Weight loss is easy—said no one, ever. It takes a plan, discipline and endurance. It takes a real commitment to future glory while eschewing immediate gratification. It’s tough and once achieved, it’s valuable. Even more so when it’s sustainable.
The desire to lose weight/make healthier food choices/fit into favorite jeans/look good on a beach/ reduce medication is as common as a Honda Odyssey in a school drop-off line—so why do so many people struggle to make better choices when they know it’ll get them where they long to be?
The answers are varied and nuanced but one thing I’ve seen—and it applies as much to weight loss goals as financial,
relational or spiritual goals—is that most times, all people really want is the reward.
We seek to be debt free but make another Target run. We desire more connection with our spouse but choose not to be kind when we’re in a mood. We want to discern the voice of God but find Facebook more appealing than putting our faces in the Bible. We want healthy, fit bodies but have no desire to modify our food choices—forever and change the way we move—daily.
We want the reward—not the lifestyle.
Since that’s not working for most of us--let’s flip the script. Big life changes often originate with subtle shifts in our beliefs. Your circumstance doesn’t necessarily change but how you interpret your environment does—and that can make all the difference.
My encouragement: Seek the lifestyle—screw the reward!
Don’t wish for a great marriage—aspire to be kind to your spouse daily. Don’t wait for a spiritual awakening—wake up and pray. If you need to save money it’s probably a good idea to miss (the) Target too. And when it comes to weight loss, resist the urge to allow three numbers to validate your existence. Instead pursue leafy greens and colorful produce that make you feel alive. Learn to cook great meals. Run so fast your heart feels like it’ll beat right out of your chest. Lift weights. Stand on your hands. Try a new workout.
It’s okay to feel.
To feel alive is at times to be unsure and awkward—especially when learning a new skill.
The style of life you live is more enduring than the handful of days that goals are met and rewards are doled out. Love the lifestyle first.
Determine a plan and stick with it—not for any idealized reward but because it’s the right thing to do. Course correct when adjustments are needed. Hold yourself accountable—while be gracious.
We are what we love and when we live from this perspective, we see the reward isn’t an end in itself. Instead, it’s an external manifestation of an inward conviction. It’s an encourager to say, “Hey! We’re making progress. Keep at it!”
And when the reward doesn’t present as quickly as we hoped—we can be disappointed but not dissuaded. It wasn’t our main objective anyway.
Save your money.
Invest in relationships.
Take care of your body.
Replenish your soul.
What greater reward is there than a style of life that reflects this kind of light?
It’s not three numbers on the scale that prove your value (or lack thereof) but a life lived from a place of love—where you’re valuable and other people are too.
Of course, the irony is when you pursue a gracious, disciplined, healthful lifestyle—rewards are inevitable. We’re often told to ‘live in the moment’ but I’m encouraging to live for the season. The things of the earth take time.
Be patient and wait for what you want for it's the lifestyle that is the true reward.
If you can measure it—you can manage it!
Since 2011, the team at Silverdale Wellness Center has offered Ideal Protein as a weight loss solution. During that time our coaching staff has attended various trainings to develop their knowledge of nutrition as it pertains to weight loss. Since all of our Ideal Protein coaches have also lost weight on the diet, they know first-hand the power of education and commitment.
Technology has also progressed during that time and we’d like to introduce our newest tool in the fight against flab: the FIT 3D Proscanner.
Fit 3D is a comprehensive body scanner and scale the provides our clients with 10 wellness metrics. These include weight, body fat percentage, fitness level, body shape rating (Fit 3D’s alternative to the problematic BMI) and more. The scanner also takes 12 body measurements from tip to tail to ensure weight loss and body composition is on-point.
The Fit 3D is complimentary for all Ideal Protein clients but chiropractic patients can enjoy a complimentary scan to better understand their health.
The scan takes about five minutes. Clients undress to bra/underwear in a private room, scan and then meet one of our team members to review results. Afterwards, with just an email and password, clients can review their results at home—and more importantly, share the information with healthcare providers.
Ask how you can benefit from our Fit 3D the next time you're in.
