How the Wait to Live Your Life Results in Weight

hat are you putting off until you lose weight?

Women I’ve worked with have been waiting to:

  • Take that dream trip
  • Take that class
  • Join the gym
  • Join that dating network
  • Go to the beach/pool
  • Buy sexy lingerie/clothes
  • Apply for that job
  • Start their business
  • Take up a new sport/activity/hobby
  • Etc.

What if the wait to fully live your life is actually adding to your weight?

There are spiritual, emotional, and core reasons this is true, but what it boils down to is being happier now gives you the energy to follow through with the necessary actions.

Think about that. You want to lose weight because you think it will make you happier. But the key to lasting weight loss is being happier now.

It’s a total win/win!

But it can be hard to make the mental shift when you have been putting off your happiness for a while. How do you allow yourself to be happy now when your happiness feels so tied to having the body you want?

Moving forward now can feel so scary.

Here are some tips for moving through the fear:

  • Think about all the reasons Why you want to do that thing you have been putting off. That can range from it just being fun, to helping you meet people and establish relationships, to helping you fulfill your life’s purpose.
  • Think about how doing that thing will make you feel. Will it feel exhilarating? Exciting? Satisfying? Make a list and practice feeling that way right now.
  • Recruit a friend or family member to do it with you.
  • Ask for support from a Wellness Partner or coach.
  • Recognize that you feel your greatest fear when you are about to step into your greatness. Being afraid of the feeling is often much worse than stepping into it.

What can you do today that you have been putting off? How can you use that resulting positive energy to help you reach your goals?

Together we can do it!

Be Happy First

This may tick you off.

You have to feel happy first.

That’s right, to achieve your weight loss goals—you have to feel happy first.

And while this is the premise behind the Law of Attraction, this isn’t just some woo woo notion. Science backs this up.

Shawn Achor, a Harvard psychology researcher and author of The Happiness Advantage, says that pinning our happiness on achieving a goal actually hinders our progress. Instead, it’s being happy that help us achieve our goals.

“Wait a minute,” you might say. “Isn’t happiness what you feel because something good happened? Isn’t “being happy” outside my control?”

Every feeling is related to your underlying thoughts. And thoughts are made of energy, not marble. You have the power to change them.

This means that how you feel is ultimately within your control. And you can choose to be happy—or not. Regardless of what is happening around you.

One of the most amazing examples of this is Viktor Frankl who chronicled his experience in a concentration camp in the book, Man’s Search for Meaning. Even in the most dire circumstances, Frankl choose to look for meaning, and yes, even joy.

If Frankl can do it while imprisoned and facing death, you can do it in the midst of your life.

So why would you want to choose to be happy first, before you achieve your weight-loss goals?

Primarily because you would feel happy right now. And isn’t that what you are truly seeking anyway?

Imagine having the body of your dreams. How would having that body make you feel?

“Oh,” you might say, “it would feel good. It would feel like accomplishment. It would feel like wellness and well-being. It would feel like satisfaction, contentment, and joy. It would feel like happiness.”

Archor explains in an Inc. online article that the reason being happy first helps you achieve your goals is because every time you have a success, your brain changes what success means so that happiness is always on the opposite side—meaning you never get there.

But if you increase your levels of happiness in the midst of a challenge, he says “all of your success rates rise dramatically.”

And while you may feel that your emotions are out of your control, Archor says that “it is a myth that we cannot change our happiness.” While happiness may come easier to some people, it’s a possibility that everyone can achieve–if they change their behavior and mindset.

And Archor’s research confirms that changing your mindset may not be as hard as people often think. “What we found was something as simple as writing down three things you’re grateful for every day for 21 days in a row significantly increases your level of optimism and it holds for the next six months.”

He adds, “The research is amazing. It proves we actually can change.”

To begin, simple decide to shift your thinking from, “I will be happy when I achieve my weight-loss goals” to “Being happy helps me achieve my goals.”

And then look for reasons to be happy right now.

Together we can do it!

Check out Shawn Achor’s funny and engaging TEDX talk:

Don’t You Love Your Body?

