Look Like You Work Out

by | May 7, 2024

Today we’re talking about keeping the weight off forever. Ultimately, I think that’s what people want. I think people want to work on losing body fat, building muscle, having a life, and moving on, not being stuck in the never ending hamster wheel of yo yo dieting. I’m pretty sure that’s why you’re here and I want to deliver on that promise. 

1) Forever weight loss cannot be done with temporary bullsh*t.

There are going to be times between now and the rest of your life that you are going to do weight loss. You might be adding calories, subtracting calories, adding more carbs, adding more fats, or changing things up. That’s normal. We’re not always going to be wanting to wear the same clothes, we’re not always going to live in the same house, things will change. 

We want to change the lens in which we view;

  • how we eat, 
  • how we work out, 
  • how we take care of ourselves, 
  • how we prioritize ourselves 

and not really look at that through the lens of a diet. 

It doesn’t have to be a restrictive, unsustainable plan in order to work. In fact, I think we’ve all proven, the more restrictive, the more unsustainable. The harder we try to diet, the more quickly the weight will come back, the more quickly we will burn off valuable muscle, we will get injured, we will put ourselves into mental peril and come out on the other side with nothing to show for it. 

Is what I’m doing something I could do for forever or for a long time or is this temporary? If it is temporary. What would be my next steps? What’s the bridge I need to build? Because I get it, realistically you could say Bonnie, I’m going on my 25th anniversary to Hawaii. I’m having a special photoshoot. I’m going on a girls trip to Paris. I’m doing something where I do really want to hone in, I want to tighten things up, I want to lose that body fat, and I want to really be more precise. I want to be more intentional. I want to have a tighter protocol in order to do that. Great. We just want to make sure that when that has ended, you have a plan to take you into the next phase. And that is not to lose weight then gain weight. That’s where we want to stop. 

2) Feeling your feelings.

Here’s what else I want to share with you. If you are here in my space, looking for help, not just on your weight loss, but to lose the weight permanently and keep it off, for better or for worse. Maybe this doesn’t sound so bad, but I think this is a big aha for me. You’re going to have to feel your feelings, otherwise you’re always going to be eating or drinking your feelings, running from them, trying to push them down, trying to willpower your way through your whole life. That’s ultimately what it is when we think that we need a lot of discipline, we need a lot of willpower, we need to just grin and bear it, we need to lock ourselves in our rooms, we need to have these perfect circumstances in order to lose weight.

It just means that we haven’t really figured out how to have a life, how to have real feelings and still show up for ourselves, have to deal with difficult situations and still eat like we give a fuck. There’s really only one exception I have for this. There’s a differentiator for me between feelings like I’m frustrated, I’m overwhelmed, I’m resentful, angry, disappointed, blah, blah, blah, like the regular old human stuff, and then grief. Should something happen in your life, the passing of a loved one, kind of all bets are off for a little while. I think grief does take us into another realm. I am not a grief coach, I do have a lot of friends who are grief coaches, if you are somebody who is experiencing grief, as a feeling, I would get a coach for that. I am a coach for weight loss. With my clients, we kind of bump into feelings. 

You can’t lose weight and keep it off and not bump into your feelings. You will have the urge to eat or to drink or to gamble or online shop or do something to run away. Sometimes we think I should go exercise every time I have the urge to eat, every time I have feelings I should go do something to keep myself busy. You can do that, except what if it’s 10 o’clock at night, and you can’t go for a walk? What if it’s snowing or raining? The feelings are not subsiding with you painting a picture or knitting or doing a crossword puzzle or cleaning out your closet. Feeling feelings is a practice, it is probably not as terrible as it seems. Even acknowledging your feelings, even being able to name your feelings, even being willing to admit that you have feelings, moves you closer to permanent weight loss. 

You don’t have to go into some Zen meditation, I am processing my feelings and I need a special feelings room and I have to do all I have to have a ritual for it. I think really just knowing that you are having feelings, being able to name them, and being able to still do the things. Feed yourself like you care. Move your body, drink the water, go to sleep, just like you would take care of a pet or a child. 

3) Action solves a lot of problems. 

