Diane May Nutrition Blog

Keys to Staying Motivated

September 17th, 2014

As you go on your path towards weight loss, it can be difficult to stay motivated.  Think back to when you were little starting school.  You had a new outfit, a shiny lunch box, school supplies and brand new crayons.  You were excited to meet your teacher and new friends, to start on a new journey.  But a few months in, you realized it was hard work.  Your new clothes weren’t as crisp, the lunch box might have had dents, the supplies not so cool and the crayons were frayed and broken.  But you knew you would still have to keep going to school.  You probably found things to keep you focused to stay the course.  Weight loss is not much different.  So, why continue on the path and what are some tools to help keep you motivated?

A loss of only 7-10% of your total body weight can have tremendous health benefits.  It can lower cholesterol, tryglycerides and blood pressure, improve sleep, prevent or reverse diabetes, relieve stress on joints and kidneys, increase your energy and improve your self esteem.  Being at a healthy weight reduces your risk of developing cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

  • Start moving! You don’t have to join an expensive gym or buy lots of equipment to move your body.  Find something you enjoy doing, whether its dancing, tennis, walking….whatever makes you happy.  It will not only increase your metabolism, it will improve your mood and cognitive and cardiovascular function.
  • Keep a food journal.  Paying attention to what you eat will keep you focused and on course.  Many people find that this can go away once you have been on your weight loss journey for awhile.  It is an excellent tool to help keep you accountable to yourself and on track.
  • Get support.  The more people that you surround yourself with that support and care about your health and wellness, the better you will do.  That can include friends and family or support group as well as your dietitian, personal trainer or therapist.  When you know people support you, you don’t feel so alone on the journey. You can also turn to your local Y, community center or hospital to find groups that have common interests to support you.
  • Remember to keep your goals realistic.  It can feel defeating if you can’t accomplish what you set out to do.  Have weekly, short term goals that you feel you can achieve and succeed and the weight loss will follow.
  • Celebrate small victories.  Don’t wait till you reach your final goal to celebrate all the hard work you are putting in.  All the small moments along the way deserve praise and reward as well. Whether you get a massage, read a book or buy a new outfit, just make sure you NEVER celebrate with a food reward.
  • Think about all the activities and events you have to look forward to and how much better you will feel and look as you get closer to your goal.

It took a long time to put the weight on and it will take time to lose it.  Losing weight is hard and can be frustrating at times. You need to be patient and kind to yourself.  No one will ever love you as much as you and you need to take care of yourself and celebrate the decision to continue on your journey to health and wellness.

Fish Stew with Olives, Capers & Potatoes

From EatingWell:  September/October 2014

How to Keep Motivated


Makes: 4 servings

Serving Size: 4 oz. fish & 1 cup vegetables

Active Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour


  • 1 1/4 pounds mahi-mahi, swordfish or halibut steaks, about 3/4 inch thick
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 6 canned plum tomatoes, drained and very coarsely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1/2 medium red onion, halved and sliced
  • 1 cup green olives, pitted
  • 1/4 cup capers, preferably salt-packed, well rinsed, plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper, or to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced peeled yellow-fleshed potatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley



  1. Pat fish dry and sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Combine tomatoes, celery, onion, olives, capers, oil, garlic and crushed red pepper in a large skillet and toss to mix well. Layer potato slices over the vegetables to cover them completely.
  3. Cover the skillet and place over medium-low heat. Cook, adjusting the heat to keep a steady simmer and shaking the pan from time to time—but do not stir the vegetables—until the potatoes are starting to soften, about 20 minutes.
  4. Place the fish on top of the potatoes, cover and continue cooking until the fish is opaque in the middle, 10 to 12 minutes more. Serve sprinkled with parsley and more capers, if desired.


Per serving: 256 calories; 13 g fat (1 g sat, 7 g mono); 69 mg cholesterol; 15 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 2 g total sugars; 19 g protein; 2 g fiber; 315 mg sodium; 740 mg potassium.