Slow and Steady Wins the Weight-Loss Race—For Good!

RHow are those New Year’s Resolutions to lose weight coming? Are you still plugging away? Can you feel them starting to waiver? Or have they been put aside to show up on next year’s list?

One of the things that can cause people to pass on meeting their wellness goals is the overwhelming feeling that can come from trying to go from holiday-treat-eating coach-potato to food-measuring athlete all at once.

There really is no rule that says you have to change all of your behaviors at once to succeed.

I didn’t.

Four years ago, for various reasons I went from a runner to a walker to not doing any exercise at all. During that period of inactivity, I didn’t curb my eating and pretty quickly reached my heaviest weightever.

I found myself starting over with exercise and losing weight—again. And it did NOT feel good.

While I hated where I was, I just couldn’t seem to find the energy to get out of bed and move.

So what changed? How did I get going?

I first started mentally preparing.

These mental preparations did include mentally visualizing me moving my body, but most importantly,they were a conscious effort to change my thoughts, feelings, and beliefs.

You see, I was spending a whole lot of my mental energy feeling like a failure.

Here I was in this place of starting over—again! I knew how to diet and exercise, yet, I had failed. Surly this meant I was a weak person, or a slacker, or was somehow inherently flawed.

Those beliefs were not getting me anywhere. In fact, they were keeping me stuck in the spiral of shame and self-loathing that I thought losing weight would fix. But that very shame and self-loathing made it nearly impossible to force-start a new diet and exercise program.

And I was struggling with thoughts and beliefs about how hard working out was going to be, and how much hunger and deprivation I was going to have to endure. I was dreading it. These kinds of thoughts were NOT conducive to starting a successful diet and exercise program.

It was important to take the time to mentally prepare for where I wanted to go.

Action is great, but if you don’t have your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs aligned behind it, it’s not going to create sustainable results.

Part of that mental preparation was gently letting go of the idea that I was somehow a failure. Was I really? I did know what to do. In fact, I was so mentally disciplined that numerous times I had forcedmyself to push past a wall of negative energy to Make Things Happen.

What mattered was my belief in myself. What mattered was that I knew Who I was and what I could accomplish.

Changing those underlying thoughts brought a sense of relief that was enough to begin to shift the momentum of energy in my favor.

Another part of my mental preparation was to think about all the reasons I did want to be slim, fit, and healthy. To imagine how good that would feel.

I took my reasons a lot deeper than just looking good in a pair of jeans. I wanted to fully live a vibrantand fulfilling life. A part of me felt like I wasn’t living up to my full potential. I wasn’t consistently showing up in relationships as the person I wanted to be.  I wasn’t accomplishing everything I wanted to accomplish. I wasn’t showing up in my life as who I knew I intended.

Having physical health, energy, and stamina was critical to be able to step out as the Me I truly wanted to be.

And the final piece of mental preparation?

I reached out for support. Having someone there to confirm that I wasn’t a failure or a slacker, and to tell me that they “knew I could do it” was what tipped the energetic scale enough that I was able to get out of bed on that chilly morning and move!

But that movement would have been a joke to some people. What I considered a huge success was just 10 minutes of any kind of physical movement. Seriously, I counted everything! Counting and celebrating each tiny sign of success continued to build the energetic momentum towards achieving my goals.

And it wasn’t until I was consistently meeting my physical goals that I started thinking about the slow and steady changes I could make with my eating.

The daily mental preparation continued to be critical to my achieving my success. It was the wind that helped me get airborne and support me as I flew.

It was—and continues to be—the critical factor in how I have easily maintained a size 6 now for the past several years.

Yes, it took me a year to lose 34 pounds and get back into great shape. So what?

At the end of that year I was a lot happier having slowly and steadily made those small decisions towards a healthier lifestyle than to try to do too much at once and give up, only to be faced with the same goal and results a year later.

And now several years later, I can tell you taking it slow and steady was totally worth it!

It was that slow and steady, inside out approach that led to sustainable results.

What small mental shift can you make today that will move you towards a healthier lifestyle? Do that for a week and then look for another tiny step to make. Do that consistently and you will build momentum and achieve your goals.

Do that consistently and next January 1 you will be celebrating your success rather than being faced with the disheartening decision to put Losing Weight on your list of New Year’s Resolutions—again.

Together we can do it!

Don’t Wait Until Next Year to Get the Body You Want!

Join the the Love Your Way Slim Coaching Program today! 

