Author: Guest Blogger Kimberly Eyre

carrotWhen Jackie approached me about writing a blog with the theme of maintaining motivation through the holidays, there was excitement, but also a little apprehension. I was having a problem with motivation myself and wasn’t sure if I was the best candidate to write this blog. But that’s the point of these blogs, sharing experiences and struggles to hopefully help you in yours. What you’ll find here is one tactic that can be used to help you no matter what time of the year it is.

As too many of us have experienced, the hardest part of the weight loss goal is keeping that weight off and maintaining the healthy changes we’ve incorporated. It’s tempting to believe that once the goal is achieved, everything is set in stone. Truth is it is far too easy to let old habits creep back in. They’ve been around a lot longer.

A trip to Texas for a family reunion at the end of May started a bumpy summer. For a little over a week I ate out twice a day every day and that’s EAT OUT. Heavy breakfasts, mexican food, b-b-q, steaks, all the wonderful food Texas is known for. Basically, like most trips, I ate my way through it and pretty much blew off exercising.

Normally, returning home would put things back to normal. I found I craved the way good, healthy food and exercise made me feel. The disruption was temporary. This last time, not so much. It was harder to get back to the daily habits and the effort and results have been more of a roller-coaster. Right before the start of the trip I had trained for and run the Haven Mother’s Day 5K. I was pretty much at my peak, but no new goal was in place before I left. Without a concrete goal and with the warming temperatures, guests, travel, social events typical of summer, to serve as excuses; running fell by the wayside as did consistent healthy eating.

The goal. The healthy carrot. That is one of the single biggest needs for maintenance. Once you’ve hit the big one, the weight loss goal, it is a must to continue to find new, challenging concrete goals. But I didn’t have one. Without that goal it was very easy for parts of the routine to fall away. Luckily it did not happen completely due in part to continued sessions with my personal trainer, daily entries in the food/weight dairy, and use of the fitness apps. Accountability and awareness stayed part of my daily life and prevented self-denial.

In order to bounce back and reestablish the full routine, a strong concrete goal was needed. Last year I signed up for the Ridge’s, ‘The 8 Weeks to a 5K’, to prepare to run my first ever race, The Huffing for Stuffing. It seemed an ideal goal again. After that, it will be about finding a new goal and a new challenge, maybe climbing lessons at Spire or another race.

The thing I most want you to take away from this is that decreased or lost motivation will happen, multiple times. When it does, stay accountable to yourself, look back, find the elements that helped you before, get support. Don’t abandon all your routines simply because you’ve slipped in others. If you drop your cellphone, you don’t just say ‘Oh well’ and then smash it to bits. (Stole that from the internet). Finally, rely on your support network, friends, family, and your trainer. Your established routines and support network are your anchors.