Keeping focus in hard times

Not to make this a dark post - but I know everyone on here is different, we've all had different experiences and lives, and I just need a little motivation.

My question sort of is, how do you keep focus on the whole healthy eating/lifesyle and weight loss, when it is about the last thing on your mind...

I'm struggling with a lot of stuff at the moment, which is making it very difficult not to just eat a burger and lay in bed with M&Ms...

How do you guys keep going when things get a bit tough... I can find small moments on motivation, then it quickly dissipates when my attention is turned to something else.

So many things trying to get my attention, like little toddlers, and I'm afraid losing weight is being neglected a lot more than the rest. But I don't want it to be that way.

How have you guys gotten over these things and kept focus, right now I'm losing it and worried I'll just end up back where I was over years and end up putting weight on...

18 Replies

  • Hey!

    I'm actually new to this, but from the comments I've seen so far, you need to write a list of why you deserve the body you want, and have a diary of progress so that when you see the progress you have made, it will encourage you to go further. Also, there are loads of healthy recipes on the internet that taste delicious, so you could always try that.

    All the best! X

  • hi brocollibunnies i know where you're coming from. life keeps throwing those curve balls. for me, i get out for a walk and little bouts of running with my dog when life events are weighing on me, if i feel sad or angry. i know from experience that exercise helps me. i have been walking and running whilst crying!

  • That sounds like a good idea. I might try that but deliberately leave my money and cards at home so I'm not tempted. Like literally run away from my cravings, if that makes sense and then hopefully by the time I've got back my head will have cleared enough to rationalize that I don't want a load of junk food. Cool idea Enielou! :)

  • Hi BB, I think we all have those moments when life gets in the way of our new healthy life style. The one thing that works for me is this community here. This week I had some bad news about someone very close to me and normally in these situations I would of run to the kitchen and comfort ate everything.... But instead I came onto here and spent the night reading all the comments and by the time I finished I didn't want to eat. Even though I hav'nt felt like posting anything this week the community here is still supportive by just being there, if that makes sense. Hope this helps and you have a good week.


  • I totally agree wih you Yellowrose.. every bad day i spend some time reading through here and I begin to feel i am not alone!

  • Totally agree - reading posts on the forum is part of my avoiding-temptation strategy now!

  • No helpful comments or advice I'm afraid, but just to say I found the toddler years very difficult 😕 I lost my mum (after a horrid year of illness) when mine were 10 months, 21/2 and 5 😕 I really struggled with everything, lack of sleep, untidy house, just sheer mental exhaustion 😕 And then people would say things like "these are the best days of your life"!!! 😡

    Making yourself a priority is important if you can, you are the centre of the family, you need to be in tip top condition. Exercise did help, I joined a gym with a good crèche and had two hours twice a week, my salvation 😊 Also getting outside, rain or shine, parks are great places 😊 I've seen me walking in the rain with tears streaming down my face.

    Im not sure if this helps, but you are not alone and things will improve 😊 Try to make time for yourself 😊 Meals need making either way so you may as well make them healthy 😊 And kids love being outside, chasing them and active play is excellent exercise for you, plus a stress reliever 😊 Very best wishes ❤️

  • I hope you feel better and things settle down. Try to stick to plan take kids out, healthy picnics feed ducks in the park etc above all look after you easier said than done sometimes x

  • For me planning is key.

    I look in the fridge and plan my food first thing in the morning before breakfast and log my whole day of food (including snacks) onto the myfitnesspal ap (using up my whole calorie allowance).

    I then stick to the food I have logged down on the ap.

    It is a bit like making a picnic for yourself everyday and it becomes quite fun as I am getting better at varying it now from day to day to get a good range of nutrients.

    I make sure that I plan it when I don't actually feel that hungry, so it is not desire or craving based.

    I know that I get hungry at certain points of the day so I plan in a banana / nuts or bran cake to satisfy those cravings.

    Stick with it.... x

  • I do the same thing as Seuzan, and have found that quite often managing to stick to it and having that feeling of control actually helps me deal with the bad things going on (I'm a bit of a control freak, so I do have to watch that I don't get obsessive about planning and eating/calorie counting.).

    Definitely factor in snacks and/or treats so you don't feel deprived - I know I can always look forward to my bedtime Freddo for a chocolate hit! I also bargain with myself - e.g. "you can have the whole packet of biscuits IF you have a slow cuppa now, then wait half an hour while you read some posts on the forum. If after that you still think eating the packet of biscuits will make you feel better than managing to resist them, then go for it". Stopping to think before you eat things is often enough to resist them. It's difficult to summon the willpower when times are tough though, but overall the increased feeling of self respect and confidence from achieving what you set out to do helps you through (I find this even more than the actual weight loss, as it can be a daily achievement).

    I'd say also don't try to be perfect - we all have days that don't work out right. I've tried to make sure if I go a bit over my daily allowance I don't then discard the whole day and think "what the hell?!". If I do eat the whole packet of biscuits, then I'll log it, and try to keep the rest of the day on track (cancel the Freddo!), rather than decide I may as well have a chocolate cake and a bottle of wine as well! Over the week fluctuations will even out, so be very good when you can be, and don't beat yourself up when you can't!

    I also found the Couch-2-5k programme helped my mindset a lot (I did it before the weight loss plan) - again, it was about achievable goals that boosted my confidence and self esteem. Finding something you can do that makes you feel better about yourself is definitely a good thing for getting through hard times.

