So I have been working with a woman for the last year on weight loss that has been doing everything but losing weight until our last visit together when she lost twelve pounds in three weeks. I thought it would be helpful to share with you how she did it after countless months of feeling discouraged and disappointed but never giving up in spite of.
As per our usual appointments, I was expecting her weight to stay the same because her weight had stabilized after the holiday -stress- twenty -pound frenzy. If anything, I was hopeful she could lose at least one pound, but I was not expecting twelve. This was definitely not her MO.
There are three main things that she did differently, and it wasn’t anything groundbreaking. But I do think that this can be helpful to those of you feeling stuck in a plateau or just plain fed up.
I’m going to lay out the three things she did and then I’m going to tell you what I think the real reason was for her drastic change in success:
We would set a goal with a good plan to implement it. She knew she needed to do it and always said things like “I’m going to do this, but I need to get the bike out of the garage and pump up the tires.” Next time I saw her, it would go something like “Well, now I really need an accountability partner, if I could just find somebody to go with me, then I would do it.” Then the next time that I would see her, “Well, it’s too hot outside,” and then the next time it would be, “I really need a gym membership.” Sound familiar to any of you? Maybe you’ve played these broken records to yourself or someone else?
If we are being honest, we could probably say these reasons were valid because we probably all use them ourselves. I will admit during the summertime when it’s 102º outside, it’s very easy for me to use the heat as a reason not to do anything that exerts physical energy.
For my client, she let go of all of her excuses and started swimming laps. She decided and changed her statements to, “I’m going to start exercising and not only that, but I’m going to go walking like I said I was going to do. I’m going to go to the gym like I said I was going to do,” and she just started doing something every single day, accountability partner or not because, when it comes down to it, it’s not the accountability partner’s job to do it. It is her job.
She got rid of soda too, including diet. There is evidence that diet soda leads to weight gain just the same as regular. Most importantly, she started drinking more water. I mean really drinking it, not just adding an extra bottle here and there. I learned the value of drinking more actual water in a recent “water challenge” I participated in just last month. You don’t realize how bloated you feel when you don’t drink it because the human body will retain extra fluid when it doesn’t get enough. When we can really flush our system out by giving our body what it needs, we will begin feeling better by having more energy, being less sluggish and our clothes will fit better, too.
How many of us have used either of those as an excuse? “I’m busy, I’m traveling,” whatever the case may be, “So I need to eat out.” I call that a “necessity” reason to eat out. There is always a way to get around it if you really want to. Whether it be a vacation, work travel, or just a tight schedule, it’s very easy to say that you have no other options but to run through the drive-through.
The problem was it was not helping her reach her goals in any way whatsoever. Sure we can talk a lot about how you can choose healthier options while dining out and how you can eat less, but when it comes down to it, it’s rare where when someone can successfully lose weight and eat out every single day. Why?
Because you have to have a really strong willpower and a really strong resolve to be able to go out to eat almost every day and never choose the fried food and always pass up the appetizers and the dessert enough times to lose weight.
She also stopped with the excuse that “I live alone and it’s hard to cook for one person.” That is another reason people will choose to eat out frequently. It’s a hassle to cook for one person and do all the cleanup. She stopped with that and she found a way. You can too.
So I said that at the beginning that I was going to give you the three things that she did, but, ultimately, why I think it all changed for her. She said something that really stuck with me, “I got tired of feeling the way I did at that weight before.”
This is somebody that came to me every single month for a year with the same excuses and, at one point, I was very tempted to ask her to just not come back because I was really questioning why she was coming to see me. But the only reason I didn’t was that you’ve got to have guts to go and talk to the same person every single time with the same excuses and no results.
She kept going, and that day was the day. That day was the day where she finally showed up and had something to show for it. What is it that you are giving yourself a pass for that is not really a pass, deep down you know it’s just something that you’re giving yourself an excuse to have an out for? If somebody else were to tell you that same lie you keep giving yourself, you would have a good reason for why it’s not true.
Truly what it came down to, it wasn’t anything that she did. It was just the excuses that she let go of and got over, so when there’s a will and a way and you’re just tired of it, you will figure it out.
P.S. If you’re looking for online support with like minded women striving to live a healthier lifestyle, you may be interested in joining my free support group here.
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Jillian McMullen, RDN, CSOWM, LDN