How To Lose Weight By Being Normal (and an invitation...)
There’s a bit of a party going on in my neck of the woods, and - hooray! - you are totally invited! You see, my team and I are celebrating the re-launch of my Healthy Habits Coaching Club - complete with many shiny new features that you should totally check out.
Here comes a more personal message from me - and I’m hoping that it will resonate for any of you wonderful people who have been struggling not just to lose weight - but to keep it off. It’s the whole reason I created the Healthy Habits Coaching Club in the first place.
I don’t talk too specifically on my blog about what my own journey has been. It’s not that I’m hiding anything - I just tend to focus more on YOU and my clients, so my own ‘stuff’ doesn’t come up that much.
But I have ‘stuff’ just like anyone else.
My weight fluctuates, I get grumpy and uninspired, and I struggle sometimes to move forward.
I struggle because I am alive, and that’s what happens - no matter what you do for a living. Doctors get sick, lawyers get sued, chefs overcook their food, and coaches gain weight or get stuck in a rut.
So when my struggles flare up, I try my best to be a ‘scientist’ about it and see what can be learned - and shared.
Speaking honestly, I have lost 12lbs since last summer.
This means that I used to be 12lbs heavier, obviously.
At 12lbs heavier I was not exactly ‘overweight’. You would not have looked at me and thought I was heavy. I just had a bit of an ‘extra layer’ on me - that bugged me - but I looked fine. Other people also thought I looked fine. And I did.
My ‘stats’ were all fine, too. My BMI was at the higher end of ‘normal’ and my body fat percentage was in the ‘average’ range. I ate incredibly healthfully, I went to the gym, I was fit and looked fine in clothes.
Everything was fine. Just…fine.
But I wasn’t necessarily my Personal Best - and, for me, this started to matter.
I was staring down my 43rd birthday and I figured that things could go in one of two directions. I could either give in to a slowing metabolism and stay ‘average’ with an extra layer on me - or I could rise above it, shed the layer, and be better than just ‘average’.
This mattered to me. Why? Because it did.
It didn’t have to matter to anyone else, of course, but it mattered to ME. I didn’t want to become complacent in my 40’s. I wanted to be in the best shape of my life. I didn’t want to settle for ‘comfortable’, ‘fine’, ‘okay’, ‘average’, ‘in shape enough’.
I wanted to be freakin’ awesome.
So I set about raising my game.
And now, several months later, my BMI is smack in the middle of the normal range, and my body fat percentage is considered ‘athletic’. I shed 12lbs. I went from 24.9% body fat down to 18.5%. I lost inches off my waist and hips. I dropped 2 pant sizes.
Best of all, I feel powerful, agile, energetic and strong.
I’m sharing this not-so-breaking news because, along the way, I re-learned some things about what it really takes to lose weight - and keep it off - and I think it’s worth sharing.
Alas, there was no magic pill or secret potion. When I find a pill or potion that actually works - believe me - you will be the first to know.
No - I lost my extra-layer of 12lbs by doing all the things you’re ‘supposed’ to do - but don’t always do on a consistent basis:
- I was mindful of portions
- I was honest about my hunger
- I ate whole, plant-based foods
- I lifted heavy things
- I moved my butt.
There’s no big secret strategy.
However, if there’s one thing worth pointing out, it’s this: I did all of the aforementioned things on most days.
In fact, there were more days when I did all of those things than days when I didn’t do all of those things.
I was consistent. That’s what worked.
And yet that’s what people so often resist. That’s what folks keep trying to find a way around.
The day-in and day-out of being consistent about healthy behaviors is not exciting - and it’s certainly not quick - but it works.
THIS is why I created my Healthy Habits Coaching Club - to give people a place to stay connected and engaged with the daily healthy habits that can absolutely transform your body and your health.
In the club, we focus on keeping you interested in the day-in and day-out.
Everyone needs reminders and gentle nudges. Everyone needs a cheering section. That’s what we provide in the Club.
It’s about finding your ‘new normal’.
I sincerely believe that I am now in the best shape of my whole entire life to date.
It’s exciting, it feels WONDERFUL, and I know to my core that this is my ‘new normal’.
Now - about that ‘new normal’……
It’s one thing to lose weight, but it’s another thing to keep it off. If you have ever struggled with your weight, then you know that losing weight and keeping it off are two totally different skills.
This is where I’d like to share what I have re-learned - and why it’s so important that you find YOUR new normal if you want to achieve lasting results.
I have had to re-learn how to feed myself at each, progressively lower weight. It’s been a process of my own re-education.
There’s a way that I was eating when I was 12lbs heavier that felt ‘normal’. But it was keeping me 12lbs heavier.
To lose the first 4lbs, for example, I had to learn how to do a few things differently (like, no grande lattes every single day).
Eventually, I grew accustomed to life without a grande soy latte every single day of the week, and it was fine. I didn’t need it and I didn’t DIE without it. The world kept turning. I still had a latte when I really wanted one - but it was no longer my ‘normal’.
That’s just one example of something that had become a regular part of my day that was very easily dismissed - and not really missed - but it had a big impact on my overall progress.
Is there something like that for you? Something that has become ‘normal’ but that you could probably survive without?
Then, to lose the next 4lbs, I had to learn a few more new things. I had to learn how to eat and exercise so that I didn’t regain the weight I’d lost - and how I could eat and exercise so that I could keep losing weight.
I found that just being slightly more active throughout my day - walking more, taking the stairs, no big whoop - was also having an impact.
I learned to pay closer attention to portion sizes. I accepted that I am terrible at eyeballing pasta and rice, and that I need to measure it if I’m making it at home. I learned how to go to parties and have tastes and nibbles of things without stuffing myself with reckless abandon.
I learned how to say NO to myself - not because I wanted to punish myself - but because I cared about myself, and it was in my best interest to pass on second servings of dinner rolls, or another margarita after dinner.
Now that I am at this new weight, and I LOVE how I feel and what I can do, I am learning how to feed, nurture, and maintain this state of being in my body.
I’m re-learning the signs of true hunger, versus emotional craving. I’m re-learning how to give myself what I genuinely need from a nutritional standpoint. I’m learning that I am never actually deprived.
At any moment I can eat or drink whatever the heck I want (I am 43 after all) but I am choosing to eat and drink what’s best for me, because the results are undeniably awesome and I feel…well…I feel so incredibly good. And proud. Why would I undo it all?
There is a way to maintain this ‘new normal’, and I am learning it - because it’s worth it to me to do it.
I invite you to come take a look at my Healthy Habits Coaching Club, where our focus is on healthy, sustainable weight loss and cultivating your own ‘new normal’. It’s the place I wish I had in my life eons ago to help me stop dieting, and start learning how to care for myself - for real.
I look forward to welcoming you to the Club :)