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February 11, 2008

Motivate Me!

Setbacks? They're nothing that can't be reversed.

woman doing pushups with two body balls


Photo Credit: Ben Goldstein/Studio D/Studio D

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YOUR BAD: “I ate way too much”
JILLIAN’S FIX: Get back on the wagon. Think of it like this: If you get a flat tire, you fix it and keep driving--you don’t slash the other three. This is nothing other than a minor glitch, and it can probably end up doing wonders for your metabolism if it’s a one-time event (too few calories for too long will slow down your metabolism). Make sure you go straight to the gym the next morning and, to help you get back on track ASAP, cut your calories by 10 percent the next day.

YOUR BAD: “I was so busy, I didn’t work out for a week.”
JILLIAN’S FIX: Not a big deal. In fact, the rest might actually help your body get stronger. Just make the effort today to get back into your routine, using the workouts you did the week before you slacked off. Then continue the program from there.
If there are reasons other than pressing deadlines that you didn’t work out, like your emotional life was disastrous or you couldn’t find the motivation, consider getting some support. Find a workout buddy (see right). Or hire a trainer for a few sessions to keep you accountable.

YOUR BAD: ”I’m too exhausted to eat right and exercise.”
JILLIAN’S FIX: Sleep is critical to slimming down. It keeps important weight-loss hormones in balance (without it, ghrelin rises, so you’re hungrier, and leptin is suppressed, so you’re not as satisfied by what you do eat). If you don’t have enough time to sleep at night, try to schedule at least a short power nap during the day.
If anxiety is keeping you up, practice relaxation techniques before bed: Organize a to-do list for the next day so you know you have everything covered. And don’t stay up watching back-to-back episodes of Entourage. Try getting calm by reading instead. I like books by physicists, such as Brian Greene’s “The Fabric of the Cosmos” or Stephen Hawking’s “A Brief History of Time”--they remind me that there is so much more to life than my petty problems.

YOUR BAD: “I’ve lost all motivation.”
JILLIAN’S FIX: There is no amount of pep-talking anyone can do if you do not want results for yourself. My best advice is to make a list of all the reasons you want to be motivated. Do you want to buy skinny jeans? Wear a bikini on your summer vacation? Whatever the reasons, they are your motivation. Paste them on your fridge, your gym locker, your bathroom mirror. Meditate on them first thing when you wake up and right before you go to sleep in order to bring intention to your day.

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