This unique program transforms your mindset, integrates your core values and spiritual beliefs, provides exceptional support, and hones in on the most powerful actions you can take to make releasing the weight not only easy and satisfying—but fun! (Yes, it really is possible!)

FIND OUT MORE HERE

Program closes January 12, 2013. It won’t reopen until January 2014!

http://loveyourwayslim.com/coaching-program/

5 Easy Tips to Make Creating Healthy Habits Fun!

Calendar January 2 Transformation StartMost people are not going to start a new eating or exercise program before January 2.

But you can drastically increase the chances of fulfilling your New Year’s resolution to lose weight by creating new mental habits right now

And it can take as little as 5 minutes a day.

Think about how much you get done when you are excited, eager, and looking forward to something. Now think about how hard it is to make progress when you are dreading something, don’t want to do it, resent it, etc.

While you can move forward and get stuff done while you are feeling negative catabolic emotions, consciously shifting to positive anabolic thoughts before you begin a task is like putting on rocket boosters. 

Not only is your power to get things done greater, but it’s easier and more fun.

Most of what makes releasing weight “hard” are your current mental habits.

You have thoughts about how hard it is to lose weight that you have repeated for so long that you don’t even realize there’s another way to look at it. You have practiced dreading dieting. You have developed a mental rut on exercise that is not serving you.

These are just some catabolic habits of thought you have going on. Thoughts are made of energy, not marble. They can be changed! 

Why do you want to go to the trouble of creating positive, life-building anabolic mental habits, you might ask?

Because anabolic thoughts result in emotions that feel good.

Those emotions make your heart sing. When you are feeling anabolic emotions, you know that things are always working out for you. When there’s a problem, you see the solution. You laugh more. You relax more. You are happy to be alive. 

As a result, the actions you need to take feel easier.

  • Instead of hating to work out, you start to enjoy it.
  • You find you like the taste of fresh vegetables.
  • You easily make the decision to turn off the T.V. and go to bed so you will wake up rested and refreshed.
  • Water starts to taste good.

 It’s easy. It feels like the choice you want to make.

Progress not perfection

Start now to create these new mental habits and come January 2 you will be so ready to turn these thoughts into action that there will be no stopping you!

Here are 5 easy ways to begin creating new mental habits:

  • Make a list of how you want to feel come January 2.
  • Think about all the reasons Why you want to be fit, strong, and slim. (Go deeper than just looking good.)
  • Remember all the ways you enjoyed being active when you were a kid.
  • Slow down during meals and really appreciate your food and how it is building the body you want.
  • Appreciate the life giving aspects of the water you are drinking.

Doesn’t that feel good?

Now practice these thoughts every day.

Often people will use the excuse that they don’t have time to create new mental habits, particularly during the holidays.

Truly, you don’t have time not to!

By taking a few minutes now, you will more than make up with ease and efficiency when you do start your eating and exercise program.

A huge bonus is that the more you practice these new mental habits, the easier and more fun your life becomes.

What is one thing you can begin to do regularly to shift your mental habits? What difference does that make in creating the body—and life—you want come January 2nd?

Together we can do it!

You Are Perfect in Your Imperfection

Last night, my fabulous coach, Kendra Thornbury, and I diagnosed some lurking perfectionitis.

This is the need to do everything perfectly.

Not only has perfectionitis been a significant contributor to my past struggles with my weight, but I see the majority of the women I work with suffering from it, as well.

It often shows up as the need to do a diet and exercise program perfectly, or you might as well give up. Not only is that unrealistic, it’s exhausting. And it means that one mistake can sabotage months’ worth of progress.

In my case, it’s showing up as the feeling that I need to be perfect in order to be successful at business—and be credible to you fabulous clients and readers.

And my reaction to this diagnosis was pretty text-book. “Seriously? I thought I had gotten rid of all that!”

Not very tolerant or supportive of myself, eh?

Ah, the self-development work never ends! And you know what? It’s not supposed to.

Because we are all perfect in our imperfection.

So for the record:

I’m totally and completely imperfect AND I’m awesome.

My body is imperfect AND I’m beautiful.

My eating is imperfect AND I’m healthy and slim.

I’m self-critical AND I love and appreciate myself.

I’ve created a life that I love AND there’s room to make it even better.

Once again, I remind myself of what I know.

There is no “one right way” to do anything. By being more tolerant and supportive of yourself, you help lift the “all or nothing” requirement for success—for any goal.

By giving yourself some relief from perfectionitis, you more easily and consistently move towards the best possible version of you—which is an every changing mark.

