Counting calories to lose weight in my world of weight loss is KING. I was able to lose MOST if not ALL of my weight by meticulously counting calories.
But, like all things there are some folks who are so negative about a good thing. They call counting calories to lose weight unsustainable, tedious, & unhealthy.
I count calories religiously and I will tell ANY weight loss hopeful to do the same.
But just to be on the fair side of things, we will spend some time talking about both negatives and positives. I think by the end of this you’ll be more inclined to begin the counting than not.
Of course “negative” sides exist, but I’ll show you why you should look past those and count TF out of your calories daily.
How Do I Count Calories?
I count calories like anybody else.
I look at the labels to determine the serving size. And If I am feeling particularly picky, I’ll scrutinize the macros too. Once I determine the serving size, I plug the info in the calorie app and bam I’m enjoying my meal.
This is how everybody counts their calories.
If apps aren’t your thing you can also jot them down in a notebook but you’ll need to know the specific calories of each item of food.
I Count Calories?
If you’ve been keeping up with my journey for a while then you know that I’ve been losing weight since losing weight been losing weight.
Did you catch that? I said, I’ve been losing weight, since losing weight, been losing weight. This means that I’ve been at this weight loss thing for a while now. I’m not a single or double digit–weight loserer (made complete sense to me).
When I start the journey, I usually have BIG triple digit numbers to lose. That means that once we start this journey, I’d better strap my seat belt on tight AF because we’ll be on this weight loss ride for a while.
Simply put, I count calories because, time is a-wasting.
Guessing the numbers & hoping and praying it all works out in the end–is a big time waster. I think that when you’re first starting out its advisable to start with just cutting back on problematic foods. Cutting back gets you into the swing of being without your faves without feeling completely deprived. A super-duper KEY to my weight loss.
But once you’ve moved past the first couple of weeks on the journey and those little Bambi legs are long and strong, it’s time to count them calories, boo.
This leads me to my very next point which is a clear example of how NOT counting calories wasted about 3 months of my time.
Counting Calories Fool
Proof’s The Journey
If weight loss is basically summed up into one very clear & widely accepted rule of creating caloric deficit, how do you know if you are in deficit if you are unaware of the calories in which you must deficit (on a roll with these made up word/analogies).
In my journey there was a point where I was not counting calories (the horror). I was doing everything right. A gallon of water was required drinking and I nailed it–daily. I ate completely clean, whole foods only. I had lots of protein, piles of vegetables on my plate but a month had gone by and I was down maybe 2 LBS.
I became extremely frustrated with my progress (or lack-thereof) that I almost gave up. Then I decided to really up the ante and count my calories. The very next month my weight loss hit almost 8 LB. That’s 3x’s the amount it was when I estimating alone. When I was 277 lb, I stopped eating ice cream and drank 2 gallons of water and saw a dramatic drop in weight. But as I continued to lose weight, those methods stopped being effective.
If I wanted to keep losing weight, I had to get a little more deliberate. There is nothing more deliberate and intentional when you want to lose weight than counting calories.
Counting calories is a deliberate action towards weight release.
Counting calories fool proof’s the journey by making it easier to stay within a range that facilitates or makes losing weight happen. There isn’t any guessing whether or not what you’ve been eating and how hard you’ve been exercising is working. Calorie counting–if you are strict, will get you there.
There is no doubt in my mind that folks can lose weight by simply eyeballing their portions and reducing problematic foods. I’ve done this multiple times and at the very beginning this kind of “intuitive” eating is effective but will quickly become unsustainable.
Intuitive eating is like the hippie version of how to lose weight and like hippies, long term effectiveness can become a bit flaky.
I think of counting calories as an accountability partner.
Counting calories forces me to be aware of when I am coming close to my threshold and I absolutely cannot afford to “bite” or “taste” anything else other than what has been planned for the day.
In essence counting calories to lose weight makes it less likely to cheat on the journey. I am less inclined to cheat because I have a visual representation of my over-eating. Counting calories or even just having a basic idea of the calories in each meal gives me the cues I need to either STOP eating or increase the nutrient density in each meal to avoid hunger.
If I am not counting calories, I’m going to gain weight. When I am not counting my calories and keeping track of my intake, eating feels like a free-for-all and I begin to consume more than I normally would.
When you count calories, you are sending yourself signals about consumption that you normally wouldn’t had the accountability factor of counting your calories did not exist.
