Ask anyone who has suffered from depression and they will tell you that it can lead to a loss of motivation which in turn leads to a decrease in physical activity. This, of course, creates a vicious circle as the feeling of being overweight and unfit compounds the depression and makes you feel worse.
Right at the top we need to be clear that depression can be a tough battle to fight and we’re not suggesting that a session of meditation and some positive mantras can unlock this in an afternoon. Your GP should be a partner in fighting this illness and if you haven’t already then you should make an appointment to get their support.
That said we have to focus on the fact that depression is a treatable condition and if it’s depression that’s leading to your inactivity, then we have five steps to upping your motivation and helping you on the road to recovery.
1. Set Small Goals And Reward Yourself
One way to get motivated to lose weight when depressed is to set small goals. Rather than trying to lose a large amount at once, focus on losing a few pounds each week. This will help you to see progress and stay motivated. Make sure that each goal you set yourself has a reward attached to it. Think of the way that you would train a dog – give yourself small, repeated tasks with lots of praise and rewards. Who’s a good boy? You’re a good boy!
2. Find an Activity You Enjoy
Another way to get motivated to lose weight if you’re depressed is to find an activity you enjoy. If you enjoy walking, swimming, or biking, you are more likely to stick with it. Choose an activity that you can do for an extended period – don’t worry if all you can do initially is walk to the end of the road. Plenty of our Amazing Losers have started off exactly the same as that and gone on to have great results.
3. Make a Plan
Another way to get motivated to lose weight is to make a plan. Write down what you will eat and when you will exercise. This will help you to stay on track and reach your goals. The process of journaling can also really help you to see how you’re progressing and how you’re feeling.
4. Enlist supporters
In the dim and distant past it would have been unthinkable to suggest that you talk about your feelings to your mates. You might have worried that they wouldn’t understand, or worse that they’d take the mickey out of you. But times are moving on and depression and poor mental health is being seen as a battle that most of us will have to fight. So never make the mistake of feeling like you need to do this alone. Even just a text to a mate saying you’re feeling a bit low is a step forward.
5. Seek Help
We’ve already suggested this but it bears repeating. If you are struggling to lose weight, seek help from a doctor or therapist. They can help you to understand your depression and develop a plan to lose weight.
If you’re reading this and feeling like motivation will always elude you, please understand that everyone at MAN v FAT is on your side. We’re desperate to help you and to let you know that you’re not alone. Together we can make great strides towards better mental and physical health – but the key to that is the word “together”. Reach out and let’s start your journey to better health. Get us on Twitter or Facebook.