Last updated: Jun 30, 2009
aj-cook-feel-great-weight
Tom Rafalovich
Weight-loss success is so close you can taste it. But when dieting how do you stay the course when you just want to be there already?


“Its definitely the homestretch. Im so close to my goal,” says AJ Cook, who admits she has moments when shes tempted to call it an early day.

The solution: Follow the advice from our experts so you can seal the deal on the body youve worked so hard for—and so utterly deserve!

So-close challenge #1:
Ive lost most of the weight. Why not just quit now?
We know, we know—it can be really tempting to stop making the effort before you reach your goal (especially if your jeans are fitting better). But why give up when youre so close? Instead, remind yourself why its so worth it to keep going, says Dream Team psych expert Judith S. Beck, PhD. Her advice? Create a “memory box” filled with “worth it” cards. “Write down your positive experiences,” she suggests. “Make a note when you get a compliment that makes you happy, when you fit into a smaller size of clothing, when you leave a special event feeling good instead of overstuffed and mad at yourself.” Then flip through the cards at least once a day (more, if you find it helpful!) to keep your motivation high.

"My results have started to motivate my husband, who is now saying, ‘Youre looking so good, I have to drag my butt back into the gym."


So-close challenge #2:
Im so sick of keeping a food journal.
Sure, its a bit of a pain, but its just too easy to “forget” what youve put in your mouth—and begin to regain—if you dont bite and write, says Dream Team diet expert Alyse Levine, RD. To make it easier, buy a small personal journal to keep in your bag for split-second recording. Or keep a visual journal. And be sure to reward yourself for every week you keep your journal with an hour-long bubble bath accompanied by a glass of Champagne or that New York Times best seller youve been dying to read.

So-close challenge #3:
Im beyond bored with my go-to workout.
To keep your workouts fresh (and the results coming), you have to switch up your routine, says Dream Team fitness expert Keli Roberts. One supereasy way is to beef up your at-home fitness-DVD collection. CollageVideo.com is a great source; look for some of our favorite instructors—Karen Voight, Mindy Mylrea, Juliane Arney, and Keli Roberts, of course. Also, consider taking your indoor workout outside: Running in the park may be more fun than a treadmill workout because of the challenges of the terrain. Check your gyms class schedule for new and intriguing classes, too. Try adding one at-home workout, one outdoor workout, and one new gym class to your fitness plan each week, Roberts suggests, and youll banish boredom for good.

“If I find myself getting bored or wanting to quit, I try to switch things up by trying new recipes and activities. I cant let myself slack off because Im accountable—my RD and trainer are going to know if I do! You cant fake your way through this. Theres nowhere to hide. Ive learned to take responsibility and do it 100 percent, and Im almost there!”

When you feel like giving up…Just do this one thing
“Count up the difficult minutes,” Dr. Beck says. “When you start thinking, This whole week was hard. I should just quit, remind yourself that it was probably only truly difficult for an hour. You can handle that!”