I’m reinstating my personal “No Regrets” policy. This gives me the ability to start each day with a fresh opportunity to do the very best I can.

And I encourage you to implement your own “No Regrets” policy.

All it requires is for you to shift your focus from all the things you didn’t do “right” to all the things that you did do that are moving you towards your goals. To give yourself credit for those things. To celebrate those things. And to start each day with a fresh opportunity to do the very best you can, and to celebrate those actions.

It does take practice, but fortunately you don’t have to be perfect!

Together we can do it!

 

Love or Hate Your Workout? That’s Impacting Your Results

Why is it that one person can follow a diet and exercise program and have great results and another use the exact same regimen and not see the same progress?

It has less to do with your metabolism, genes, luck, etc., etc., than you might think.

An often overlooked but critical factor are your thoughts and feelings while you are doing the diet or exercise program.

This is truly one of the missing links that causes so many diet and exercise programs to fail.

Think of it this way. How much are you going to give your exercise program your all if the entire time you’re thinking thoughts like:

“I hate exercise.”

“How soon till this is over?”

“I hate to sweat.”

“Just get me through this torture.”

With thoughts like that—and the resulting sluggish results—how likely are you going to sustain your exercise program?

Chances are not good!

Instead, what if during your workout you are choosing to think about:

  • All the reasons Why you want optimal wellness.
  • Affirmations reinforcing that doing the work will get you the results you want.
  • How good you feel after the workout.

And what if you actually chose a physical activity that you enjoy to begin with?

Wouldn’t you start to look forward to your workouts?

Wouldn’t you start to pay attention to and celebrate signs of progress—even if they were slow and steady?

Every time you had a jolt of unexpected energy during your day, wouldn’t you feel good about having gotten your workout in?

And wouldn’t all those positive thoughts and feelings make you more likely to want to get up and do your workout again tomorrow?

But, you might say, “I hate exercise. I have always hated exercise. That’s just how I feel.”

Believe it or not, you can change long-held thoughts and beliefsif you want to.

You can learn to love exercise by practicing new thoughts and beliefs.

Now I’m not saying you are going to make this shift overnight, but if your wellness is enough of a priority that you will practice consistently, you will be amazed by the results.

Here are some 3 simple ways to practice changing your thoughts.

Figure out a compelling reason Why you want wellness. Certainly use wanting to look good in a swimsuit or for your reunion, but look deeper. What is your true, heart-felt reason that is so strong it inspires you to get up from that nice warm bed to get in your workout?

Write out, read, and feel positive affirmations. Create affirmations that shift your thinking just a little bit so they are believable. Practice reading them—and feeling them—each day when you are not working out and bring them to mind while you are exercising. Soon you won’t have to remind yourself to think those thoughts. They will come naturally.

Focus on your progress. Mentally look for and celebrate each tiny sign of success. Note how good you feel after your workout, how much easier your pants button, your increased stamina after walking up a flight of stairs. Each celebration builds your positive momentum, making it easier to sustain action.

These suggestions may be simple, but they are powerful. Practice them consistently and before you know it, you will be one of those people who loves moving their bodies!

Together we can do it!

What Did You Expect?

What often holds women back from getting the body they want is the belief that they can have it.

Ultimately, you get what you expect.

You may hold yourself back from being willing to believe you can achieve your goal because of:

  • Fear that you will be disappointed
  • Worry that you aren’t doing the “right” eating plan or exercise program
  • Other contradictory beliefs, such as there’s something wrong with your body and it doesn’t respond like other people’s
  • Faulty beliefs about your self-worth and how much you deserve it
  • A combination of these or other thoughts

There are a number of reasons that expectation is so powerful and is such a huge predictor of success.

One is simply that you hold back on your commitment to action if there’s a part of you that believes the results are not possible.

Just think about it. How likely are you to give your workout your all or stick to your eating plan if you are questioning how effective it will be?

It can feel like a huge risk to put all your emotional chips in the game. It can lead to sabotaging thoughts such as, “What if I give it my all and still fail?”

But how likely are you to succeed if you aren’t giving it your all? By holding back, you are actually creating the outcome that you don’t want.

This is why really thinking about what optimal wellness means to you and the value it will have in your life is so important. This is why is it critical to be focused on creating a healthy lifestyle rather than a “diet” that you are doing for a limited time.

It helps you redefine success and the parameters of the game.

If you only define success as the numbers on the scale, it’s easy to “fail.”

But if success includes having your clothes fit better or being a smaller size, having more energy, doing more, feeling better, being more engaged in life, improved health, endurance, strength and stamina, etc., there is no way you could give your plan your all and “fail.”