Do you suffer from body shame?

Many women look in the mirror and see nothing but their flaws. They aren’t comfortable in their bodies, even with their partners in the privacy of their own bedrooms. They judge how they look way more harshly than anyone else.

How likely is your body going to maintain its youth, vigor, wellness, and well-being if you abuse it with your thoughts and words? How well does a child flourish in such an environment? How healthy are your relationships when you do nothing but subject the other to constant criticism?

Starving your body of nutrient rich-foods and undertaking minimal movement are just the symptoms of the mental and emotional treatment you are heaping on your body. How well are you going to treat something that you hate, loath, despise, or are ashamed of?

As many teachers will tell you, the answer is to love your body. When you love your body, you want to take care of it. You appreciate it. And the positive, anabolic energy you provide it allows your body to rebuild, regenerate, and remain vital and alive.

When you have experienced long-term body shame, however, trying to go immediately to loving your body feels like a big fat lie. It’s almost laughable. It feels so foreign; it’s just not a habit you can develop easily.

Begin small.

Start by finding one thing about your body you can appreciate. Maybe it’s your tongue. You taste foods well. You are articulate and able to communicate with it. Your tongue never lets you down.

After a few days of appreciating your tongue—even for just 1 minute a day—then find something else about your body to appreciate. Perhaps your hard-working hands. Your hands are going non-stop every day. From throwing off your covers in the morning to picking up your coffee cup, to holding your child—your hands are helping you in so many ways.

Slowly build up so that you can appreciate every part of your body.

You appreciate your toes for providing you balance, and your feet for supporting your body weight each step of every day.

You appreciate your ankles, calves, knees, thighs, and hips for their strength, support, and flexibility as you move about—walking, sitting, standing.

You appreciate your abs, waist, and core for supporting you while you bend and reach. You appreciate your chest as it expands with lungfuls of life-giving air.

You appreciate your back, shoulders, and arms as you lift and carry everything from a sock to groceries, and for the ability to hug and embrace.

You appreciate your neck for supporting your head, and your mouth, throat, and tongue for enabling you to tell your partner you love them. You appreciate your eyes for helping you see the world and for how they reflect your spirit. You appreciate your brain for enabling you to think, and your body to function.

When you get to the point where you can appreciate each and every part of your body—even those parts that you typically judge as “gross” or that aren’t working as well as you would like—then you will know you have mastered loving your body. It will then be easy to look in the mirror and say, “I love you”—and mean it.

Did you notice that everything you were appreciating was about what your body gives to you? It wasn’t about how good you look in a pair of jeans, or how another might judge you. It was about functioning with wellness and well-being. It was about acknowledging the gifts that your body is giving you every moment of every day.

What difference do you think loving your body from head to toe makes in how you treat yourself—and others? How much easier might it be to get up and go for a walk or reach for an apple instead of a cookie? How much more physical and emotional energy might you have?

How does letting go of body shame help you move towards the life of your dreams?

Together we can do it!

Truth or Consequences . . .

While I’m in Charleston, South Carolina, this week participating in and presenting at a couple of workshops, I thought I would share a couple of my favorite blogs.

This one is from my fabulous friend and mentor, Jennifer Barley.

The theme right now in my house is action.

Making decisions and taking action. Moving forward. Getting clarity about the goals and figuring out how to make those plans come alive. It feels good.

And I am now feeling like a student of action. I am studying what makes us move, what creates flow, and what stops us dead in our tracks.

Today—let’s talk about consequences.

As long as you want the benefits (of the goal) with no consequence—you will always stay stuck.

Everything has consequences. People may judge you, people may not approve, you might outgrow people in your life. You might lose money. You might have to re-paint. You might be vulnerable. You might get hurt.

Instead, focus on what “might” happen if you do fulfill your goal.

You might be empowered. You might go to the next level. You might fully love. You might meet new people. You might feel fulfilled. You might help others. You might feel better than you have in years.

Focus on the benefits of the goal—and risk the consequences.

You are capable of handling the “might” consequences—and you deserve to have the “might” benefits.

