It's happening, the moment you've been waiting all week for. I'm about to spill the tea on the exact steps I took with my food and fitness to lose those 'last 10 pounds' I gained while vacationing in Greece.
But before we get to the good stuff I need you to see me as your personal coach right now. And as your coach I am imploring you, if you haven't listened to (or at least read) part 1 yet... GO BACK!
I know mindset work isn't nearly as sexy as the more specific diet advice, but I swear to you if I didn't get my mind right before this journey started and if I wasn't diligent with it throughout the process I would not have been successful.
If you're a regular listener and are already caught up, let's dive in!
Despite the temptation to hop on some sort of 'plan' or to start tracking my food in some way, there's one thing I know deep in my bones:
When we give our body real, whole food it knows how much it needs. I just needed to trust it.
And the truth is, my year of gut healing work had sent me backwards in that arena.
When you have SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth), you want your gut motility in good working order to push the bacteria, toxins, and food through your system. And one thing you have to do to optimize that movement is go 4 hours between meals.
So for almost a year I ate beyond the point of being full during meals to make it the 4 hour mark.
Honestly it took some practice.
First of all, I kept over-serving myself and for whatever reason wasn't wanting to save my leftovers or throw them away (something I haven't struggled with in years).
But I gave myself tough love and forced myself to stop eating when I was 70% full and just kept reminding myself "If you don't want to worry about wasting food, get a smaller serving next time".
Eventually my eyes caught up with my stomach and I started making the right portions.
You may be wondering how a nutrition coach who never had an issue with portion control could screw up that habit??
But here's what you have to realize: when you have excess fat your body produces fewer hunger hormones and more satiety hormones to bring you back into balance.
I was used to eating portions for maintenance, not for weight loss. So it was an adjustment!
In the 3 months it took me to get my Greece weight off my best friend moved to Florida (and of course we needed to celebrate with lots of happy hours, dinners, and wine nights before she left), I joined a soccer group that did weekly happy hours and parties, and I went to Florida to visit my family where we certainly made room for cocktails and treats.
I didn't deny myself any of it. Because I knew the more I deprived, the bigger the rebound. And honestly I won't look back regretting that it took me an extra month to get the weight off, but I would regret missing out on the memories I made with my friends and family.
But again I listened to my body. Whenever I had an off the rails night, I didn't want to stay off the wagon. The next day I wanted healthy food, a good night's sleep, and lots of water. It wasn't a punishment thing, it's what balanced living looks like. It's what sustainability looks like.
You know me, I am absolutely anti-diet. But we tend to take things to extremes and it seems the rhetoric around not dieting has turned into shaming people when they want to be particularly diligent about their food.
But there's always nuance and I think the intention and spirit in which you choose your food is just as important as what you're choosing to eat.
So yeah, there were some days I felt like eating particularly clean, focusing on protein and veggies and limiting starchier carbs. It wasn't coming from a place of deprivation, starvation, or punishment. It's what my body asked for and so that's what I gave it.
For years my fitness routine has been pretty basic and honestly fairly minimal.
I would do anywhere from one to three actual 'workouts' per week and the rest of my fitness just came from living an active life - going salsa dancing, Katy Trail walks, playing at the American ninja warrior gym with my friends, etc.
This was fantastic for maintaining my physique but when it came to changing my body composition, I had to get more intentional.
I started doing a solid 5 workouts per week (doing a combination of heavy lifting and athletic conditioning) while mixing in acroyoga, soccer, and getting 10k steps most days.
I stopped coasting in my workouts and started pushing myself harder, working to increase my weights and intensity.
I also got wildly intentional about my recovery (train like an athlete, recover like an athlete) by increasing my epsom salt baths, getting a minimum of 7 hours of sleep, and foam rolling more regularly.
I got way more consistent with my workouts when I started shelling out the big bucks to Equinox. I was not going to waste my money by not going.
The threshold for you may look different. Maybe it's $50 per month, maybe it's $250, or maybe it's $2000. But somewhat stretching yourself financially is a fantastic motivator to get you to show up.
I found I loved the feeling of progressing my workouts. I liked seeing the fruits of my labor whether that was lifting more weight, running faster, or developing a new skill.
I loved the mental boost I got from the endorphins. I loved getting pumped up with a killer playlist. And I loved being around people and in a new environment after working from home all day.
Remembering all of that had me coming back even on days I initially didn't feel like going.
When I got back from Greece I started trying some of the classes at Equinox and fell in love.
They reminded me of taking dance classes as a kid - the loud music, the camaraderie, the little bit of competition you felt when looking at the people next to you.
Then on top of that as I mentioned earlier I ended up joining a social soccer league.
I don't know if you know this but I have hated soccer since I was 5 years old and came screaming and crying off the field, hot and miserable, swearing I would never play again.
I was incredibly uncomfortable and nervous going to the first practice, knowing I would make a fool of myself.
And while I am beyond terrible at the sport, I had an absolute blast and it quickly became my form of cardio twice per week.
So don't discount something just because you've tried it once and didn't like it. Let life surprise you by staying open and giving things 2, 3, or even 10 chances!
So there you have it! It took 3 months and some may think that's way too long to wait for 10 pounds. But I wouldn't have done it any other way.
My relationship with food and my body stayed in tact.
I didn't miss out on a single social event.
I proved what I already knew: your body knows best, you just have to get out of its way.
I didn't mess up my metabolism or hormones in the pursuit of weight loss.
And I don't have to worry even a tiny bit that the weight is going to come back on and that piece of mind is worth everything.
And one last thing to remember is the last 10 pounds will never come off as quickly as the first 10 pounds because it's literally vanity weight.
Your body doesn't have any biological reason or need to lose that weight so it's going to take its sweet time with it. That's ok.
If you put your head down, trust the process, and stop watching the clock you will get there.
And if you need help - be it with the nutrition, fitness, mindset, or all 3 - I invite you to book a free consultation with yours truly.
Ready to say goodbye to stubborn weight, uncontrollable cravings, emotional eating, and tummy 'fluff'? Click here to get on the waitlist for Follow Your Gut!!
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