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Long-Term Weight Loss Motivation Tips That Really Work

Forget what it did for my body--look what It Works did for my FACE! I'd call this an Ultimate Makeover. Click the photo to see how you can do it too!When you’ve got a lot of weight to lose like I did, staying “on-plan” consistently can seem daunting.

I spent a lot of years trying to figure out how to stay motivated, and eventually, I got it. I lost 100 pounds (and counting–I’ve lost about 110 now and have a few more to go!).

But here’s the good news. While my journey thus far has taken more than two years, I haven’t spent a lot of that time feeling deprived, left out or unhappy.

I’ve changed the way I perceive myself and the world around me, and as a result, I’ve been able to take my time and learn to listen to my body.

blissful promoYet, even today, from time to time, I get on the scale regularly to make sure I’m moving in the right direction, as slow as the going is.

If I notice that the number goes up more than a pound or so (three during PMS week), I take notice and take action.

Over time, I’ve come up with a few weight loss motivation tips that really do work.

I stay motivated to continue my healthier lifestyle choices every day, one day at a time, thanks to my fail-safe plan that sort of developed naturally as I made the changes to both my lifestyle and my perception.

Angie’s Fail-Safe, Stay-on-Plan Weight Loss Motivation Tips

Forgive Yourself First

Latest Progress 2262013If you fall off-plan and find yourself backsliding into old, unhealthy habits, your first instinct might be to belittle yourself, beat yourself up, even to punish yourself.

One woman I know will literally starve herself for 24 hours for each “slip-up” she has on her plan to exercise and lose weight.

For example, at a birthday party, she indulged in a tiny piece of cake.

The next day, she worked out for 3 hours and refused to eat a thing.

The problem with this kind of behavior is twofold–besides being completely unhealthy and slowing down your metabolism, it’s not a lifestyle that can be continued forever without serious consequences.

Rather than beat yourself up, just forgive yourself, love yourself that much more, and move forward on your plan.

My husband and I are working together on this healthy lifestyle! So far, so good!

My husband and I are working together on this healthy lifestyle! So far, so good!

Remind Yourself Why

You started this journey for a reason. Whether you wanted to live longer, be hotter, get healthier, play with your kids, have better sex, wear better clothes–or all of the above and more, make a list of reasons you’re trying to get in shape.

Review the list anytime you feel yourself falling back into your old, unhealthy habits and really dig into the WHY of it all. Doing so can really renew your motivation in a big way.

Go Back to Basics

When I started this journey, I started small. I love me some baby steps! I made one change per week–first, I started tracking my food (not necessarily restricting, just becoming aware of what’s really going into my mouth).

Once I got comfortable with that, a week or two later, I started keeping track of my water consumption and making sure I was getting in at least my eight glasses per day.

Read more: Why You Need to Drink Your Water and How to Get It Done

I kept making one small change at a time, and before I knew it, I’d lost 100 pounds!

So, if you find yourself slipping up, go back and remind yourself how you got started and get back to basics. For me, that’s tracking my food again and drinking my water.

Look Back (at How Far You’ve Come Already)

100 Pound Weight Loss Before and AfterOne excellent way to remind yourself why you need to stay on track is to remind yourself how far you’ve already come, or of where you want to go.

You can do this with your own side-by-side before/during/after photos, or just look at old photos of your “old self.”

It doesn’t matter if your old self is sitting there reading this post and trying to find motivation, or if you’ve already lost a bunch of weight and are just trying to stay on track.

Anytime I see my own before/during photos, I am quickly reminded of why I need to continue on my path.

What a difference a few months can make! This is/was me!

What a difference a few months can make! This is/was me!

And before I had my own before and during photos, I used older pics of myself and photos of women I call “body idols”–otherwise known as women who were at my ideal weight and who also had a similar body structure and height.

MyBodyGallery.com is a great place to find your own body idols, if you haven’t already. (It’s where I found some of mine!) Visual motivation can really open your eyes (pun intended) and keep you moving in the right direction.

Try Something New

I find that using body wraps and sometimes supplements can really help me stay motivated. The body wraps help because they tighten and tone my skin, which helps me look and feel slimmer–this helps me stay motivated in a big way!

