7 Questions to Ask yourself about the use of a scale (and my “no weighing myself” 3 year anniversary)

It’s been 3 years since I’ve weighed myself.  I actually feel a tremendous amount of pride around this victory in my life- because dropping the scale signifies a very important transition in my life from obsessing about weight to living a very healthy and free life away from the chains of the scale.  Weighing myself ended up being an EXTREMELY destructive habit for me, and it wasn’t until I stopped weighing myself that I discovered a balanced way of eating, exercising and living so that I felt happy, healthy, fit, and look great in my body.

On that note- I have a few questions for you to ponder today before we get started.

  1.  If all the scales in the world were set to fire, what else would you use to determine whether or not you at a healthy weight?  And why is that “healthy” for you?
  2. When you see the number on the scale- what other emotions do you feel?  What stories are you telling yourself about that number?
  3. What do you ACTUALLY do different in your life in terms of healthy lifestyle habits from weighing yourself everyday/regularly?
  4. How did you come up with the number that you are ‘supposed’ to be on the scale.
  5. If you stopped weighing yourself today, how else would you stay accountable to feeling and looking great in your own skin?
  6. WHY are you so obsessed with seeing a certain number on the scale?
  7. If you could feel fit, health, strong, lean, thin, and rock an awesome wardrobe would you keep weighing yourself?

And my final question before you read on is would you be willing to ditch the scale, and focus on healthy habits instead?

Read more about my story and maybe I can convince you:

Using a scale was a completely destructive habit in my life that lead to a crazy obsession with trying to always be a smaller/skinnier person. I had no clue how to eat or exercise to support a healthy weight and was using the scale to constantly monitor “how I was doing”. In the end this led to a pretty rocky relationship the scale and I had, with a nasty break up. But in the end, with every relationship that needs to come to an end- the scale and I are much happier without each other 🙂

When I used to weigh myself I weighed myself daily. I always felt pretty shitty about my body because that darn number on the scale always glared “155” at me- when I thought someone at my height should weigh “130”. I used to force myself to exercise and eat well to try and get skinnier.  I believe that making food, social, and exercise decisions from a positive mindset of balance, health, indulgence, joy, and weight maintenance is a good approach. I believe making these decisions solely on weight is very destructive.

It’s hard to describe how unhealthy this daily (and sometimes more than daily weighing when I worked specifically in a weight loss centre) was and how unhappy I was because it seems so normal to behave this way in our society.

Consider why this was unhealthy for me. I was always a healthy weight/healthy BMI. I am 5 foot 7 and weighed between 145 and 155 on average. This put me in the “normal” body weight range for my height. Also- I had a very high percentage of muscle mass and an average percentage of body fat. Nothing about my body was unhealthy, overweight, or overfat, yet somehow I had convinced myself that I was supposed to be smaller.

Seeing the scales saying anything over 155 was a NIGHTMARE

Seeing the scales say anything under 150 was a HAY DAY for me.

Can you relate? I am sure you have your own “set of numbers”.

I truly believe many people are living this way now, and I hope that sharing my story about ditching the scale will help you to loosen the reins and grips on to the scale and look at things in another perspective.

In May of 2013 I started working with a holistic nutritionist. This was the point in my life where I had lost about 20 pounds following a NO carb diet, but in the process I also lost my ability to menstruate, exercise for more than 30 minutes, have any energy to do ANYTHING on nights or weekends besides lay in bed, had developed acne due to so much stress on my system. AKA it wasn’t a healthy weight for me.

Working with this nutritionist I came to realize that not EVERY FREAKING BODY has a ‘standard’ weight they are supposed to weigh.  Some bodies stall very thin and small even when eating poor diets, other bodies are athletic and fit in larger frames.  Some people have bigger thighs or arms or bellies, and all of this makes us unique.

I came to realize that your body can fluctuate 10 pounds in a day depending on how much water and food you ate, how much you sweat vs sat around, and if you took a big crap or not! (Sorry to be so vulgar here).

