It's a New Year!
Saints be praised.
I think we're all ready for a fresh start, a clean slate, a new jump on our lives and lifestyles.
You can change your life at any moment, any day of the week, any month of the year.
Since there is so much energy around self improvement in January, let's talk about a healthy, steady method for weight loss. Shall we?
Let's do this.
What I'm going to tell you is not a flashy get-thin-quick diet. No.
I want you to hear me when I say this: Dieting is abusive to your body. I said it. It's abusive. Just stop. Your body is too sacred for abuse. Your body needs love and care.
You'll note that I said STEADY weight loss in the title of this blog post. That's because I want to give your body and mind and physical and visual identity time to adjust to your body as it changes.
Have you seen those Biggest Loser contestants who lose enormous amounts of weight only to gain it all back? It's heartbreaking... all that work. But it's too much at once. The body has a comfort zone. Step too far out of that comfort zone too fast and the body will zoom right back to where it's comfortable. Small, incremental changes are easier to adjust to - physically, mentally and emotionally - than a dramatic change.
Here are the Things You Need for Steady Weight Loss:
1. Set up a lifestyle goal around aerobic activity that you enjoy.
This step is crucial - for three reasons: First, you need to let your innermost self know that this is not a short term change - this change is going to be part of your life - the new way you live. Second, regular aerobic activity at your target heart rate is what will allow you to lose weight in a steady, healthy way. Third, you must enjoy the activity. If you dread the activity, if it's too hard, too boring, or too painful, you won't do it. Period. You need to pick something you really like.
Here's a great starter goal for everyone who wants to lose weight: Exercise 3 times a week, for an hour each session, in your target heart range for weight loss.
NOTE: If you're already consistently exercising 3 times a week (or more) for an hour each session in your target heart range and you're not seeing any change in your weight, there are other factors at work. It could either be your food intake, your belief system, or past trauma. You need additional support. We should talk. Contact me. Subject line: Weight loss help.
2. Figure out your target heart rate range for weight loss.
What's your target heart rate range for weight loss? 65-85% of your maximum heart rate. If you're not a details person, don't let this step overwhelm you. This is easy math and good information to know. Get out your smartphone right now and bring up your calculator.
You can find your maximum heart rate by taking 220 minus your age. Do it. Got it? Okay. Now, find the low end (65%) and high end (85%) of your heart rate range. Multiply your age by 65% - or you can multiply your age by .65. Then multiply your age by 85% or by .85. There you go. You've got your range. You want to work hard enough to stay in that range, but not go over it.
If you want to make it super easy to track your heart rate, get a heart rate monitor. I just ordered this one. I'm going to test it out and give you my feedback if you're not ready to commit to buying one just yet. If you've already got a heart rate monitor that's sitting in a drawer somewhere, get it out and use it!
3. Focus on ONE goal at a time.
ONE, y'all. One goal at a time. You will be tempted to change EVERYTHING at once. But it's too much. Once you've got the exercising habit down so that it's second nature, THEN, and only then, will I permit you to add another.
If your goal is to exercise 3x a week for 1 hour each session while staying in your target heart rate to create a new lifestyle, that is your one priority. It's not learning to meditate. It's not establishing a better relationship with your kids. It's not excelling in your career. It's exercise.
You have enough on your plate already with the rest of your life.
One goal. We're going for success here.
4. Commit to your one goal.
Setting a low bar only means setting up a new habit environment where you can succeed. Now - within that framework, you must hold yourself to a high standard. You must manage your self. You must be disciplined. You must commit.
Here's the hard truth about commitment: You will need to say no to other things to stick to your goal. Obstacles will pop up out of the blue. Your own b.s. excuses will emerge. All normal. In fact, those are all signs that you're on track. You will need to dig in and be bigger than your problems in spite of it all.
5. Check your language.
The words you use every day reinforce your thoughts, beliefs and actions. I want you to immediatley stop saying, "I'm trying" about your goal. Instead say, "I'm committed." Or "I'm 100% committed to changing my life." That first statement is weak, uncommitted, doubtful, not helpful. The second has power in it. Words cast a spell over your actions, your expectations and how other people see you. Choose your words wisely.
6. Get support.
It's much easier to reach your goal surrounded by like minded people, especially if your family and friends aren't on board with your lifestyle changes. Here are some options:
- If you live in the Portland/Vancouver area, come to classes at Brilliant Body PDX and get immediately plugged into a positive community in person.
- If you want a surefire way to make sure you're at class, consider becoming part of our Admin Team. As part of the Admin Team you will need to show up for others to make sure classes run. Interested? Contact us. Subject line: Admin Team.
- Make friends with some of your classmates. Carpool and commit to making sure your friend is at class on the same days as you.
- Consider investing in goal-focused coaching. My coaching options are affordable and different from Biggest Loser style coaching in that I address the mental and emotional blocks that have held my clients back for years from losing weight. If you need the focused accountability of a one on one coach, contact me. Subject line: Weight loss help. If you're interested in weight loss group coaching, let me know. Subject line: Group Weight Loss Coaching.
7. Celebrate your progress!
One week of meeting your goal is an accomplishment. One full hour of exercise in your target heart rate range is an accompishment. Saying "I'm committed" rather than "I'm trying" is an accomplishment. Make note of them all. Tell a supportive friend. Congratulate yourself verbally. Make a post on Facebook about how proud you are of yourself. Then do it again. And again. Every little bit adds up and gives you a positive association with your goal.
Listen. These steps are simple - not easy, but simple. Don't overcomplicate the process. You can do this. Allow me to be your coach - either through this blog - through classes - or through coaching sessions. Follow these steps and you will see results.
I'm so proud of you already.
Shout out to Michelle Moses and Charity Taylor for their insights on what helped both of them on their incredible weight loss journeys.