If you go beyond your caloric limit, that is an active choice and you’ll have to do a different set of work to resolve those issues. But, you can think of calorie counting as your accountability partner.
What Are The
Downsides To Calorie Counting?
There are downsides to EVERYTHING in life even my fave, counting calories. The good part? There aren’t many, just about 3 universal negative arguments against counting calories.
I’m a libra and we are the FAIRest of them all, so we’ll dig into some downsides & how to overcome them.
Downside 1: Counting Calories
Can Mentally Deter You
If you aren’t deep into the journey, you may not know how your body functions with different macros & various times of the month.
For example, there are some days where my calories are 100%. But, maybe my sodium level increased. The next morning when I weigh myself the scale can either not budge or become inflated. For the new weight loserer–this is disappointing. Disappointment can lead to a backslide.
If you weigh yourself as frequently as I do (daily) then the possibility for discouragement is HIGH HIGH HIGH especially in the beginning.
Once you’ve learned what works for your body, such as what stalls the scale then you can take the disappointment and turn it into sheer motivation to do better.
The greatest part about counting calories is you have a set of data that will continuously give you insight to your progress. The data you collect will make it easier to make changes as you progress in the journey. BUT, nothing motivates me more than reading the data & seeing that I had been sort-of-kind-of staying compliant & the seeing sort-of-kind-of results reflected on the scale.
I became invigorated & ready to buckle down & commit fully to the journey. It never fails but this kind of mind trick takes time to develop.
Downside 2: Counting
Calories Is Tiresome
This is probably the biggest push back anti-calorie counters folks will argue. But it’s on deaf ears for one simple ass reason. Counting calories is only tiresome if your goals are dependent on time rather than progress at any rate. A super duper key to my weight loss has been knowing that it will take some time. If overnight success is your goal you’re not very steady in your process.
Weight loss takes time & requires an enormous amount of effort. Counting calories is both of those things. Keto is hard. We eat hoards of carbohydrates daily & cutting back is extremely challenging but science shows that you’ll see results rapidly with Keto hence it’s huge following despite in effectiveness long term. You can’t do Keto for the rest of your life but you can learn how to control portions, serving sizes & re-direct “hunger.”
Truth is, taking the time to count those calories is a minor inconvenience at most.
My final thought on the idea that counting calories is tiresome, it’s either I know where I stand each day with my weight loss efforts, or I waste time guessing & hoping that my quick and easy guesstimates result in weight loss.
Losing weight is a series of choices.
All of it will feel hard at the very beginning but it’s those of us that continue to move past discomfort that make it to their goals.
Downside 3: Counting
Calories Is Not Sustainable
Counting calories is probably the most natural way to lose weight. You gained the weight by not being cognizant of the intake of problematic foods in the first place. Shouldn’t the first line of defense be to reverse that action?
I’ve been counting calories for almost 2 years. Counting calories is not the most tedious task a person can take on. I eat most of the same things each week during the journey. This makes it kind of sort of easy to plug in my meals as my food is being prepared/cooked.
When you’ve been doing it for a while, it’s not something that feels like a chore it becomes as natural as breathing.
Counting calories is very sustainable for long periods of time because it teaches you about self control.
Fad diets like keto result in quick losses but once you begin to eat higher amounts of carbohydrates your efforts are reversed and weight is regained.
Counting your calories can be as little as reducing 500 calories per day.
You can’t reduce if you don’t know where you start–therefore counting your calories even just to get an idea of how much you consume regularly is absolutely required.
There isn’t one right way to health and fitness. As long as you aren’t harming yourself to lose weight, it’s ok to find what works for you. You’ll have to experiment with whatever works to get to YOUR after.
‘Tis the season to……regain all the weight you’ve lost by indulging in seasonal favorites?
Nope, not I.
I intend to indulge but I refuse to let my sweet tooth, and the comfortableness of the season set me back. Like anybody else, I like pumpkin in evvvvverything this time of year.
I have pumpkin spice air freshener, pumpkin spice candles, and pumpkin spice body lotion for goodness sake! I just love the nostalgia that comes with the scent and taste of pumpkin during the fall. It reminds me of happy times with family and friends. I just love everything about this time of year BUT let’s keep it real, its about the time most of us abandon our goals.
I’m a foodie by nature but I’m serious about my goals.
