Bariatric Support Series Part 11

#11: Increasing Motivation

If you accepted your last challenge you should be standing up a little more today than you were when you watched the last video.

If you are, I would like to hear about your experience. Are you finding it difficult to remember to walks around?

What specifically are you doing that seems to work for you to get up and not spend as much time sitting.  How close are you to the recommendations of three hours a day sitting?  I have to admit I frequently sit for longer than that but I will keep working on it and I hope you will too.

Now that we are looking at ways to become less sedentary, this week’s video is for those of you who find maintaining an exercise program difficult.

Life can sometimes get in the way.  We all have busy lives, at home, at work, even at play but maintaining our health is important to allow us to be able to do those things at our very best.  Staying on task is not easy when it comes to exercise.

For example, it was a long day at work, overtime in fact, and you’ve come home tired and unable to eat with the family and you are just able to keep your diet on track.  Next you look at the treadmill or bike or other exercise equipment and room and say “I’m just a little too tired today.  I’ll hit it extra hard tomorrow” so you skip today.

Then tomorrow comes and goes and work hasn’t been easier and another day goes by.  Before you know the three weeks of consistent exercise you had been doing was erased by one week of inactivity.

If you are significantly overweight, exercise can be difficult.

It’s harder to move when you’re overweight, even painful for some, but even small movements can make big differences. It is pretty well known that exercise has tremendous benefits. But knowing this isn’t always enough to keep us motivated

The mind is strong but when the body has difficulty following the mind then the mind can sometimes falter too.  Small goals that add up to achieving one big goal is sometimes a way you can keep yourself on task and motivated.  knowing the war will be won with multiple small battles allows you to feel accomplishments along the way instead of seeing that large number of pounds you want to lose and feeling only 2 pounds is not getting it done fast enough.

  • Just standing up more can improve your health
  • Park far from the entrance to work or when you’re out at the store to force yourself to walk when you are doing everyday activities.
  • Any motion can allow you to increase metabolism even slightly.

First let’s accept that no matter what kind of shape we are in today things can get better. We are going to start from where we are.  Start by committing to parking your car farther than normal at work and walking in to start a small increase in your walking activity.  From there you can then start a small walk with your family or alone in your neighborhood or on the treadmill.

Always start small and let your body and mind build up.

Human habits are hard to break and hard to establish but gradual change allows the habit to set in and be more permanent. When we accept that we are starting from where we are today, we can begin to treat ourselves with what is known as self-compassion.  What’s more, there is hard science behind the idea that you will be more successful if you give yourself a break and accept that failures in the past do not determine your future.

Those with weight issues are often the hardest on themselves.

it’s easy to be hard on yourself for not losing as much weight as you expect but setting the expectation at a reasonable level is the first step to allowing yourself success and accept setbacks. no one is perfect and weight loss will be a lifelong struggle, even once you’ve achieved your goal.

Our surgical patients are told that despite having an effective tool inside of them that allowed them to lose weight the struggle with weight will always continue mentally, which often is the hardest struggle.

If you want to improve your fitness and your health it helps to hold onto your core motivation. What is it that motivated you to want to lose weight and get healthy?

What made you realize something had to change in your life if you were going to get the most out of it? Was it a disease process that began, like diabetes? or was it realizing your kids may not have a parent around if you continued to be unhealthy?  whatever the motivation, use it, in good time and in bad, to keep you on track.  We can get sidetracked with new goals as we’ve achieved success but always remembering the primary reason we began our journey will keep you on track in case you get off the path to a new you.

It is important to realize that we exercise for ourselves not others.

Becoming healthy is the ultimate expression of love for ourselves.

To be successful, if we don’t already have it we have to develop self-love.  Many may think that living for ourselves is selfish when in this situation.  Loving yourself to help maintain your goals for a healthier life is actually unselfish and a way to keep moving towards being healthy for others in our lives.

An example is a mother who always puts her kids and family first before her health.  If you think about it if she becomes unhealthy and then is unable to help with her kids then she no longer can be selfless but becomes focused on her own health issues that may arise like diabetes.

Here is your challenge

I am going to present you with a list of things you can do to develop feelings of self-love. Choose three of them and apply them consistently over the next two weeks. Choose the ones that you know are a problem for you not the ones that are easy – otherwise this isn’t really a challenge.

Here is the list:

  • Say something positive to yourself every day.
  • Make it real and relevant not some fortune cookie mantra. Congratulate yourself on an achievement or how you dealt with a situation – like handled a craving for example. But make sure that it is something that makes you feel good
  • Question what you think especially if it is negative.
  • Your inner critic is strong and always active. Make sure you recognize that not everything your inner critic tells you is true.
  • Stop comparing yourself with others.
  • You are unique and it is simply not fair to compare yourself to the best of other people all the time.
  • It can only make you feel bad.
  • Find and enjoy the company of nice people.
  • End any relationships that don’t make you feel good about yourself.
  • People that make you feel bad are toxic and they don’t deserve you.
  • Take time out each day to relax and breathe.
  • Treat others with kindness and compassion.
  • Not everyone will return the love – but many will
  • Be grateful and thankful about something every single day.
  • Learn to say no when you feel pressured into doing something for others that you don’t want to.
  • No matter what, you do have the right to do the things that make you happy not resentful.

Have some fun. Find something that makes you happy even if it is a little outside your comfort zone and give yourself some joy.