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Episode 212: How I Lost the 'Last 10 LBS' Without Dieting, Tracking, or Restricting

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Summary  

I forgot what it was like... carrying weight on your body that you don't want to be there. 

I remembered it in theory.

I remember pinching my stomach with frustration. I remember folding my arms over my torso every time I sat down to hide the rolls. I remember hating sit ups because it made my pooch more pronounced. I remember working out twice a day hoping it would fix the problem. 

But what I forgot are all the emotions you experience on a minute-by-minute basis. 

I forgot that you don't ever get a reprieve from thinking about it because you're living in your body 24/7. 

I forgot that it makes you feel small and insecure. How you find yourself casting your eyes down when people look at you, hunching your shoulders, hoping no one notices you. 

I forgot how uncomfortable it is to feel like a stuffed sausage in your clothes, but not wanting to buy new ones because you don't plan on staying in this body, so you go to the same stretchy pants or flow-y dress again and again.

I forgot how strong that pull is to just not eat, or to cut out all sugar, carbs, and alcohol, or to workout nonstop, or to count every calorie just to get the freaking weight off so you can finally feel like yourself again. Even when you know that isn't the answer.

I forgot how stressful it is to pick between all the conflicting advice out there - should I count calories? Track macros? Intermittent fast? 

But when I got back from Greece the heaviest I have literally ever been in my life I was reminded of it all. And I say this with more empathy than I've had in a long time: it suuuuucks. 

Now before you go off judging me for complaining about 10 pounds when there are people out there struggling with an extra 20, 50, 100 pounds, know that I understand that my uncomfortable weight is a lot of peoples' goal weight. 

But what I want you to understand is all of our struggles are relative. There's always someone who has it worse. But the emotional experiences of shame, regret, frustration, desperation... they're universal and boy did I experience every single one of them. 

I've maintained the same body for a very long time and I truly didn't realize just how triggered I would be when it changed. 

My old disordered eating habits threatened to rear their ugly heads.

Suddenly I found myself saying things like, "My daily almond milk latte is 100 calories, if I cut that out that's 700 calories per week!" 

What the fuck? I haven't thought about a calorie in over a decade. 

I found myself questioning my own knowledge and what I teach.

I remember walking the trail with my friend Sammy and telling her how I had been going back and forth between listening to my body's hunger/fullness cues and making myself wait 4 hours between each meal to help activate my migrating motor complex. 

Luckily during that conversation my own advice smacked me in the face. 

The voice in my head came to me clear and strong: Kat, stop overcomplicating this. You have to just pick a route and commit to it. Stop waffling and move forward already. Your body knows what it needs. Listen to it. 

That's when I decided this was my chance. My chance to prove to myself and you that the way I teach nutrition and weight loss works. 

That you can get your body back without obsessing over calories, macros or points. Without saying goodbye to happy hours or dinners out with friends. Without feeling like life has to come to a standstill to reach your goals. 

So let's break it down. There were 3 areas that I had to really hone in on to get my pre-Greece body back: nutrition, fitness, and mindset. 

Let's begin with mindset...

I was going to start with nutrition but honestly my thoughts were both my biggest challenge and my biggest ally. Once I got my head on straight everything else became significantly easier. 

1. Pick a direction and stick with it. 

I know, you want to pick the absolute best option that will get you to the finish line as fast as humanly possible. But trying to land on the perfect option will only land you in analysis paralysis. At some point you just have to say, "This is what I'm doing, and I'm going all in with it." 

Once you do that, take all other options off the table. Don't entertain other routes, don't keep researching, make the commitment and get to work. 

The truth is there are a million ways to skin this cat. The most important thing is your consistency throughout the process so make sure it's something you can stick to not just long enough to lose the weight, but to maintain it as well. 

2. Truly accept that it's going to take time. More than you want it to.

That voice screaming for a quick fix is loud, so your calm, logical, rational voice needs to be louder. 

Every time I started going down the rabbit hole of wanting to be lean yesterday, I gave myself the same words of wisdom I give my clients when they get antsy:

  • Habits that help you lose weight quickly are by nature unsustainable.
  • Fast weight loss is literally stressful to the body, if I under-eat my cortisol is going to spike and that's going to damage all other aspects of my health. 
  • It may feel like it's taking forever but in the grand scheme of life 3 months, 6 months, even a year is a blip on the radar. 
  • This is an opportunity to build your confidence on things outside of your body. 

3. Do what you can to make yourself feel good now

The first time I realized I had put on weight was when I got home and tried on my every-day jeans. They were wildly uncomfortable and when I sat down it felt like the button was going to pop. 

Needless to say wearing pants that made me feel like a stuffed sausage was not going to make this process more tolerable. 

So I wore clothes that were a little more forgiving and that flattered my current body.

What I did not do is just live in sweats all day - nothing about that would have made me feel confident and I knew the less comfortable I felt in my skin the more tempted I would be to lean on unhealthy habits to get me to my goal weight. 

4. Use the scale sparingly.

I got on the scale no more than once a month and when I did it was the InBody scale at Equinox that showed my body fat percentage and lean muscle mass. 

Because I know the scale can be very misleading. 

For example, after one month I had dropped down about 3 pounds but my body fat was still higher than I wanted it to be.

The month after that I bounced up to 118 - a number that would have sent me into a tailspin before but because I could see my body composition I knew it was entirely muscle and that my body fat percentage had gone down.

Finally I landed where I am now which is technically 3 pounds heavier than my original weight but with a body fat percentage that puts me at the same poundage of fat I had prior to Greece. 

Now that you know the psychology that made me successful, you're probably wanting the play-by-play of what I did with nutrition and fitness to get my body back. 

I've got you, but I'm going to have to be a bit of a tease and make you wait until next week's episode to share all those dirty details. 

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