The Three P’s of Change

Last year at this time, I was preparing to undergo a full hysterectomy. I came through the surgery beautifully, and thought I would share some of what helped make that challenge such a wonderful opportunity.


I was thinking this morning about what it will take for me to rebound from my surgery next week.

What it boils down to is Persistence, Practice, and Patience.

These 3 P’s of Change are true regardless of whether you’re recovering from surgery or illness, working to lose weight, or making some other life change.


When you’re finally ready to make a change, you may want it to happen right now.

That impatience makes the process very frustrating and fraught with ups and downs. At the very least, this can make the journey unpleasant, and worse can cause you to get so discouraged that you give up on achieving your goal.

Being Persistent is key.

Persistence is mostly a mind thing. It’s being determined in the moment to make the decision that will move you towards your goal, rather than choosing the option that will maintain you where you are, or even set you back.

After my surgery, I will need to consistently make the decision to eat healthy foods to give my body the nutrients it needs to heal and recover—and not fall into comforting myself with holiday treats. And I will need to move as much as I can. Not only does the doctor say that walking will speed my recovery, but consistently doing what I can will help keep me in the exercise habit so as I am feeling better it will be easier to motivate myself to get moving.


There are typically some routine actions that have to be Practiced consistently to facilitate making a change.

For instance, if you’re losing weight, you have to practice eating healthy foods in moderate amounts and moving your body.

There are things you can do to facilitate these regular practices.

If you’re dieting, you can plan your meals for the week so that you have the right food on hand, stick to a schedule of regular eating, and stay on track with calories.

The actions that I want to practice to facilitate my recovery include meditating, eating nutritious meals, walking, and resting.

To facilitate these, I intend to maintain my practice of meditating upon waking. For the past several weeks, my husband and I have made big batches of healthy soups and frozen much of it so that we’ll have easy, nutritious meals on hand. This weekend I also plan to lay in lots of fruit, fat-free Greek yogurt, and other healthy snacks that don’t require any preparation.

Apparently they will get me up for my first walk while I am in the hospital, so I have set some minimum goals for myself for walking on the treadmill when I get home. And certainly I plan to enjoy a lot of naps, reading, and movies.


The biggest gift you can give yourself when making changes is Patience.

You need to make peace with the fact that change will not happen overnight. And you may make decisions in the moment that aren’t the best, or you may miss an opportunity to practice some of the actions you set for yourself.

This is normal!

One of Bill Phillips’ mantras in his book, “Transformation,” is “progress not perfection.”

Change is about consistency, not being perfect. The quicker you can forgive yourself, the faster you can get back on track.

There are a lot of unknowns about how I’m going to feel after my surgery next Wednesday. Perhaps Thursday I’ll need to sleep all day and I won’t get my planned walk in, or the only thing I’ll feel like eating is toast. That’s OK. While I want to push myself to do those things that will help me recovery quickly, I’m also going to be sensible about it and listen to my body.

Over the weeks of my recovery, I plan to eat some of the lasagna a friend has promised to bring over and I will allow myself to enjoy some holiday treats—in moderation—and I’m not going to beat myself up about it. I am going to strive for consistency, not perfection. By not holding myself to an impossible standard, I’m much more likely to be successful in the long run.

Where could the changes you’re making—or plan to make—stand to have some Persistence, Practice, or Patience?

How could using the three P’s make a difference in your success?

Together we can do it!


Do You Believe That? The Missing Link to Losing Weight

Do you spend more time focused on all the reasons you don’t want to eat healthy foods and move your body, or all the reasons you do?

How do you think that impacts your actions?

Your thoughts predict the success of your actions. Meaning that if you think about how much you hate working out, getting the motivation to move will be pretty darn hard. If you spend more time thinking about all the reasons you do want to work out, then getting up and doing your workout will be easier.

Action alone is not enough. Not changing your thoughts and beliefs along with taking the action is the reason the majority of diet and exercise programs fail.

