Tracey-Lee Lusty – or Fitnessgirl_za as she’s known in the world of social media – knows a thing or two about losing weight and transforming your life for the better. With over 12 000 followers on Instagram, Tracey has shared the ups and downs of her weight loss and fitness journey, and she’s kept it real through it all.

One of the things Tracey’s followers love is her ability to motivate herself – and others – to keep pushing, even when it’s hard. We got her tips, so you can use them too.

But first, the journey 

Tracey began her weight-loss/fitness journey in early 2016 – and created Fitnessgirl_za to hold herself accountable. Having started out solo, Tracey soon realised she’d need help to reach her fitness goals. “I lacked the knowledge to do it myself. I used to eat a lot of healthy food, but my portion size was completely out of control,” she says.

READ MORE: 7 ways to find the motivation to exercise when the struggle is real

In August that year, she joined a coaching programme in Joburg, which really kick-started her weight loss. Fast-forward to the end of 2017 and Tracey had lost a whopping 33kg.

What’s next? 

She’s not done just yet… “I officially begin “Fitnessgirl Phase 2.0 with my new coach, Mr South Africa finalist Gordon Stevens,” says Tracey. Her goal: To lose another 12 to 15kg, then reassess her goal.

But Tracey is adamant about one thing: Numbers aren’t everything. “I always preach that the scale is not everything; rather, it’s about how you feel in your clothes and how you feel when you look at yourself in the mirror.” 

READ MORE: 10 super-cool and inspirational fit moms you need to follow on Instagram

Tracey’s journey is nothing short of inspiring, but it takes a lot of motivation to keep pushing. Here, her top tips that’ll have you to slaying your fitness goals – consistently. 

1. Determine your purpose 

“Clearly set out your ‘why’. Why have you chosen to commit to doing something? Having a purpose, and answering that question, will go a long way [in keeping you accountable].”

2. Set short-term, achievable goals 

“These are goals that don’t overwhelm you. They’re bite-sized. There is nothing more motivating than being able to tick off a short-term goal from your to-do list.”

3. Create an exercise schedule 

“I always find I have zero motivation if it’s not something I’ve pre-planned or committed to. Creating a schedule and setting aside specific times to train is a good way to keep motivated and accountable.”

READ MORE: 7 women share their most embarrassing exercise confessions

4. Feeling down? Talk it out 

“If you’re having a bad day, talk to a close friend or family member. Talking is a great way to work through internal issues – and you may even draw more inspiration from the catch-up.”

5. Progress photos 

“If I’m feeling de-motivated, I like to look at photos from when I first started. It’s a simple exercise that visually assures me of my hard work and reminds me that I have succeeded once before.”

6. Make the commitment

“Making a commitment, verbalising it, or telling a friend, is a great way to keep accountable. I made a public commitment to losing over half my body weight – and it sure is working!”

READ MORE: “I tried 3 of the top workout programmes on Instagram – here’s what happened”

7. Positive affirmation 

“Ever given yourself a pep talk? No? Well, now is a great time to start. Whenever I find myself being lazy or uncommitted, I positively affirm myself by saying: I can do this, You’ve got this, You will do great! etc. Sometimes we just need a little bit of self-love.”

8. Celebrate! 

“And when you do manage to tick off the short-term goals, or when you are succeeding, remember to congratulate yourself for all your hard work.”

This article was originally published in Women's Health SA