I came to realize that sometimes I weighed more in the winter because I did less natural movement, and less in the summer, and this was all ok 🙂

I came to realize I was living a pretty shitty existence that was completely based around living a life that would make me skinnier, and in the end it was getting me nowhere.  In the end I was spending so much time thinking about how much I weighed I was missing out on thinking about a lot more important things in life.

After 10 plus years of weighing myself pretty much daily I decided “what’s the worst that could happen if I stopped weighing myself forever”. In May of 2013 I threw our scale away and told myself that I could be a healthy, attractive, slender woman without abiding to some crazy number.  I haven’t weighed myself since.  Even now, I could guess at what the number is- but what’s the point of jumping on the scale?  I never want to go back to the negative mindset I was in before.  I love the routine and positives habits I have set now that keep me thin, healthy, active, and vibrant.

You know what happened first when I ditched the scale?

My nutritionist helped me to take all foods off limits. I had made so many foods seem so “Bad” for so long that I was literally driving myself nuts trying not to eat them. I gave myself permission to eat whatever I wanted. I probably gained a few pounds- who knows! I wasn’t weighing myself 🙂  Did I go on gaining weight forever?

Eventually what started to happen was I noticed negative effects of eating MANY foods. Some of these effects were achy sore joints in my hands, extreme tiredness (falling asleep at work), bloating, upset stomach, mood swings etc.  After eating all the banana bread in the world I wanted for a few months I decided I didn’t really want banana bread, or cookies, or chips, or treats that much anymore because it really messed with my head and my body!

By paying attention to these cues I dialed in on a bunch of foods that when I ate them I felt happy, alive, not bloated, my body felt good, I felt energetic, I felt motivated, and I ACTUALLY FELT LIKE EXERCISING AND EATING WELL FROM A POSITIVE PLACE. I also began to find a balance between how much and what I ate and how my clothes were fitting and how I felt in my own skin. I was able to stop portioning food, weighing food, weighing myself, and being restrictive by just paying attention to how my body reacted to my food intake and exercise regime.  Now that I am on ‘the other side’ of things I can really see how when I stuffed myself full of foods that were bad for my body everything about me physically and mentally was off- I was sick, grumpy, tired, sad, and unmotivated.  I am so grateful everyday at how I feel now, which is pretty much the complete opposite!

From taking the focus off of my weight, then allowing myself some freedom with my diet I taught my body how to enjoy eating well and moving for the sake of FEELING FREAKING AWESOME. Now I wear a size 6 comfortably, I eat food when I am hungry and I eat foods that are delicious and healthy. Sometimes I eat junk food, and it averages out to be about 1 “treat a week”- and other weeks it’s 6!  I can hike mountains all day, do triathlons, run road races, climb rock walls, and cycle for hours, and I BARELY ever give a thought as to how am I going to eat less today to try and turn those numbers down on the scale a bit. Now I eat for fuel, for health, for vitality, and because it’s delicious!  And the best part is that personally I feel like I look much better than I did before while putting 1/10th the amount of thought into it!

So do I think all people should stop weighing themselves? I am really not sure how to answer this one. Some people tell me a lot “I use the scale just to keep myself on track and weigh myself occasionally”. I can see the merit in this. We all need some form of accountability or goals so that we don’t get swept up in our life and forget about staying healthy and active, and perhaps I’ve just switched my obsession with the scale to being obsessed with feeling and looking healthy- who knows.  I also know that not everyone who weighs themselves has all this emotional baggage around the number, and it’s just good to check in with that every once in awhile.  For those of you who can look at your relationship with the scale and say it “works for you” I applaud you, I am glad you read this article to appreciate other perspectives, and maybe something I said in here will resonate to help make your life happier and healthier as well too!

All I know is that it’s important to take care of your mental self first. If your scale says “170 pounds” and that means a lot more to you than just a number, it’s probably time you ditched the scale and took action towards sorting out the deeper relationship you have with your weight.

