Karen’s Story: More on Weekend Eating

Because I had such an overwhelming response to my recent blog post, I reached out to another client, and asked her to share her story:

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Karen: I hesitated when Lesia asked me to share my weightloss journey, asking her if I could think about it.  However,  when I went back and reread Heather’s story, I decided to do it.  We are all in this together!!   So here is my story of weekend disasters and tearful  Mondays on the scale:

During the week, I have a routine and rhythm to my days.  I go to the gym, go to work, drive home, do household chores and errands, make dinner, help my kids with homework and get them to bed. This structure completely disappears on the weekends, however. While I look forward to the weekend all week, when it arrives,  instead of feeling happy and relaxed, I find myself feeling a bit anxious, depressed and unmotivated. By Sunday night, I am upset that I’ve not accomplished more, have not had  any “me” time and was not on plan.   And so what do I do?  I go into the kitchen and eat!  UGH!  I go to bed feeling defeated.  Then, the self talk begins:

 “You will never get this weight off! Who are you kiddin? 

 You will always be fat and out of shape! You are a loser.”

Seriously, this is how I speak to myself.  Lesia tells me if you would not say it to a friend, don’t say it to yourself.  I have to tell you when I am with my kids or with my friends or family I happily snack on whatever is placed in front of me — with no regard to my goals.  Somehow, I forget how bad I feel about how I look. It’s like the concept of the scale and my journal just evaporates — until Monday morning, when it all comes flooding back!  Why does this happen to me every weekend? When Monday comes, I feel defeated and my self-talk begins:

Why bother? Why work so hard?  Stay overweight.

 You’ll never succeed in losing these pounds!

I hear Lesia in my head telling me to be kinder to myself.  She tells me habit change requires time and constant attention until it becomes, well, habitual. When we first started working on this, I did not believe her.  Actually, I doubted her big time. But, six months into behavior change, and I have to tell you, she is right!!

Of course, I am far from perfect but I am at least 20% better in staying on program.  This is huge, as I have never gotten this far before, and I am starting to believe I will continue to eat normally and be at a weight that does not make me want to hide.  I have my ninja on!!  (This is what my 10 year old calls it.) Believe me, if I can do this, anyone can.  There are no hopeless causes.  It takes work and perseverance.  If I can do it so can you!   

Lesia and I decided to not completely structure  me on weekends, but devised a semi-structured eating and living weekend plan.  We worked my Saturday and Sunday based upon what usually fills my weekends: errands, gym, grocery shopping, kid activities, church, friends and family and chores.   

Lesia and I have worked on this for six months and I can tell you I now have a flow.  It is working!  I have to tell you,  I was skeptical at first.  But it  is definitely working, the scale does not lie!  I want to do more, because I see the results, but Lesia said habits take time, practice and patience.  So I continue to practice. My weight loss is consistent at 1 pound per week. I went from losing and gaining the same 3 pounds every week/weekend to consistently dropping one pound.  Thank you, Lesia!

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Thank you, Karen, for sharing your story.  You left out  a lot of the tears and struggle you went through.  You were and are very brave to trust me and now you’re seeing it pay off. Brava! 

What Karen and I are working on is getting out of the thinking that weekends equal free-for-all.  Take a look at the word ‘week/weak- end”.  It should read:  strong end.  This is the time to relax and unwind — without abusing food or yourself.  Our culture encourages TGIF and party time on the weekend. But how many of you come off an overeating weekend really feeling good about yourself, about your body??

Having a structure of eating and play allows you to relish the downtime without slipping into a free for all.  What’s more, the program allows for eating out at restaurants. (lt shocks me how many people don’t confer with me as to what to order.  Those who do are happily surprised  at what they can have!!)  You can enjoy life and still arrive on Monday energized and feeling good about all you did and all you ate.  It is about retraining your brain and creating a new habit.  Speak to your coaches about this.  We are here to help you succeed!!  You can do it!  

P.S. If you feel these stories help you and you would like to share your story, please text me!

God Bless!

Lesia

Non Scale Victory!

Habits are an integral part of our lives.  Think about all the habits you have, which started in child or early adulthood.  While some habits are helpful and beneficial, there are others, for all of us, that need to go. .  .

Take parenting for instance.  As parents, we change our child(ren)’s habits.  Potty training is a great example of this.  Since birth, you have allowed your child to poop or pee in his pants.  Now, several years into this established routine, you have to retrain his brain to go on a toilet.  If you have ever potty-trained a toddler, you know exactly what I am talking about.  If you have never potty trained a child, you still know what I am talking about. 

