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I’ve learned so much since I started my weight loss journey and I love sharing those lessons with you! Here are eight things I wish I knew before I started!
#1 It takes more than 3 months to transform your body.
I know you know that. But seven years ago, when I started my weight loss journey, I was 60 pounds overweight and I thought it was reasonable to lose the weight in three or four months. I guess I hadn’t put much thought into it when I blurted it out to the personal trainer that I could reach my goal in three months. He didn’t discourage me, he just helped me move along and do the work.
But there’s something important you should know about a weight loss journey. When you see people who have had amazing transformations in a short amount of time in a gimmicky Facebook Ad, diet trend that seems too good to be true it’s because it is. It’s not real. Athletic women who already have a muscular body and just happen to gain some weight are ideal for these gimmicks. Or I should say her images are. Because she can, really quickly, melt that fat off of her body because she already has the proper foundation. It looks like an amazing transformation because she already had muscle underneath her fat.
I, on the other hand, was never active and did not have an ounce of muscle on my entire body. I was at ground zero. I had to not only lose all of the fat, but I also had to build muscle. That takes time. Frankly, years later I am still crafting and carving muscle on my body. It gets better and better, but it’s not going to happen in 3 months.
I don’t want to discourage you. I’m sharing this with you so you know you’re normal! If you’re not getting those crazy before and after photos, there’s nothing wrong with you! It was an unrealistic expectation set by an industry that’s trying to one-up the competition and promise results. That is never, ever how to go about your weight loss transformation! You’ll get discouraged, you won’t build a healthy metabolism and your body won’t look great.
#2 Cheat meals are just planned binges.
If, for an entire week, you are looking forward eating something on a Saturday night until you’re stuffed you’ve got the wrong priorities. I know it’s annoying, but food is fuel. You need to be putting healthy stuff in your body. I used to eat really restrictively all week long and track my food. Then on Saturday night I would eat three slices of deep dish pizza and feel like total shit.
The reason I did that was because I had the mentality that I was being restricted all week. I hadn’t done the mindset work around the food that I was eating to understand that I was doing something great for myself, not depriving myself. The reason it didn’t feel like fun is because I wasn’t eating fun food. I was just throwing chicken, broccoli and sweet potatoes into a dinner and eating every three hours. There was no joy in it.
The way I eat now- the Bad Bitch diet- is very luxurious. I eat full fat cheese, but I eat very little of it and always with lots of greens. I love things like balsamic vinegar reduction sauce drizzled over my avocado toast. When I eat I make it really beautiful and enjoyable. Then, I move on because it’s not the biggest thing I have going on in my life. My life does not revolve around food!
But when I was tracking so obsessively and then planning out cheat meal binges, all I thought about was food all of the time. You want to be in a place where food is not the most exciting thing in your life. That’s exactly the kind of work we’re doing in the Bad Bitch Starter Kit. Unless you want to spend the rest of your life focusing on food, it’s time to start thinking about what other things in your life you want to be fabulous beside the food.
#3 My body was still going to be my body.
I thought my body could evolve into some version of somebody I saw on Instagram. Within reason you actually can mold your body to be more aligned with what you want. For example, if you have a flat booty you can do a lot of glute exercises and grow your butt. I’ll share with you that I had a great ass a year ago. But I stopped going to the gym and started working out at home because of coronavirus. I didn’t make my glute exercises a priority and now my booty isn’t as great.
Early on in my journey I thought that if I worked hard enough, I could have any kind of body. We’re not Barbie dolls. We can’t just put our heads on a different body. Back then the body I envisioned having is not the body I have now. But here’s the beauty, it doesn’t really matter. As you go through your journey and put the work into yourself, you’re going to build confidence. You may still wish you had a butt like so and so, but you’ll be proud of how your butt looks because of the work you’ve done.
#4 Fitness gurus make a living being fit.
Listen to what I’m saying! A fitness guru’s identity is in fitness. That means they spend their entire day, their entire outfit, the food they eat, and the stuff they share on Instagram all revolves around being a fit chick. Because their income also depends on that.
It’s so important to understand that unless you want to be an Instagram fitness guru, you have to be reasonable.
There’s nothing wrong with these women, they’re amazing. And even though they may not outright say you can look like them, there’s an implication that if you buy their programs you could look like them if you worked hard enough. But the truth is they aren’t doing what they’re selling you most of the time.
Back in the day I used to buy Body Builder women’s magazines. Every single month there would be an athlete that was highlighted. The article would show her workout and meal plan. You know what I mean – “the 20 minute at home workout!” At the time, I legitimately believed I could follow that meal plan and do a 20 minute workout and look like the featured athlete. That could not be further from the truth!
What goes in those magazines or the online articles you’re reading are not really what those people are eating or how they’re working out. I’m not saying they never do a 20 minute workout. But their identity and career is wrapped around fitness so they are almost always spending hours every day doing fitness.
I recommend having a come to Jesus moment. It’s okay that you’re not going to have washboard abs because you have a full-time job. And maybe you don’t genetically have that kind of body. It’s totally okay. There’s nothing wrong with you! Don’t compare yourself to other people because you’re not seeing everything.
