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Hello, my name is Dianna, and I am a yo-yo exerciser. We’ve all heard of yo-yo dieting, but we rarely hear about yo-yo exercising – and it can be just as bad for you as yo-yo dieting.
In recent months, I have fallen off the wagon, so to speak. A few weeks ago, I decided it was time to jump back on! How am I motivating myself? I am using strategies that have worked for me in the past:
Choose exercise that you enjoy
Exercise is not supposed to be easy, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it. Try out a few different things, such as biking, running or swimming to find something you like. If you don’t enjoy the exercise you choose, you are less likely to stick with it.
Find a workout buddy
You may not be able to exercise together every day, but that doesn’t mean you can’t encourage, motivate and challenge each other along the way.
When setting fitness or weight-loss goals, it is important to set long-term and short-term goals that are both realistic and attainable.
Most of us make the mistake of focusing all of our energy on a single long-term goal (e.g. Lose 50 lbs or run a marathon). It takes time to reach a long-term goal, without short-term goals to motivate you along the way, it is easy to get discouraged. Short-term goals allow you to measure and celebrate your progress along the way.
My long-term fitness goal is to complete a half marathon in early 2014. Along the way, I am signing up for several 5k and 10k races. Having these short-term race goals keeps me motivated to get out there and train!
Find the tools that can help you reach your goals
These days, there are tons of great apps, websites and gadgets that can help you reach your goals. Some of my favorites are:
Ease into 5k and Ease into 10k smartphone apps
These smartphone apps provide pre-planned training workouts that help you gradually build your fitness level until you reach your goal.
BodyMedia FIT on-body monitoring system (requires a monthly subscription to BodyMedia website)
The BodyMedia FIT system tracks every calorie you burn throughout the day, whether you are at rest or in motion, and even tracks how well you sleep. The Activity Manager interface (requires monthly subscription) shows you all of this data and has a food tracking system built in. If you go to the website (or use the BodyMedia smartphone app) to enter the food you eat throughout the day, you can actually see the difference between the calories you ate and the calories you burned each day.
I bought my armband 2 years ago – it was the first gadget that actually helped me lose weight by making realistic lifestyle changes. When my second son came along, I stopped wearing the armband. My entire routine changed, thanks to the craziness that comes along with a newborn. Without that consistent data reminding me to keep moving and be more mindful of my eating habits, I started gaining weight again. Which leads me to my final tip for staying motivated…
Be kind to yourself
We all make mistakes and have setbacks. Don’t beat yourself up! Do what I am doing – get back on the wagon and keep moving forward!
Are you currently working towards a fitness goal?
What motivates you when you are trying to lose weight or reach a fitness goal?
Share your story in the comments section below.