What to do when there is pumpkin & sweet potato everywhere? Find the skinny alternative and make it your bestie.
Let’s dig into some of my favorite skinny treats that pack flavor and festive fall nostalgia but will not throw your regimen off track!
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease or line a muffin tin
Place the flour, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl and mix well.
Add the melted coconut oil, water and pure pumpkin to the dry mix and stir until all ingredients are blended.
Using a spoon, add the batter to the muffin tins. Once the batter has been distributed evenly, lightly wet the backside of the spoon and smooth over the top of each muffin. Bake in oven for 20-23 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean.
Place all ingredients in the blender and blend on high until completely mixed together and oats have broken down, about 1-2 minutes.
Heat a griddle or large pan over medium-low heat and melt a teaspoon or two of coconut oil or grass-fed butter in the pan. Once the pan or griddle is hot, pour or scoop 1/4 cup of the batter onto the pan. Cook 2-3 minutes on both sides and serve hot with extra bananas, extra fruit, nuts, nut butter or maple syrup.
The basic principle of weight loss is: create a caloric deficit.
I always always always start a brand new weight loss regimen with determining my TDEE.
TDEE is an acronym for Total Daily Energy Expenditure, a measure of the amount of calories it takes to keep you alive, i.e. heart pumping, lungs breathing, mouth yapping (in my case).
This is my absolute favorite website to calculate my calories to lose weight by a specific date. With this calculator, you’ll get an idea of how many calories you should be consuming per day.
PSST: I created a weekly weight loss planner that you can use today to start organizing yourself for the journey ahead.
Step Two: Determine How You Will Create A Caloric Deficit
Now that you’ve determined your TDEE and know just how many calories you can consume to create a caloric deficit, your very next step is to begin thinking about HOW you will get to that deficit.
Whether you choose South Beach Diet, 21 Day Meal Plan, Whole 30–all of those will follow similar principles of weight release, caloric deficit.
If you’re looking to start with a diet diet, that’s cool, but you’d probably be better off with choosing one or all 3 of these lifestyle changes first.
Let’s learn a little about each, shall we?
LIFESTYLE CHANGES 1. intuitive eating: reducing problematic foods, trusting the body, no restrictions 2. portion control: minimal restrictions, smaller serving sizes 3. counting calories: meals should be under or within the daily caloric limit to create deficit
What is it? You DO NOT place any strict guidelines on what you can eat. You will consume Whole Foods that are considered clean but not in excess. When to use it? 1. the first 3 weeks to 1 month of starting. 2. at the end for weight maintenance.
WHY I LOVE INTUITIVE EATING
When I first began this most recent journey to weight loss, it was important to me to just get started. I focused on intuitive eating or reducing the amount of “problematic” foods that I had in my diet.
When we think about losing weight we automatically focus our thoughts on all of the good (but not good for you) foods we will no longer be able to have. All of the food we love will suddenly be off limits. This is stressful, AF.
The verb form of the word “diet” is precisely defined as, “restrict oneself to small amounts or special kinds of food in order to lose weight.” Nobody wants this life.
I love intuitive eating in the very first few weeks of the journey because it allows you to form new habits in a way that is less intimidating and easily sustainable.
Without the pressure of restriction & the monotony of reading labels intuitive eating gives you the opportunity to become more conscious about what you nourish your body with and why.
For example: Because there isn’t any real restriction on what I can have, but I know that I still want to stay in a caloric deficit, I CAN go to the drive thru and choose a juicy cheese burger, remove the bread, replace the soda with a water & fries with baked potato and make it semi-healthy. I’ll keep listening to my body and eat when I am hungry whilst still gravitating towards keeping my plate full of lean protein, whole carbohydrates and colorful vegetables.
Intuitive eating is about the mind connection to the food we eat and less about macros but still focused on making better choices. You can start eliminating problematic foods, problematic portions without the pressure to NEVER have them again.
HOW TO USE INTUITIVE EATING: 1. Replace bad habits with aligned choices. 2. Begin thinking about your food choices.
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What is it? Limiting the quantity and/or size of serving of certain foods, liquids, condiments in a single meal. When to use it? 1. With intuitive eating 2. 1st month of the journey and beyond
WHY I LOVE PORTION CONTROL
Okay so let’s say, you’ve completed a successful go at reducing problematic foods and eating intuitively, when you feel comfortable and ready to kick things up a notch, you will want to implement portion control.