My family recently took a vacation. We each packed a suitcase of clothing, toiletries and books and devices to entertain us on the flight and set out for adventure. We didn’t take everything we own on our trip. We didn’t even have space to take all our favorite things—but we had what we needed—and we had a blast!
Dieting is like that.
If you want to change your lifestyle—you’ve got to leave something (maybe a lot of things) behind, make do with consuming less and endure.
One of the hindrances to endurance is a faulty and downright deceitful inner dialogue that tends to minimize the consequence of good choices. Everything we do has a consequence and when it comes to dieting, everything we ingest is moving us closer to or further from our goals.
“One bite can’t hurt.”
“I deserve a little treat.”
“I’ll do better tomorrow.”
“I exercised today so my body needs this.”
“I’m not losing weight anyway, so what does it matter?”
“I’ll work out a little longer (to justify a deviation from the diet).”
All the above and any additional phrases that roll around in your mind, are lies—if you are following the Ideal Protein protocol.
Guard your thoughts because they determine your beliefs which in turn determine your actions. Not all you think is true.
Instead, when temptation presents, ask yourself, “Is it worth it?”
It either is or isn’t and you get to make the decisive decision but deal with yourself in truth.
Both my personal wellness journey and seven years of weight-loss coaching has shown me how easy it is to settle with a sweet lie instead of fighting to accept a firm truth.
Ironically, we often feel guilty, depressed or demoralized with the consequences of acting on faulty thoughts—but repeat the behaviors!
Friends, let’s recognize the patterns of deceit in our lives—and shine the light of truth on them. The next time you’re tempted to cheat on your diet, ask yourself, “Is it worth it?” If the cookie, glass of wine or nibble of pizza comes with a side of condemnation and a cup of disappointment, it’s not. Tell yourself that.
Change your inner dialogue and a new life will follow.
Trying to tell the truth,
Recently I was guest on Silverdale CrossFit’s Train for Life podcast. We had a productive conversation about Ideal Protein, body image, wellness and the power of endurance. One of the subjects I discussed was a personal revelation about wanting more than just a thinner body.
I lost my weight when our practice first started offering Ideal Protein, back in 2011. Initially, it was exciting to finally live life at my goal weight and I did everything I could to ensure it. (Incidentally, this is how I know you can keep your weight off too if you make it a priority!)
I did cardio workouts three times a week at my local YMCA and I was very specific about my nutrition—keeping calories as low as possible. I spent about two years in this space—before I grew bored.
Eventually being thin was too hollow of a purpose. Like everything else, it got old.
I was skinny enough—but I was weak. I spent plenty of time on the treadmill but couldn’t run a mile on a trail without extreme fatigue or pain. It was time to change.
The shift it my thinking was subtle but resolute. Now I desired strength and endurance. I didn’t want to merely be thin—I wanted to be an athlete.
Now counting calories wasn't nearly as important as counting reps. I needed to eat more to develop musculature. It meant the scale had to travel North even though my body fat percentage stayed within range. For me, it meant embracing the body God gave me. (Hello quads!)
Life is an adventure and when one goal is achieved, it's time to set another.
I’m not here to tell you what your goals should be—but to give you options. There’s no way around the importance of good nutrition—but that’s a vague term at best. “Good nutrition” should really be defined as eating that which is in accordance with your personal goals--and our personal goals differ. Some of us want to grow muscle. Some want to cut fat and while others are content to maintain their current body composition.
In my line of work, I mostly see people who really want to be thinner. So do it. Get your body fat as low as you can and when you’ve mastered it--go beyond.
Here’s a link to the podcast: “Finish Well” Episode 7 http://www.trainforlifescf.com/latestpodcast
Keeping the weight off is easy—said no one, ever. Most of us have discovered that our bodies have a tendency to store fat—as opposed to randomly losing it, just like our homes have a tendency towards untidiness (vs. tidiness) or our money has a tendency to be spent instead of saved. It’s just so easy to consume more than our bodies need. Surprisingly, this is a good thing as spontaneous weight loss is often an indicator of a serious health condition. So does this mean we're condemned to a love/hate relationship with the bathroom scale?
It depends on the heart.
