I talk to a lot of people who want to lose weight. And lose weight FAST! But when we are talking about reversing a condition like excessive weight gain that took many years to achieve, I have found that slow and steady will always win the race.
One of my clients—let’s call her Gloria—can be pretty hard on herself. Gloria spent years raising children and caring for sick relatives and, like many caring moms, is skilled at putting everyone else first. She spent literally years putting everyone else’s needs first, which meant she had no time to exercise, eat healthfully, or worry about herself.
So when she did have time to care for herself, she looked to diet plans and quick fixes—which never worked in the long term. And when she gained back weight—failed in her eyes—the process would become even harder.
But Gloria has been coming to the Bodysmith for a while now, and earlier this week it was time for her to have another inBody scan (this is how we measure changes in weight and body fat). As expected, her results showed improvement…a little bit of improvement.
Gloria was disappointed and blamed herself. “I ate so bad this weekend. If I hadn’t, I would have been down more weight.” Funnily enough, she hit her short-term goal that we had established but still felt like a failure. That shouldn’t happen, right?
Play the Long Game
So, I quickly pulled out the laptop and graph of her results. As we reviewed her progress, her mood changed from defeated to motivated. She was ready to keep going and hit her next goal.
And there is the lesson…when we examine Gloria’s results from day 1 until now, we see a few interesting things (I’ve included the graph below).
In the first seven weeks, she lost seven pounds! Needless to say, Gloria was pretty darned excited. Then something unexpected happened. Then, over the subsequent nine days, she gained back nearly four pounds (weigh-ins on following days confirmed it).
This was devastating. Her food journal showed complete compliance with her food plan. She had been coming to the Bodysmith. Even I thought, “this must be just a glitch.” After all, her new habits were a BIG improvement over the way she used to live. I advised her to hold steady with the plan, and over the next 8 weeks, she lost over 17 pounds.
Focus On The Simple Things, Consistently
In the months ahead, Gloria would see more weight loss. She would also see plateaus, sometimes around holidays and vacations that would get in the way of healthy eating. Like many of us, she could become stressed, lax in her nutrition habits, and stall out her improvements. But rather than just give up on her plan and move to the next fad diet, we agreed that she needed to focus on the simple things she did to gain all of her progress up to that point. Today I am proud to say her progress has continued with the latest plateau being busted this week! 🙂
So what does Gloria do that led her to lose over 33 pounds (and counting) and keep it off? She keeps it simple. Really simple.
Exercises 3 times a week.
- Eats a nutritionally-packed shake that contains protein, vegetables, and fruit for breakfast.
- Has 3-4 servings of healthy protein like lean meat, eggs or fish every day.
- Reduced her alcohol consumption
- Reduced her processed sugar and food intake
Most importantly, Gloria learned that if she fell “off the plan,” she didn’t have to fall all that far. And she didn’t let her plateaus hold her back.
In short, the new Gloria takes much better care of herself than she used to, She is deliberate in a healthful lifestyle. And she hasn’t gained back ANY weight in over a year!
In the coming months, I expect Gloria will see more weight loss. She will continue to enjoy a few drinks, social events, holidays, and indulgence meals, but it won’t stop her. She is focusing on her health with an eye on the ‘long game.’ She is a person transformed and that is an amazing thing.