Reducing portion sizes will begin to create caloric deficit that intuitive eating may not have been able to accomplish.
Portion control gives you the opportunity to continue to practice mindful eating BUT portion control focuses on one of the most crucial parts to weight loss, self control.
If weight loss is like building a house, learning how to control yourself would be the foundation of that house. Without self control you will never ever achieve weight loss, periodt.
I love portion control so very much at the very beginning because there is very little pressure to completely eliminate. You can take your time with how you create a deficit. Portion control not only takes the pressure off total elimination, you’ll begin to learn how to use labels when deciding how to nourish your body.
If you can master portion control, you can master weight loss.
HOW TO USE PORTION CONTROL: 1. You will read labels to determine the serving size. 2. Eat within limited quantities. 3. Become mindful about the amount of consumption particular foods.
What is it? It’s the practice of reading labels to determine calories in each food choice and limiting oneself to an allotted amount per day. When to use it? As soon as you feel comfortable with your ability to be restricted to a limited amount of calories per day. After you’ve been intuitive eating for some time.
WHY I LOVE CALORIE COUNTING
I’m a little giddy! Because I get to tell you about my FAVORITE tool for weight loss.
Counting calories has been the MOST effective way I’ve been able to lose MASSIVE amounts of weight over a long period of time.
Read More: In Defense Of Calorie Counting & Daily Weigh In’s
Calorie counting gets a lot of side eyes, but if you join any weight loss group online, sit down for a chat with any personal trainer at a gym, google ‘how to lose weight’, the consensus will always be COUNTING CALORIES IS KING.
BUT, if weight loss is basically defined as creating caloric deficit, how can you create a deficit if you are unsure of your calories?
I love both intuitive eating & portion control on its own but I think you’ll make a huge impact if you combined both of those with serious calorie counting.
Counting calories is as easy as downloading an app to count calories for you. If you must, you can write it down in a notebook and determine the calories straight from the label.
If you want to take a it a step further, whatever you do sis, weigh your food sis. Girl! These two things: counting calories + weighting my food has been the absolute tag team champion of weight loss for me.
HOW TO USE CALORIE COUNTING: 1. Download an app or keep a food journal. 2. Read labels to determine your portion & document the intake.
Before we dive into creating your plan of action, can I just tell you real quick how I go about creating my own plan of action for weight loss?
First I tend to do is get my feet wet with intuitive eating, and portion control for at least two-three weeks. Then I will slowly incorporate a bit of #allmovementisgoodmovement which means I plan for a brisk or easy walk for a 30 minute minimum at least 3 x’s per week.
You can skip intuitive eating, portion control & calorie counting and begin with a plan if you’d like. BUT when I began the journey I was morbidly obese and I was dead tired of going head first into the journey and then quitting within a week.
I was willing to take things slow in order to see minimal weight loss over a long period of time versus rushing into the journey & quitting on myself before things could get moving.
However you get to the point of planning the journey surrender yourself to the fact that planning your next steps, is CRUCIAL.
Why do you need a plan? There are just no two ways about this. A plan of action solidifies your intentions. A plan turns those intentions into tangible steps that make those weight loss dreams of yours come true.
Having a solid plan allows you to track progress.
A solid plan allows you to measure your success.
A solid plan is the only way to jump into the weight loss train, and stay until until you reach your goal.
HERE IS WHAT YOU WILL NEED FOR A SUCCESSFUL WEIGHT LOSS PLAN
Meal plan: Whether it is a daily list of what you will eat or a simple list of “compliant” food items, it is imperative that you know what you will be eating. Grocery list: If you plan on shopping for food to cook for meal prep or just food for the week ahead, knowing what you need in house to create those delicious fit and healthy meals. Workout calendar: The calendar shows you just how serious you’ve been with your goal to workout. It’s a reminder of your progress and/or lack thereof. Progress tracker: The best kind will include opportunities to check your mental before/during and after. A good progress worksheet will also include opportunities to determine your goals, as they will change frequently throughout the journey.
To help you get started with your a plan, I created a free ass one page fillable accountability worksheet.
When you’ve combed through those three, I have a few more suggestions on creating your most actionable, sustainable weight loss regimen.
Honorable Mentions: Include These In Your Regimen
I want this to be the very last time you set out to lose weight & fumble.