If you have a problem that cannot be solved with an action,  then you probably have something like a loved one has passed away. That’s really one of those permanent unfixable situations. For most of us, our weight loss especially, can be solved with actions. So can our maintenance and so can our permanent weight loss. 

Here’s the big aha, you’re going to have to take actions, not from the place of being the stuck dieter, but more as the future version of yourself. Because what we’re probably doing and really good at is staying in that sort of cycle. The diet cycle, the yo yo. Lose weight, gain weight because we just keep doing the same things. I can only do what I know how to do.

How do I become that future version of myself? The answer is with practice and over time, unfortunately or fortunately, there is no light switch. We don’t get to push a button and just say okay, activate my future self. There’s nothing wrong with your current self. Your future self is just you taking different actions, thinking different thoughts, feeling different feelings based on the thoughts and the actions you’re taking. That’s it. 

The future you is just one level up. Then from that level and that level. When we’re doing this kind of work, this mindset work, it’s subtle. I look back, even over the course of a year, for a lot of my clients, where they started and where they ended are two completely different places. It’s not because they lost 100 pounds and they’re half the half the size, it’s much more about how they think about themselves, what they believe about their abilities and capabilities. Your future version of yourself is going to take the actions so that you are going to be able to keep weight off for a lifetime. If that makes sense. That might be deep, maybe not.

4) You have to go beyond the scale. 

The scale does provide that really big dopamine hit when it goes down, especially in the first couple of weeks. You have a new diet, a new plan, new macros, new calories, a new this and new that. It’s all new, it’s all fun, it’s exciting. Until it’s not. When the scale doesn’t go down as fast, when the scale feels like it’s flatlining, or the scale goes up. 

In truth, it’s a lot easier to make the scale go down, then to build sexy arms. My guess is you want to lose weight and keep it off. Not just for a number on the scale, but your future self actually has a particular look and aesthetic. You want to have those toned arms or toned legs or a nice booty or a small waist or perky boobs. I don’t know what you want. But I’m guessing it has to do with how you want your body to look, feel and perform. To make it easy to work out, run up the stairs, and do all the things that you want to do. It is a lot easier to make the scale go down. 

That’s the short game. We can make the scale go down between now and tomorrow. You know how to stop eating, stop drinking, go to bed right now, and when you wake up you’ll be lighter. Take a sauna, go to a hot yoga class, take a diuretic, cut your leg off, get some tapeworms, get the stomach bug, there’s a million ways that we can make the scale go down, to give our brain a big Yahoo, but that’s really temporary. It does take more time to lose body fat, and then to have less body fat so that we can see the definition in our muscles from working out. 

I’m not suggesting that everybody throws away their scale, not till you’re really ready for that, but let’s look at other things that you can do for your forever weight loss. Taking photos, that’s one thing I really regret is I don’t have more photos. I don’t have more photos because I hate photos, despise photos. I only have photos of when I was in contest shape. That was it. I get it. We all probably have photos, either from our childhood or we have photos when we went on the diet and not any other times. 

Take photos. Even if it seems scary or horrible, or you don’t want to do it. If you are going to use the scale on that same exact morning, just snap a picture in the mirror. Doesn’t have to be front, back, both sides, in a pose, in a bikini or anything like that. It can just be like a front shot. 

I will just die if I lose my phone. Somebody would see hundreds of photos, and this goes back many years, literally just front pictures of me and my bra and underwear. Hundreds of them I probably did. What I would do is I wouldn’t just take one photo, I would take multiple to make sure that I liked the photo because I hated all the photos. But now, what if I put my hand here? What if the lighting was like this? What if I hold my abs tighter? You can drive yourself crazy or you can just snap the photo. 

What about tracking your workouts? Tracking your steps? Taking measurements? Using a piece of clothing? I literally just had an unsolicited testimonial from a woman that caught me completely by surprise. I mean, I ask for testimonials, I do. I’m not shy about asking people when they are coming in and out of programs, “hey, it’s been great coaching you. I’d love to get a testimonial. Can you share something?” Absolutely, always going to ask for testimonials. 

