Where does motivation come from? It starts from having an idea of where you would like to go, what you like to do, who you would like to be, or what you would like to have. Since the time I knew I was going to be a single mother, I have studied, read, and practiced a lot of life coaching techniques and skills. Because of this, I have learned that it is most important be certain of what you want and turn it into a clear, measurable goal. For the sake of fitness, health, and fat loss, this is what we will focus on today.
I never like to use the term weight loss because it seems to be synonymous to standing on a scale. It is important to remember that the scale is a tool to help monitor your weight and what may be happening in your body; but that’s all it is! It’s just one tool. Not many scales accurately depict changes in muscle, water, and fat ratio on a daily or weekly basis. Muscle weighs a lot more than fat.
If we focus today’s motivation on fat loss, we would have an established goal. That’s awesome! But, wait, I’m totally not feeling motivated. Yikes! Every time I look in the mirror, it just feels even more demoralizing. This is a tough mental cycle to get out of, but there are ways to change this. We start small and simple.
Let’s look at Sally, a typical North American worker who drives to work and then sits at her desk daily. Sally can take her first small step towards her weight loss goal by setting her alarm to ring 10 to 15 minutes earlier that it normally does. She commits to this earlier wake-up time daily. Now, with her extra fifteen minutes, she parks two blocks further that she normally does, and opts to walk the extra distance to her office. Sally burns 34 more calories every time she walks to and from her car.
At lunch time, Sally opts to not eat her normal bagel. Instead, she dines on a large, colourful salad with any kind of vinaigrette based dressing. The bagel Sally used to eat is between 350 to 424 calories, and now her salad is between 168 to 200 calories. Sally has not only cut out an extra 182 calories, but also replaced a non nutritious food item with a meal that is nutrient dense and good for her brain. This will help Sally maintain her productivity at work, after lunch.
Sally commits to these two small changes daily for 30 days. Because she feels great after 30 days, she keeps going for 90 days. Awesome job, Sally!
Let’s take a look at what is happening to Sally over 30, 60, and 90 days.
By parking her car two blocks away and walking to her office, Sally burns 1,020 calories in 30 days, 2,040 calories in 60 days, and 3,060 calories in 90 days. Sally’s switch to a lunch time salad helps her cut an extra 5,460 calories.
In order to lose 1 lb of fat, we need to burn 3,500 calories. With two small changes, Sally just lost 1.5 lbs of fat in 30 days, 3 lbs of fat in 60 days and 4.5 lbs of fat. A bonus is that Sally is feeling more confident and alert at work every day, and she is now up for an office promotion! Woot! Woot!
Sally is making strides towards her goal, and all by investing an extra 10 to 15 minutes per day.
People often think motivation comes from BIG efforts. However, lasting change happens with small efforts done daily and weekly. These small adjustments equal permanent change. So, take small actions and be proud of yourself daily – watch how this lasts forever and impacts the rest of your life!