Focusing your thoughts on what you do want is a simple but profound change that will significantly alter your weight-loss results—or the results of any goal you want to achieve.

Simple, however, does not necessarily mean easy.

Most people have never contemplated the idea that they have control over their thoughts. In fact, they may believe they are victim to their thoughts.

Back to your thoughts predict the success of your actions. If you think you have no control over your thoughts, how likely are you to be able to take control? (Hint: not very!)

You may also have practiced some thoughts for a very long time about eating healthy and exercise. These thoughts may have some momentum going. Momentum means they now include your belief that you are someone who doesn’t like eating healthy foods and moving your body.

As Abraham-Hicks says, “A belief is just a thought you keep thinking.”

To change a belief you have to use another belief. For instance, you probably can’t counter the belief that you hate to exercise with the belief that you love to exercise because you don’t really believe that you love to exercise. Make sense?

Shifting a belief is best done in baby steps. In other words, you can shift your belief about hating to exercise by altering your thoughts just slightly towards what you do want. But you have to believe these new thoughts.

For example, whenever you catch yourself thinking about exercise, instead of hating it, you choose to think about how much you want to feel better. How much you like it when you can easily button your pants. How much you enjoy being strong enough to pick up your child.

You just gently and easily change your thoughts. This slows the momentum and eventually shifts your thoughts towards the direction you want to go.

Rather quickly, you begin to look forward to your workouts and how awesome you will feel afterwards. When buttoning your pants gets easy, you begin thinking about how great it will feel to wear a smaller size. When lifting your child is easy, you think about how awesome running and playing with them will feel.

And then you are more eager to work out and see improvements. Moving your body becomes your priority because it improves every aspect of your life. It gives you more energy so you do more with the time you have. You look better, feel better, and you inspire those around you.

One day your realize that you love working out. And you believe it.

Consistently thinking about all the reasons you do want to work out and eat healthy foods makes exercising and eating right easier.

What new thought can you practice today that will help move you in the direction you want to go?

Together we can do it!

Three Tips for Living Lean

When a woman makes the decision to lose weight, often she wants the change effective immediately.

It’s the mindset of, “I want to be a size 4 and I want it today.”

This impatience is really being focused on the fact that you don’t have what you want, which means you are fighting the forces of the Universe and will struggle to lose weight.

What does it really matter if it takes a little time to achieve your goal? It’s the pain factor, right?

It’s looking in the mirror everyday and suffering from body shame. It’s feeling deprived as you turn down that piece of chocolate cake while everybody else digs in. It’s dreading the dressing room and trying on 50 swimsuits to find one that you might be willing to wear in public. It’s the risk of having your partner see you as unsex-worthy because of your sagging stomach.

You want to just wave a magic wand and make it all go away.

These thoughts are all symptoms of what has caused you to gain weight in the first place. At their heart is the fear of judgment and a lack of self-love. This is why so many diets and exercise programs fail. For lasting results, you have to change your core thoughts and beliefs along with eating healthy foods and moving your body.

Here are three tips to let go of the thoughts that keep you from living lean.

  • Focus on a body part you can appreciate. How often do you look in the mirror and criticize your stomach, butt, or thighs? When you catch yourself doing this, shift your attention to something you can compliment. Maybe it’s your hair, your ankles, or your fingernails. Just find something you can consistently shift your focus to and praise.
  • Make peace with the process. You didn’t gain the weight overnight, and you won’t lose it overnight. Recognize that life is meant to be lived and this includes living the experience of losing weight. Choose an eating and exercise program that you actually enjoy and that gives you some flexibility.
  • Celebrate your daily progress. Did you eat on plan today? Woo hoo! Did you choose an apple over pie? Awesome! Did you walk five minutes longer than the day before? Fabulous! Focus on all the things you are doing right and ignore the rest.

What can you do today to begin shifting from wanting immediate results to thrilling in moving towards your dream?

Together we can do it!