More than living out what we think and believe (choosing a salad over French fries at lunch because we know it's the healthier choice or lacing up a pair of New Balance sneakers to score five miles before dinner because we know our mood will be enhanced, for example) we will live out what we love.
We are lovers at our core, aren’t we? We rave about literature and movies that move us, encourage one another to follow (or find, or rediscover) our passions, buy homes and take vacations frequently with the adjective “dream” and seek all manner of coping mechanisms to make us happy.
We are lovers. The problem is there’s trouble in paradise—choices to make, emotions to manage, needs of others to consider—and sometimes what we say we love, isn’t what we live.
If your mind is swimming with the existential implications of this reality—fear not, I’m parking the discussion on diet and exercise.
When I hear someone confess to “struggling” with their weight—what I’ve learned to discern is their real struggle is with competing loves. Perhaps it's convenience over preparation or immediate satisfaction verses the delayed variety or a desire for a gym-honed body with zero interest in stepping foot in the gym. See the incongruity? I’m convinced most North Americans would “love” to lose weight—be it five pounds or a hundred—but are they willing to sacrifice for it? Live really differently for a time and then quite differently ever after?
If you’re a person who’d love to lose weight—are you also willing to love the work on the back end of that goal? Setting nutritional standards and abiding by them and allowing exercise to not merely be something you do--but part of who you are? Can you fall in love with nutrition and physical activity?
If the honest answer is “No,” what is it that you truly love? Because our lives are one long love story--sometimes we love wisely and other times...well, you know.
But what if the answer to the question above is "No--but I want to!"
I think that's a great response and we'll explore it on a future post.
Have you seen the movie Embrace? Australia’s Taryn Brumfitt became a body-image activist after posting a unique before & after photo on Facebook. The “before” photo showed a trim and tight Taryn posing in a sparkly bikini during a body building competition while the “after” showed a sitting Taryn, baring a nude profile and a fuller physique. The image captured the hearts of many who longed to have the confidence to simply embrace the body they have.
I confess I haven’t seen the movie—though I plan to, but as weight loss coach for Kitsap’s largest Ideal Protein weight loss clinic, I wanted to share some thoughts on why I think Taryn is on to something.
The list above doesn’t necessarily pertain to weight loss but I’d like to circle back to it because the answer to loving (or embracing yourself and others) doesn’t mean unrestricted indulgences or lack of personal care. The answer to one faulty extreme is rarely the opposite!
I think it first starts with love. I love my body. As Taryn says, it’s not an ornament (that must be flawless, adored by the masses or manipulated)—but a vehicle (to live life), and because I love it, I seek to feed it well and move it often. I want my family to see me making healthy food choices, cooking food from scratch and enjoying the meals we eat together. I want them to see me lift weights and run races and try new things that are tough. I want them to see me evolve too, so some old habits have to go to make room for new ones. Mostly, I want my joie de vivre to be obvious--and contagious so those with whom I interact are encouraged.
Time is finite—so don’t ‘kill it.’ We get one life—one chance to be 20 years old or 40 years old or 80 years old (hopefully) so be the person you’re meant to be. Your spouse, your children and your friends DO NOT CARE about your dress size—but you’ll kill their joy if you’re always the person who’s obsessing about what you eat and how you look. You’ve got to eat to stay alive and you should eat in accordance with your goals—but save the drama. Do what you need to do to go where you want to go.
Beware of those who tell you what to think and how to spend your money. You worked hard to earn it—so don’t squander it on silly gimmicks and diet fixes that are unsustainable. As one who’s been in the weight loss industry for almost 7 years I can promise you, no one product is going to make you slim. No pill, oil, supplement, wrap, tea, herb or exotic berry is going to change your body composition. Do your research by talking with those who’ve successfully managed and maintained a weight loss and follow their best practices.
Finally, what’s the purpose? I can’t begin to answer this for you, but here are some questions to ask:
Friends, just be mindful. Every choice we make has a corresponding consequence. To an extent, life is the sum total of the choices we’ve made and they ultimately reflect our values and beliefs. Finding harmony between belief and action creates a connection called peace. Where peace exists, you’ll find love.
And love is always worth embracing.
Why do so many people gain weight after losing it?
