I wonder what it would be like to buy a bottle of ‘motivation’ from the grocery store, pour the contents into a glass and sip it like iced tea? Or better still, every time we need to motivate ourselves, we serve it like medicine, take a spoonful and feel the magic begin to work instantly. Perfect. A dream come true…and an end to failed dieting.
But they don’t sell motivation in a bottle.
We have pills and potions, shakes and meal replacements but no bottle of pure willpower. It would certainly be a best seller if they did!
LET’S CREATE OUR OWN!
What could we put in our bottle of motivation that would not only taste delicious but give us the strength to keep going?
Let’s think about what we would like it to do for us…
- To Think About Food ONLY When We Are Hungry
- To WANT To Exercise
- To Love Ourselves And Our Bodies
- To Be Happy In Life
- To Be Content
- To Always Be Thinking With Motivation
1. To Think About Food Only When We Are Hungry
It is exhausting to think about food constantly which is one of the major downfalls of dieting.
From the moment I wake to the time I go to bed I think about food, and to not think about it would be absolute heaven; putting an end to a daily battle.
I think the biggest reason I think about food constantly is because I have been brain-washed into only allowing food that is ‘good’ for me and low in calories – it’s not what I want to eat most of the time and this means I am depriving myself of what I really want.
And depriving is dangerous.
Depriving ourselves of a particular food is the last thing we should do as it leads to an unbelievable craving for it that is so powerful, we end up giving up and binging on that – and everything else in the kitchen.
The important mixture:
- The urge to eat junk food not be the reason to get out of bed
- To last until lunchtime without visiting the canteen for a mid-morning snack
- To stop thinking about binning my salad for a burger and fries
- To try and last the afternoon without attacking the vending machine
- To look forward to something other than a huge dish of no-good dinner on the way home
- To only think about food when truly hungry.
Our Real-Life Ingredient for No.1: To Think About Food Only When We Are Hungry
Let’s say nothing is off the table!
We can eat whatever we want as long as we are truly hungry and stopping when we are satisfied.
The key here is that because we can have whatever we want, we stop craving for it!
Eating what we want is not a problem at all but what about stopping? How do we stop putting scrumptious food into our mouths? How can we leave leftovers on our plate – when we are the ones that eat the leftovers?!
We need to serve small portions. But we need to do it in a way that doesn’t seem like we are depriving ourselves. So we promise ourselves that if we really want more then we can just make more.
For example: I would always have two slices of toasted bread for breakfast. I don’t know why it was two, I had never asked myself the question if I actually wanted two, that’s just what I always had. I decided to have just the one slice (promising myself that if I wanted another I could). Although at first I would go for the second slice, gradually it made me question whether I really wanted it – I knew I could because I had allowed it to myself, but gradually it became a habit not to. But…if it was on my plate, I would still be eating it!
The next thing we need to do is evaluate our plate size…
Interesting Fact: the average plate size is 11-12 inches, compare this to the size of a dinner plate a few decades ago which was 7-9 inches. Our plates have increased by 3-5 inches and unfortunately, so have our food portions. Find out more at Eat Out Eat Well.
By having a smaller plate and filling it, we trick our minds into thinking we are still eating an ample portion, and not depriving ourselves by trying to leave food on the plate.
Another way we can reduce the amount we eat is by taking note of what our body is telling us. When our stomach has had enough food it will send a signal to our brain, and in turn our brain will instruct our body to produce a sigh.
A small one to begin with but if we continue eating, the sigh will increase.
So, a quick recap:
- prepare smaller meals (with the promise of making more if we still want it);
- serve on smaller plates;
- and notice the sigh our body will produce when it is satisfied.
No calorie counting, no weighing, no depriving.
We NOTICE when we are hungry and we take NOTICE when we are satisfied.
Now this is all well and good but what about those in-between times when we’re not hungry, but still want to eat?
Brain Over Binge
According to Kathryn Hansen in her book ‘Brain Over Binge‘, she explains our ‘other self’ – the one that tells us we want to eat when we are not hungry – does not have the power to make us act on it.
By literally ignoring our ‘other self’, it will start to get easier to let it just mutter away in the background while we go on with our day.
The Beck Diet Solution
One of the techniques from Judith S Beck in her book ‘The Beck Diet Solution – Train Your Brain to Think Like a Thin Person‘ is to write on a piece of paper a note to yourself for whenever you get the ‘urge’ to have food when you don’t want it.
For example, if you know you are tempted mid afternoon by chocolate, write yourself a note beforehand that says:
I know you want the chocolate now but
the feeling will pass,
you are not hungry and you will only be
really disappointed afterwards.
Distract yourself…the feeling WILL PASS.
Keep the note nearby so you can read it as soon as you start to want the chocolate.
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) which is also called tapping is an exercise that has been around for a long time but only recently gained more popularity.
EFT was created by Gary Craig and it is a technique that requires us to ‘tap’ on certain pressure points on various parts of our body whenever we get a craving or thought about food.
Repeated in an exact way will diminish these thoughts until they are insignificant enough to not be a problem.
And not the hypnosis that has us barking like a dog in front of a laughing audience! The type that gently ‘talks’ to our subconscious and convinces it of a way of thinking…which then helps the conscious to act on that way of thinking.
Listened regularly can form different thought patterns and reduces the ‘desire’ to think about food. And because the affirmations are directed to the subconscious, it doesn’t matter if we listen at night and sleep through it – the subconscious is always listening.
Using hypnotherapy in this way does not have to be costly with regular visits to a hypnotherapist. There are some really effective recordings on the web for nothing – read my experience with David McGraw’s Ultimate Weight Loss Hypnosis 30 Day Challenge over at Hypnosis and Weight Loss.
It is advisable to do your own proper research on what program to use and if it is suited to you.
