Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Workplace Weight Loss Challenge: Motivation

Success in the challenge didn’t come without motivation. Week after week I would see other people in the weight loss challenge at work grow discouraged and quit. I knew from the start that I needed a plan for motivation, so here are the lessons learned that I hope prove useful for you.

Cheer Section
Your friends and family, the people you live with and spend your time with, need to know what you are doing. Instead of hiding that you are on a diet, let them know. They will understand why you are eating light or avoiding snacking. They will help and support by split dishes at restaurants and skip the tempting food at the grocery store. It also adds to your accountability, and you may find them reminding you of your goal when you are tempted. Everyone needs a cheer section.

High Stakes

You need an external source of motivation with a time-factor involved. The time limit will keep up the pressure so you do not slack off, lose interest, or put off the hard work. Make a wager with friends of yours also trying to lose such as putting a pot together and whoever loses the most wins. A more supportive version would be to plan a group trip (or event) that could only happen if everyone met their goal. Time limit should be eight weeks minimum; ideally You include a "maintanence" challenge every couple months or so too. For my motivation, the contest cost $20 to enter and I’d be damned if I was going to lose that money so I set out from the start to win.

Put on Blinders
Do not grow discouraged by other’s successes. People may lose motivation when others succeed, and this in turn may lead them to quit. They make excuses for themselves (under stress, slow metabolism) or find a reason why the other’s success is not legitimate. If this is you, put on blinders and stick to your plan. Regularly there were weeks I did not lose as much weight as others, but by keeping up the habits I succeed over time. Slow and steady wins the race.

This is the first of a three part series on my personal success, motivation and future after a workplace weight loss competition.

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