Any weight loss journey is hard enough, and when discouraging comments and unwanted opinions are added to the mix, it becomes unbearable. Even though I strongly agree with the quote, "You are not what you weigh," (there's obviously more to a person than being a couple of pounds overweight or underweight) I believe we can continuously try our best to be healthier, more confident, and stronger—not for anyone but ourselves.

I have been on a fitness journey since February 2017, and even though my body is changing for the better, I don't enjoy the process of it all.

I hate the sore arms from doing 50 push-ups in a row and the sharp stomach pain during crunches. I hate how my thighs sometimes hurt before I sit and how I cry at least once a month in the gym. Sometimes I lose faith in myself but when I see these incredible quotes, photos and videos, I am reminded that I am not alone.

1. It starts with a deliberate decision

Why do you want to lose weight? Did you make the decision yourself or was it influenced by someone? What will the weight loss do for you? Will it make you happier with your life? Toni Sorenson said, "Weight loss doesn't begin in the gym with a dumb bell; it starts in your head with a decision."

2. You don't need a gym to lose weight

Steve Maraboli rightly said, "When people tell me they can’t afford to join a gym, I tell them to go outside; planet Earth is a gym and we’re already members.

Run, climb, sweat, and enjoy all of the natural wonder that is available to you.”

3. Let go of the excuses

It's incredibly hard to stay on course and sometimes, making excuses is the only way out. However, "Excuses don’t kill the fat, exercises do.” ― Amit Kalantri

4. Be gentle with yourself

Every good thing takes time. Remember that: "It's a lie to sell a diet plan that includes fast and processed foods, then implement a points system. A big. fat. lie.” ― Nancy S. Mure.

It's called a fitness journey for a reason; you may not see changes overnight, but, "Don’t fall into the trap of sacrificing your self-esteem for affection and acceptance.

No matter what your size, you are a sexy goddess. Remember that.” ― Ashley Graham

5. Get a workout buddy

Ask a friend or partner to workout with you. It's a great way to stay motivated. "Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend." — Albert Camus

6. More reasons to be motivated

"Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely.” ― Roy T. Bennett