Obesity is a major problem in the United States, in fact according to the Center For Disease Control (CDC) more than 1/3 (35.7%) of all U.S. adults are obese. In 2008, medical costs related to obesity were estimated at $147 billion and the costs to treat obese people were $1,429 higher than those that were used to treat people of normal weight.
These are disturbing numbers and it’s really no surprise since we have become the “Super Size” country, Super Size has become the go to work at all fast food restaurants where the fries are twice as big, the soda comes in a gallon jug and the grease drips from our burgers almost as fast as water flows off a waterfall.
Many people struggle with weight loss and fitness on a daily basis. Many jump from one “latest and greatest” diet to another without ever achieving any long term or permanent success. And, all the fad diets that sprout like weeds and blasted at the overweight in commercials, magazine ads and television shows only perpetuate the cycle of “yo-yo dieting” digging the obesity hole even deeper.
Unfortunately most of the folks who are “dieting” fail to grasp that a diet is temporary and only a permanent change in eating habits and fitness routines can bring about the lasting results that they crave.
Exercise takes a back seat for many and while those people crave a magic pill to get rid of the extra weight and resort to drastic measures like the Cabbage Soup diet that promises ten pounds of weight loss in seven days by eating only cabbage soup and meat.
The reality is that only a sensible diet with healthy and nutritious foods along with a sound fitness plan can lead to long lasting and permanent results.
Where Is The Motivation?
One of the factors that make the difference between a successful workout regimen that helps you achieve the body weight you have set out to reach and a failed attempt to stick to your workout plan is motivation.
Many people experience a tremendous amount of frustration during the initial phases of getting used to training regularly, and the cause of failure is, more often than not, an inadequate attitude, aggravated by a sense of unrewarded efforts.
We want to help you maintain your motivation all the way until you reach your goals and make workout more enjoyable for you. So, here is our advice:
Set Specific and Realistic Goals
The objectives you define for yourself need to be realistic and as specific as possible. If you haven’t trained in a long time, you cannot set yourself the goal of running very long distances or doing large sets of exercises on your first training day.
Look for frequency, rather than length – in other words, you should start by proposing to train every day, rather than proposing to train for two hours every day.
You should start setting really small goals – that way, you will be permanently motivated by achievements. Once your physical condition improves, you can start setting time-related goals as well, but you must always keep exercising enjoyable.
Reward Your Own Efforts
There is no sustained motivation without reward. You can be specific not only in your goal setting, but also in setting up a reward system for yourself. Buy something for yourself – not food, of course – or do something you really enjoy doing whenever you achieve one of your objectives; this way, you will also look forward to rewarding yourself, so you will always try hard to achieve your goal.
Get Inspiration from Others
You must always be aware that you are not alone with your efforts. There are thousands of people who have tried to lose weight by exercising and succeeded. As in so many other cases, the internet is a useful resource for finding these success stories, so take your time to browse exercise-related sites and read a few success stories – they may give you the kick you need to keep going.
If your goals are defined realistically and you are determined, there is no reason why you shouldn’t succeed. Eliminate all the negative thoughts when thinking about your next workout and forget all about your failed attempts in the past.
Keep telling yourself that you can do it and picture yourself the way you want to look – it will surely keep you on track even when you are tired and thinking of giving up completely.
Be Flexible and Do Not Judge Yourself Too Harshly
However determined you are, sometimes it is allowed to skip one training session. The important thing is to miss a workout only when it is absolutely necessary and to get back to your training plan as soon as possible.
If you follow these steps of self-motivation, you will surely be able to pursue your plan and stay focused. You will be surprised to see how soon physical exercise will become an integral part of your life, an activity that you really enjoy.
Jim enjoys writing about fitness and weight loss, you can learn more at his blog Best Home Exercise Equipment.