Research shows that keeping your weight down does in fact promote disease prevention, so that people can live longer and healthier lives with more vitality, and therefore I am a huge advocate of decreasing the appropriate amount of body fat for your body to stay as healthy as you can. What if rather than focusing on the scale number you instead focused on your habits? How many times did you exercise this week? How many vegetables did you eat today? How many glasses of water did you drink? How few hours did you sit down today? How many steps did you get in? How many hours of sleep did you get? How did you manage your stress levels this week? In the end these are the habits that will keep your weight down long term. The habit of getting on the scale and beating yourself up about some number is not a positive habit towards keeping your weight down and living healthy.  Considering we live in a society where something greater than 50 % of our population is overweight and obese, and the diet industry is a billion dollar industry, I really don’t think having a household scale is helping too many people.

So start to making positive changes in your life.  It’s ok to still want to get healthier, focus on your aesthetic goals, look good in a bathing suit, fit into a certain size, and maybe even weigh a certain number- but can you do it positively?  Can you focus on your actions and get to your goal through positive changes and uplifting yourself rather than beating yourself down about a few poor choices or seeing a crappy number on the scale?

So I dare you- get obsessed with daily habits of healthy lifestyles that make you feel good rather than being obsessed with the scale, and in the end you are going to be smaller, leaner, happier, and healthier then when you started 🙂

 

 

What do the words Health and FIT REALLY mean?

So if you have been reading my blog for awhile you know that once in awhile I go on a bit of a rant.  My purpose of ranting is to express what’s on my mind, while at the same time allowing you an opportunity to explore a concept you maybe heaven’t explored before.

So here goes..

For the past year or so I have been exploring why I react so greatly when someone looks at another person’s physical appearance and say’s something like ” Oh, that person, right, she’s the really fit one”, or “You should see him- he’s so fit”.  Or “I don’t know how he’s come down with this condition he looked so healthy”, or ” He exercised everyday he was really healthy”…etc.

Often when describing a SUPER FIT person, from my experience people are referring to someone who has a low body weight, sometimes this person has visible muscle, sometimes not, and most of the time they are being described ‘fit’ without actually having a clue about what they do physically to stay active.  In most of the cases I actually know the person’s current level of fitness (because I have tested/trained them, or know their exercise/activity schedule), and in many of the cases these skinny people are not even active!  Many people genetically are small, skinny, some even have muscular definition and ‘ab’s without exercising!  So it always makes me smile, and become curious- how are these people who I would more likely refer to as ‘skinny’ get so frequently labeled as “fit”….  Label #1- skinny people labeled automatically as fit because of their low body fat.

PS- what is fit?  I am going to mention this a few times in this blog, but I really want you to think about it.  Somewhere along the way the ability to run 10 k, a half marathon, or full marathon has become the idea of being fit.  What if this fit person can’t do a single push up?  What if this fit person can’t get through a yoga class?  What if this fit person can’t throw themselves into a team sport and pick it up?  My idea of fitness is a well rounded athlete who can sprint, run, jump, lift, swim, dance, bump, throw, stretch, and hold!  Aka- someone who is flexible, mobile, strong, and has enough cardio to participate in any sport 🙂

On the other end of the spectrum from the people who aren’t very active, I see people in the gym lifting a crazy amount of weight, or performing fantastic endurance in a cycling class, or in outdoor races, people super active who I think from a society perspective wouldn’t be labeled ‘fit’ (perhaps they are carrying a bit of extra weight, or not enough muscle), yet by physical standards they truly are!  Label #2:  Larger people not being labeled as fit because of excess body fat.

No let’s look at the words healthy.  Sometimes when a person is diagnosed with a disease you might hear others say “I don’t get it, he exercised regularly and took good care of himself”, or something about how ‘healthy’ this person seemed.  But what we don’t realize is that even if a person is running marathons, they may be filling up on processed foods, may be super stressed at work, may have a shitty social life, all leading to an overall unhealthy body.  What a person does athletically is very minimal in the grand scheme of things in terms of being healthy.  Heck- if you truly just wanted to use exercise for health you would walk/jog/bike moderately a few days a week, do a bit of yoga, and lift weights twice maybe.  Health doesn’t mean running marathons, powerlifting like crazy, or working out everyday, that’s ATHLETICISM!  Label #3:  Fit people being labeled as healthy because of their exercise level.