I was so tired of trying and failing and I know how much of a hit to the gut failing at weight loss can be. I’m including EVERYTHING I did, so before you set off, consider these ideas too.
Now that you’ve determined your starting points with calculating your TDEE, decided how you’ll create a caloric deficit, and have a little more of an idea of what needs to be included in your weight loss plan, it’s time I mention some crucial points to how you are going to finally reach those weight loss goals.
Drink Massive Amounts Of Water
Water is my secret weapon for weight loss. Whenever I have a gallon or more of water per day, I am able to stay at least 99.99% compliant with my meal plan.
Science says sometimes the insatiable hunger we feel is dehydration. Drinking a gallon or more of water per day helps me to feel more satisfied after each meal.
Pro tip: Buy 7 gallons of water at the top of the week. The sight of the gallons gives you an incentive, a reminder that you’ve committed to drinking them off each day.
Don’t Join A Gym
YOU DON’T NEED TO BE A GYM RAT TO LOSE WEIGHT. 🗣
I’m using information pulled directly from two places, science and my personal experience. Exercise is absolutely vital to a healthy body, mind and spirit. I recommend EVERYONE exercise but, there is a big ol’ but.
For a beginner, a goal like “cycling 6 times per week” is HUGE & can become a deterrent to getting healthy. On the other hand, if the workout goal isn’t as intimidating you might be more likely to stick to it.
Social media is full of physically impressive bodies going HAM in the gym. Those bodies are #bodygoals for sure but, it is unrealistic to expect to kill it in the gym when you haven’t been physically active in a while.
The gym as newbie is intimidating af. When you’re just starting it is important to not be intimidated out of continuing on your journey.
What I mean is, there are more sustainable (read realistic) ways of creating a habit of working out.
Creating a caloric deficit + tiny bits of movement for 30 minutes a few times per week is enough to make a significant impact on the scale & create massive MOMENTUM for the long journey ahead.
#allmovementisgoodmovement because as long as that beautiful body is moving for small bits of time, you are creating massive momentum towards your goal of weight release.
When I first began losing weight, here is how I spent my 30 minutes 3-5 x’s per week:
Walk the local park for 30 minutes.
Do a light walk on the treadmill at home (or gym).
Take a brisk walk through the neighborhood for 30 minutes or more.
Damnit, if all else fails, complete a quick 30 minute workout with youtube.
It doesn’t matter how you choose to spend the 30 minutes, you just need to commit to creating some movement.
Don’t Forget To Feed Your Mind
When the workout is over, do you have the mental stamina to stay in alignment with your goals? Most of what keeps us from losing weight isn’t ANY of the shit I mentioned above. It is our self limiting beliefs.
A lot of what stopped me from losing any weight at all was the little faith I had in myself. We do not believe that we could actually lose 5, 10, let alone 100 pounds. Therefore, each time we come into contact with an opportunity to sabotage our efforts, without thinking, we take it.
TELL YOUR SELF YOU CAN, OVER AND OVER AGAIN UNTIL RESISTANCE IS AS NATURAL AS GIVING IN ONCE WAS.
Human beings are extremely regimented in our daily lives–and our train of thought. We are usually functioning on autopilot. Before we even begin ego has already talked us out of trying.
Each time you’ve given into temptation–you’ve subconsciously told yourself “I cannot do this.”
In the very beginning of my journey, I started to take note of every single time I told myself “I cannot resist.” I mean, I started listening to the crap I said to myself in my head. Then I immediately changed it to “YES I CAN,” and just like that the big scary cookie became an ordinary cookie.
Once I started to gain some belief in what I could ,food stopped being this irresistible thing that I needed. The faith I had in myself, the desire I possessed to accomplish my goal of losing weight became far greater.
Belief in oneself is the undisputed champion of HOW TO LOSE WEIGHT.
For me: I choose journaling, meditation, influential podcasts etc to help with self care and self limiting beliefs, anxiety, depression.
Do some soul work, determine those barriers keeping you from becoming who you were designed to be. Is it your relationship with food? Is it an inability to see the strength you possess? Is it the excuses you’ve been making for yourself?
Be kind to yourself. Be patient. Start today, don’t wait until you are ready, because you may never be. Start slowly. And do not quit.