One good answer involves determining what kind of weight was lost. In our desperation to slim down, we can sacrifice quality weight loss (primarily body fat) with a partial fat/partial muscle combination—a natural occurrence if you’re not following a ketogenic diet, like Ideal Protein or if you’re exercising vigorously while drastically cutting calories. If weight loss involves a significant portion of muscle, your basal metabolic rate will decrease and your metabolism will be slower. That’s not our objective and if you’ve lost weight with us, you know that.
But that’s not what this article is about. What if you’ve lost quality weight, dropped your body fat percentage by 5 or ten percent—and you still feel your skinny jeans getting tight. Are you failing? Did the diet fail? Does your body “want” to be overweight?
Learning to maintain a healthy weight is more like doing laundry and less like going to Europe. I’ll explain.
Let’s say you went to Europe—Italy. It might have been thirty years ago, it might have been for only one day—but for the rest of your life, whenever the subject of international travel comes up, you can chime in with experiences from your incredible Italian escapade. It takes no further effort. The story is true and it’s yours.
Now let’s talk about laundry. When’s the last time you washed a load of clothes? When’s the next time you’ll do laundry? Your laundering skills may be utilized daily or weekly—but unlike a dreamy trip to the Italian countryside it won’t be once and it can’t be thirty years ago. The reality is that keeping clothing clean—especially if you have children, takes daily effort and if you turn your back on it—even briefly, you’ll have a mountain-sized pile of stinky socks and dirty T-shirts to deal with.
Keeping your weight off is like that.
We like the words natural and organic. Did you know it’s natural to gain weight? Here are two reasons:
It means you fight back. You develop a strategy. You change what doesn’t work and give yourself grace to learn in the process.
What does fighting back look like?
It means tracking your food, maybe even tracking your macros in addition to calories. You can’t manage what you can’t measure. It means promising to only eat real food—fake food won’t cut it. It means falling in love with your kitchen, because if you don’t cook most of your own meals, you’ll struggle.
It’s time to start running, join CrossFit, try a class at the Y, hire a personal trainer, buy a bike or a treadmill or a jump rope and get sweaty, consistently. Mediocre effort yield mediocre results.
Keep practicing health. I can’t say the battle gets easier but I promise that you’ll get stronger.
I’m glad you lost weight just like I’m happy you took a nice vacation. But do you care as much about the other fifty weeks in the year? If so, it’s time to roll up your sleeves—again, and wash another load.
You got this,
I learn from my mistakes and there is no teacher quite like experience. I ran the North Olympic Discovery Half Marathon from Sequim to Port Angeles in June and I used every training tip I knew to make it count. These are my favs.
I didn’t just run. My training involved early morning CrossFit WODs that included shorter runs, Olympic lifts, tons of squats and super lame attempts at pullups because--without muscle there’s no power.
I ran a lot. Obviously, running is a big part of training. I hit my shorter runs (5-9) miles early in the week and ran the equivalent of a half marathon (13-14 miles) every Friday, for a month, leading up to race day. Race day was essentially my normal, weekly 13.1 mile run.
I was well hydrated. After enduring the effects of dehydration twice (I’ll spare you the graphic details), I was as militant about water and electrolyte replacement as I was about mileage. My goal was half my body weight in ounces of water each day leading up to the race—plus an extra 40 ounces. (That’s the size of my water jug). During the race I slowed at every rest stop for water breaks. It hurt to trade time for hydration—but once you’ve felt your body’s wrath for running dry, you’ll NEVER do it again.
Kick the low carb lifestyle to the curb at least for a couple days. Carbs are quick energy and if you want to avoid hitting that proverbial wall at mile 10, eat a pasta dinner the night before. I did and it was awesome. A couple gummy bears saved me during the race too, providing just enough of a sugar rush to help me finish well—no expensive gels needed.
Celebrate the finish. After regaining brain power (it happened a lot more quickly than before, due to the training tips mentioned above) I did my best to soak up the fun by cheering other finishers, eating the post-race banquet of popsicles and orange slices, getting a massage and sipping my cold beer at the finish line. The best part though, was seeing the excitement and admiration from my husband and children. If mama can do it--you can too.
