Motivation is the key to your success with any dietary or fitness program. I’m sure we’ve all struggled with staying motivated at one time or another.
Personally, losing 130 pounds is no easy feat. Stepping on the scale and seeing 295 staring back at me was my motivation to make a change in my life. Change didn’t happen overnight but my vow (with myself) to never reach 300 pounds has held true now for 8 years.
Motivations change. They can change almost daily. While my original motivation to lose weight was fear of another increase on the scale. What kept me going, in the long run, was how I felt in my body when I lost weight. I was more confident, healthier and no longer out of breath from a single flight of stairs. And those reasons alone have helped me keep the weight off and live a healthy active lifestyle.
But did you know that nearly 50% of people who begin an exercise program drop out within the first 6 months? Those are the stats according to Rod K. Dishman, Ph.D., director of the Behavioral Fitness Laboratory at the University of Georgia. But, why is that the case? What is it about sticking with a fitness routine that causes half of the people to abandon it?
The answer… Motivation.
You do not have to be part of that 50% who quit. You can stay committed to your healthy lifestyle. It is all about finding what personally motivates you. Is it one the following?
1. Do it for your health. We know that eating healthy and exercising are key to improving your overall health. Making healthy choices can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other degenerative diseases. It is possible to age without decay, and the key is to eat well and exercise.
2. Do it to feel better. It’s not all about appearance, but the majority of us care how we look. Your demeanour also changes as you become more confident in your body.
3. Do it to relieve stress. It really does help to reduce stress levels. Not only does eating the right foods reduce the amount of stress on your body but exercise causes physical changes in your brain and nervous system that result in feelings of calmness and well-being. Ever heard of a runner’s high?
4. Do it to be strong. The ability to easily pick something up that normally results in discomfort, strain and even pain, is a great reward! Increasing your strength reduces your risk of age-related falls and fractures.