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All of these tips, will take practice. Practicing each one has allowed me to lose hundreds of pounds multiple times throughout my life.
I believe you can do this.
Let me know how you will decide to start in the comments.
what i’ve learned about how to get past a weight loss plateau
Every article I’ve read about a weight loss plateau does very little to offer mental options of recovery.
Most articles spend a lot of time trying to explain why you’ve come to a weight loss plateau but never really go into detail about how to bounce back into losing weight.
Of course you’ll have to consider the usual suspects: evaluating diet, re-arranging exercise routine, identifying underlying medical issues, & managing stress.
When you’ve exhausted all of those, you can come back and keep reading. I’ll wait…
Done? Alright.. let’s talk about the reality of weight loss. It’s not a linear process and there is a kind of plateau that involves the inability to find the strength to begin again.
Failing a dozen times at anything will begin to cast a thick-ass cloud of doubt over your ability to ever accomplish said thing–ever. Are you there?
my begin again plateau story..the short version
I have been trying to lose the pregnancy weight since I gained it almost 3 years ago. I manage to get down to a certain point and then life hits me hard and I am right back where I started. Whenever I am able to do well for long stretches of time then experience a slip up, it’s difficult to even think about beginning again.
Starting over feels like defeat. Getting back into the swing of losing weight feels futile–what’s the point? I’m only going to plateau again and have to restart, again.
what you need to know about a start-over plateau.
Truthfully, starting over is so much better than giving up. As starting over is the opportunity to succeed–giving up is accepting the idea that you are not capable, and that is not true.
When it feels really hard to begin again, I go back to these mental strategies to get me started. If you aren’t sure how to re-start your most recent failed attempt at weight loss, here are my exact re-start and recover steps.
Forgive Yourself & Give Yourself Permission To Start Again
What you not gone do: beat yourself up for being human.
Forget about yesterday. Stop going over your last mistakes. Have you ever heard the term, beating a dead horse? This is kind of what this is when you sit in your shit for so long waiting to smell the stink.
You had that cookie, you took one too many pieces of that birthday cake. So fucking what. You are a human. You’re not a robot. You’ll make mistakes and that is expected.
You are allowed to start as many times as you need to. Don’t follow nobody else’s timeline.
It’s over with, move forward. Forgive yourself for being human and give yourself permission to believe in your abilities to lose weight. Dust your pretty ass off and go again.
I tend to veer off track right around my menstrual cycle. It’s where I become the most vulnerable to sugar and salt cravings. I am the cliche of moody premenstrual syndrome and when I am down I turn to food to pick me up.
I’ve known this for quite some time but have made very little progress at creating a strategy to stay on track during my menstrual.
I’m determined now more than ever to be successful and I’ve already created a strategy for premenstrual success:add a sweet treat every single day of my period and include it in my meal plan.
You’ve fucked up but you’ve also learned a valuable lesson about yourself. Use the knowledge you’ve gained from going off track to keep you going for the next go-round.
Don’t Start Again With A “Fast” Or “Cleanse”
For whatever reason or the other, I tend to end a binge or a bad week and start again with a one-three day water fast. I say it is a way of “cleansing my palette.”| I don’t believe in this anymore.
Restricting ourselves from eating for 2-3 days is low-key punishment for over indulgence or natural human behavior.
We fucked up. But we should not make up for that fuck up by restricting calories, and/or not eating at all. It’s barbaric. Don’t do this to yourself!
Instead let’s focus on re-crafting and getting more specific with our goals. If need be take some time to re-evaluate your goals, think about your past mistakes and prepare for time.
Don’t Stall Your Re-Start To “Get It Out My System”
We love to promise that we’ll “start again on the first Monday of the full moon in Saturn” but, stuffing ourselves with craving food for another week, until the weekend or whatever your start day of choice is will not get you any closer to feeling satisfied and ready to begin again.
In fact, it makes it harder to continue resisting once you’ve trained your brain into giving in to all of your cravings.
Honestly, if you are unable to stop yourself mid-binge it probably means that you are not ready to begin the journey and that is okay. If need be, take some more time to develop a strong sense of “why” and then start again.
You can begin again at any point.
You are totally capable of achieving weight release.
Understand this process is not linear.
It may require some stops and re-starts. THAT IS OKAY. As long as you do do not give up on yourself, you will make it to your goal.
I’d love to hear how you bounce back from a weight loss plateau or failed attempt.
