I will keep this short and sweet, because sometimes you don’t need a big story you just need the truth.
It’s really hard to start making big lifestyle changes. Old habits die hard, old dogs are stubborn, and all that. There are about as many reasons as you can come up with to not be successful, and they are different for everyone. What finally helped me keep on pushing and believing in myself was not looking at the big picture any more and just trying to do one little thing at a time. But that being said, I tracked every single baby step that I made so I could see the trail of positive milestones I left behind me.
Tracking all your little steps seems tedious and overwhelming at first, but it’s not as daunting as it sounds. If you want to start running or biking, download an app like Strava that keeps all your best times and keeps a record of every time you go farther or longer. If it’s your eating habits you want to change, get something like My Fitness Pal or just a plain old journal you can keep in the kitchen to write your meals out for the day. Another great app to get is a weight loss tracker where you can graph your progress and see your trends as you lose day after day and month after month. Every day you’re able to see how successful you were and you can also see how great of a streak you are on.
Of course I also talk a lot about how Bright Line Eating helped me lose my 100lbs, but if that doesn’t sound like it’s right for you that’s OK! Find something that you love and just track the hell out of your progress while you do it!
There are actually scientific studies that show you are much more likely to be successful with new routines and regiments if you write things down and have visual representations, especially for weight loss and fitness! Because it can be such a long road, and you literally see yourself dozens of times a day, the minute little changes in your body are hard to spot. It can lead to being discouraged and giving up along with all those other million reasons why big changes are hard. Taking pictures, making charts, tracking days on a calendar, or whatever other method you’re drawn to is proven to maintain motivation and drive because it doesn’t let your brain lie to you about how well you’re doing.
The complements and praise that I get from my friends and family feel amazing when I receive them, and I’m so grateful for the support I have, but sometimes everyone believes in me but ME.
I’ve talked about being my own worst enemy before, and that part of me still exists. The days that I struggle to see reality, I look back at where I came from. Sometimes the progress pictures I took made me cringe at the time and some days I had bad runs or bad eating days. Tracking the good and bad and keeping that record of progress helps pull my brain out of that negative self talk cycle of abuse. I have a giant, constantly growing bank of positive evidence that doesn’t let my still healing mind convince me that I’m somehow in that 260lb body I lived in for years.
So I hope that on your worst days where everyone believes in you BUT you, you look back at everything you’ve already faced and realize that you are wrong. It’s the happiest you’ll ever be about being wrong. One day at a time everything adds up. At the end of the road YOU were the one who made it through every single one of those days – no one else.