I have said this before – but it bears repeating often.
When the only reason we exercise is for weight loss, motivation is really hard to sustain.
Check out this article by Jane Brody based on research by Michelle Segar, PhD on exercise motivation.
The paradox is that the motivation to “be good” and do the right thing for a long-term goal only lasts a short time.
Cutting back on calories and exercising because we are “supposed to do” to lose weight is hard motivation to keep alive.
Why can we suddenly get an energy burst to buy something new, go out for a tasty treat, watch our favorite TV show, or play video games? Because we instantly feel better when we do these things. Our brain knows this, so motivating to do these activities is easy.
Exercising to make the scale move is a long-term plan – we have to wait for the payoff. That is hard to do over and over again. Especially when the scale is not moving.
However, those instant benefits, the way it makes us feel right now, that will sustain motivation.
So doing a hard workout that you hate but believe to be “good for weight loss” and delaying that gratification may work for a while. But over time, and instant gratification activity will win out.
Because research has shown over and over that sustaining exercise is key for sustaining weight loss – we need to re-think why we exercise.
What was the best part about exercising today?
If you didn’t exercise – what was the best part about NOT exercising?
Compare the two and decide which you would rather do more often.
If you would rather avoid exercise, it is time to find a new form of movement that leaves you feeling better
Motivation is all about now – keep moving because it makes you feel better in some way right now – instead of focusing on the long-term pay off.
String those choices to move together and you are on your way to true and lasting weight loss success!
Keep Moving, Be Well,