Staying Motivated When on a Body Image Journey

27 Sep 2019

If you are someone who is able to stay motivated during their weight loss or body image improvement journey, then consider yourself amongst the rare and lucky. Staying “motivated” is almost a unicorn—something mystical and seemingly too good to be true.

Meredith Atwood has been upfront and honest about her body image struggles for almost ten years. As the founder of “Swim Bike Mom,” she’s made it no secret that weight loss and body image is hard work.  A mother, four-time Ironman triathlete, attorney, blogger, and author, Meredith is constantly searching for ways to live her best life.

“Honestly, it’s rarely about the weight—that is causing us so much pain,” she writes. “We are all on a journey to be a better version of ourselves. We think the weight is causing us grief—but it could go deeper than that.” (From her book, The Year of No Nonsense: How to Get Over Yourself and On with Your Life, Hachette Books, December 17, 2019).

Modeling Meredith, here are some important details to keep you grounded on your fitness and body image journey:

Set your goals and also track your progress

Keeping a record of important data will help you look back into the things that you did right, and you did wrong. You can use a spreadsheet or a journal to really jot down your before and after results. Don’t ever rely on your BMI – this is not an accurate measurement in the real world. Instead you can chart your weight, but remember that body re-composition is in play. So it’s super important to track measurements of your belly, hips and neck. This is where you might see the greatest progress. In fact, there are so many apps out there that will help you track the number of calories that are present in just one meal. This way, you will also be able to point out all of the mistakes you are making with your diet and what you need to fix.

Address what motivates you to overeat

A lot of us eat as a coping mechanism—stress, sadness or anger. Under stress, a lot of people find comfort in food. This is why sometimes we find our friends having gained a couple of pounds after a breakup or some other negative instance in their life. It is the emotional triggers that make you want to eat all the time is what you have to fight the most. If you are not able to control them, you are not going to find success in losing weight.  Again, it’s often not about the weight. So getting at the underlying cause is very important.

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