Many people have been eating to numb out feelings of stress, boredom, worry, fear and resentment, as a response to lockdown.
As a result, their weight has crept up the past few months …
A recent poll has found that nearly one-half of all women have gained weight during lockdown.
The thing is we’ve never had a pandemic and health crisis of this magnitude – nearly everyone’s routines were disrupted in some way.
Here is my story…
When COVID-19 started, I decided that I had enough of feeling frumpy and I wanted to put my words into action-walk my walk and talk my talk- with confidence and feel authentic.
You see I wasn’t feeling at home in my skin and in my body AND I was determined to get my” true self” back!
I wanted to get in control of my eating, my weight and my LIFE!
And Be an INSPIRATION to myself and others!
Isolation was an opportunity for me to get myself organised and focus on weight loss by honouring my commitment to myself (meeting my inner expectations first before meeting outer expectations.)
So, I made a personal, and a professional decision…
Rather than being a victim of the COVID-19 pandemic I took control and got in the driver’s seat OF MY life!
In other words, I took control of what I put in my mouth and what I put in my mind.
Climbing Back Up
I knew that the best way to achieve my vision was to prioritise myself and I committed to doing that on a daily basis.
Preparing healthy food, exercise, meditation and finishing work at 5pm was essential to my success.
You see I tend to work long days, I love what I do and I get excited with new ways I can help others live a healthy and happy life- the life I wasn’t living!
That meant creating healthy boundaries and foolproof habits that were enjoyable, doable and realistic.
…and let me tell you it didn’t come easy, I had to work at it daily…
Here’s my backstory
Having successfully lost 50 kilograms 10 years ago, I faced menopause three years ago and my weight slowly crept up.
I was absolutely bamboozled as the strategies that had I used the first time around were no longer working with all the changes that were taking place in my body and mind.
My energy levels were different and to my surprise my motivation dwindled…
The things that excited me previously were not as important or significant as they used to be , I needed a new way forward – yet for some reason I couldn’t seem to get back there on my own…
Here’s What I discovered…
I needed more time for “ME” and I had some lessons to learn and the most important lesson was self-compassion.
If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” – Wayne Dyer
Here are the Three Top Techniques I Used To Lose Weight and Take Control.
Step 1- Healthy Habits & Weight Loss Program.
I decided to do the DownsizeMe Program a habit-based intervention program for weight loss, that I have run for four years.
I knew that this program really works as I did it 3 years ago just before I hit menopause and of course I see the amazing results my clients achieve daily.
The weekly coaching sessions with Melanie White, the founder of this program provided the accountability and support I needed to make the changes.
- I started to practise and have continued Mindful (Intuitive) Eating and food is so much more enjoyable eating this way.
- By examining and reframing my limiting beliefs and stuck mindset patterns, I was able to rewire my automatic reactions to life’s curveballs.
The secret to success is in the preparation
Establishing, regular shopping, food prep and bulk cooking habits (on set days each week) set me up for consistent healthy eating, feeling organised and ultimately, weight loss.
BUT I had to improve my Weekend Habits
– I had to sharpen and improve my eating on the weekends.
Weekends were a challenge for me as my routine was different…
This meant identifying what was getting in my way, and how I could foolproof my new habits.
I took control of my weekend eating by following the steps below:
- Keeping the same routine on the weekends as I did during the week.
- I made sure that I was prepared and organised on the weekends with healthy food
- And I ate three meals per day as I did during the week
- I kept up my exercise routine on the weekends
After 8 weeks l felt confident, super motivated and committed.
I was able to say goodbye to cravings, hunger and food fixation and take charge of what I ate, rather than the other way around.
I’ve lost over 12kg and kept it off and I feel so much lighter and brighter!
Here are the changes I’ve experienced inside and out:
- I am consistent with exercise and healthy eating, I see it as an investment in my future health.
- I am confident and it feels amazing! My outer shell matches the person inside.
- I look good in clothes, I am wearing what I like NOT what just fits me.
- Everything is so much easier walking, all physical activities and I am lifting heavy weights again, which I love!
- I feel confident speaking in front of an audience.
- I am healthy and can run up the stairs and breathe with ease.
- I am a good role model to my kids, showing determination and persistence.
My son said to me recently:” Your motivation and dedication are an inspiration to me. The way you are able to continue pushing forward and overcoming every obstacle in your path- makes me proud that you are my mother”
Consistency is KING!
Our brains require a period of intense focus and repetition to build the skill and knowledge of each habit. After a certain period – on average 86 days (but up to 350 days) – we have enough repetition for habits to become automatic.
The secret to consistency is finding a way to persist for long enough with a habit, so that it can become automatic.
Step 2- Journaling and Reflection
Journaling is my POWER TOOL!
Along with my health and exercise regime, I incorporated journaling as a part my morning routine to manage my emotional health.
Morning Journaling Practice:
Journaling in the mornings for 15 minutes has been very important to my progress and it sets me up for a successful day.
- I journal every morning for 15 minutes and schedule my weekly goals into my calendar.
- Journaling helps me to manage my emotions and improve my reactions to other people’s emotions- and did I mention deal better with stress!
- It helps me to engage with my vision and goals
- I do a thought download and address any thoughts that are not serving me
- It feels great as I work on me first before I give myself to others
Evening Reflection Practise:
I kept this very simple and the practice allows me to review HOW my day went and identify areas that I could improve in.
I asked myself the following questions, with compassion:
- What did I do well today?
- What could I have done differently?
- What are the lessons?
The Three Blessings- Gratitude
We know that gratitude is the best attitude!
So, every night I identified and wrote about:
- 3 things I was grateful for and WHY they occurred?
I also wrote a Letter to My Future Self, 2 years from now…
I discovered this great website called FutureMe.
And I wanted to share a small snippet with you…
“Thank you for creating a calmer and brighter future for us.
The best day of your life was the one on which you decided your life is your own. No apologies or excuses. No one to blame. This is the day your life really began! Your AHA moment was realizing that lightening your load and putting yourself first was much better and in line with you achieving your Vision then taking on too much, feeling anxious and going nowhere fast. Learning to be compassionate with yourself was a great lesson and served you well in going forward in not beating yourself up every time you tripped.”
Step 3- Compassionate Self-Care
When you’re making change, it’s impossible to be perfect all the time.
When we do slip up, our natural response tends to be to punish ourselves, criticise ourselves or guilt-trip ourselves – this can overshadow the progress we are making.
This is a thinking habit and can be overcome with self-compassion.
Practising Compassionate Self-Care has allowed me to take the pressure off and to let go of the expectation that I am a super human who can do far more than I’d expect anyone else to.
- I find It accepts my frustration and helps me practice real self-care, getting out of or renegotiating commitments I can’t possibly finish right now.
- I am then able to accept being where I am and needing what I need as being ok.
- I can fulfil my emotional and physical needs and be OK with doing it.
- By being kind and empathetic to myself – I am able to make time for exercise, yoga, relaxation and meditation without feeling like I have to work hard to deserve it.
Here’s what I did to achieve great weight loss results
I created a regular self-compassion practice – it’s in my calendar as a non-negotiable time as a preventative measure to change self-talk and build resilience.
I believe that Self-Compassion is the Foundation of Self-Care.
They go hand in hand, it’s being kind and empathetic enough to yourself to make time for self-care.
The two terms sound interchangeable, but they contain a thinking versus doing distinction. …
- Self-compassion is regarding yourself compassionately
- Self-care, by contrast, is treating yourself compassionately
Self-care with self-compassion is a gift you deserve and it doesn’t have to be earned.
And lastly, if your weight has crept up AND you want to put an end to it before it’s too late.