    Good luck, and I hope this forum provides some good support for you - something we all need :)

  • Sorry you are feeling down at the moment, and you are right, most people have their own crosses to bear. I actually find making time for me to have a healthy diet, count calories and exercise is a good distraction from the realities of life and because I am feeling fitter I am able to cope more when I need to! You mention toddlers, surely they are motivation for you to be as happy and healthy around them as you can be? Start at the beginning make yourself a list as QueeNG suggested, for and against and write all the benefits of a healthy diet and losing weight and then refer to it every time you weaken. Take a photo of yourself, take measurements, bust, waist, hips etc, wash and iron a favourite piece of clothing that no longer fits you and hang it where you can see it in your wardrobe, it's amazing what incentive it is to carry on when you start seeing small results. I've been on the plan 15 weeks now and not far off fitting in those favourite white jeans! Are the kids at school/play school, could you manage a 30 minute walk or exercise Dvd, it helps with the Wright loss and makes you feel energised. Hope everyone's suggestions help, good luck!

  • Hi I am sorry you feel this way. Life sounds quite stressful for you at the moment. I have tried to change my thoughts when I want food for comfort. I say to myself that the chocolate biscuit (or whatever I may fancy) I am about to eat will be nice for about a minute but the problem will still be there after the taste has gone plus it means I have to try harder to lose weight. So I now try to do something else to make myself feel better. Maybe make myself a cup of tea, watch a bit of a favourite film or put some music on and dance around the lounge - maybe a bit mad but ok if no one is watching :) If you have toddlers maybe get involved in some fun activities with them such as playdoh or painting. I know it may be messy but being creative can help lift your mood and the toddlers will love having you playing with them. Just an idea and looks like you have lots of other great replies so I hope you can find something that can help you. Best of luck to you :)

  • Sorry to hear you're going through a tough time. Lots and good advice in the posts above ☺️ I am also struggling with quite a few things at the moment. I wanted to address the comfort eating aspect you mentioned in particular. One thing I found helpful was to write down a list of things that make me feel good, happy and relaxed. It is quite simple: having a cup of tea, watching my favourite tv show on Netflix, colouring in (I would recommend adult colouring books for mindfulness!!!). Really simple stuff. When I do those things I try and focus solely on them, so I don't go on my phone when I'm watching tv, or I don't listen to music when I'm reading. I focus only on one measurable activity. This makes it comforting and relaxing! Usually this means I avoid the temptation to comfort eat- I have a different reward system for myself now. I appreciate that this is so much easier said than done and I'm not perfect, but treating yourself kindly overall is a good step, and you make conscious choices about what is good for you rather than eating mindlessly as I would - and I still do, just more rarely now! Lots of strength to you.

  • That's supposed to say pleasurable not measurable ...

  • Thank you for this. I do actually have a colouring book and I really like this idea, but I've never gotten around to buying any pencils for it (feels strange to be saying I have a colouring book and pencils at 23!) Maybe I'll pop in to the £ shop and grab some or some paints!

    I shall give the list thing a go and see what I can come up with - wish I lived in a slightly better area, a little rural, but you're only able to walk along main road on a narrow path - Not very mind clearing.

  • Hi, just wanted to chip in and say toddlers can make excellent exercise buddies! Not only do they have lots of energy, but they have enthusiasm when they get involved. Depending on their ages, they can walk along & join in the Lesley Sansome videos (mine liked doing 'follow your leader' round the house while marching - a long time ago now). Also they enjoy holding your legs &/or counting while you do crunches/plank/press ups/etc. Otherwise, how about hula hoop competitions, skipping or just taking a ball to the park? Hope you start to find some positives to focus on in your life, just remember, to your toddlers you are the centre of their life, so you need to concentrate on you to be as healthy and happy as you can be. Good luck x

  • hey broccolibunnies, chin up doll. we have all been where you are. right now I am worried about my uncle who has colon cancer and is in pretty bad shape. just remember to be selfish for at least half an hour a day to keep yourself on track. I am working on that myself and sometimes it is very difficult. I have school, work and family to deal with and have little time to myself as there is always someone in the house. just remember, you are important too. if you let yourself go, you will be unhappy again and that is not what your family wants for you. you probably have more energy now to chase those toddlers that love you and want you to be happy too and chase them around. I know life sux sometimes, but you can do this. just take some time to yourself and focus on you for a while. paint your toes. take a bubble bath. plan the next day's meal. you can do this! and so can I.

  • Hi Broccolbunnies, sorry for the delay in putting in my twopennith but just want to say this to you.

    You are young, I am old, three times your age and one thing I have learned over the years is that there is never a right time to diet. There is always something in your life that can cause you to be unable to focus on yourself and in keeping yourself healthy and fit, IF YOU LET IT 😃

    You have to make time to focus on yourself and if you truly want to lose the weight, and by that I mean that your heart is fully in it, then you will. There is no quick fix, no magic wand, just a need to follow a healthy eating plan, reducing the calories and cutting out the crap. Don't look at it as a diet but as a lifetime change. Incorporate it with your family, give them a healthier lifestyle too.

    As I said right at the start, there is always something in life that will be a reason (excuse) for not losing weight, if you wait for the right time it will never come. You have to make now the right time. Good luck and keep posting xx

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