Friday, June 21, 2013

My Tips for Staying on the "Wagon"

I'm pretty sure you all know this by now, but I am by no means a diet/fitness/health expert. My love of York Peppermint Patties, beer and baked good makes this pretty obvious. However, I do feel like I have found a few things that help me get back on track and stay motivated, so I figured I share them with you today.

1. Be realistic. I know myself. I know if I tell myself I am going to completely cut out carbs, I am setting myself up for failure. I also know that I'm not at a place where I'm up for sticking to a strict diet plan. If a diet plan isn't something you know you can manage on a day-to-day basis, you might be setting yourself up for failure. So what do I do? I set specific, realistic goals and simply try to cut back in general. You can still make progress without being on a strict diet plan if you focus on making changes you know you can follow through on.

2. Include others. Jonathan made a comment earlier this week about me having my scale out for the first time. I told him I'd finally weighed myself after avoiding it for a few months. You bet he followed that up by asking me what I weighed. We are generally really open with each other, but I hesitated sharing this with him at first. I know he'll love me no matter what, but something about telling him the number stressed me out because it isn't where I want to be right now. He left it along and after sleeping on it, I realized I was being silly. Somehow I've been lucky enough to find this wonderful man who loves me for everything I am. I want us to be able to tell each other everything, so I told him.

And you know what? It feels good. What did he say? He said, "Babe, that is a beautiful number. You didn't have to tell me, but I'm glad you did." If anything, filling him on my weight and my goals is only going to help keep me motivated. It's just like how writing out my goals and the change I want to make on this blog. Once it's out there, I feel more accountable and motivated to follow through.

Whether it is connecting with your girlfriends on My Fitness Pal, finding a gym buddy or sharing your goals with a friend who can help you stay motivated, including others in your journey can only help you stay on track.

3. Focus on small successes. As much as we wish it were this way, big change doesn't happen overnight. It might take time for the number on the scale to change or for your clothes to fit a little looser. It might take time for you to work your way back up to 3-4 mile runs. What you can do in the meantime is recognize the small accomplishments. Did you make it to the gym 3 times this week? Did you stay under your calorie count for the day? You make not see visible changes, but do you feel better? Recognizing (not celebrating by eating a bag of Doritos and devouring a gallon of cookie dough ice cream) small accomplishments like this will help you stay on track until you start to see the big changes.

4. Eat something every day you will look forward to. When your trying to watch your diet, the food your eating can get old really quick. For example, I believe I ate a salad for at least 5 meals this week. To avoid hanger (a lethal combination of hunger and anger, in case you've been living under a rock), I make sure to plan 1 snack a day I know I will really look forward to. This could be as boring as planning to have a banana with peanut butter as an afternoon snack or a few pretzels and hummus (assuming you have more self control than I do when hummus is involved) after dinner. This way you don't feel like you are completely restricting yourself and you don't fall off the wagon after 3 days. 

Like I said, I'm not expert, but these are a few things that help me. Now tell me, what are your tips for staying on track?


  1. Best moment of my diet came when I realised I didn't have to eat salad for lunch every day! I really agree that when you look forward to your meals it's definitely much easier! :)