However, when you get one that’s completely unsolicited, I was shocked. It was sort of an interesting one where she had said that she had stopped using the scale and that pants that she couldn’t get above her knees not too long ago, now comfortably slid over her whole entire body, and she was able to wear these jeans. It was interesting that she was kind of like, I’m mad. I’m sad. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long. It took me several reads of the testimonial just to see that she had so much success. 

This is a client I’ve had inside of the Society membership for over a year or so. But she was kind of beating herself up, which was sort of interesting. So to my Society client, thank you for that testimonial. You actually are very inspirational, somebody who’s just taking their time they’ve done the work. The pants, the fit of clothing never lies.

I did a podcast probably over the summer about clothing. Clothing makers, buying cute clothes, and having jeans. Literally I’m in my closet. I’m staring at my clothing. I have jeans that go from like size zero to seven or nine. It’s wild ride. Jeans by different makers and different materials. Some are very stretchy, some are not, some are high waist, some are low waist. At the end of the day it is interesting what the tag says to you. Do I feel different when I’m putting on a pair of size zero versus two? Maybe for that moment, but mostly if I like how they fit. If I look in the mirror, does it matter? Same thing, kind of with the scale.

Does it matter if I could wear size two jeans? Would it matter if the scale said 120 or 150? Or 210? Not really. You want to go beyond the scale. If you want to lose weight and keep it off, you’re going to have to stretch in that way, and know that the scale will fluctuate. I think is kind of the mindf*ck too. It’s like oh, well, I lost 20 pounds but if I got on the scale right now and I was up, does that mean I didn’t lose 20 pounds? Did I only lose 18? Are we going to play that game every single day? Oh, I lost 19. Oh, I lost 20. I lost 21. I only lost 17. 

It’s kind of like a roller coaster and I think it really does tie in to yo yo dieting. If the scale goes up, do I end up saying fuck it and overeating? See if the scale is affecting what actions you take when it comes to; 

  • taking care of yourself, 
  • your food choices, 
  • your exercise, 
  • going to sleep,
  • drinking the water,
  • taking the supplements 

and doing the things that you know will move you forward. 

5) Getting to the root cause.

This is kind of a big one too and I realized this is all very mindset related. I do have a lot of episodes of the podcast that are very concrete, eat protein, get this many steps. Our brains really want the how to. Tell me what diet is best. Tell me how many calories exactly I need. I get that. But in reality, the women who lose weight, keep it off forever, have the confidence and never worry. I should say, don’t worry as much. 

We all worry. It’s sort of this indulgent emotion that comes in and out. You’re never not going to worry. It’s going to cross your mind. You’re going to have those moments;

  • Do I know what to do?
  • Do these clothes still fit me? 
  • Am I still as lean as I think I am? 

You will have those moments, but what I think is really important is to recognize diets really don’t solve a lot of why we gained weight in the first place. 

Diets really don’t help us realize the symptoms of weight loss, all or nothing thinking, self sabotage, and perfectionism. Some of these things that come up in our weight loss are just symptoms. Feeling overwhelmed, feeling like I don’t have enough information, all of that stuff. Diets are just kind of like hey, don’t worry about all that stuff. Just follow this plan. Only eat these foods. Only do this and don’t do anything else. Don’t worry about all that stuff. However, those are real things, being busy and having a lot of obligations. 

For those of you who are moms and you’re working moms, you’re trying to balance a lot of things. You’re trying to do everything perfectly. You have very high expectations of yourself and others. Those kinds of things will definitely drag you down because it’s very hard to be perfect. It’s very hard to make everybody happy. It’s very hard to feel like you’re in balance. Balance is really just a matter of what you’re choosing to focus on. Balance is really just a matter of what you’re prioritizing. 

At the end of the day, if you are somebody who has gained weight back, it’s not because you didn’t have willpower, it’s not because you did not have discipline, it’s not because you didn’t have the right macros, it’s not because you love bread too much. It really is about not understanding the root cause, or root causes. 

  • What caused you to use food, when you are not hungry? 
  • What caused you to eat when you were not physically hungry? 
  • What caused you to be out of touch with your physical hunger and be out of touch with your body? 
  • What caused you to have a negative view of your body? 
  • What caused you to look solely at the scale for some type of self validation?

Root cause and symptoms are two different things. 

