YOU ARE NOT BROKEN
You are not broken. THIS IS A BOLD STATEMENT.
You just have never been shown what real and lasting weight loss looks like. I lost 3 kilos in a matter of 4 weeks, since falling into the "isolation" trap.
Like you, I thought my up and down patterns was my relationship to food, however, I have realised that it's much more than that! It's my relationship with my mind. I know what's healthy and what is not. I know when I look a menu that the grilled salmon salad is a much healthier option than the grilled wagyu beef burger, and yet my mind tells me go for the burger and I do. I know that I'm in the danger zone of obesity and all health risks and yet I tell myself, I'll start on Monday. Monday always turn into Monday, year after year.
The world we live in wants to take the weight loss equation down to a simple “calories in vs. calories out” story with some willpower sprinkled on top. That could not be farther from the truth. My life’s work will be to shed some light on the things that really work. To help you create and manage your own “weight loss program” so that nothing and no one can throw you off. Here are just a few of the things I know to be critical.
THINK HABITS INSTEAD OF CALORIES
You know to choose the apple over the chocolate bar. Every time I used to think of counting calories the numbers were too overwhelming for me. Weighing my food or even having to search and log it into My Fitness Pal was too much work. Not everything I ate in a meal I could find on the app so I had to enter something that was similar. This didn't make me feel that I achieved my daily calorie goal. To me it was just the next best thing and I felt cheated. So instead I started unravelling the habits and thought patterns that had me grabbing the chocolate bar over the apple, especially when I was extremely hungry or stressed.
Focus on 3 small habits that stand in your way of making unhealthy eating food decisions like bringing lunch to work, not eating in front of the TV or hydrating throughout the day. What you’re motivated to work on makes it easier to turn into a habit. Use alarms or appointments on your phone until you see the rewards of lower body weight and confidence in achieving these changes. As those behaviours become habitual, add three more. Beware of diet mentality as going on a “diet” is the exact opposite of what we need to do. A diet is a radical departure from our everyday habits into habits, foods and behaviours that are neither natural or of our own choosing. Instead rotate slowly into new habits and behaviours until they become second nature.
Counting calories makes the majority of people crazy. I know it still makes me crazy. I hear my clients say how stressed they feel when they have to calorie count and sometimes they forget to. These stressful moments have the adverse effect, they can actually make you gain more weight. I know, because it used to drive me crazy and I would go to bed feeling disappointed myself. I'll wake the next morning and try again only to fail again. Believe me, counting calories is a massive behaviour change. What I would recommend in to instead, outline on a piece of paper 6 healthy breakfast options, 6 lunches, 6 dinners and snacks. These should be simple and healthy and pretty easy to grab anywhere.
It wasn't until I started to write out my own meal plan that I saw not only a habit forming but also changes in my mental and physical body. If you want lasting results, I encourage you to write your own “meal plan”. I have so many clients ask me to write one for them and I understand why, they want something they can follow, something that they believe will help however I have also realised over time that all the work I put into writing a personalised plan is useless. I have no connection to the foods they like or will eat. I have also seen through the eyes of my clients and even family that the list of food on the diet plan sets anyone up for failure, especially since they are already stressed about what to eat to lose weight.
Taking a small amount of time to outline go-to faves of what you like and keeping them as a list in your phone, your wallet or posted in the kitchen will be a reminder the next time you head out to grab lunch and can’t remember your healthy choices. Make this your own and expand on it over time.
REFUSE TO GET BORED
The number one thing I see derail a person’s weight loss efforts is boredom. They begin eating the same thing over and over or doing the same workout and they eventually get bored and quit. I challenge you to find at least one new recipe or meal per week. Take a new or different level fitness class as often as possible. Spend 15-20 minutes a day browsing the great weight loss threads on Reddit and reading about the interesting things that people are doing. Spending these few minutes will invigorate you to try something new and you will invariably stay interested, motivated and inspired.
Motivation is not something you wait for, it is something you make yourself. It takes a level of consistent effort and those small efforts create interest and engagement. They can be as simple as searching for motivational stories on Instagram or Facebook to see amazing success stories or inspired pictures of amazing meals. Forget the idea that this whole journey should “feel” inspired. It will feel like work sometimes.
As the 12-week Shape and Tone Program For Women is drawing nearer, I want to encourage you that if you are going to do it then face this challenge with consistency and patience. I hope you will follow me and that I can inspire you further.