At Mind, Body & Soul Fitness, we are working with our weight loss clients, trying to change years of wrong thinking surrounding food. One popular thought is that “Weekends are for Eating.” You would be surprised at how many of our clients see weekends as “mini” holidays or “cheat” days.  This is what I want to help you with today: how to reprogram your thought processes so that you will have greater control over your eating. I am happy to be able to share a break-through moment I had with one of my clients. I asked Heather if I could share her story and she kindly agreed.

Heather: “I went to bed super early last night. Yesterday was not one of my better days. I came home from work early and struggled with eating as I’d anticipated I would. It was a snow day with my kids playing outside, then coming in to drink hot chocolate with marshmallows. I was baking cookies and scones to go with it. We are a family that’s always in the kitchen. We feel joy when gathered together and comfort food only makes it that much better. At one point, I left the kitchen to take a shower, so I could take a break and really think about what I was doing. While I didn’t stay on plan (I was picking at the treats), I didn’t totally binge out either. In the past, I would have. I chose to stop eating and move on. I also know I won’t allow one bad day to ruin my progress. I see that this is not about one day, it’s about the journey and reaching my goal destination. In the shower, I kept thinking about how far I’ve come and how I didn’t want to prolong the process. I promised myself I’d stop picking and that instead I would bundle up and shovel some snow!”    

Heather: “I have this saying up on my desk at work, it’s one of my favorite quotes and it helps me visualize my weight loss journey. I am also making a paper chain, as per Lesia’s suggestion. This way, I can see my progress. It’s my “retraining-the-brain” chain. I add a link for each pound I lose in white, and then add a link in a different color when I successfully modify my behavior.”

            Heather is making very good progress indeed! And in creating the chain, she can see how often she breaks bad food habits.  Remember, it is the many small links that make the chain strong. 

If you are struggling on the weekends, pick one thing you want to work on to create a new habit.  Let’s say your big weekend challenge is “no structure.”  Create a small change list.  Start with your wake-up time, then choose what time you will have breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack, and dinner. If your big weekend challenge is believing “weekends are for eating big meals” than start with one change: plan out what you will eat and the portion size.

Please know these changes will take time and patience.  If your goal is to lose weight and learn to keep it off, there will be several changes needed to get there. It’s a multi-layered approach. Understand that behavior changes need to be a lifetime change. Talk to your food coach if you need more help with this. 

Remember, weight loss doesn’t mean you can never have this food or that dish ever again, it means eating all food in moderation.  Stabilization goes into more detail about this. But, until then, work on achieving the small links that will absolutely lead to forever success!!

God Bless!

Lesia

Having a morning routine of your own creation will reduce your anxiety and set you up for success. It will not only help you stick to your weight loss or maintenance program, it will make you more productive and energetic. I practice all of the techniques listed below, and they not only work – they are life-changing!

Wake Up Early
When you wake up early, you have plenty of time to set the tone for your day. You have more time to focus on things like self-care and reading that you would otherwise miss out on if you are rushing out the door. Stay off of screens for a good 2 hours. Don’t clutter your mind. Stay on course.

Make Your Bed
Making your bed is a powerful practice because it allows you to successfully complete a task first thing in the morning. This simple act then builds momentum so that you continue to successfully complete tasks throughout the rest of the day.

Pray/Make Time for Faith
The time you spend in God’s presence will never be in vain. When you give God your morning, He will take care of the rest of your day. When you place yourself in the Lord’s presence, you will discover the whole day improves with that small offering. Talk to Him; He waits for you in the stillness, in the silence of your heart.

Consider and Affirm
Sit with your day. Where do you anticipate issues? Consider what your challenge(s) will be and rehearse in your mind what you will do. This way, when the time comes, you will be prepared. State three positive affirmations to take with you during your day. Plan what you will enjoy, as doing so will put your mind into a positive mode and trigger your brain to see the day’s upside.

Daily Intention
Start out each day with a daily intention. It could be as simple as “I will be present today” or “I will choose to see the beauty in everything that happens to me today.” The practice of being intentional about what you want your day’s purpose to be will soothe your anxious thoughts.

Walk/Exercise
Exercise is a must for long-term physical and emotional health. Plus, it is a great mood enhancer! Start your day off with a walk or another physical activity you enjoy.

Practice Gratitude
Write the three things you are most grateful for each morning. The key here is not to repeat that you are grateful for your family, life, and God, but instead focus on being aware of the smaller things in life: a smell that stirs a fond memory, a song that reminds you of a time or person, the five minutes you have had to just do nothing, just to be. Mental health studies have unequivocally shown that practicing gratitude reduces both anxiety and depression.

Prioritize

  1. What task, if completed successfully, would make all the other tasks unnecessary?
  2. What task do I have the most anxiety about?
  3. What task will move me closer to accomplishing my goals?
    Even a basic plan of attack for your day can drastically reduce your anxiety.