2. To Want To Exercise
This may need to be a double ingredient!
Some people love exercising (and if you’re one of those lucky people then you can skip this ingredient) but most hate it – me included. I will think up every excuse under the sun not to exercise.
And even when I muster the desire…wrong word…resolve to go through the pain and torture (no exaggeration here), I set myself up to fail before I even start because of my inner belief that the only way to succeed is by doing hard, cardio workouts for hours on end. And when I can’t stick to it, I get disheartened and eventually give up.
But there is some good news…
Our Real-Life Ingredient for No.2: To Want To Exercise
Could you love exercise if all you had to do is 10 minutes per week?
Yep you read that right. 10 MINUTES PER WEEK. I think even I could learn to love it then!
You have probably heard of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training); hard training for a very limited time mixed in with gentler exercising.
But the great thing about it is that you don’t have to do it for a long time, and I can convince myself to hop on my exercise bike for 10 mins – especially only once a week!
Find out more about it at Science Alert.
3. To Love Ourselves And Our Bodies
Being able to love ourselves gives us the motivation to look after our mind and body, and the determination to not see ourselves become hurt is what gives us that motivation.
So why do we find it so difficult to love ourselves?
Our Real-Life Ingredient for No.3: To Love Ourselves and Our Bodies
Let’s think about how amazing we are for a minute.
Our bodies are an incredible creation:
- we breathe
- we feel
- we have the freedom to dream and imagine
- we can move
- we can dance
- we can learn incredible, complex things
- we can bleed
- we can be hurt in the most horrific ways and yet we can repair ourselves
HOW AMAZING ARE WE?
Need some more facts about how fantastic we are? Check out the Independent’s 18 Amazing Body Facts
The world and the Universe is so much bigger than us hating our bodies which nature has given us to experience life so let’s truly experience it, love it and love the body that works so hard to keep us alive…
4. To Be Happy In Life
Being happy for our bottle of motivation is an important ingredient because when we’re happy we can conquer the world; our motivation is at its prime and we can hit things ‘head on’.
But how can we make ourselves happy when the whole world seems sometimes against us?
Our Real-Life Ingredient for No.4: To be Happy in Life
The Huffington Post featured a great article listing 45 ways to be happier. One of the suggestions is listening to sad music, which apparently boosts positive feelings…
Other things that can improve mood are:
- researching holiday destinations
- looking at old photographs/journals
- planning a night out with friends or family
- remembering how far we have come in life and what we have accomplished
- and smile…
According to the Scientific American, exercising a smile may change our mood and make us happier.
We can also make a conscious effort each day to actually be happy. An article written by Michael Feeley says being happy is a decision we make ourselves – that we can choose to be happy.
Sure more money and/or a slimmer figure would make us happier…for a time but, unfortunately the happiness is temporary.
More money would bring different problems to deal with, and when we are finally at the weight we want to be, there will be something else we don’t like. Materialistic desires do not make us happy in the long run.
We need to concentrate on learning to make ourselves happy from within.
5. To Be Content
To be content is to be happy with what we have, who we are and where we are in life. It is incredibly important for all aspects of our life, not just with our weight – when we’re content, there’s no great need to change things so the pressure is off.
A quicker way to contentment is to realise you don’t need any of the things you think you want before spending 40 years trying to acquire them. – The Guardian
As I sit comfortably on our sofa, nice and warm and enjoying a homemade latte, I can hear the gentle ticking of the clock and the odd purr from my cat as he sleeps. My hubby is in the other room muttering about his online auctions, a habit which amuses me. At my feet, my daughter has taken up the entire floor space with what appears to be every toy from her bedroom; but my heart overfills with love. I need to take in this moment in time because I am thankful, blessed and content.
We spend far too much time thinking about what we want and where we are going that we miss what we have now…in this instance. We are forever looking towards the future…and then we wish we could be back in the past.
I wish I was 25 again so I could really take in everything around me and appreciate the youth I had, the carelessness, the energy, the love of life. And yet I’ll be thinking the same thing about today in another ten year’s time.
Our Real-Life Ingredient for No.5: To be Content
We seem to always be striving for something we don’t have, but take for granted all the things we have right now:
- family and friends
- health and wealth
- love and respect
- knowledge and talent
- life and memories…
Enjoy What You Have, Live In The Moment and Appreciate Now!
6. To Always Be Thinking With Motivation
We need to have a constant reminder of positive affirmations so we can keep our motivation levels topped up.
So this ingredient comes in the form of words, and lots of them.
Our Real-Life Ingredient for No.6: To Always be Thinking with Motivation
Type the following into a search engine: ‘weight loss motivation quotes’. Out of the results, read through the quotes and try to find ones that really resonate with you; that stir some inner will to make things happen.
Write them out or print them – as many as you can, and start placing them everywhere that you frequent:
- at your desk
- on your nightstand
- the refrigerator door
- bathroom mirror
- inside your car
- on your phone
- on your laptop/PC as a screensaver
- a bookmark for your reading books
- in your purse/wallet so you have to move it whenever you get change
- frame them and hang them on the wall
- be creative and make greeting cards
- search for ‘weight loss motivation quotes adult coloring pages’, print them and color them
Everywhere you go and everywhere you look, there should be a motivation quote.
If they are there, you will read them.
How many times do you visit the same public bathroom and read the same notice on the cubicle door?
You know what it says. And yet you still read it.
You don’t consciously go to read it.
You get fed-up of reading it.
But it’s there…so you read it.
The same goes with your own quotes, position them in places so you have to look at them.
It is hard NOT to have motivation when you are faced with it constantly.
Give it a Stir
So there you have it – the ingredients are now in the bottle, the perfect mixture to give you motivation.
And when you need it, return to this page and take a good drink from the bottle of motivation.