How to Convince Yourself to Keep Pushing Towards Optimal Health
Sometimes, even if you really wanted to, you really could not care less about sticking to your diet or exercise programme for optimal health. Motivation is something that is temporary. It is something that you need to work on constantly if optimal health is what you are after. I have been struggling a bit with getting myself to commit to eating in order to lose my stomach fat and get to an optimal body fat percentage.
I do feel like I could be eating a little bit less than what I should be eating to maintain my weight. It is perfectly okay to eat at maintenance, but the only reason why I want to reduce my calories for a few days is because I really overindulged last week and just want to balance things out. I will always be grateful for calorie cycling. I have found that it is the optimal solution for a frequent overeater like me.
I know that I will overeat at times, but knowing that there are times where I also eat less makes me feel less anxious.
The truth is that if, on your journey towards optimal health, you walk past a doughnut store and take a few steps back, it is perfectly okay. The key is to not stay at the doughnut store or to take a different path, which will lead you to more indulgent junk foods like cakes, candy, burgers, pizza, and instant noodles. Instead, you should enjoy your doughnut, get up, and carry on along your route.
I am using this blog post to convince myself to get myself in order, get up, and carry on trying to become my optimal self. Here are a few ways that you can convince yourself to do so too:
Promise Yourself a Healthy Reward
If your main goal is not going to motivate you right now, which is likely if it seems very far away and beyond your reach, perhaps give yourself something to look forward to, and that is not as far in the future. It could be anything you like, such as going for a massage, getting new clothes, a holiday, etc. It could be whatever you like, and whatever your budget allows.
I found that promising myself dark chocolate helps. The thing is, you have to keep this promise to yourself. If you said that you would reward yourself with two slabs of dark chocolate if you did not overeat for two weeks, then you should buy the two slab chocolates, put one in the cupboard, and make the other one your dinner (or at least that is what I plan on doing).
I have made peace with the fact that I will eat a slab of dark chocolate by myself, at once, often in my life. At least the cacao is high in polyphenols, which have a lot of benefits that you can Google, because I am not in the mood to get into that.
I am too busy convincing myself to start behaving once again.
Negotiate with Yourself
This is something that I learned from Jordan Peterson, who is a brilliant clinical psychologist that I highly recommend you check out. If you really do not want to go for a run or exercise at the gym for 45 minutes, but want to watch TV instead, perhaps you can negotiate with yourself.
Jordan Peterson says that you should ask yourself what you are willing to do. Would you be willing to do some type of exercise in front of the TV like yoga, bodyweight exercises, or simply stretching? If you can convince yourself to do any kind of movement on a day where you feel incredibly lazy, you have won the day.
Trust me, I know. I am a very lazy person by nature. You want to know what my favourite type of exercise is on a lazy day, besides just stretching in front of the TV? It is shopping. You would be surprised to see just how many calories you can burn while walking around in a shopping mall. Believe me, I have done it a few times, and I usually burn between 300 and 400 calories.
Remember Why You Started — What is Optimal Health for You?
It is also a good idea to remind yourself of why you started your health journey in the first place, as well as your reasons for wanting it. I want to eat fewer calories, so that I can lose my belly fat at last (it has been sixteen years), and so that I can feel confident, not because I do not like my body, but just because I have been failing for fifteen years and I really need to overcome this obstacle in my life.
I also want to become the optimal version of myself, the healthiest version of myself.
You can write down a list of reasons that you want to carry on going and improve your health. I hope that these tips have also motivated you to keep pushing along your journey towards optimal health.