Prepare
Those who plan succeed! Spend 20 minutes preparing the night before, so your morning will go smoothly. Get lunches made, lay out clothes and organize breakfast foods. When you plan the night before, you are less stressed and thus ready to begin your day peacefully and with intention.

The most important strategy of all is to remember that however you choose to consciously create your morning, your practice needs to be sustainable for YOU: the best routine is the one you actually stick to.

Give it a go!

Peg’s Story

SamanthaSharesIn June of 2014, Peg threw out all her small clothes. She was tired of them hanging in her closet never to be worn. Enough was enough.

A month later, she happened to be flipping through the Penny Power. She saw an ad for fitness for overweight and out-of-shape women. Something about that ad spoke to her. She called the next day.

Peg started with Boot Camp at Mind Body & Soul Fitness. She had no idea it was Boot Camp, though! She thought it was just a really cool workout class. When someone told her the name of it, she almost fell over! She was in no shape to be doing Boot Camp! But it was too late. She already was.

After she started seeing results from the exercising, she decided to incorporate the food plan as well. In 9 months, she lost 74 pounds. She is now maintaining and in training to become a weight loss food coach herself.

Peg has fibromyalgia. She has a bad knee. She had a list of reasons as to why she could never be in shape and fit. None of them mattered once she started to believe in herself.

There were times when it was very frustrating. There were times when she wanted to give up. Then she would turn to her family for support and they were always there. She would turn to peers, co-workers and her church for support. She learned that everyone wanted to see her succeed.

Her weight loss coach reminded her constantly of how far she had come. She checked and double checked Peg’s food logs to make sure they were accurate. She offered alternatives when Peg plateaued. All of that support and accountability helped Peg get there where she wanted to be.

Peg was an 18/20. Now she is a size 6. She had to buy all new clothes to replace the ones she gave away and the ones she outgrew.

Her husband has jokingly said that he feels like he is cheating on his wife with the new Peg.

At their mountain house, Peg can now climb the hill to get in the door. She does not even think about it. There was a time, though, that she would have to stop and make a conscious effort to get up that hill.

Peg is still in Boot Camp. With that belief in herself, she is in the best shape of her life.

Mind Body & Soul Fitness has changed Peg’s life. She was a woman who could barely do one sit-up. When she said that to someone, they helped her do 50! And then they took a break. And then she did 50 more. She felt empowered. She felt strong. She felt in control!

If you want to lose weight the healthy way, cook your own foods, have the support of a private coach in your corner every step of the way, then you are in the right place. If you want to avoid crowded meetings and pre-packaged foods, look no further. If you want to be like Peg, then contact Mind Body & Soul Fitness today. Yes you can!

Peg Seachrist 32 week photo

Robin’s Story

SamanthaSharesWhen Robin’s husband bought her a gift certificate for Mind Body & Soul Fitness this past Christmas, many people thought she would be mad. In fact, she was the opposite! Robin had lost weight three years before on the plan but had failed to stabilize and unfortunately, gained the weight back. Her husband knew how upset this made her and wanted to give her a gift that would help her take care of herself. It was a win-win!

Robin’s journey began on January 4th. By May of that same year, she felt so empowered and positive that she became a weight loss coach herself! And why not? She had shed 62 pounds, was successfully stabilizing, and felt amazing.

She still does.

Robin was wearing 16’s but they were tight. Now she wears an 8 and was able to shop for a bikini this year. Her family is super supportive and often ask, “Can you eat this?” if they are out somewhere new. They, too, want her to succeed.

The hardest thing about the plan for her was setting her mind to it. Learning how to cope with unexpected situations and meals was also a challenge. However, the fact that she could eat real food really helped. She could cook what she wanted and none of the food was processed.

The accountability piece was also vital. Robin’s personal food coach was always there for her. She knew when to check in and was very motivational. Having a person like that in your corner is key to why this plan works so well.

Robin also learned the value of “non-scale victories”. Someone at work called her the “incredible shrinking woman”. Someone else called her “skinny”. Not bad nicknames to have!

Robin and her husband now exercise together. They are taking care of themselves together. The fitness element of the plan, while not mandatory, certainly helped her loss and tightened and toned her body.

Being a weight loss coach now has helped Robin to be accountable. Helping others constantly reminds her of her own journey. Before, she could not get out of her own way. Now, she has already run a 5k and is signed up to run a half-marathon in October!

Robin was done being fat. She knew the path to a healthier person was going to be hard and that she had to be ready. Luckily, she was.

Her cholesterol has lowered. The markers for diabetes which were just showing up at the end of last year have disappeared. She has a new lease on life.

If you want to lose weight the healthy way, cook your own foods, have the support of a private coach in your corner every step of the way, avoid crowded meetings and pre-packaged food…if you want to be like Robin, then contact Mind Body & Soul Fitness today. Yes you can!

Robin Mathews 20 week photo