My Weight-Loss Journey: Staying Motivated

I have this habit of starting a weight-loss program with energy, enthusiasm, and tons of motivation, and then reality hits and I give up. Don’t worry: this is not me saying that I am giving up on my weight-loss journey. I’m just saying that a new adventure loses its newness a few weeks in, and my get-up-and-go gets up and goes.

I am determined that this time is going to be different, but that means I need help. I need to figure out how to keep my motivation strong. Or to put it another way: I need a kick in the pants. So I turned to Sharecare to get some tips, and here is what our experts had to say:

- Focus on your gifts. Psychologist Lara Honos-Webb, PhD, says I can find more stick-to-it-iveness by defining myself by my strengths. She suggests I jot down ten reasons I can succeed in my efforts to lose weight and get healthy. Making the list, she says, will boost my confidence and spark a desire to show what I can do.

Well, one of my gifts is that I am a good cook. That will definitely come in handy as I develop new eating habits—I can try out some new recipes to keep from getting bored with eating the same foods over and over again.

- Be nice to yourself. NASM Elite Trainer Andrea Ingram says kindness is key to achieving wellness goals, and that I should talk to myself as nicely—as if I were talking to a good friend.

I do have a tendency to beat myself up over slip-ups and mistakes. This constant self-criticism is, well, exhausting. In the past it has worn me down to the point of giving up. Something’s gotta give. If I am nice to myself, I am more likely to make progress.

- Build a support team. Change expert John Norcross, PhD, recommends identifying friends, family members and other key people who are on board with your change. Then (and this part is key) you have to enlist their help when the going gets tough.

During this process many people have come forward with offers of help, but I have been too proud or embarrassed to accept it. I need to get over those feelings and choose a few key people to whom I can turn when I need help. My co-worker Nicole has offered to go for a walk with me on our lunch break—that could help me on days when I can’t face the elliptical. If I start hearing the chocolate in the vending machine calling my name, I can call my mother to talk me down off the diet-sabotaging ledge. I can “get by with a little help from my friends.”

So those are my marching orders for this week: focus on the positive, be nice to myself, and ask for help. They seem like simple tasks, but I have been in a negative frame of mind about my weight for so long that I know I won’t turn around overnight.

At this point I usually ask you to wish me luck. I have decided to stop relying on wishes and luck and instead rely on myself. But I will take any kind words of encouragement. I need the example of how to be kind to myself.


To start your own journey toward a healthier weight, check out Sharecare’s Transform You2.


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Cathy Poley

Cathy Poley is a Senior Web Producer at Sharecare. She has managed web and video projects for companies such as Primedia, and Turner Broadcasting. Not only is Cathy a Sharecare employee, but she is also an avid Sharecare user, finding that the Q&As she reads inspire her to make better decisions about her health.

View my Sharecare profile