Of course, this race revealed new weaknesses that need strengthening and that's the wonder of it all. There is always room for growth and the opportunity for improvement for the next challenge.
Training is as much a mental exercise as it is a physical one. It often seems my mind taps out before my body does.
It’s too far.
It’s too hard.
I’m too tired.
I have too many other things to do.
I don’t think I’ve ever had a run where at least once, one of these phrases didn’t pop into my mind. The reality is—they’re all true.
Accumulating miles is hard and who doesn’t have 10,000 other priorities on their to-do list that—at times—leaves you longing for an extra fifteen minutes to lay in bed before the day begins?
Sometimes you need to push through the mental warning while other times you need to prioritize the to-do list and training doesn’t always get top billing. I said it. Sometimes the workout has to take the backseat to activities and loves and deadlines that deserve attention too. After all, who’s the boss—you or your training plan?
This week I had a fun 10 mile run with friends that quickly became a grueling five-mile slog—still with friends. I didn’t anticipate adding a bonus leg day at the gym and an early-morning CrossFit WOD (that happened to target the quads) would turn those aforementioned legs into leaden trunks that didn’t want to move. One mile into my training run and my lack of power was apparent. My mind was telling me to tap out--and I did. I completed half the prescribed run and felt no guilt. Rest is important too. Often, it's your best defense against injuries brought on by overtraining.
Bottom line—get a training plan and stick to it. Progress is going to require effort that's often sacrificial and sometimes painful. But use wisdom and assess goals in light of the big picture. You're the boss and sometimes a good, wise and thoughtful boss, let’s everyone go home early. The work will be there tomorrow.
Until next time,
With less than a month to go my training runs are progressing for the upcoming North Olympic Discovery Half Marathon in June. As a brief recap, I started running almost one year ago (as in never, ever ran as an adult prior) and set my sights on completing this particular race because a Sequim to Port Angeles run along the Olympic mountains and ending on the banks of the Strait of Juan de Fuca carried personal significance—and it sounded beautiful.
I didn’t need a year to go from a non-runner to finisher—no one does, so last year I ran both a 12K race near Halloween and my first half marathon at Christmastime.
Then I took a long break.
I kept my runs to about six miles a couple times a week and started CrossFit, the latter my priority. Lifting has always been more fun than running—even though I was getting schooled regularly and lifting the lightest weight in my class. CrossFit is crazy fun and it appeals to me because it’s grueling but not for long. Most WODs (workout-of-the-day) are completed in less than 30 minutes and in that time you bang out pull-ups, handstands, cleans, jerks and presses…talk about thrilling! Contrast that with running—the same activity… for an hour or more…and you can imagine the challenge.
I contemplated passing on the race. After all, I already completed a half-marathon and felt quite secure that running—though awesome, probably wasn’t going to be “my thing.” Not to mention early morning CrossFit workouts followed by endurance running was intimidating. Mostly, I was afraid of the work.
There’s lots of ways to manage fear. I could hide or ignore it. Or better, I could justify it and explain it away. But I didn’t want to manage fear—I wanted to crush it. So I registered for the half and am currently banging out 22 miles per week. Of course I'm still going to CrossFit (those thrusters aren't going to thrust themselves!) and for good measure, I'm still doing my regular workouts at our local Y.
And that’s where I currently find myself. My secret so far is getting enough sleep, meeting nutritional needs with good carbs, healthy fats and quality protein, and while I plan the next day I don’t spend a whole lot of time dwelling on it. Today has a enough trouble of its own!
I enjoy snacking on Ideal Protein food too. Strawberry Wafers are a great afternoon snack. Ideal Complete is solid meal replacement or recovery drink and the new BCAA’s (Branched Chain Amino Acids) make a great, fruity drink that helps prevent muscle loss during endurance training.
And now it’s time to stop writing and start running. I’ll check back soon!
Dionne is a certified Ideal Protein coach who lost 25 pounds following the protocol way back when. Since then she's learned to cook healthier meals (and actually eat them), get a daily dose of iron in the form barbells and kettle bells and is usually training to improve her time in an upcoming half marathon.