And if you are focused on creating a lifestyle there is no end buzzer in which the game is over and you “fail.” It doesn’t matter if you reach your goal in 12 weeks or a year. What matters is that you are making progress. (See definition of success above.)

Expecting results is powerful. How much you hold back on being willing to believe you can achieve your goal is how much you will fall short.

The good news is that, as Abraham-Hicks says, a belief is just a thought you keep thinking.

This means that you can change your beliefs by choosing to think new thoughts!

Choose to think about:

  • How it will feel to be slim and healthy
  • How eating healthy food in the right portions and moving your body will help you achieve your wellness goals
  • How hard your body is working on your behalf
  • How much you deserve—and can achieve—the the body you want

What else can you do to shore up your expectation that you can achieve your goals? How does that impact your success?

Together we can do it!

What Did You Need?

I had an intense session with my coach, Kendra Thornbury, yesterday where we broke through some blocks that were showing up in the form of limiting beliefs and fear.

Whew that felt good!

The resulting clarity will help me move forward in achieving my goals.

But any time you do intense emotional work, you have to be aware of the impact it has on your body.

Our bodies and minds are much more significantly linked than most people realize.

So I slept in this morning, skipped my workout, and am treating myself gently.

It wasn’t too long ago that I would have made myself get up and workout anyway.

There’s a fine line between knowing when to push past mild resistance and when to ease up and give your body a break.

Here are some tips to help you figure out how to listen to your body and honor its messages.

How often do you give in? Are you regularly training yourself to go for the bigger win of a slim and healthy body by skipping treats and working out most of the time? Or do you scarf down every treat thinking it will be your last one? It gets easier to tell when your body needs a little TLC when you are more consistent in your actions.

Practice shifting your thoughts and emotions. Your thoughts and emotions will determine how successful your actions will be. For instance, if you want to start working out, yet you’re constantly thinking about how much you hate exercise, hate to sweat, hate the gym, etc., etc., your chances of maintaining an exercise program are pretty much nil.

So the first step in starting your workout program isn’t joining the gym, but is figuring out all the reasons you want to exercise and making those reasons your predominate thoughts. Then when you join the gym, the action of going is easier. As you practice shifting your thoughts and emotions you are better able to hone in on what is actually going on in your mind and body.

Take out the judgment—yours or anyone else’s. Just observe what’s going on with you. Skipping an occasional workout because it feels like what you need in the moment doesn’t mean you’re a slacker—no matter what anybody says. When you take out the self-criticism, you can tell if there is a pattern of negative thought that needs to be shifted, or if this a positive step of self-care.

You are the only one who truly knows what is best for you. Learning to listen to yourself and trust your judgment takes practice, but is an important part of loving your way slim.

Together we can do it!

Photo by Lindsay Miller

Create A “No Regrets” Policy

I haven’t been perfect this weekend. While I got all my workouts in, my eating has been a little on the high-calorie side, as is apt to happen when family gathers and we celebrate a birthday—in this instance, my husband’s.

In the past, a splurge like I experienced this weekend would have been enough to derail me. I used to suffer from a severe case of perfectionitis where if I didn’t do my diet and exercise perfectly, I would be so hard on myself that I would give up.

Fortunately, I now have a personal “No Regrets” policy. This gives me the ability to start each day with a fresh opportunity to do the very best I can, and to celebrate those actions that are moving me towards my goal.

Being more tolerant and supportive of myself has helped me lift the “all or nothing” requirement that I used to have for success.

This feeling that you have to do your diet and exercise program perfectly or you’ve “blown it” is very common amongst dieters and is one of the primary reasons that people fail to meet their weight-loss goals.

The good news is that you don’t have to be perfect. If you eat a cookie or two, it’s not the end of your diet. But if you give up then and down a pint of ice cream on top of it—well that’s going to be much harder to recover from and your progress for the week will likely be stymied. Too many weeks with no progress and the motivation to continue seeps away and dies.

If you slip, it’s much better to pick back up right where you are.

One way to do this is to let go of regrets. Those cookies might not have been on your eating plan, but hopefully you enjoyed it, and now it’s over and done. Focus on getting back on track with your next meal.

By creating a personal “No Regrets Policy,” you more easily and consistently move towards the best possible version of you.

What do you need to tell yourself to get back on track immediately after you have been less than perfect? What can you do to be more tolerant and supportive of yourself? What difference does that make in helping you meet your goals?

Together we can do it!