Am I ever advocating that being overweight is healthy?  No.  But what I am advocating is that people come in all shapes and sizes.  One person may get active everyday in a variety of ways, eat clean 80 % of the time, sleep well, and de stress regularly, and have a body mass index of 27 (considered overweight), whereas another may do the same and have 19.  Healthy is behind the scenes.  Healthy is what’s going on with your digestion, what’s going on with hormones, what’s going on mentally, what do your blood levels look like, etc.

So what does a healthy person look like?   I think a healthy person is someone with joy on their face, glowing skin, a balanced life, a nice smile and ability to socialize, someone who takes care of their fitness and nutrition in a balanced way.  Their body is a natural weight for them they they maintain by being active and nourishing themselves with good whole foods.  A healthy person seems happy, someone you want to get to know!  That’s my belief anyways…

So what about Athleticism, body builders, crossfit athletes, marathoners, etc.  Are these people Fit?  Yes!  In different ways of course, and so there it becomes tricky again!  Who is fitter?  A body builder who looks lean and ripped?  Or a marathoner who looks frail but can run for four hours at top speed?  I have my beliefs, but what are yours?  Are these people healthy?  This is where I wouldn’t automatically agree yes.  Depending on what sport you do, how vigorously you do it, if you provide yourself with enough fuel and rest to compensate, and what crazy extremes you go to to perform your sport, it may not necessarily be healthy.  Body builders will often dehydrate themselves, train multiple times a day, and take plenty of supplements to achieve a certain look, I can’t agree that this is ‘healthy’.   Label # 4:  Fit people being labeled as healthy because they look lean and muscular.

I believe that if you know me well, or you read my regularly, you know that I have had body image issues in the past.  I believe that working as a very fit averaged weight trainer has taught me a lot about these words and what they mean to me.  I believe that when ‘skinny’ people are called ‘fit’ I am triggered, because I know that fitness comes in all shapes and sizes, and that most of this blog is stemmed from that.  I encourage you to look at yourself, look at others, and look at how you group them into categories.  I bet you don’t even realize how ‘fit’ you are because perhaps you are so used to focussing on those 5 extra pounds you are carrying.  Perhaps maybe you assume you are healthy because you are active regularly, or maybe you eat well?  Think about the whole picture 🙂

For me- when I weighed the least (15 pounds more than I do now) I got PLENTY of compliments about how great I looked, how ‘fit’ I looked.  Internally though I had developed two conditions because my body fat % was too low, I had also lost my period, I didn’t have enough energy to have a work life, social life, and clean house, and I drove myself mental with trying to follow a strict diet.  I was not HEALTHY, and I couldn’t get through more than a 45 minute workout without my muscles seizing, or me taking a supplement, because I wasn’t fit or nourished enough.

Anyways- I hope this helps you in some way.  What are you exercising for?  To actually be fit? To look fit? To be healthy? To be an athlete?

How do you define yourself and others?

Share this with someone who might be inspired by these words today, might need them as a pick me up, or might resonate with my message 🙂

What is your “leanest liveable weight”

Recently I converted my blogs from another site to this one, wordpress.  In doing so I have started exploring some of the other health and fitness blogs on here.  Along the way I came across a simple three words an author had written.  “Leanest liveable weight”.  These three words struck me greatly!  I think finding your leanest liveable weight is what so many people struggle for!

Most of us have had an experience where we are ‘trying too hard’ to be lean, fit, and skinny.  We are doing things like 1)  Eating too few calories, 2)  Exercising too much, 3)  Taking pills or supplements etc. to get leaner 4) Doing things that aren’t so natural, to achieve our results.  Most of the time we do get very skinny, while at the same time we may start to be freezing cold all the time, choose going to the gym over social situations with friends, having anxiety around dining out at restaurants, decide not to go on vacations in fear of missing out on our ‘routine’.  Can you relate?  I know for me when I thought I was living most ‘healthily” my LIFE was suffering.  You couldn’t have argued with me about it then.  I would have told you I was ‘just being really healthy’ or I would have even judged you that you weren’t trying to be as a healthy as me!  In the end though, I was giving up too much of my life for this idea of being lean.

