‘Every time I looked in the mirror, I was terrified by the fat woman staring right back at me. The doctor had told me that I needed to lose some weight to bring my high blood pressure under control and that regular walks would help. Again, the terror of stepping into a public place and being teased or stared at by millions of eyes seeped in.’ How many of us are plagued by these thoughts and suggestions? How many of us keep thinking about the benefits of exercise but never get around to it? Most of us would be your answer. All of us need to be motivated and inspired to bring about a healthy body because it eventually leads to a healthy mind and a better quality of life. You feel confident when you are looking and feeling good and bringing that change lies within yourself.

To lose weight and to live a healthier life, you need to bring about a change in attitude that includes giving up the sedentary lifestyle and learning about nutrition fundamentals. It’s actually quite easy to do this, for you just need to begin with some small steps.

Just thoughts alone won’t get you anywhere near the exercise regime, you need to implement all that you read and discuss. For instance, if you are always taking the car out for buying groceries, then you should walk to the supermarket. You should even try washing some of your clothes, do some gardening or just clean the house. The idea behind these physical activities is to get moving and let the body become active.

The body is just like a machine—if you don’t use all the parts effectively, they will begin to rust, but regular use will keep it greased and smooth. Remember that you only have the one body, so learn to take good care of it. Start by making a conscious effort to be active. This is your first small step towards becoming healthier and once you are habituated to these small measures, it will become second nature for you!

Remember that you did not gain all those pounds overnight and losing them isn’t happening overnight either. It may take some time for you to lose all your excess weight. In your journey to lose weigh, you may get discouraged and slip up. Do not despair, since this is normal behavior. Every time you slip up, you need to get up and come back on track and continue moving forward. Every time you feel that you are losing your focus, try these simple and inspiring goals to keep you on the fitness track:

  1. Look at pictures of all the people that inspire you—these can be of movie stars or athletes. See how fit, happy and healthy they look. If you also want to look like that, you should not leave the exercise mat.
  2. The mind is the all-powerful tool within the body. So please stimulate that through creative visualization. Scan your picture and experiment with it on an image manipulation software. See what you would look like a few pounds lighter and keep trying to find the ultimate figure/physique for yourself. Now keep this picture with you at all times. Every time you are disheartened, look at this picture to revive your spirits.
  3. Start reading motivation and self-improvement books; it will help you maintain your diet and exercise program.
  4. Exercise can be a great high. At first you may not feel like exercising, but you will always feel incredible after your workout.
  5. If you have kids and/or pets, play with them. Kids have an abundant amount of energy and playing with them in the park or climbing over the swings with them can be enjoyable and motivating.
  6. Write your goals and start a journal to track your progress to see when you reach your goals. Do not emphasize on long-term goals, but stick to the short ones first. See how much closer you are to them and keep ticking them off as you reach them one by one. Reward yourself with every goal achieved. However, make sure that your rewards are not connected to fatty foods!
  7. If you are still unclear about your goals or how to reach them, take the help of an expert. Talk to a professional trainer or coach and follow them. Sometimes walking on the path shown by an expert can be more beneficial and therapeutic.
  8. If you are unable to spare time for a 60 minute workout, do it in two parts: morning and evening. Also, get a workout partner; this way you will be hesitant to cancel your workouts.

Don’t give up. You will experience setbacks, but that is to be expected. Just get over your setbacks and continue moving forward on your path to health and weight loss. Remember, just hit the exercise mat and you will start seeing the change in your body, attitude and life!