In this never ending quest to get into the best physical shape of my life, I’ve discovered, unraveled, uncovered the POWER of developing a weight loss mindset.
Sadly, it’s rare for most people to consider the necessity of developing a shift of mindset for achieving weight loss consistency.
When most people think of losing weight they think of sweating it out in the gym, eating big green salads and shopping at the local health food store. Those are great tools for weight loss but they aren’t at the heart what it takes to lose weight–for real this time.
In my experience, having a proper mindset is THE most important part of weight loss.
In this post we will explore the 3 very critical mindset shifts I made that helped me become consistent with my fitness efforts + finally achieve massive weight loss. These are simple concepts but implementing these 3 mindset shifts will truly change the way you approach your fitness journey, for good.
mindset shift ONE: SPRING MUST COME
BE PATIENT WITH YOURSELF, BE PATIENT WITH THE JOURNEY.
Proper mindset is your absolute key to starting & succeeding at weight loss. And so is your ability to slow tf down.
Oh my goodness, if I had a dollar for every time I started a new weight loss regimen & quit within the first few days because things just didn’t go as planned, girl–I’d have a lot of damn dollars.
You’ve created these poor eating, inconsistent, negative self talk habits over the course of many many decades. To think that a week, or couple of months, is all it will take to completely eradicate those bad habits is really unfair to yourself. It’s cruel and unusual punishment for being and doing as a naturally flawed human does.
What’s the deal with all the rush and fuss?
There are two points here: 1) slow down; it’s not going to happen overnight & 2) keep reminding yourself of 1.
I hate fad diets for this particular reason, it encourages the idea that weight loss should happen FAST. Spring must come.
Our society low-key teaches us two things about fat people.
The first, fat men and women cannot be sexy and the second being fat is shameful and should be hidden. We believe these things to be true, without ever considering an alternative. We’ll get to the alternative in a bit but first let’s focus on the shame of being fat.
When I gave birth to my first child at 21, almost 11 years ago, I gained nearly 100 pounds. I abandoned friendships, minimized social movements, and became a recluse. Why? Because I was fat and afraid of the judgment I’d receive because of it. I associated being thin with being happy and was hell bent on losing weight for that purpose alone.
For months, years even, I kept telling myself that as soon as I lose X amount of pounds I would be happy again and my life would instantly change and be better.Fast forward to two years later when stress induced weight loss happened and I lost ALL 100 pounds. I lost a lot of weight & found skinny but where in the heck was my happy? No where in sight. The numbers on the scale changed. I was treated differently by some people and that felt good but I still felt deficient on the inside.
Something was missing. I still felt unworthy. My insecurity still raged. I continued to compare myself to everyone else wondering if I would ever be good enough.
Losing weight did nothing to improve the way that I felt about myself.
With that quick knowledge check on what weight loss can and cannot give you–let’s dive into 3 mindset shifts you can make for weight loss consistency.
one:accept yourself as you are, while you strive for weight loss
If you read nothing else in this post, read this one paragraph: You cannot hate yourself and simultaneously enjoy the good parts of this life. Self hate cannot be contained, it muddies the waters of all things good and joyous in the world. There is no way possible for you to hate yourself & simultaneously enjoy the good in this world.
FACTS: There are millions of happy and fat people in the world and to start losing weight, you’ll have to at least feign fat and happy for a long while.
DISCLAIMER: I’m not a psychiatrist. I’m not licensed to diagnose any disorder of any kind. I do not have credentials to offer any medical advise what-so-ever.
All I have is 31 years of experience fighting with myself to become this ideal body that I was convinced would make me happier. I’ve been obese and I’ve been “skinny” many times in my life and in each frame, sadness, unworthiness, self intolerance, continued to exist.
Losing weight never made me “happy.” Weight loss provided, at most, a minimal confidence booster but, on a deeper level, weight loss did little to change how I felt about myself. I ditched the idea that I NEED TO LOSE WEIGHT TO BE HAPPY & went towards the journey with a sturdier “why” in place. I accepted my body for what it was, as it was, and moved towards my goal of weight loss without the intense pressure to lose weight, and lose it really really fast.