I also like to get my greens (AKA superfoods) in because they make me feel better overall and definitely reduce any bloating or swelling that might be happening. But since I don’t love all kinds of greens and since my rule is to only eat things I love–I had a conundrum, until, that is, I found The Greens.

The Greens is a powder that you can add to any liquid (I just use water, myself) and it contains more superfoods and veggie-type nutrients than I could even take in a single day–and it makes me feel fabulous–clears up my skin, keeps me regular, helps me look slimmer by reducing bloat and gives me tons of calm, productive, non-jittery energy, just to name a few benefits. Even better, it tastes mildly like an orange drink, but it’s not too sweet or sour. Just mild and relatively pleasing–and totally worth it! (Get yours here, if you want.)

So, how about you? What are your best tips to stay on track when you’re trying to lose weight and get healthy? Share your thoughts, tips and experiences in the comments section, below!

Free Workout Video: How to Get Rid of Saggy Arms in Minutes

Want to Lose Weight? Get Better Sleep

By Kim Bureros

good newsIt’s no surprise that sleep is critical to your mental and physical well-being. Sleep isn’t just a time to let your brain relax, but it allows your body to regenerate.

During sleep, your muscles repair themselves, your white blood cells can reproduce, and even circulation improves given a consistent heartbeat and gravity working to its advantage. However, studies have shown that weight gain can be a dominating factor in sleep loss, as it pertains to sleep apnea.

There are many people who notice themselves gaining weight and actively seek ways to lose it. They may exercise, they may restrict greasy and fast foods from their diet, they may do everything you’re supposed to do and still gain weight.

This can be an extremely frustrating and humiliating experience, leading people to question, “What’s wrong with me?” While hormones and genes can also be a factor in weight gain, sleep is another contributing factor.

Our daily lives are filled with appointments and activities from the minute we wake up, to the minute we go to bed.

The first thing people tend to sacrifice is sleep. For many people, it’s hard enough to manage a job, relationships, children, or work/hobbies in their day-to-day life.

As a result, it’s time-costly just to work out for a few hours. Unfortunately, juggling all these activities around can lead to serious weight gain, making this especially unfortunate for people seeking to lose weight.

When the body does not get enough sleep, two hormones in particular are affected by severe shifts production: ghrelin and leptin.

Leptin has a habit of informing the body when its appetite has been sated; when you don’t want to eat anymore—Thanksgiving flashback. Ghrelin on the other hand balances the leptin hormone, informing the body when it needs to eat.

When the body hasn’t had enough sleep, leptin levels drop and ghrelin levels rise. Already this is sounding like a recipe for disaster.

Furthermore, when the body does not have sufficient time to sleep, all of its processes slow down. This not only affects muscle building, which is of course imperative when working out, but is also heavily critical when it comes to digestion and metabolism.

With these two functions slowing down, and appetites rising, the added intake of food is going to become fat. The body will be working so hard to stay awake and rejuvenate itself during the day, that burning fat and calories won’t come easily.

Several studies have proven that maintaining a healthy diet and consistent exercise will improve your physical condition, but this is only if you are getting enough sleep.

For instance, the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine recently conducted a study over the course of 6 months. The study had half the participants engage in regular exercise, and the other half dedicated to a healthy diet.

The participants were able to record if they had any problems sleeping. The ones that did, did not lose as much weight as the participants who were on the exact same routine as their cohorts.

Bottom Line: If you want to lose weight, get better sleep!

Author Bio:

Kim Bureros is the current Copywriter for SleepDisorders.com. She thoroughly enjoys writing, reading, kayaking, and volleyball. She also firmly believes that, “Building relationships is the key to success.”

 

 

Free Workout Video: How to Get Rid of Saggy Arms in Minutes

Body, Beautiful: You are what you think

“Most people define themselves by this finite body, but you’re not a finite body… I mean even under a microscope you’re an energy field. What we know about energy is this… You go to a quantum physicist and you say “What creates the world?” And he or she will say energy. Well describe Energy. Okay. It can never be created or destroyed. It always was and always has been. Everything that ever existed always exists. 