Some people are lean, and can become leaner with some small changes, dedication, and motivation.  There are many other bodies out there that are happiest around a 20-25 % body fat.  These people too could get lean, and often this is at the expense of their livelihood and happiness, and sometimes health!

Recently I noted how nice it is that I can visit restaurants 1-2 times a week.  I get to try new foods, explore new areas of Vancouver, and connect with all types of friends.  I have been reflecting a lot to 2-3 years ago when dining out was something I would only allow myself to do once a month.  And it was a BIG DEAL.  I planned it out, looked forward to it, and it was an event!  I was too paranoid about going ‘off plan’ to dine out more than that.  Is that liveable??  Some people may say it is!  For me, it wasn’t.  My boyfriend, friends, and even myself enjoy going out for dinner.  By trying to be ‘leaner’ I was missing out on some valuable connection, relationships, and love!  Obviously there are plenty of other ways to enjoy time with friends other than food, I know 🙂

What about exercise?  Back in the days of trying to be super lean exercise was something I didn’t miss for the life of me.  Maybe I had a horrible sleep and only slept 5 hours, or had just worked a 12 hour day, or hadn’t gotten a good meal in that day.  Or maybe friends were going out, or getting together, or I was supposed to be calling my mom that night.  Exercise came first.  It didn’t matter what suffered.  This wasn’t liveable.  It was unhealthy in a physical and emotional sense.  It’s important to be dedicated, and exercise and your lifestyle should be in a happy balance!  Yes you should MOVE your body everyday in some form, for sure, but you don’t have to be CRAZY about it!  So for me, trying to stick to some crazy plan of exercising to get lean was not liveable, but what is liveable is balancing exercise with my life!

And what about sleep, cooking, fostering hobbies, enjoying time with family?  Are you dropping these to the wayside to ensure your weight, fitness and health don’t suffer?  Just take a look.

Obviously I am not posting this for you to give up all dedication and motivation to be lean, strong, healthy, and at a comfortable weight for you.

When it comes down to it, make a decision.  If you know it’s going to take cutting wine down to one glass a week, really lowering your carb intake (way less sushi!!!), and going to the gym everyday after work instead of giving yourself  a day off to be social, then is your ‘weight’ that important to you?  It may, it may not be!

Find the balance.  Find what allows you to be happy, fulfilled, and fit!!

Oh and as a side note.  When you are online, looking at all types of fitness models and celebrities etc. this is another reason not to compare yourself to them!  Maybe their ‘leanest liveable weight’ is because as part of their day they are given time to exercise, perhaps their meals are prepared for them, perhaps their kids are looked after so they can manage their stress.  Perhaps they have access to all types of support to make it happen.  You don’t know, right?  So don’t aim to be their leanest weight, aim to be YOUR leanest, liveable, HEALTHY, weight!

Pyramid of weight loss !! :)

Slide1

Are you trying to lose weight?
Do you struggle to maintain weight?
Are you tired of yo yo dieting?

When I have tried to lose weight in the past I have tried a million different diets, while busting my butt in the gym.  In the end, did I lose weight?  Sometimes, sometimes not.  What wasn’t working for me?  I wasn’t dealing with the underlying issues of what was causing to me have such an unsustainable weight loss.  We need to deal with the underlying issues that aren’t allowing us to be our fittest and healthiest selves.  We can’t use willpower to bring us to the gym and to eat healthy for the next 80 years, we aren’t robots!  And if we don't deal with the underlying issues our weight continues to yo yo.

So take a look at my diagram.  How often do we start at the top and work our way down?  Usually people assume if they work out more, work out harder, limit calories, you will lose weight and be happy with your body and live happily ever after.  Am  I right?  What I am going to suggest to you today is that things work in the other direction.