Tony Robbins, the master of motivation, has The Ultimate Success Formula:

1. Know your outcome.

2. Get yourself to take action by deciding to do so.

3. Notice what you’re getting from your actions.

4. If what you are doing is not working, change your approach.

Seems simple enough, doesn’t it?

Where are you ready to take action in your life?

Jennifer Barley is a Professional Certified Life Coach, public speaker, Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC) instructor, author and former award-winning Weight Loss Leader.

It is Jennifer’s strong belief that every person can create whatever life they choose and she partners with her clients to make it happen. She has a strong talent for motivating, inspiring and adding humor to every situation.

Jennifer works with clients one-on-one, in workshop environments, and through online tele-classes. As the KickStart Coach™ Jennifer is committed to providing the support, encouragement, accountability, and motivation that her clients need to get inspired and get in the game.

You can learn more about her at and read her blog at


It’s Worth the Weight

In yesterday’s blog, I wrote about what’s behind the desire to wave a wand and have all your excess weight magically disappear.

Today, I’m going to talk about some of the reasons it’s worth the weight—to share the true value in experiencing the step-by-step process of releasing your excess pounds.

Because believe it or not, there is value in every experience. What you are thinking and feeling is part of Who you are, and the process you will go through to release the weight once and for all is about your becoming more powerful and true to yourself and Who you want to be.

I know this from experience. My weight and negative self-perception was an issue for me almost my entire life. I began hating my body at a very early age. I focused almost exclusively on its flaws, and what was wrong with me.

My negative self-perception—and my resulting struggle with my weight—raged for more than 35 years. Those negative thoughts bled over into all areas of my life. I was often depressed. I shied away from taking leadership roles at work. I had a hard time making close friends. I didn’t feel sexy or attractive with my husband.

And my struggle with my weight wasn’t because I didn’t know what to do. I taught myself about nutrition and exercise, and several times I got into incredible shape. I ran—finishing one half-marathon and doing all the training for another. I lifted weights. Several times I got down to a size 6. I knew what to do.

Even though I would lose weight, emotionally I didn’t feel any differently. All those problems that I thought would magically be solved by being thinner were still there.

This was because I wasn’t making the changes on the inside. I wasn’t aligning with what I wanted and why I wanted it. I didn’t feel confident in being accepted as the true me, which goes a lot deeper than just how I look. What it boils down to is I didn’t feel lovable because I didn’t love myself.

Because I was making these changes through sheer willpower, it didn’t take much for me to fall back into the pattern of regaining not only the weight I had just lost, but then some.

What ultimately had to change was what was going on the inside. What had to change were my thoughts, emotions and beliefs about myself, what I was capable of, what I deserved.

So in addition to consistently moving my body and eating healthy foods, I began looking for inaccurate thinking and practicing new thoughts of appreciation, praise, and support for my body—and myself. And I began tying this process to my spiritual journey. Accepting the love of All-That-Is (God, the Universe, Source Energy, Higher Coach—whatever works for you) was the path that lead to loving myself.

Successfully making these internal changes helped me not only get down to where I am today—between a size 4 and 6—but to keep the weight off now for more than two years.

Not only do I feel vibrant and alive, and have more fulfilling relationships in all areas of my life, but more importantly, those same internal changes have given me the confidence and self-empowerment to go after the life of my dreams, and reach out to help many, many women feel lean and sexy on the inside so they can be lean and sexy on the outside.

The process of releasing your weight is so worth it because it is a journey of self-discovery. It is reconnecting with your true self. It is embracing your power to create the life of your dreams.

Today I am grateful for all the struggles and challenges, and yes, even pain that I experienced over all those years. Every moment of it helped me be Who I am today, and makes me uniquely able to relate to other women who are using the path of releasing their weight for self-discovery.

If you are in the midst of the pain, you may not be able to feel, hear, or believe this right now, but I promise you, the end result is so worth the weight.

Together we can do it!


Photo from



What Did You Expect? Five Tips for Creating Success

How hard will you work to reach a goal if in your heart you don’t expect to achieve it?

