The past couple of weeks have really tested my motivation to maintain my Feel Great Weight.

The Northeast, especially Boston, was hit hard with snow, sleet, and ice. The last thing I wanted to do in that horrible weather was exercise. Bundling up, cleaning the snow off of my car, scraping the windows, and dealing with the messy roads require a lot of effort just to get myself to the gym! Instead of throwing in the towel on my motivation, however, I refocused, reminded myself of my goals, and went back to the basics. Here's what I did to get myself back on track.

Write down my goals...again
In January, I committed to running four half marathons in 2011. I created a half-marathon training program for myself, but with the snow, I've gotten a little off track. So, last weekend, I rewrote my goals and refined my training schedule to motivate myself. Putting it down on paper made me feel more in control of the situation and ready to tackle the plan.



Identify the missed workouts
My Google calendar keeps me organized with all aspects of my daily life—from blogging deadlines and grocery lists to workouts and social events. I typically spend some time on Sunday afternoons scheduling my workouts for the week. Seeing my day laid out with plenty of time for exercise motivates me to stick to my plan. This is a great idea in theory, because I still missed quite a few of my scheduled workouts in the past couple of weeks. I went through my calendar to identify the ones I missed and to figure out why. Looking at my excuses for skipping them made me much more aware of how to deal with low motivation when it strikes, which will help me accomplish my future workouts.

Eat for energy
Eating foods for energy has totally changed my thinking about what I was putting into my mouth—and how it affects my hunger later. I used to keep a food journal online, but I found that I only focused on the calories consumed and not on eating nutritious and satisfying foods. It was also time-consuming and inconvenient to continuously calculate all of those calories, so hundreds of them often went unaccounted for each day, which made me feel like a failure.

When I started working at NuVal, I realized that the best foods were the most nutritious and also the most figure-friendly. I began choosing nutritious foods over those simply low in calories, and, eventually, I started making better choices. For instance, I realized that when measured in terms of calories, my lunches were much too small, making me overeat in the afternoon and sometimes at dinner too. Filling my meals with protein, fiber, and some healthy fats helped control my hungry, fuel my workouts, and keep my weight in check.

Blog about it
After finding my Feel Great Weight, I started my blog, Carrots ’N’ Cake, to keep me accountable in the months leading up to my wedding. Beginning with my first post, I've always been up front with my readers about what I want to accomplish. Sharing my goals makes me accountable to my family, friends, and even to strangers. My readers provide support, motivation—and even praise and encouragement!

Remind myself of how far I’ve come
So I haven't been very motivated lately. But when I remind myself of how far I've come with my training—I recently ran my first marathon!—I know I can keep at my goals. Even though I've scaled back my mileage, I don't want to take for granted the progress I've made. I've managed to keep my weight within 10 pounds of where I want to be. I've incorporated more fresh produce, whole grains, and unprocessed food into my diet. And I've even had an easier time saying no to my weaknesses–sweet splurges like cookies and cupcakes!