An unfulfilled person, a person with no passion in life, a person without close relationships or communities, a person who hates their job, a person living a life without joy is not a person in love with life!  Not a happy person!  An unhappy person isn’t driven to exercise everyday, isn’t driven to cook healthy meals for themselves, isn’t excited to take care of themselves and their bodies.  A person struggling with relationships, negative self talk, annoying coworkers (!!), is a person probably with more cravings, is more tempted to indulge, is less motivated to exercise.  A person who is challenged by managing their own emotions may need junk food, and sugars, and caffeine to improve their mood and make themselves happy.  A person with low self confidence and esteem, perhaps struggling with some body image issue will find it challenging to commit to an exercise program or healthy eating patterns.  A person with a weight issue is never struggling with a lack of knowledge of what to do in the gym or in the kitchen, there is always some behind the scnes work to do.  How do I know all of this?  I've been there, and so have many of the 100's of clients I have worked with over the past 4 years.

And believe me, it's not a direct correlation!  You don't sit there eating a tub of peanut butter thinking "hmm I must be craving and binging right now because I am not living out my purpose".  It doesn't work that way.  Urges to overeat, make ourselves feel good by eating sugary foods, or numb out by eating huge portions are just symptom that something internally, whether it's psychological or physiologically.  You might even look at your life right now and think there's nothing major going on that must be causing weight gain.  It doesn't have to be major.  The smallest fear, insecurity, issue, etc. can be altering how we make food and health chocies.

What I am suggesting is that when we improve our self confidence, tackle our relationship issues, find a job or career that inspires us and drives us to improve and achieve, have hobbies that spark our creative interests, and overall feel fulfilled then exercise and nutrition is no longer a struggle.  A happy person with a well balanced life doesn’t think twice about indulging here or there, because they know that indulgences are part of a well balanced diet.  Not only does the person who manages that bottom tier of the pyramid lose weight, but they successfully maintain it long term.

When I worked a job I wasn’t super into just to pay the bills, I wasn’t happy.  When I lived my days forcing myself to do certain exercises, activities etc. that I wasn’t pumped about, I wasn’t happy.  When I was hanging out with people that I didn’t totally connect with, I wasn’t happy.  When I wasn’t being authentic, honest with myself, sharing all aspects of who I am to those that are close to me, I wasn’t happy.  As a result I binged, I craved, I overate, I overe xercised.

Throughout the period of two years I sorted out those aspects of my life through personal development, Homeopathy, coaching, and having friends who truly listened to me!  I transformed my work life, personal life, relationship with self and others, and as a result now food no longer has a grip on me, I eat when I am hungry, and exercise daily for the joy of it.  It’s a nice change from the crazy cycle of bad behaviour I was stuck in for years.

Not every weight issue is due to an issue in the bottom tier of the pyramid.  Some people in fact are on a poor eating program simply because they don't know the optimal way to eat.  So don't let me sit here and tell you that your extra pounds are caused by imbalances emotionally/psychologically.  I just offer this first tier as an explanation as to why weight loss and maintainence can be so challenging and often not sustainable when the root causes aren't adressed.

Tier 2:  Once we have these aspects of our lives sorted out we can take a look at our nutrition and physiology.  There is no one diet program that works for all.  The principles that do work for everybody are: 1) eat when you are hungry, stop when you are full. 2) Get enough of all the food groups in, 3) don’t restrict or deny yourself.

I also suggest working with alternative health practitioners to sort out the physiological side.  Take a look at your hormones, your liver health, your vitamin and mineral status.  Lacking certain vitamins or minerals, having your hormones out of balance, or having a thyroid issue are all challenges that may affect your weight.

TIer 3:  Next up is really start to master your heavy strength training routine.  Building a solid muscular base to your body is key for being able to easily maintain your weight long term.  Mobility is also next most important.  If you don’t have range of motion, stability, proper motor control, and good posture I don’t think you should be moving up on the ladder yet!  We need to build our strong flexible base first before we start running or cycling miles everyday!  What most people do is start doing massive cardio without getting strong and mobile first.  This is just a recipe for disaster and potential injury.

Tier 4:  After you have mastered all of these aspects it’s time to move up to the cardio.  Cardio (walking, running, swimming, cycling sports etc.) is important, and I firmly believe it is one of the last things you should think about.  If you are largely overweight, have always yo yo dieted etc. cardio is not the solution to your problem!  Fix the other levels first, then bring this in to a greater degree.  Cardio should be equivalent to active living, something you get in throughout the day, doing activities you enjoy that elevate your heart rate!

