I wrote this e-mail today and sent it out to a group of my co-workers who are in a Weigh to Win contest with me and on my team. 2 of us lost weight for this mid contest weigh in and 2 of us gained weight. Minimal amount of 2 pounds but still the goal is to lose and those of us that gained were feeling pretty down and beating themselves up.
In putting this together in the hope to inspire and motivate my teammates I learned much about myself and I hope to follow my own advice and recommit!!
We have reached our first marker in this Weight to Win contest. Though it’s not about just the “contest” it’s about motivating ourselves to make some life style changes.
Over the last 6 weeks we have each rallied through our personal setbacks. Though we may not all be seeing the number we want to see on the scale we have all made some very real and inspiring changes in our lives over the last 6 weeks.
We have changed some if not all of our eating habits. 6 weeks is not enough time to change all our habits! So don’t be unmotivated by what has NOT changed. Look at what HAS changed!
Perhaps you have cut certain items that are sure weight sabotages’ out of your diet. Things like soda, salty pretzels, donuts or cookies.
Perhaps you have started a new exercise routine, and kept it going day after day or even just went out and bought a new pair of sneakers or clothes with the plan to become more active.
Whatever it is, you have made changes and you should applaud yourself and each other for that! It is not easy to change things that we have spent half a life time learning, following and putting into practice so be kind and cut yourself a break, and then cut out your excuses and recommit!
Psych Basics Motivation
How to Get Motivated
Motivation is literally the desire to do things. It's the difference between waking up before dawn to pound the pavement and lazing around the house all day. It's the crucial element in setting and attaining goals—and research shows you can influence your own levels of motivation and self-control. So figure out what you want, power through the pain period, and start being who you want to be.
ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY
The goals of acceptance are to change your aim from getting rid of unpleasant emotions to fully experiencing them in service of achieving your desired goals. Anyone can follow the steps, which are as follows:
Practice "defusing” your judgment from your emotions. Labeling your feelings as negative and your thoughts as truths tends to extend your desire to avoid them to the circumstances and/or actions that stir them up. You need to break this link to become more capable of taking the action you need to achieve your desired goals—or to stop maladaptive behaviors like relationship sabotage or drug abuse, overeating designed to prevent you from feeling or thinking unpleasant things.
Clarify your goals. You may not even be aware of some of them, so impossible might they seem because of the painful feelings that even contemplating them stirs up. I want to lose weight, but I am fat, I have always been/ will always be fat. I can’t make this goal I’m not worthy of it. WRONG! WE are worthy and we, YOU can make it happen!
Commit to behaviors that will enable you to achieve your goals. You must decide that you're going to achieve your goals no matter how much pain striving toward them may cause you. I’m tired and I don’t want to go to the gym! I am depressed and need to have this candy, cookie, Pizza to make me feel better. Exercises hurts I don’t want to do it and be in pain. I don’t have time. EXCUSES. YOU CAN OVERCOME these, and it might be hard.. exercise can hurt, and you might really want that pizza, but you can suck it up and make the choice to take care of and love your body and yourself even if it’s uncomfortable right now, you will get there!
Accept the impossibility of ceasing to feel unpleasant emotions. You will never, ever succeed in feeling only good. So stop trying. Seek to become strong enough to tolerate feeling bad. It might be hard today, and even harder tomorrow. You might do 1 mile today and 3 miles tomorrow, you may lift more and more, but you CAN do it! You can grow your muscles and shrink your waist! You got this!!
Here is an exercise recommended to get you started:
I am going to answer these in relation to losing weight, and this contest though this exercise can work for you on any goals you might want accomplish. It is a great tool for self-examination and understanding.
I would like to share my thoughts with you all if you don’t mind..I put in a few examples of excuses that I might come up with on first glance and then answered them truthfully and marked them as such.
Write down a goal that you've either repeatedly failed to accomplish or have never even attempted because to contemplate trying has brought up intense, unpleasant emotions. Perhaps you want to reunite with your estranged father, or read a poem in front of an audience, or ask someone out on a date. You're looking for a goal that you've been unable to achieve not because of an external obstacle (though they certainly may exist) but because of an internal one.
Goal: To lose weight and keep it off
Then write down underneath it all the steps you would need to take to accomplish it. You can do this in any level of detail you want.
Make changes to my choices of food
Stick to a stick caloric intake
Commit to tracking my food and exercise on a daily basis
Get up and start moving more during the day
Create and stick to an exercise plan of cardio and strength training daily
Get enough sleep
Drink enough water
Stay accountable to my goals
Then write down next to those steps the unpleasant emotions they stir up.
Make changes to my choices of food
I get emotionally tied to certain foods. I think of holiday foods or celebrations and think that it’s OK to indulge in these things for this one time. The problem is that it’s not just that one time or that one event. Once I open the door to the food I have a harder time saying NO to it.
Sometimes I will go out of my way to purchase and eat things that I know are bad for me or will sabotage me and keep me from reaching my goals. I’ll go out and buy that ice cream bar, or that bag of chocolate truffles and eat the whole dam thing! (Truth)
I will have unresolved guilt about indulging and binging on that food, but then “excuse” myself from that by telling myself I had a hard day, or I deserve to “celebrate” this one time which is never just one time..and I will secretly feel badly about it.
[*]Stick to a stick caloric intake
I feel limited and put in a box. I don’t want to be “restricted” in what I am eating!
I hate looking up every single food item and reading the labels!
If I didn’t let myself get so fat I would not have to do this! (Truth)
[*]Commit to tracking my food and exercise on a daily basis
I don’t have the time for this!
I am so busy cause I am super important that I don’t have the time to do this for myself!
OK so I’m lazy and I really don’t want to know what I am putting in my mouth!
I can’t face that I might possibly eat more then Shamu the whale on any given day!(Truth)
[*]Get up and start moving more during the day
I can’t do this because my body hurts
I have a headache and I’m sick!
I have to be at my desk this is my job!
OK I’m lazy. I get complacent and don’t want to move
Yes I even hold it longer then I should instead of getting up to use the rest room
If I walk out to the hallway people might see me and judge me and think what a fat ass she has in those pants. (Truth)
[*]Create and stick to an exercise plan of cardio and strength training daily
I’m great at making plans!
Lists, spreadsheets, trackers I can make them all up but follow them and fill them in? Ha! Nope.
If I do that I’ll have to face myself. I’ll know when I miss a day and that will just prove to me again how lazy and unmotivated I am. (Truth)
If I miss a day it’s over, I’ll have to start over I can’t have gaps so why bother with it at all?
If I don’t create a program then I can just blame that and not myself.
[*]Get enough sleep
There are just so many hours in the day and I am just too busy doing important things to carve out 8 hours of sleep!
People rely on me all day and I’m on the go all day I can’t unwind and find the time to get the sleep in.
My mind is so wound up that I need a few hours to unwind and watch TV so I can’t get enough hours of sleep
If people don’t need me to do everything for them I don’t think they love me or value me so I can’t say no to them or myself when asked to do something and that robs me of sleep. (Truth)
[*]Drink enough water
I don’t like water
I am not always thirsty
If I drink too much water I’ll have to use the restroom more often and it’s that many more times I’ll have to see people in the hall way that might judge me for how I look. (Truth)
[*]Stay accountable to my goals
It just so hard to stay accountable to myself.
If I share then I can blame others when I don’t succeed.
If I am truly accountable to myself I will have to admit that I make mistakes, and I don’t always follow through on things, and if I admit that to myself I might have to admit that to others and they will think as little of me and I think of myself. (Truth)
If you want to share your thoughts…I’m here for you! They say the first step is acceptance…