How To Keep Motivated When You Have A Lot Of Weight To Lose

hand grasping a tape measure used for tracking weight loss

Staying motivated can be tough, especially when your goal seems so far away that you can barely envision achieving it.

Despite all of the motivational posts on instagram and facebook, you’re having a hard time keeping your motivation up. As well as getting inspiration to increase your motivation levels, you also need to reframe some things to stop them from draining your motivation and getting you down.

Here are the keys to winning.

Not just the battle, but also the war.

Measure Everything

There’s a special type of motivation you get when you’re on top of things. You feel prepared, you feel in control. A lack of tracking is responsible for way too many failed weight loss attempts.

If you don’t know how much you’re eating, how can you be sure you’re going to lose weight?

If you don’t do your tape measurements, how are you going to know whether your fat loss has stalled or not? The scale isn’t going to give you that depth of information.

Measure as much as you can. 

  • Measure your mass/weight.
  • Measure your neck, shoulders, chest, waist. hips, arms, forearms, thighs and calves.
  • Measure your calories in, measure your calories out.
  • Measure your body fat if you want to.

Knowledge is power, too many people get disheartened when they’re actually doing well, or give up on their weight loss when all that was needed was a minor tweak.

If transforming your body for the better is important to you, and I assume it is, then why leave so much up to chance?

Get the full picture, if you’re sticking to the process then full picture will motivate you, if you’re not, it’ll give you a plan to get back on track.

Trust The Process – Follow A Straight Line

How many times do we go off track because we think something isn’t working? You didn’t lose anything this week? If you quit, then you’re done. Or more likely you’ll start again in a few months wishing you didn’t quit last time.

If you’d kept going, you might have dropped 2kg in your next weigh in.

Trust the process and understand that results rarely come in a linear fashion, you’ll have good days and bad, but if you trust the process and continue, you will achieve the results you’re seeking.

Jumping from one method to another when your progress appears to be lacking is a fatal mistake. Is one measurement enough to conclude that something doesn’t work? Of course it isn’t.

Calorie deficits work, did someone tell you they don’t? Tell them to go and have a word with people who are literally starving in other countries to tell them how much more cut they’d be if they did their secret special diet.

They’d probably roast and eat them.

I mean, .. that’s what I’d do in their shoes, or lack thereof.

Weight loss isn’t always easy, but it is simple. You just have to trust the process and see it through.

It really doesn’t matter who works at it the hardest, it’s who works at it consistently for the longest that wins. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

Forget The Numbers – Watch The Trend

The amount of times I have seen someone demoralised because of a ‘bad’ weigh in! Enough times for me to become demoralised!

There are a hundred different things that can affect your weight, and only one of them is increased fat mass.

If you’re tying your motivation and self-worth to a number on a scale then stop right now. Get off the ride, it does not end well.

Weigh yourself daily and see what happens, you’ll notice on some days you’ll be heavier and on other days you’ll be lighter. This is normal fluctuation which is affected by how much you eat, how much you drink, how much salt you’re eating, how much glycogen your muscles are storing and a bunch of other stuff. Those measurements are great for reference, but not indicative of much of anything. Track those measurements over a month, and if they’re trending downwards then you’re doing well.

You could lose 2kg over 3 weeks and then suddenly have a single measurement which is equal to your starting measurement. Doesn’t matter. Measure for at least a few more days before you have a mini-breakdown and decide to pack it in. You’ll normally find that it’s just an odd measurement and the trend towards a lighter weight will continue.

If you don’t lose weight after a few consistent measurements, just cut back on food or up activity slightly and re-test.

And women, you have other factors at play that we don’t. I’ve heard slimming world members call it ‘star week’. You’re going to weigh more at this time, and you haven’t gotten fatter. Don’t stress about it, it’s a fluctuation.

Be analytical, it beats feelings of failure and guilt by a mile.

Get Results By Focusing On The Process

Measurements are feedback. They don’t deserve much attention.

Evaluate them and take any necessary action.

Focus on shopping, cooking, going to the gym.

The results come from the process, so don’t get hung up on results, instead focus on the process.


Think About Quitting – But Don’t

You’re probably surprised to see something like this right? This is supposed to be uplifting, after all.

You can think about how good life will be when you achieve something, and that can be motivating, but sometimes it helps to consider the cost of inaction.

What happens if you do nothing? What happens if you quit?

Is it going to solve anything? Is letting your emotions get the better of you going to make things better? Do you want to let another year pass?

Sometimes when you need to move your ass forward, you need a carrot and a stick. The cost of not doing something is often greater than the cost of doing something.

Motivation doesn’t have to be topped up to help you, it’s like fuel in a car, you just need to have enough to keep going. The realisation that you’re doing alright, that you’re making improvements to your body day by day is often enough to make you think, ‘I am getting better, this is moving me forward.’

Don’t Inherit Pessimism

Some people like to complain a lot.

Everyone has problems. You can do something about them or complain about them.

They made their choice, fair enough, but don’t let them impose their beliefs on you.

Do NOT Rely On Motivation

Motivation, or enthusiasm, is fantastic, it gives you new energy and makes you feel happy about the challenge you’re facing.

But it’s fickle. Do not rely on it.

I dare say the most motivated people aren’t necessarily the most successful, just the most emotional.

Are You Motivated?

I put out a facebook post about this a few months ago and no one seemed to know what the hell I was talking about. Your motives and your motivation are different!

Your motive is why you do something, how motivated you are is just how enthusiastic you are to do something.

One is relatively fixed, the other is far from it.

Are you going to be enthusiastic all the time? Hell, I wish I was enthusiastic half the time! However I am very clear on my motives because it’s very important.

If you know what you want and why you want it then you don’t need to be enthusiastic about it all the time. You can work through bad days, you can do it because you’ve accepted the price to be paid for what you want and you know that if you pay it, you’ll get what you want. 

You should stay positive and keep your eyes on the goal but never think there’s something wrong with you because you’re not feeling it, or because life has beaten you down. Nobody gives out prizes for the most motivated (Actually, someone probably does..  bloody hippies), it’s not what you feel during the hard times that defines you, it’s what you do.

That’s discipline, and that’s what makes the difference. Motivation will return, and it will be sooner rather than later if you stay on track, but you absolutely need to get through the tough times to experience the good ones.

Always Be Consistent

If I had one piece of advice for my younger self, this would be it.

Always be consistent.

Through good times and bad times (both can cause you to take your eyes off the prize).

Keep doing what you’re doing and it will become a part of you. Not a fad, not a phase, but part of you.

Stephen King used to be a guy who wrote stuff. Now he’s an accomplished writer. But he writes every single day and has done for decades. If he stopped he’d just be a guy who used to write stuff.

Kobe Bryant used to be a guy who played basketball. He ended up as one of the best. He was the first to practice and the last to leave and he kept that up. If he stopped when he was tired, or didn’t feel like it.. who knows where he’d be?

If you want to be fit, you need to adopt the mentality; eat right, hit the gym and do it week after week after week. You’ll stay positive, fuelled by the motivation when it’s there and  when it isn’t.

Let me ask you, if you do that, and keep doing that..

Realistically, how can you fail?

Until next time,