I identify as an entrepreneur. That’s really how I spend the bulk of my days. It would be different if I owned a gym and was in the gym all day. I would be training clients, hosting group fitness classes, be on feet all day long and eating out of meal prep containers. But I’m actually a lot more like you. I spend hours in a desk chair. I’ve just found ways to get up from desk chair every hour for a quick walk to get my steps in. I spend a lot of time with my family, so I’ve learned to make quick, simple meals that feed everyone. I also only allocate about 45 minutes a day to exercise and not even very day. I had my own come to Jesus moment about what it would take to look like an Instagram model and I wasn’t willing to do that. To me it’s more important that I get this message out to all of you and keep it real.
#5 Alcohol really matters.
If you count macros- carbs, fat and protein- there’s actually a fourth macro. Alcohol. Now, I’m sober. But early on in my journey I drank and I was really worried about carbs. This was before I got certified and didn’t know any better. I would look at alcohol and think because there were no carbs it was like nothing at all. That could not be further from the truth!
If you’re going to drink alcohol remember that it does have calories in it. And it affects your body differently. It’s different if you are going to eat a quinoa bowl full of veggies or have three margaritas. There are calories in the alcohol plus tons of sugar. Your body processes it differently and you’re going to feel like shit. You’ll probably have an upset stomach. You’ll want to overeat the next day because you didn’t sleep great the night before and are craving carbs.
If you want the most drama-free way to drop weight right now it’s removing alcohol from your diet altogether.
I would do this thing where I would drink and then I would eat something, then I’d lose my buzz so I’d drink some more and then I would eat some more and it would just keep going. Even if it was just two or three glasses of wine. It wasn’t just the wine. It was the extra slice of pizza too.
I enjoy feeling fully in control of myself and I’m less likely to make poor choices with my nutrition if I’m not drinking alcohol.
#6 Don’t make your weight loss journey a group thing.
Please. I’m not saying you can’t join a local gym and take classes there. Some people like that. It’s not for me. I like to have my music on, a little bit of pre-workout, lift and do my own thing. Some people like it to be a communal thing. I’m just not that girl.
If you are, that’s okay. But don’t invite your friends. Don’t invite your husband. Don’t invite your sister. When you start to make this a group effort, you are setting yourself up for failure. Because when your sister says she can’t go then you won’t go either. Or you’re the one who’s pulling everyone to go all of the time and it becomes a giant pain in the ass.
My recommendation is to make your weight loss journey personal. I never required my family to eat differently. I never required that there not be certain kinds of food in the house. This was my own journey and my own personal responsibility. I’m so grateful for that because now I don’t need to pay for a group fitness class in order to have that accountability.
#7 Planning is everything.
In the Bad Bitch Academy, I teach the women about Day 0. That’s Sunday and we use it to set up for total success during the week. Think about it this way. A lot of people work for the weekend so they can spend their time socializing, drinking and chilling out. They think they’ve had such a busy week and they deserve it. But the truth is that you’re really only enjoying two days out of every week when you live that way.
But when you live your life with a Day 0 it sets your entire week up to be more enjoyable.
There’s five workdays so why not take some time on Sunday to create a successful week and enjoy every day, not just two of them.
I think about Day 0 as a commitment ceremony that we live out every single week. It involves meal planning, meal prepping, cleaning up, organizing, and making sure your schedule is mapped out. Being prepared is everything. The best way for you to recommit to your goals week after week is to have that Sunday- Day 0. People say the key to success is to have a morning routine. I love that! But I think even more important to success is having a Sunday routine.
#8 Creating and holding a vision matters more than anything.
It matters more than counting calories or any workout. I don’t know how many times I have taken stabs at diet after diet after diet. Back then, I never allowed myself to fully believe and envision what was possible for me. I just wanted to get through the 30-day program or lose the first ten pounds or get down one size. I never really took time to investigate why I was so heavy in the first place, what I was masking with food, why I couldn’t get excited about what was possible for me and what more than just weight loss did I want in my life.
We put conditions on our happiness and think if we lost X number of pounds, we would be happy. But it’s usually a lot more than that. It’s about how we think we’re going to feel and what we think people are going to think about us. We walk around worrying about how we’re being perceived by other people. When you take time to figure out how you want to be seen by other people and why that matters to you, you’ll have a vision of who you want to be that is so freaking strong. So, even when you don’t want to do the workout, even when you want to make unhealthy choices, you’re able to opt out of that behavior because you know it’s not serving your higher purpose.
If you don’t have a higher purpose other than just losing some weight, it is so much harder. It’s just not the way our brain works. We are motivated by pleasure and want to avoid pain.
In order to encode your brain so it feels like it’s not optional to achieve your goals, you need to be really clear on what the pleasure is going to be like.
The caveat is that it must be in a way that sings to your heart. What I mean is you need to know your purpose. For me, it’s to help other people. Perhaps your purpose is to love other people or to prove society wrong and carve your own path. We all have a purpose and a calling. Once you can figure out what it is you can encode it into your entire weight loss vision of who it is that you want to be.
A great place to start is the Bad Bitch Archetype quiz. It will ask you about what’s important to you. what you fear the most and what you value. These answers will show you more of your purpose so you can live what is most important to you.
What’s your archetype? Share in the comments!
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