I am not suggesting you ignore all the levels until one is mastered, stay focused on them all, but master the bottom one first, then move up.  Look at weight loss as a long-term life changing, lifestyle altering goal.
I am also not suggesting that all people who have struggled with their weight, or who are overweight aren’t happy.  What I am suggesting is that our emotional and mental states play a much greater role in our overall health and fitness than we realize.  And that maybe if you have tried the cardio and cutting calories approach, it might be time to try something new.  I am not a psychologist, I am not a counsellor, I can't support you in overcoming life long emotional issues.  What I can do is bring awareness, and connect you with people who may be able to help!  I challenge you to learn from my experience and compare it to your current reality.  Does anything I have written about here resonate with you?

PS-  I get about 5-10 e-mails a week of people who read the blog and want to share their story, or their experience from reading it.  I challenge you to post your comment to the bottom of this blog.  One of my goals is to create a community of people that connect and support each other.  By posting your comment there we can all interact with each other!!!

xox

Katherine

Why Willpower isn’t always the answer (and why you should throw guilt in the garbage).

When I hear things like:

"Oh I tried that DIET and then Christmas came and I lost all willpower and gave up"
Or
"  I had no will power tonight to stay away from those cookies"
Or
" I couldn't muster the will power to make it to the gym tonight"

I get bothered.

My reason?

I feel like when the body sends a signal such as "stay home from the gym", or "have a big plate of christmas dinner" it is telling you that for a reason.  Perhaps your body needs rest, or needs a good meal because you haven't been eating properly lately.

Or

Perhaps there is a physical/chemical/emotional problem going on the body that is asking to be taken care of.  Perhaps it's an issue a chiropractor, homeopath, naturopath, or accupuncturist could help take care of?  Especially if these types of instances are happening frequently.  (Because sure every once in awhile we all don't feel like going to the gym or resisting the cookies).  The most common reasons why I tend to make decisions that aren't totally aligned with my health goals are:  feeling overwhelmed/tired, bored, procrastinating, not letting my emotions out, and feeling sorry for myself.  Therefore by dealing with these issues I don't have to rely on willpower anymore!!

My Point:

Anything that you continually have to force yourself to do long term is not sustainable, and therefore by making yourself do it, and sometimes caving and not following through you fall into a guilt/shame cycle.

You say you HAVE to go to the gym to lose weight, so you force yourself to go 5 times a week, if you end up skipping a week you feel like you lost your willpower, feel guilty, and feel as though you've thrown your goal out the window.  (Maybe not always to the extreme).

Instead:

Get to the bottom of why you have to use so much 'willpower'.  Are you struggling with over eating, and need some counselling/support, have you not found a gym/trainer that motivates you and inspires you to come back to the gym?

AND

If you skip a workout, or gain 5 pounds over christmas, or give in to a few cookies here and there- don't blame it on your will power.  Make the conscious decision to skip, or give in, and be satisfied that you made the right decision for your body at the time.  GUILT is making you feel like a failure as a person and only leads to further destructive patterns down the road!

This is something I have overcame over the past 3 years- if you are looking for support/guidance, please e-mail me katherine@optimal-health-coaching.com

How to make best use of your personal trainer.

Just like when working with any type of professional, coach, or service, it is important to realize that the majority of the 'work' and results will come from 90 % of the effort the client puts in.

For example.

If I were to pay a book keeper for my business, and neglect to give her half of my paperwork, my book keeping services won't make sense.

If I were to hire a business coach, and never do my homework, I am not going to see the results in my business just from hiring a coach.

You get the idea.

Same thing goes for a trainer!  So here are my tips and tricks that I use when I hire someone to coach/consult/provide a service for me, and as my client I suggest you to do the same!

