplating starting a diet or exercise routine, I imagine the answer is no. Don’t just take a quick glance and then look away; stand and stare at all the things you dislike about your body. I don’t mean the colour of your eyes or the length of your hair but your soft thighs, saggy belly, rounded shoulders and skinny arms. If you start dieting and exercising, you will NEVER look this way again but if you don’t do something about the way you look now, things will continue going downhill. Look five years into the future — is it better to change here and now or is it better to change when you’re even worse, or when it’s too late? If you like what you see in the mirror then it’s all good but if you don’t, remember this image and use it to drive you onward toward the new you.
- Get angry!
So, now you have honestly appraised your current appearance, I want you to get angry about it. The angrier you are, the more likely you are to try and get away from your current weight, shape and level of fitness. Think of all the times you have skipped out on workouts or eaten way too much of the wrong foods and get pissed off about what you have done to yourself. Think about all the times that you maybe were judged about your weight or stared at because of your physical size. Develop a true dislike of your old reflection and do your utmost to make it a thing if the past.
- Get a medical check-up
A second opinion is often useful and while it’s obvious from your reflection that you need to lose weight, a medical check-up will reveal exactly what is going on under your skin and inside your body. Blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride readings, hip to waist ratio, a DEXA scan, BMI reading…these are all good indicators of how being overweight and unfit are negatively affecting your long term health and potentially shaving years off your lifespan. Learning that your blood pressure, for example, is dangerously high will probably motivate and even scare you to take your fitness and weight loss efforts much more seriously.
- Ask for honest feedback
I bet if you ask your friends, work colleagues, your partner or your family if you should shape up and lose weight, they will tell you that yes, you should. They don’t want you to be unhealthy, unfit and unhappy. They want you to be around for as long as possible and not die prematurely because of an otherwise avoidable medical condition like coronary heart disease. Losing weight and getting fit is not just good for you – it’s good for everyone who cares about you too.
Now you know WHY you need to lose weight and get fit, it’s time to focus on how you’ll feel when you do. The best way to do this is through visualisation. Spend a few minutes relaxing and emptying your mind and then create an image in your mind’s eye of the perfect you – all fit, slim, healthy, and happy. Add as much detail to your image as you can including sounds, sensations, smells and colours to make the image as real and sharp as possible. Now see yourself doing things that, until now, were only pipe dreams like running on the beach or simply looking good in your clothes – make your image into a 3D movie. Once you have your image and movie firmly ingrained in your brain, recall it anytime you need to remind yourself of what you are trying to achieve. Use your image as a template for success.
- Weigh up the pros and cons
Take a piece of paper and divide it into two sides. At the top of the left-hand side write “pros of losing weight and getting fit” and on the right-hand side write “cons of losing weight and getting fit”. Write as many pros and cons as you can for each and when you are done I can all but guarantee that the pros will significantly outweigh the cons. Yes, you might be able to stay in bed longer or watch more TV if you decide not to do anything about your weight and fitness but then you’ll miss out on all the benefits such as better health, greater self-confidence, more energy, fewer sick days, improved financial situation, better love life, better social life, easier clothes shopping etc. Getting in shape and losing weight does indeed require energy and commitment but what you get in return will make the effort totally worthwhile.
- Be positive
How many times have your said “I can’t” only for that exact thing to come true? I can’t lose weight. I can’t get fit. I can’t find time to exercise. All you have to do is delete the letter T from the word can’t and you’ll create empowering mantras where negative roadblocks once stood. I CAN’T stick to my diet instantly becomes I CAN stick to my diet for example. Embracing positivity and turning your back on negativity will really up your motivation levels – guaranteed!
8.Motivational quotes or pictures
If you are on instagram, pinterest, twitter or facebook instead of the drag-you-down-negative posts that you see on your feeds, like positive pages or people that post motivational quotes and pictures. These are a great way to constantly remind yourself to stay focused and positive. Remember, can is just can’t without the letter T – you CAN make changes if you put your mind to it!
Once you find your personal motivators, you’ll find sticking to an exercise routine or diet is so much easier. Spending some time getting your mind right might seem unnecessary but, in actuality, if you get your mind right, your body has no choice but to follow!
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Hi, my name is Dinny Morris. I’m a personal trainer and in sunny Sydney, Australia.
I work with men and women at all levels of their physical development, from overweight couch potatoes who want to get in shape, to professional athletes and natural bodybuilders who want to beef up strength and body mass.