When I decided that I WANTED to lose weight, and did not NEED it to be happy, this became THE GAME CHANGER. I could get my nails done, do my hair, and put on an outfit that made me feel beautiful, in my fat body. There was no sadness about my existent body & rush to shed the weight. There was just me and this current body striving for my solidified why that had nothing to do with the reflection in the mirror. Oh, it was deeper than skin, and this is what created the consistency.
final takeaway: if you can accept yourself as you are right now, losing weight loses it’s pressure & is easier to sustain.
One of the very first things I did when I began the journey to self love was surround myself with people who made me feel good about my body.
If these people don’t exists in real life, you can find people who resemble you on social media. Some of the very first body acceptance women that made me feel like a fat fucking goddess was on Instagram.
There are thousands of women (and men) fucking shit up on the internet. There are hundreds of hashtags you can search on Instagram that will lead you right to them. Seek them out and take in the confident sexiness they exude.
Seeing fierce women like, Tess Holiday and Gabi Fresh (and so many others) kill shit in clothes that society explicitly reserves for the thin will light a fire in you. A blaze, bitch.
This kind of confidence coming from women that we’ve been told are too big to exude sexiness gives you permission to take your power back! The way their clothes don’t try to hide rolls of fat. How effortlessly they embrace the camera will almost immediately change your perspective on who can be sexy. Because these women are hot AND fat.
Surrounding yourself with these kind of images opens up a brand new internal dialogue. You’ll start to question your own beliefs about your body. You’ll begin to ask yourself questions like how the hell can I get this way? And then something magical happens within you. You start to see yourself as attractive (sexy even) too.
Maybe you’ll see these women and feel nothing but repulsion. If this is the case, I suggest you keep doing the work to acceptance because this is akin to being repulsed to folk of darker shades, or thinner lips–it’s rooted in self hate.
Take Action: Dump ANYONE Who Makes You Feel Unworthy
3) accept the descriptor, & decide if their approval matters
First of all, you are worth being loved by all that you encounter, if this is what you wish. Why? Because you are here. You have value for being the person that you are, period.
Second, you have fat but you are not fat and fat alone.
Can fat be people attractive? Yes. Can fat people have attractive qualities about them? Damn right. Can fat people be fun to be around? Of course they can. Can fat people give others physical pleasure? Ugh, hell yeah (fat lady with a man and three children here, somebody is getting it in with this fattie).
Anybody that treats you poorly because you are fat, is not worth the effort to keep them in your life.
The compliment from an acquaintance or a stranger isn’t what creates that feel good feeling. Because the verbiage of the compliment itself means nothing. What gives you that good feeling is the the fact that you have accepted and/or believe the compliment to be true. “Why yes, I do look good don’t I?” It’s the same concept when someone insults you. You only feel bad about an insult if you find some truth in it.
Being called fat cannot hurt you if you have already accepted the descriptor. Currently, you are fat and that’s fine–thats what you look like on the outside. Why does this bother you if it is true? You’ve attached negative connotations to a word that is meant to describe. Are you offended when someone describes you as black (if your skin is black) or white (if your skin is white)? No. Because it’s an accurate description of what you look like.
When you stop giving meaningless descriptors or labels control over your sense of self and worth you can begin healing.
A lot of times we make a big deal about the opinions of others because we are drawing our sense of worth from what they think of us. It’s completely normal to do so but people with a healthy self esteem know when to throw the deuces to “they”. Who is they anyway? And why have we given them so much power over how we feel about us?
girl, we all struggle with body image issues
If you were rail thin and someone pointed it out, because of your mindset, this would be a dagger to the heart. Because of your mindset any word can be used against you. Imagine how hard it will be to navigate the world when you are constantly allowing the fleeting opinions of others to dictate how you should feel about yourself. Folk will find a flaw in every and anything they can.
Furthermore, you have the power to accept yourself as you are, despite the opinion of people who don’t suffer with you.
Action step: Accept the descriptor. Tell yourself “I am fat, and that is okay because it is currently what I look like.” Take the sting out of the word fat by using it freely.
None of this will come easy. It will take practice. Make it a habit to look at yourself and your fatness in a different light.
You have power, you’re worthy of love and light, and you can achieve all that you set out to do.
No amount of weight loss can give that to you. As you go into your journey remember who the fuck you are on the inside and allow time for the outside to catch up to all that heroic shit you exude.
I’d love to know what you think about these suggestions. Are they do-able? can you do it? Do you have any body love personalities you can suggest to us? Let me know in the comments!