1)  Come to each session with questions written down.  Keep a journal/notebook with you and when questions arise, record them and have them answered quickly at the beginning of the session, or send them in an e-mail at another time!
2)  Be very clear with your coach about what best supports you.  If you wish I were more of a boot camp instructor, and pushed you harder in the sessions, I need to know!
3)  Call/text/e-mail as much as needed.  Don't be afraid to reach out to your coach.  They monitor their e-mails and will answer when appropriate.  The more you can keep them updated with how things are going for you, the better they can support you.
4)  Always show up 5 minutes early, do your warm up, and be fuelled up and drank lots of water that day.
5)  Get a lot of sleep.
6)  Make the service you have purchased a priority.  I always ask my clients "why is now a good time to start personal training".  It's a huge commitment to change your fitness and health, so ensure you know the time requirements and are ready to commit to them.
7)  Do your research into your coach, shop around, find the right fit (see my blog about hiring a personal trainer).
8) Record your food, ask for advice, ask for accountability, take responsibility in your food decisions and get proactive to eating healthier.
9)  Understand that fitness and health is more than just training a few times a week with a trainer, and be open to other lifestyle suggestions.
10)  Ask questions, be honest, be open.  If something is or isn't working, make sure your coach knows right away before it becomes a problem!
Katherine@optimal-health-coaching.com

Guest Blog post from Laura H. (Holistic Nutritionist) about WEIGHT LOSS

Thank you to my lovely nutritionist for posting this article for my clients and readers.  She discusses how she works with her clients to help them to start losing pounds in a healthy sustainable manner!

I love working as a nutritionist because I experienced firsthand how medicinal food can be. I am

very fortunate that I have found the path of health and can say that my days of hospitals, doctors
and medications are behind me. My passion is helping others find their health and learning how
to feel amazing again using food that is suited for their body.
Weight loss is a billion dollar industry and there are so many products, drinks, yogurts and
programs that promise you will lose weight. These products never deliver on their promises
and that person ends up gaining more weight in the end. For a lot of people, weight loss is an
ongoing battle, and one that they never seem to be able to win. Most also think that it is as
simple as “calories in, calories out”, which in theory should work but often times doesn’t.
While working to lose weight, most people restrict calories, avoid fat and eat low calorie
processed foods. This is a recipe for disaster for a few reasons:
1) Calorie restriction puts your body in starvation mode. Every time you eat something, your
body will store it as fat because it doesn’t know when it will get fed again.
2) Restricting or avoiding fat will always leave you hungrier for more after meals. Fat adds
flavour to foods, makes us feel satisfied after eating, helps our bodies absorb vitamins A,
E, D and K, and it helps make hormones!
3) Not all calories are created equal. The type of nutrition you can get from a 200 calorie
smoothie made with avocado is vastly different than a 200 calorie energy bar made with
corn syrup and soy protein.
When I have a client who wants to lose weight, the first thing we look at is what they’re eating.
Are their foods from a box or from the produce drawer in the fridge? Do they eat fat or avoid fat?
We work together to incorporate foods for their constitution and work towards following a whole
foods diet and throwing out the boxed/frozen meals.
Tips on working towards healthy and sustainable weight loss:
1) Eat low GL (glycemic load) foods. Foods that increase blood sugar are more likely to be
stored as fat if the energy isn’t used immediately.
2) Increase your greens! Foods like broccoli, spinach, kale, asparagus and brussel sprouts
are all high in vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants. Antioxidants are free-radical
scavengers, which means they look for the bad guys in your blood and kick them out. This
means that your cells can thrive in a healthier environment.
3) Drink lemon water! Lemon is amazing for revving up your digestion and supporting liver
and kidney health. Since your liver has to filter everything you put in your mouth, having a
healthy liver is crucial for weight loss.
4) Apple Cider Vinegar. It takes a while to get used to, but Raw, Unfiltered Apple Cider
Vinegar before meals is very beneficial for digestion. Most people have too little stomach
acid causing bloating, indigestion, gas and constipation. Poor digestion means your body
is going to hoard anything that it does absorb which means weight loss is going to be
more difficult.
5) Get moving! Exercise is shown to increase serotonin, keep bones and joints healthy and
helps to maintain a healthy muscle mass. Muscle takes more energy for your body to
keep so keep building muscle and enjoy eating!

Check out Laura's Website at :

http://www.nutraliciousconsulting.com