How can I stay motivated?


I have just signed up in the hope that this time round I will be successful with my weightloss. I eat a healthy diet, eat my fibre and easily get my five a day (I am a vegan). My problems are portion control and will power. I eat man size portions and snack a lot. I would like to loose 12kg as my weight and general state of unfitness make me feel very uncomfortable in my body. There are so many things like hiking I'd like to do with more confidence, but state of fitness and my weight hold me back. With 55 I feel this is my last chance to turn my life around before there is permanent damage (joints etc). to my body and health.

Who else has motivational problems and how are you dealing with them?

Wishing you all great success with on your journey to health.


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17 Replies

  • Well done for starting! I find that being involved on this forum really helps to keep me motivated and involved, with the Monday weigh in and other challenges to keep me feeling accountable. Good luck with your first week.

  • Thanks for your encouragement JiminyCricket! I think you are right, the communication with likeminded people will help. All the best!

  • It sounds like you are half way there already with all of the healthy changes you have made. I am 57 and it was my health that motivated me to change my ways before it was too late and problems became irreversible. I did have a bit of a scare which prompted me to act and it is the best thing I have ever done.

    I would say just do something to change your portion sizes. That was my biggest downfall too and I have adjusted, but it took a while. I had to, not only count calories, but weigh portions out because I always gave myself more than I should. You do get better at judging after a while, but the sad fact is, if our portions are too generous, we will be taking in too many calories and put on weight so there really is no way around it.

    As far as the snacks go i have a snack bag with healthy snacks which are pre-weighed (two squares of dark chocolate or a 25g pack of fruit and nuts, or a paleo bar or an apple or banana) and only allow myself a maximum of 2 a day.

    Only you can find the motivation though so dig deep and make a start.

    Good luck x

  • Thanks kalahucchi, this sounds very much like my own story ;-) So far I am lucky not to have serious health scares, but my weight makes it increasingly difficult for me to do things which bring enjoyment like carrying a back pack full of gear for my hobby landscape photography, so something's got to give. I decided not to count calories because this has made me totally obsessed and stressed about food in the past (same with points at WWs). I think reducing portion sizes and starting to eat mindfully is the answer.

  • We all do things a bit differently and there are loads of ways of getting things right; I like your plan to reduce portion sizes and let the calories take care of themselves as it sounds sustainable over the long term. If your weight is stopping you from enjoying your wonderful hobby then it really is time to make that change. Soon you'll be skipping up mountains with your backpack and not even noticing it's there!

    I hope you will post a pic or two so we can see some of those lovely landscapes x

  • Will do!

  • Hi there, I find it so hard to motivate myself. I find I can stick to the diet but it is the exercise I find so difficult... I suppose it's a case of start small x

  • Same here, I always find something in my daily schedule that has priority over exercise ;-) My husband who also needs to loose weight has set us wants us to take part in a 10k in spring. This should keep us focused.

  • I'm 54 (I think) and got fed up with female friends telling me "oooo, once you hit the menopause it's really hard to lose weight". One day, on the scales and I said "enough". Like you, good hill walker, a "flexitarian" (not vegetarian, but just didn't eat meat), but my downfall, like yours..... PORTION CONTROL - none of it! If I went for a walk I'd obviously need feeding up to survive. This I have discovered to be nonsense and have been losing weight since I decided to take control. I don't need to eat the portions I used to, surprisingly I didn't die or lounge around fainting. There are some really good and helpful people on this site who have got themselves in fantastic shape by just taking control of their lives. Give it a go. I even wore the bikini the other day, the one I was going to throw out because I looked ridiculous in!

  • Thanks for this Ottomummy! A bikini - wow! This could be achievable by September when I'm going on hols ;-)

    But my longterm health is the most important thing for me.

    I need to learn to listen to my body and not stuff it with food when I'm stressed or "reward" myself with a meal after a job done.

    Your message is definitely one to come back to when the motivation crumbles.

  • Absolutely achievable! That's ages away, approx 1lb a week...... you'll be invisible by September!

  • Haha! That would be a shame. I want everybody to see me as my very best. I'll let you know, which makes me accountable ;-))

  • Hi from another 55 year old vegan!

    I have been calorie counting for over 14 months now as I had a lot of weight to lose. I have learned that motivation can wax and wane, but so long as you just keep on doing the things that help you to lose weight and improve your fitness, then you can still manage to do OK even when the motivation isn't there.

    As I want to keep healthy for the rest of my life, I have realised that I will have to workout every day and eat sensibly every day until I die, no matter what (within reason, of course) or I will end up severely overweight and face an early death after a long period of constant pain. I have been there, I know how awful it is and I do not want to go there ever again. That is what motivates me.

    You need to find the things that make you feel that need to lose weight, then write it down. Make posters to put up around the house (I did that at the beginning of my diet, when I went away for a few days, I knew that was a danger time for me, coming home to an empty house and relaxing after being away - food would call me), stick a slim photo of yourself on the fridge. Buy and read books on the subject, watch documentaries about the food industry, watch YouTube videos about obesity (there are loads) and weight loss programmes like The Biggest Loser.

    If you can, join a gym or running club or swimming pool or tennis club, being around other like-minded people is also motivating. Or invest in technology - I love my Fitbit as I can see my exercise and my steps and my heart rate and I find it interesting to see where I can improve or how well I am doing. If you know friends who have them, you can challenge each other for mutual motivation. If that is too much expense, a simple step counter is fun too, that is what I relied upon for the first 6 months.

    We have loads of challenges on here, so look for posts that usually have challenge in the title and just jump in - they are great fun.

    Anyway, I hope you got a few ideas and that you are successful - keep us posted and just ask if you need to know anything!

  • Thanks LessToLoose,

    I agree, if we want to be fit and healthy until our last day we will have to do something about it every single day.

    Writing things down (info and confirmation) will probably work for me. My husband also needs to loose at least 20 kgs and for the first time in years is willing to take responsibility for his health. We decided to run/powerwalk a 10k in April, so I now have a training partner.

    I bought "Say good bye to overeating" by Gillian Riley and what she says makes a lot of sense.

    All the best for you!

  • Hi Hase,

    Few pointers or suggestions.

    1. Health is a journey, you can begin any time... so try to remove this "55 is the last chance.." because it means you will give up if it does not happen in an year?? No...

    2. Till you are alive, you need to be alive and kicking and trying.

    3. Count every step, count every progress as victory.

    4. There is no need for control.. Instead try to fill up your stomach with pre-meals of water + salads and low cal ( low GI) fruits... if your stomach is already full, then your mind will automatically say no. Keep drinking lots and lots of water.

    5. Get rid of all snacks and junk food from your home.

    6. Stay away from people who are addicted to food.

    7. Avoid markets, go to parks and play there.

    8. Instead of focussing on 'Weight Loss' focus on Fitness, Health, Vibrancy, Long Life

    There is no last chance... Every day you are born again.. and you can reboot and redial and refresh and rejuvenate and push towards your Health Everest!!

    All the best!!

  • Thanks! You are actually right, especially with 1. 2. and 8.

    6. is a tricky one, as my husband is an overweight unfit comfort eater like myself ;-) However, he is now willing to take responsibility for his health so we can go on this journey together.

    All the best!

  • Hi, its so nice that you and your husband are in it together.

    Hope you stay strong and support each other and become fitter.

    Also I would suggest try mindful eating.. You can refer to various articles on it. I have found it extremely beneficial in weight reduction and you would relish each meal in lesser quantities.

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