It’s moving into form, through form and out of form. Okay, great. You go to a Theologian and you ask the question “What created the Universe?” And he or she will say God. Okay, describe God. Always has and always has been, never can be created or destroyed all that ever was always will be always moving into form, through form and out of form. You see it’s the same description, just different terminology. And so, if you think you’re this meat suit running around , think again. You’re a spiritual being. You’re an energy field operating in a larger energy field.” ~James Arthur Ray

I came across this excerpt while flipping through The Secret the other day, and I knew I had to share it with you.It occurs to me that as our society becomes increasingly tolerant of certain differences, it also becomes more body-conscious–which can have the unfortunate effect of causing many people to feel inadequate or unattractive in comparison to society’s ideal body types.

And, while I’m sure there are a few of you out there who have no complaints about your physical bodies, I’m willing to bet you’re the minority. Most people have at least one thing they don’t like about their physical appearance, and many have more than one.

The connection that Mr. Ray makes between ourselves and the divine seems to indicate that science and religion may be getting closer to the same page–and, on a similar note, seems to affirm the law of attraction.

That said, the final couple of lines is really what grabbed my attention here–the idea that our bodies are not, in fact, “meat suits” and that in reality, they’re spiritual beings in and of themselves.

So what does this mean for our body images? Well, quite simply, we’re a product of our thoughts. That is, when we spend time lamenting on the things we don’t like and ignore those things we love about ourselves, we manifest more of those things we don’t like.

For example, if we want to get thinner and healthier, we set out to lose weight. We think about losing weight, we talk about losing weight and we focus on losing weight. So, we lose weight…and we then talk about having lost it, and so on.

However, this kind of thinking can lead to temporary success at best–because when you’re focusing on LOSING WEIGHT, you are bringing the need to lose weight back into your life, if you catch my drift.

Focusing on health instead, focusing on fitness, on feeling good…this is how to get there. Think in the affirmative–about what you WANT, not what you don’t.

ask me how you can saveThis idea can be applied to any area in your life, of course.

In relation to your body specifically though, it seems simple. Want to get rid of pimples? Focus on having clear skin. Hair getting a little thin? Focus on having thick, beautiful hair.

It’s really quite a bit less complicated than you might think.

If you cannot learn to love (and be grateful) for your body as it is today, and as you hope it will become one day, you cannot achieve your goals. Focus on what you WANT, not what you don’t–it’s that simple.

Be grateful for your sight, your hearing, your sense of touch. Enjoy tasting foods, walking around in the world, being able to talk to your friends. Remember that your body works hard for you every day, and be grateful for all that it allows you to do.

Remember, your body is not just a “meat suit”–it’s a spiritual being. It’s as divine as your soul. Beginning to recognize it and treat it as such will bring you closer to your own personal fulfillment and to a new level of enlightenment.

Bliss Mission: Think Happy Body Thoughts!

So, my challenge to you today is to be conscious of negative body thoughts and words that creep into your day. Make the choice to change your mind in relation to your body image issues. When you have a negative thought or speak negatively about your body, intentionally change it. Focus on the good instead, and be grateful for it.

Free Workout Video: How to Get Rid of Saggy Arms in Minutes

Side-by-Side Weight Loss Progress Pics: Hindrance or Help?

Weight Loss Progress Photos: Size 10 to Size 8

Here’s my latest progress pic. 🙂

When you’ve got a long way to go on the road to fitness, it can seem endlessly challenging, especially when you’re just getting started. Staying motivated can be as much of a challenge as the actual effort to stay on track with your diet and exercise program of choice.

I have found that taking pictures often (even if they’re pics I’ve taken of myself in a spotty mirror), and putting them side-by-side with older pics in similar poses can be a HUGE motivation.

(Check out the last 4 or 5 minutes of this video to see a whole bunch more side-by-sides.)

For me, this helps me stay motivated because:

1. I get a great visual on how far I’ve come.

2. The old pics remind me that I never want to go there again.

However, it’s important to note that not everyone finds this kind of visualization effective. Some say they actually get rid of their “fat” pictures because they feel that keeping any reminders of their “old selves” can cause them to backslide into old habits.

“On one hand, they’re excellent reminders of why you should stay on track and continue on your path to a slimmer, healthier you,” writes SheKnows blogger Rolla Bahsaus. “But on the other hand, they can be painful reminders of what you used to feel like when you were heavier, and any sadness or negative feelings you felt toward yourself might not melt away with the weight.”

So how about you? Do you feel that side-by-side weight loss progress pics are helpful as you move toward your goal, or do they cause you more harm than good? Share your thoughts in the comments section, below.

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