Diets themselves really don’t address either. Yes, I have a lot of ways to help you manage urges, move through self sabotage, make eating easy, make weight loss and weight lifting and doing all the things. At the end of the day, if we never really address what it is, what is driving me to open the snack drawer when I’m stressed, when I’m tired, when I’m lonely, when my you know, when the day didn’t go my way, when I’m having thoughts and feelings. I’m not feeling good enough, this isn’t going fast enough. This will never work. I’m not worthy. Nobody loves me, so I don’t love myself either. That’s some deep sh*t, I think that’s why people decide to get coaches. Rather than go from diet to diet, consuming more information, getting on Google and Pinterest, and getting another meal plan. 

The Society

I have all that stuff for clients. I’m not going to say that I’m against meal plans. I think they’re very helpful to get people started and to get that momentum. In fact, shameless plug, we are less than a week away from a very big kickoff in my membership. I realized over the last year and a half and talking about the podcast, I didn’t talk a lot about the membership I have which is called the Society. 

We’ve taken some time to revamp what that membership will look like for our clients. I’m super excited. Every single month, we’ll have a brand new masterclass. I’m super excited for April, the masterclass is, lose 10 pounds. Whether that’s the first 10 pounds, the next 10 pounds, the last 10 pounds. Wherever you are in your journey, this is going to help you. If you are not inside the Society membership on April 1, that’s okay. This masterclass with a plan will be inside the resources of the membership. That’s the beauty of a membership. Every masterclass will then be part of the entire library in this.

A membership is a beautiful thing because it’s self paced, self directed. You don’t have to do things on a certain timeline. It’s not like you’re getting tons of homework and more to dos. This is a way, just like my client who sent me that unsolicited testimonial, that you can lose weight. A way for you to get back into those jeans and you find yourself again. 

Inside this membership. It is for women who want to lose weight but more so keep it off forever. I’d love to have you there. The information should be in the show notes with the link to sign up. Right now is a great time to join. It is no enrollment fee and only $57 a month with a three month minimum. 

In the past I had said come and go as you want. Then I realized you’re not going to join a gym and then 30 days or less be like well I didn’t get ripped so I’m gonna leave. I’m not buff, I’m gonna leave. This gym doesn’t work. It’s funny because we do that with weight loss. Now this didn’t work. I’m not any skinnier now. I had a salad all week, and I’m not at my goal. 

To be fair, because just consuming information for 30 days isn’t going to move the needle, we want to take action. Inside the society, I have lots of very good masterclasses. They’re good because they’re from me and every single month we’ll have a coaching call as well. We already have that membership all built out. It’s ready for you.

If this is the future, three months from now, six months from now, a year from now. I’ve already had people tell me that $57 is just not enough money. Don’t be shocked if the rate goes up. I can promise you that if you lost weight and you could keep it off and your life could be simpler and easier and you didn’t think about weight and weight loss every moment of your day, I think that would be priceless. 

I appreciate you. Thank you for being here. I hope to see you in the society and if not, I’ll still see you back here next week. Make it a good one.


Bonnie Lefrak is a Life & Body Transformation Expert and Founder of Self Made, a program designed to help you tackle the physical aspects of health and weight loss as well as the beliefs and thoughts that drive our habits and behaviors. It is her goal to help women create certainty in their own lives, their own results, and their own abilities.

Weight loss is not about the one “right” diet – it is about MUCH more than that. Weight loss is not about the one “right” workout. Weight loss is not about being positive and putting a big smile on.

Weight loss is about FEELINGS. All of them. Not trying to bury them or hide from them but knowing and allowing the full human experience. Weight loss is not about grinding hustling and will powering your way to some end line. Transformation (when done well) is done from the inside out.

By addressing both the physical and mental aspects of dieting and weight loss, she has coached thousands of women ages 30-55+ from all over and helped them ditch the mindsets that are holding them back, achieve permanent weight loss, and get the bangin’ body of their dreams.

Bonnie is an expert at Demystifying weight loss. She helps you u****k your diet brain. She is on a mission to help women love themselves, to find PEACE in the process of losing weight, taking care of themselves, and leveraging the power they do have to become who and want they want right now.

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Weight Loss Without The Bullsh*t