One of my jobs outside of writing for FSB is freelancing for a few online publications as a beauty writer, and one of my biggest clients right now is Yahoo Beauty. I say this because I’m kind of fired up that a post I wrote about losing 85 lbs one food at a time went viral yesterday and was posted on the home page of the site. As a writer, getting your story on the front page of any publication is amazing, but when it’s on the Internet, the feedback is immediate.
Luckily, the feedback was largely positive because, in all honesty, writing pieces like this are scary. As I submitted the piece, I kept praying that I wouldn’t slip too hard over the holidays and someone would read the piece and see me double fisting cupcakes. But, alas, that didn’t happen, and people were really receptive to the advice.
But since my main responsibility is to you, the readers of Fashion.Style.Beauty, I wanted to add a little icing (calorie-free, whatever flavor you want) on top of that article and maybe give you some added scoop.
So, let me answer the main question, the biggest question of all, which is how I stay motivated. Because getting in the game is easy. Right now, just take a quick walk or drive past your local fitness facility. It’s PACKED with people. I can’t get into many of my favorite classes right now because everyone’s in a frenzy to keep that New Year’s Resolution to lose the weight (which isn’t a huge hardship since I’m recovering from the flu, but STILL.)
Honestly, I don’t have more willpower than anyone else, but here are some things I use to Jedi Mind Trick myself into staying the course:
1) Set your workout calendar for the week on Sunday night – I schedule all my workouts before the week even gets started. If I sign up for classes and then add it to my calendar (many will allow the option to add directly to Google Calendar, iCal and Outlook,) they’re set in stone. It is very rare that I will cancel a workout.
2) “Sweatworking” – This is a phrase I heard from my friend Denise Kreft years ago, and it’s amazing. I take meetings with PR people during the week and 90% of them are game to meet me for a workout. I also catch up with friends this way. Want to hang? Let’s meet for a workout and then we’ll go grab a coffee or a juice. I don’t do drinks anymore: come meet me for yoga or Core Fusion Cardio and we’ll hang out afterwards. See? Then I HAVE to show up because someone is waiting on me.
3) Pack the night before – Since most of my workouts are before 8 am, I have to be organized the night before. If you ask me to pick out an outfit at 5:30 am, I will flip you the bird and hit “snooze.” I lay out my workout gear, pack my change of clothes, and organize everything the night before. The clothes are right next to my bed, the bag is by the door. No excuses, because…
4) Get up early or stay late – I have a clip from Jessica Biel on my refrigerator that lists the crazy workout times she’s used when training for a movie (she’s one of my biggest #fitspirations) and I remember that when I’m dragging ass to yoga at 7:15 am or freezing on a spinning bike before the studio is warm. If you have kids, a job or a life, you have to get it done around those demands on your time. If that means I have to go to SoulCycle at 7:30 pm or I throw down a yoga mat in Isaac’s class at 7:15 am (which means I leave my house at 6:20 am at the latest,) so be it.
5) Don’t keep junk in the trunk – I admit that I have addictions to certain things, like cupcakes and potato chips. You’d think it’d be easier working from home, but you’d be wrong: yesterday, a brand sent over a giant box of cupcakes with a beauty product. Cupcakes are my crack, and it’s just as bad as the co-worker who keeps offloading candy and cookies in your break room. I had one, then walked door to door, giving them to neighbors. I can’t keep unhealthy snacks in my house, or I will eat them.
6) Come up with a healthy rewards system – First thing: don’t reward yourself with food. Don’t ever, EVER say that you deserve to hoover an entire plate of French fries because you starved yourself all day or you did a spinning double. Cut that out. Eating and/or drinking 1k calories at the end of the day sabotages everything, and you’ll can’t reward yourself with the very behavior you’re trying to stop. New workout gear is always a good reward, and a new beauty product or service is THE BEST. I just changed my hair color and a new mascara or a lipstick is just heavenly.
7) You have to eat – If I feel deprived, I go into a haze-like state and wake up surrounded by junk food wrappers. I eat something small (150 calories or less) every 2-3 hours, and I keep food on me constantly. Be sure to eat something with protein 30 minutes before a hard workout (remind me to tell you about the time I almost passed out in SoulCycle as a cautionary tale,) and replenish with something an hour afterward. You can’t starve yourself and workout for long-term results. Eating is the only way, and the right foods are key.
8) Have instructors hold you accountable – I have my tribe of instructors I frequent, and we are relentless with each other. Bergen Wheeler, Stefanie Eris, Lauren Harris, Vidya Mardi, Anna Gagie Trullinger and Madison Wright of exhale have been the greatest team of motivators of my life, and I live for Lori Sanchez Abeles and Danny Kopel of SoulCycle. Give them your twitter account and/or your phone number, friend them on Facebook, and I guarantee they will come after you if you skip class.
9) Figure out your relationship with the scale – Either ditch it and use goal clothing like a pair of jeans as a measure, or weigh yourself every day. It doesn’t matter how you do it, but don’t get derailed by surprise weigh-ins. Also, realize that there will be weeks where the needle doesn’t move. Keep a food diary or use a tracker (I live and die by my Fitbit) so you can make adjustments, but butter happens, so don’t freak out. Just get back on track.
10) Get rid of naysayers – One of the best things I’ve ever done was lose the weight that was really keeping me down, which happened to be people who wanted me to stay sick and heavy for one reason or another. I don’t care if it’s your parents, your significant other, or your co-workers: send them packing if they won’t help. You’re saving your life, and they’re either on board or on the sidelines. Don’t let people make comments that take you out of your headspace. You don’t have TIME for that. Bye, Felicia!
Hope this helps! You can do it, I MEAN THAT!