Thursday, November 7, 2013

Guest Blogger Post from Matt Madsen

Hi guys! On the blog today is a special blog post from guest blogger Matt Madsen on how to motivate yourself to lose those few extra pounds and to start making diet & exercise a part of your life! 

Weight Loss and Motivation

Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.  –Henry Ford

If you’re reading this, chances are that you have trouble getting motivated to work out. The good news is that you are not alone. The number one reason people fail to lose weight is lack of motivation. We enable ourselves to fail by concocting excuses ranging from the mundane (I’m tired) to the compromising (I’ll work out extra hard tomorrow) to the downright defeated (I’ll never lose weight, why should I waste time in the gym?). The truth is, you won’t. You will never lose weight.

Until you do.

As with any undertaking, the first step is getting started. You cannot possibly hope to drop 20, 50, 100 pounds before you have dropped one pound. The only way to get to the finish line is to show up at the starting line. Here are few things to think about that will (hopefully) help you get there.

1. Eliminate expectations
If you want to lose weight, it’s not because you don’t like the number you write down when you go into the doctor’s office. It’s because of the mirror. It’s because of the way your clothes fit. Trying to think “I want to lose 50 pounds” is a surefire way to fail. Ultimately, the only thing you need to change is your mindset. By shifting from “I need to lose weight” to “I need to live a healthier life,” you can change the entire outlook of the process. As a bonus, when you get to your target weight, you won’t be unsure of what to do, you’ll simply continue living your new, health-conscious lifestyle.

2. Being active can be fun
Having fun is a huge motivating factor for any situation. All too often, people follow the same monotonous routine. Instead of running on the treadmill every day, switch it up and use an exercise bike or participate in a challenging sport. This just in: if you hate running, your willpower to run every day is going to run out faster than free donuts in the office kitchen. Finding something you truly enjoy doing is a much healthier (and better) way to approach losing weight. Take your dog to the park and play around for an hour a day. Ride a bike with your kids for a half hour a day. Take something you love and turn it into an activity. Trust me, it will be a lot easier to stick with.

3. Reward yourself
Nothing keeps people going like being rewarded for their efforts. The same goes for working out. Set small goals for yourself – work out five days in a row – and reward yourself with a new pair of shoes. Lose five pounds; buy yourself a dress or a fun handbag. These small gestures will encourage you to working out, if for no better reason than to justify your next indulgence.

4. Write your activity down
This sounds crazy, but it works for everything. It creates accountability where there would otherwise be none. Monday – rode bike for 30 minutes. Tuesday – Took the day off. Wednesday – Took the day off. Thursday – Took the day off. You can see how reading this to yourself would guilt you into filling in some of those blanks. Guilt can be a strong motivator, if not the healthiest of incentives.

5. Make it a competition
Not long back, I got a Nike Fuelband. It’s basically a wristband that records your physical activity. I immediately wanted to set “high scores” for steps taken in a day and calories burned. You don’t need to get one of these, but everybody loves a good competition. Burn 200 calories on the treadmill yesterday? Shoot for 250 today. Run for 10 minutes yesterday? Try for 12 today. This really relates to writing down activity too, because it allows you to constantly monitor whether or not you’re improving. If you aren’t improving, you aren’t moving.

Just remember, regardless of where you are today, you got there by living a certain lifestyle. If you want to change where you are, all you have to do is embrace a healthier one. Don’t look at Taco Bell as an option for dinner, look at it as a barrier to your goals.

If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten.  –Tony Robbins


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