This is the simple but great challenge that all of our dreams face—expecting that you can do whatever it is that you want in the face of people pointing out the obstacles or inadequacies, previous personal experiences, and numerous examples of failure.

In your heart and gut, you have to know that you can do it no matter what. And when you do fall into fear and doubt, you have to get back up and move towards that inner belief anyway.

Doubt is the distance your mind must travel in order to be able to reach your goals. If it dictates your decisions, there will always be a part of you holding back, which means you will almost certainly fall short of the mark.

But how do you mentally move from doubt to expectation?

Slowly, gently, and one step at a time. Taking a flying leap of faith without the wings of inner knowing is often ill-advised, and can lead to false starts or worse, a crash landing.

Here are five tips for crossing from doubt to expectation.

  1. Practice how it will feel. Imagine how it will feel to achieve your goal. Pick one word to describe that feeling. What are some other things that give you that feeling? Spend 10 to 15 minutes a day thinking about those things and feeling that feeling. Allowing yourself to experience the feeling of success as much as possible will confirm for your mind that the end result is attainable.
  2. Act as if. How would someone who has already achieved your goal think, feel, and act? Begin to act as if it is already done. Again, this helps your mind move towards belief.
  3. Count the tiny steps of success. Break down your goal into tiny steps. Take at least one step each day that makes you feel like you’re making progress. Instead of focusing on how tiny the steps are, focus on the progress you are making. As the Chinese philosopher Lao-tzu once said, “A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.”
  4. Look for positive examples. Chances are that somewhere there is someone who is doing what you want to do. Look for the examples that inspire you and help convince you that your dream is possible. Ignore the other examples as irrelevant. They aren’t you and they don’t know what you know.
  5. Appreciate where you are. There is no better antidote to doubt than gratitude and appreciation. Stopping to appreciate where you are reminds you that life is lived in the journey, not in the few moments experienced when you reach your destination.

What can you do today to nurture your expectation of success? How does this impact your ability and desire to move towards your goals? What does your belief say about the distance your mind needs to travel to help you create the life of your dreams?

Together we can do it!

How Did Your Dream Come True?

There’s a fine line between knowing what the obstacles, pitfalls, and dangers are and using them as an excuse not to go after what you want, or to enjoy the blessings that you have right now.

Most people are doing way more excuse-making and fear-focusing than they are careful strategizing and navigation, or appreciation. They just look for the worst possible outcome and use that as the reason not to do something, or not to be in the moment.

Here’s a quick way to check how fear-focused you are. You are driving and narrowly miss having a collision with another car. After the hit of adrenalin has passed, do you tell your family, friends, coworkers–and maybe even strangers–all about the crazy driver that almost hit you, how scary it was, or how close you were to disaster?

Or do you think, talk, and focus more on how blessed you are that you’re safe, how often you move through life unscathed, and how grateful you are for your healthy body and fully functioning car?

Can you feel the difference?

This doesn’t mean that you don’t pay attention to where you are and where you are going, but it does mean putting problems and obstacles into perspective (how likely is the worst possible outcome, anyway?) and then figuring out how you would navigate around it should you encounter it.

Often, we just take the word or experience of others to keep us from moving forward. For instance, I have a friend who won’t let her husband get on the roof to clean out the gutters because she knew someone who fell off their roof and was severely injured.

That was a tragedy for sure, but how often do people get up on their roofs and clean out their gutters without incident? I’ll go out on a limb and say it’s a lot more often than the people who fall off. And what security measures could he take while working on the roof? Is there a way to curtail the danger and still achieve the goal of cleaning out the gutters?

Have you ever heard parents admonishing their kids, “Don’t run because you might fall and hurt yourself”? Do the temporary tears caused by a skinned knee really outweigh the joy and exuberance of running?

I love Marcia Wieder’s question, “What would you do today if you were more committed to your dream than to your doubts and fears?”

And I’ll add to it. What would you do if you knew every obstacle had a way around it? How much more open to the solutions do you think you might be if you spent more time thinking, talking, and focusing on all the reasons your dream can come true instead of all the reasons it can’t?

Together we can do it!

photo from