Wednesday, July 7, 2010


I was asked a few weeks ago how I keep myself motivated to eat healthier and exercise while losing weight at a snail’s pace – two pounds a week. At the time, my biggest motivation was watching that number slowly decrease. What helps me stay on track best? Not weighing myself daily.

John and I have very different approaches to the weigh-in. He has always been a little obsessive-compulsive about it. Even when we aren’t dieting, if there is a scale around, he’s on it. Some days, it seems like he weighs himself two or three times. In actuality, it’s probably only once, it just seems frequent to me and my once a week turn on the scale.

Weighing daily discourages me, because sometimes that number doesn’t budge. Sometimes it even goes up! I’ve picked one day a week, first thing in the morning, to weigh myself. It’s like Christmas morning. I rush to the bathroom, step on the scale, and surprise! Two more pounds are gone.

Until this week. I didn’t lose a thing this week, because we took a mini-vacation for the Fourth of July and I ate without abandon. I heeded none of our dieting rules and paid no regard to portions, but it’s okay. We got right back to it as soon as we returned home. I’d like to think of the weekend as a reward for a job well done. I’m confident that I didn’t overdo it too badly, because I at least did not gain weight.

Numbers not your thing? The next best motivation for me is accountability. John and I are doing this together. We keep one another on track, comparing notes about our meals and how much exercise we’re getting. If you don’t have a spouse, or yours has no need or desire to diet with you, find a friend. Start going to the gym together. It’s easier to make yourself go if someone else is counting on you to be there, and some of my closest friends were workout buddies first.

Start there. Start exercising more, and chances are, you won’t want to go home and blow all your hard work by eating an entire large pizza, or a whole bag of Oreos, or whatever. Partner up! Accountability works!

In a few more weeks, as I reach my goal and begin to maintain, my motivation will shift. My goal will be to stay healthy. I’m trying to set a good example for my kids. I’m also trying to make sure that I can keep up with them. I’ve been given one body. I’m blessed that it all functions properly, and I need to take good care of it.